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Wildcats inspired by Michala Batts

As an 11-year-old, Michala Batts is the unofficial youngest member of the Wildcats. Stephen J. Carrera

EVANSTON, Ill. -- If ever there was a time for the Northwestern softball team to feel collectively sorry for itself, this was it.

Coming off a disappointing 2010 spring season in which the Wildcats failed to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in eight years, a campaign that ended with an unpleasantly appropriate thud in a 16-0 loss in the regular-season finale, they dropped their first game of the fall exhibition season against Loyola. All the promise of a talented freshman class and a sizable returning core bent on redemption seemed no match for the angst of an all-too-familiar false step.

But Michala Batts wasn't going to stand for that.

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