Page 10- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 13, 1989
The art of pitching
by Andrea Nelson
BY PETER ZELLEN
A private pitching clinic of sorts
was held recently for this writer's
benefit. I wanted to know more
about the art of pitching in fast-pitch
softball, the brand played by the
team at Michigan.
People seem to have the wrong
idea about pitching in softball. Most
know the game as slow-pitch or
beer ball.' The game that the Steels
Sports team plays. You know, those
300-pound guys who launch lob
pitches over a 250-foot fence.
This game is quite different. It
involves quite a bit of learned skills
as well as natural ability.
The logical choice to head this
clinic was Andrea Nelson, the ace of
the Michigan softball staff. So far
this season, Nelson has compiled a
16-3 record with an 0.85 ERA. The
right-handed sophomore has tossed
eight shutouts and even has a save.
In 131 2/3 innings this year, Nelson
has surrendered only 85 hits and has
Although the ball is thrown
underhand, it is a more natural mot-
ion than the overhanded, or even
sidearm motion used in baseball.
Nelson uses a windmill style in
pitching; her arm completes a full
circle before releasing the ball.
When she goes through her
motion, with both feet on the pitch-
ing rubber, a chain of events starts.
When she first starts to lift her arm,
Nelson begins to step forward with
her left leg.
"The legs have a lot to do with
it," Nelson said. "You push off on
them and get more power."
Then, at the same time her arm
completes the circle and it reaches
her body, Nelson plants her left foot
and releases the ball. All three of
these happen at the same time to put
some mustard on the throw.
"Pitching in softball is more
biomechanical than in baseball," said
catcher MaryAnn Daviera, who
caught Nelson in this clinic, as well
as during the season. "You get your
whole body into it."
"Andrea can get up to 61 mph on
her pitch and will consistently throw
58-59 mph," assistant coach Carol
Throwing underhanded is quite an
achievement . Also consider that the
lack of speed compared to baseball is
negated by the fact that the mound is
only 43 feet away from the plate as
opposed to the 60-feet-six-inches in
Her pitches range in speed from
50 mph to her top speed of 61. She
throws five or six different pitches
with varying speeds.
She throws a fastball, rise, drop,
curve, a slow drop (which is the
equivalent of the baseball pitch that
looks like it "dropped off a table")
and even a knuckleball. The action
on these pitches is explained by their
name but the way in which they're
thrown is entirely different.
"In baseball you throw more
with your wrist," Daviera said. "In
Sugar Ray Robinson
dead at the age of 67
CULVER CITY, Calif. - (AP) Sugar Ray Robinson, whose name and
style spawned a generation of imitators, died Wednesday. Robinson is
remembered as the original "Sugar Ray," the best fighter pound-for-pound
who ever lived.
Robinson, who held both the world welterweight and middleweight titles,
died after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and hypertension
at the age at the age of 67.
He retired from boxing in 1965 with a record of 175-19-6, including 110
knockouts. He won the vacant world welterweight title in 1946, with a 15-
round decision over Tom-my Bell and never lost a fight to a welterweight
the rest of his career.
"Generations of fighters copied his style, including Muhammad Ali," said
Archie Moore, former light heavyweight champion and a friend for nearly 50
years. "Ali got a lot of his style from Robinson... We'll all miss him. I
Andrea Nelson demonstrates her fine pitching form in a game against
Ohio State last weekend. Nelson has been outstanding this year as she
has recorded 16 wins with an ERA of 0.85 thus far.
know I'll miss him."
Robinson won the middleweight
title when he stopped Jake LaMotta
in the 13th round in 1951, in Chi-
cago. When he met LaMotta, his re-
cord already was 119-1-2.
Perhaps his most memorable
rivalry was with Gene Fullmer,
whom lie beat only once in four
meetings. He lost the middleweight
title to Fullmer in January of 1957,
in a 15-round decision, then regained
it on May 1 in Chicago with one of
the most famous one-punch knock-
outs in boxing history, ending that
fight in the fifth round.
