Mueller making most of senior season, which nearly didn't happen
Wisconsin softball senior Michelle Mueller is having a season to remember. Twice named the Big Ten Player of the Week, Mueller is batting .373, with 11 home runs and 49 RBI through the series against Purdue. Though a phone call Monday night with a close friend helped remind her how lucky she is to be on the field.
Mueller has a history of serious knee injuries. In 7th grade she tore her left ACL playing basketball, and then during her senior year La Crosse Logan High School she tore up her right knee, keeping her out of her final high school season on the diamond.
"By the time I got here [Wisconsin] I hadn't played softball in year in a half," Mueller said. "I was rusty, I was scared. Whenever I hear a pop I get a little bit frazzled."
Entering her final year as a Badger, in September 2013, Mueller heard a pop again. While lifting weights, she tore her meniscus. At that point, Mueller had a decision to make, redshirt all of 2014, or try to rehab and play out her senior season.
"I had some pretty big doubts, but talking to Coach [Randy] Schneider and Coach [Yvette] Healy, it's like you want to finish this year with your class, you want to go out with a bang," Mueller said.
Mueller is back with a big bang, having the best season of her career, while helping the Badgers match the school record of 13 straight wins with a victory over Purdue last Saturday.
Mueller is having a dream-type of season, as she says sometimes the softball "looks like a watermelon" when she's in the batter's box this season. Though that phone call with her friend hasn't allowed her to lose perspective on how close this season was to not beginning.
"Isn't it amazing that you were so close to not trying to play this season out, and you were going to redshirt?" the friend asked. "Now everything's happening for a reason, you're having the season of your life."
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