MADISON, Wis. - La Crosse Logan graduate Michelle Mueller was named the University of Wisconsin's most improved softball player last year. This year, she's playing for one of the country's most improved teams.
"It's almost, you can't describe it. I mean you have such a good season, and it's like the first, we always try to be the first with this new coaching staff. Let's be the first to 30 wins, the first to do this, and now we're top 25 in the RPI rankings, it's something we can't even describe. It's such a great feeling," she said.
The Big Ten player of the week in early march, Mueller is hitting over .340, slugging over .500, and she's third on the team in RBI.
"Just being more aggressive at the plate, trusting myself, knowing the strike zone."
"She's really a tough kid, and I think that's what stands out a ton," said Mueller's head coach, Yvette Healy. "You love in the state of Wisconsin to have a player from Wisconsin that's really got that tough work mentality. She's battled injuries, she's battled some tough things, she just keeps digging in."
What is the biggest reason for the team's turnaround season? Mueller credits the coaches, lots of film study, and the team's outlook.
"We're always having fun. I know last year, even on Big Ten Network, they're like Wisconsin always has fun. They're the team that has the most fun in the Big Ten. That's something we try to carry with us."
That's a lesson she learned growing up in La Crosse.
"That's something, even from an early age, my parents always taught, just have fun."