Sugar Ray Robinson
was the man, along with
Joe Louis. Those two
opened the doors for the
rest of us. Those are the
two people everyone talks
- Boxer Larry Holmes
softball you have to use your whole
arm." Instead of breaking your wrist
down to throw a curve in baseball,
the pitcher has to whip her arm
across her body for the sideways
The clinic ended and the rest of
the team was coming on the field for
their afternoon practice. But as this
writer walked off the field, the sound
that kept being heard was the
whipping noise of Andrea Nelson
coming in with another fastball
"I always admired him and appreciated the fact that he gave me the chance
to win the champ-ionship," said Fullmer. "He was a classy fighter."
Former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes, reached by telephone in
Philadelphia, described Robinson as "the greatest little fighter that I've
"Sugar Ray Robinson was the man, along with Joe Louis. Those two
guys opened the door for the rest of us. Anytime you get into a con-
versation about old-time greats, those are the two people everyone talks
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Continued from page 9
lead off the inning and then Cooper
reached with Tholl advancing to
second on a failed fielder's choice.
With one out, Allard hit the ball
to the shortstop who overthrew
thirdbase trying to throw out Tholl.
Tholl scampered home for the first
Sarah Dyksterhouse then singled
to center and went to second on an
error by the centerfielder. Catcher
MaryAnn Daviera singled to score
Allard and Dyksterhouse to give
Michigan a 4-0 lead.
Singles by Bridget Fitzpatrick,
Nan Payne, and another by Tholl led
to three more runs as the Wolverines
amassed a 7-0 lead.
WANTED Any Quantity
Used Michigan Bell
$1 for Blue Cards
$3 for Yellow Cards
P. O. Box 323
Massapequa Park, NY 11762
The University of Michigan
SCHOOL OF MUSIC
Film-Africa Come Back: Popular Music of
presented by guest lecturer John Chernoff.
Rackham West Conference Room, 7:30 p.m.
- Dance BFA/MFA Concert
Tickets $4, 3501 Dance Bldg; phone 763-5460
15 Dance Building Studio A, 8 p.m.
The $5 Revue-
Joan Morris, Director. Musical Theatre Students
in a 70-minute review, a benefit for the U-M
Balcom-Morris Musical Theatre Fund. Tickets $5
at MI League Ticket Office; phone 764-0540
The Arena (Frieze Building), 11 p.m.
- Musical Theatre-Dragons,
by Sheldon Harnick. Brent Wagner, director.
16 Tickets $7 and $10, general admission;
$5, students with ID, at MI League Ticket Office;
phone 764-0450. Power Center, Thursday-
Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.
Jay Lesenger, director. Arias and ensembles from
a variety of operas. McIntosh Theatre,
8 p.m. FREE
Early Music COncert-
Edward Parmentier, Harpsichord and organ.
Music of Bach, Buxtehude, and Bull.
Blanche Anderson Moore Hall, 8 p.m. FREE
Gamelan Ensemble-Music and Dance of Java.
Rene Lysloff, director, guest dancer Peggy Choy.
The music, a mixture of court and village; the
dance, a refined male mask dance of the adven-
tures of Panji, a mythic wandering king.
Rackham, 8 p.m. FREE
Symphony Band/Concert Band-
Donald Schleicher and Willaim Wiedrich, con-
ductors; Donald Sinta, guest saxophone soloist.
Schuman, New England Triptych; Grainger, The
Power of Love; Bernstein, Profanation for Band; J.S.
Bach, Toccata and Fugue in d minor; Bruch, Kol
Nidrei; Copland, "Finale" from the
Third Symphony. Hill 8 p.m. FREE
Abe Torchinsky, director. McIntosh Theatre,
4 p.m. FREE
CLASSIFIED ADSI Call 764-0557
THE MICHIGAN STUDENTS ASSEMBLY
. _ I .
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PART I of the CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES SERIES
"IS RACIST SPEECH
APRIL 13, 1989
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