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Meghan Beaubien returning to Michigan softball

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The ace left-hander will make use of her extra year of eligibility.

Syndication: DetroitFreePress Alec Cohen Special to Detroit Free Press

Michigan softball ace pitcher Meghan Beaubien announced via Twitter Sunday evening that she will be returning to the Wolverines next season.

Beaubien will use the extra year of eligibility that the NCAA awarded spring sports student-athletes last spring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having already graduated, she’ll also work towards earning her Master’s in biomedical engineering.

A graduate of St. Mary Catholic Central H.S. in Monroe, Mich. and the No. 6 overall recruit in FloSoftball’s Class of 2017, Beaubien has lived up to the hype during her career at Michigan.

As a freshman, the left-hander led the nation in wins and was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year as well as an NFCA First-Team All-American, going 33-6 with a 1.17 ERA and 266 strikeouts in 217 innings while posting 12 shutouts and three no-hitters. She earned All-Big Ten honors again in 2019 with a 30-6 record, 1.87 ERA and 229 strikeouts in 228.1 frames.

Beaubien went 7-5 with a 1.52 ERA and struck out 90 batters in 73.2 innings in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. Last season, she went 16-5 with a 1.24 ERA and struck out 202 in 152.1 innings, helping lead the Wolverines to the Big Ten title. (The Wolverines finished 38-8, losing to No. 16 national seed Washington in the NCAA Tournament regional round.)

Beaubien, who already ranks among the top 10 in most pitching categories at Michigan, will go into 2022 with a solid chance to set all-time records in a number of them, including appearances (162), games started (124), innings pitched (853.2) and wins (107).

However, for all that she has achieved in Ann Arbor, a deep NCAA Tournament run has eluded her — in fact, the Wolverines haven’t made it past regionals since 2016.

But with Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Alex Storako (22-5, 1.03 ERA, 270 Ks in 146 innings) and conference Player of the Year Lexie Blair (.406, six homers, 25 RBIs) set to return next season, Michigan still appeared prohibitive favorites to claim the Big Ten title for a third year in a row. Beaubien’s decision to run it back gives the Wolverines maybe the best 1-2 pitching duo in the nation and another chance for a postseason breakthrough.