The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 7, 1989 - Page 7
'Veteran squad just misses Big Ten title
By Peter Zellen
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan softball team be-
gan the 1989 season with great ex-
pectations. The year before, the
Wolverines lost the Big Ten title by
a half-game when they were swept
by Indiana in the final weekend.
This time around Michigan was
gunning for first place and was de-
termined to win it. Michigan was a
top-20 team all through the season.
"One of our great qualities is that
we're a team, we pull for each other"
coach Carol Hutchins said. "In fact,
this is the best team I've ever had."
Those words were backed up by
the Wolverines' play during their
spring trip to the West Coast. They
retuned with an 18-6 record and won
the Bud Lite National Invitational
Heading into the final weekend
Michigan was in second place in the
Big Ten with a 13-7 confrence record
(39-13 overall), and needed to sweep
four games at Minnesota to share the
confrence title with Iowa.
Michigan swept the first dou-
bleheader, 5-0 and 4-3. Junior Jenny
Allard pitched and won both games.
She threw a four-hit shutout in the
first game and had three hits, includ-
ing a grand slam.
In the second twinbill, the
Wolverines won the first game 2-0.
The success of the entire season now
rest with the final game.
Michigan scored two runs in the
first, but allowed four runs to the
Gophers in the bottom half as they
lost 4-3, to finish second in the Big
The story of Michigan's 1989
season had been its pitching. The
staff is led by sophomore Andrea
Nelson. This season she compiled a
23-10 record and has an ERA of
The other ace was Allard. The
pitcher-third baseman was 18-9 with
an 0.85 ERA
The main problem had been of-
fense though. The Wolverines would
score runs in the first couple of in-
nings but fall flat for the rest of the
An example would be their recent
doubleheader split with Bowling
Green. In the first game, Michigan
scored five runs in the second inning
but only one hit afterwards. The
Wolverines won that game 5-0 as
Allard and rookie Julie Foster com-
bined on a three-hitter.
In the second game, Michigan
scored the first two batters in the
game but managed only two hits and
one run for the remaining six in-
nings and lost 4-3.
The team averaged just under
three runs a game and became a
problem as the Wolverines began to
face their Big Ten opponents.
In their first four games against
Ohio State, the Wolverines scored
only seven runs but won three j
games. The reason was that their
pitching staff threw shutouts in each
of those wins.
There were stars at the plate
however. Allard was leading Michi-
gan in five offensive categories. Her
.345 batting average, 10 doubles,
and 24 RBIs, along with her pitch-
ing, should earn Allard the team's :
Most Valuable Player award.
The team is losing three starters
after this season to graduation. Cat-
cher MaryAnn Daviera, second Nan
Payne at second base and center-
fielder Beth Mueller. Their statistics,
as well as valued leadership will be
difficult to replace.
Ready to step in will be rookies
Bridget Fitzpatrick and Stacey
Heames. The catcher and outfielder
should be playing even more next Y"
year but will have to hit better than
183 and .155
.v h .tFhfe Photo
Whatever their finish though, Pitcher Andrea Nelson is considered the ace of a talented pitching staff.
the softball team played well and At press time Nelson had impressive 23 - 10 record, with a 1.25 ERA.
gave many parents and fans some With pitchers Nelson and Jenny Allard back next season, the Wolverines
good performances on the diamond.E will again vie fro the Big Ten title.
Strong pitching, Price will help the
Wolverines remain a NCAA power
By Jay Moses
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan Baseball team, a
program with a history of excel-
lence, did not fail to uphold that
tradition in 1989.
The Wolverines, long regarded as
one of the top baseball programs in
the northern part of the country,
have won 30 Big Ten titles since"
1900. Michigan has produced a host'
of past and present major leaguers,'
including the likes of Jim Abbott,
Chris Sabo, Barry Larkin, Bill Free-
han, and Rick Leach.
In 1989, the Wolverines again
won the Big Ten crown, amassing a
44-12 record and holding down first
place in the conference with an 21-6
Big Ten mark.
This showing earned Michigan a
berth in the Big Ten playoffs for the
ninth consecutive time. The Wol-
verines have been in those playoffs
every year since the conference in-
stituted the format.
Michigan is coached by Bud
Middaugh, who is 416-130 in nine
seasons at Michigan, and 772-303 in
20 years in the game (entering
1989). In Middaugh's nine seasons,
the Wolverines have won six Big
Ten titles, four regional titles, and
have appeared four times in the Col-
lege World Series.
The 1989 Michigan squad was led
by a careful mix of veterans and
newcomers. On the mound, the stats
as of May 9 saw juniors Ross
Powell (7-0, 1.95 earned run aver-
age), Mike Grimes (7-2, 3.82), and
Tim Lata (7-1, 1.73) leading the
squad. First-year pitcher Russ Brock
(3-2, 3.18) and sophomore Kirt
Ojala (3-1, 2.81) have helped bolster"
the staff's impressive 2.83 era.
For the offensive side, junior out-
fielder Phil Price (.344 average, 5
home runs, 34 runs batted in) and
senior designated hitter Kourtney
Thompson (.315, 4 HR, 15 RBI)
have paced the attack. Sophomore
infielder Matt Morse (team-high
.361, 2 HR, 25 RBI) and first-year
infielder Tim Flannelly (.318, 2 HR,
36 RBI) have contributed to a team
average of .300.
The Wolverines' 21-6 Big Ten
record included sweeping four games
from Purdue, and taking three of four
contests from rivals Mich-igan
State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and
Northwestern. Michigan also took
two of three from 1988 Big Ten
Michigan doesn't forget the state
which it represents. The Wolverines
played sixteen games against other
teams from all over the state.
The only potential threat in 1989
to the grand tradition of the Mich-
igan Baseball program was an in-
vestigation by the Big Ten office
into the program. As of May 11, the
results of the investigation were not
yet released. Despite the pressure the
players felt as a result of this sit-
uation, they have managed to play
over it and succeed regardless.
The team looks to the future
hopefully, as only four of the 27
players on the 1989 squad were
seniors. Provided that they don't lose
too many players to the major lea-
gue draft, the future is indeed bright
for Michigan baseball.
M Michigan relief pitcher Ross Powell (7-0, 1.95 ERA) is just one of a veritable cornucopia of pitchers who hurled
the Wolverines to a Big Ten title again this year. With a 21-6 conference record, the Wolverines won their 30th
conference crown since 1900.
Page 1 Photos - Left, Liz Steketee; Center,
David Lubliner; Right Top, Robin Loznak; Right
Bottom, Jessica Greene.
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