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April 16, 1993 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-04-16

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vs. Indiana (DH)
Tomorrow, 1 p.m.
Fisher Stadium


vs. Indiana (DH)
Today, 3 p.m.
Alumni Field


Strong pitching keys
softball's winning ways

Hitters face critical
point in caM I n


by Jesse Brouhard
Daily Softball Writer
While the opposing pitchers from
Michigan's previous two doublehead-
ers recover from whiplash, the Wolver-
ines will attempt to continue their win-
ning ways in consecutive home double-
headers this weekend against Indiana.
Indiana enters the weekend series
with a season record ofl17-11. In the
Hoosiers' lastseries, they splitwith Ball
The Hoosiers are powered by the
hitting of Michelle Venturellaand Angie
Rapp, at .368 and .360, respectively.
The two sluggers have combined for
one-third of the clubs RBI total as well
as mounting a combined .514 slugging
The Indiana pitching staff has three
solid pitchers-Janelle Campbell (8-5,
1.99), Kassey Reynolds (4-4,2.09) and
Gina Ugo (5-1, 2.18). All three have
pitched more than 40 innings on the
year, which could be important in two-
day, four-game series. The Hoosiers are
holding their opponents to a .246 bat-
ting average compared to their own
team mark of .271.
The Wolverines (6-2 Big Ten, 22-8
overall) enter the weekend series with

both offense and defense running on all
gears. Every day is a beauitiful day to
play softball when your team is on aroll.
"Softball is a sport that is meant tobe
played every day,"Michigan head coach
Carol Hutchins said. "We're just happy
to be out playing a regular schedule
with a lot of games during the week."
This week has been key for the
Wolverines, who play eight games in
five days. Luckily for Michigan, both
of the Wolverines' starting pitchers -
Kelly Forbis and Kelly Kovach-have
hit cruise control while complementing
each other's styles magnificently. Op-
posing hitters have been kept off bal-
ance in the box since each pitcher has
her own unique style.
"Forbes is our workhorse right now,
but by the end of the season you never
know, itmightbe the other way around,"
Hutchins said. "We arejustreal lucky to
have two really strong pitchers each
with a speciality pitch - one throws a
riser while the other throws a good
The Wolverine offense continues to
be led by Patti Benedict and Mary
Campana. Benedict currently leads the
Big Ten in three offensive categories:
See SOFTBALL, Page 12

by Paul Barger
Daily Baseball Writer
The Michigan baseball team is in a
position to turn some heads this week-
The surprising five-game winning
streak has not exactly been against top
competition, but the team is headed in a
positive direction nevertheless. The true
test begins Saturday as the Wolverines
take on Indiana (IU) in four pivotal
If the Wolverines (3-9 Big Ten, 11-
24 overall) manage a split against the
Hoosiers, they will establish themselves
as one of the most improved teams in
the nation over the last two weeks. If
they get swept out of Fisher Stadium,
they will have simply proven that they
can only beat below-average teams.
Michigan has had problems with LU in
recent years losing nine out of the last
twelve contests.
The Hoosiers need to win as many
games as possible to secure themselves
a spot in the Big Ten tournament. At this
point in the season, Indiana is sitting in
third place behind Minnesota and Ohio
State. The top four teams in the confer-
ence are selected to compete in the
Indiana (7-5,25-11) poses multiple
problems for its competition both on the
mound and at the plate. Seven Hoosiers
are hitting at better than a .300 clip.
Freshman outfielder Steve Smella leads
the charge with a .429 average. 1992
All- Big Ten shortstop Kevin Orie is
having another fine season, batting.373
with 36 RBIs.

'We are definitely pleased with our
performance thus far," Indiana head
coach Bob Morgan said. "We lost a lot
of players to the pro draft so we are
relatively young. (Steve) Smella and
our catcher Eric Simon are real promis-
ing young talent."
The pitching staff is having an ex-
cellent season as well. The team ERA is
3.71 compared to its opponents 7.14.
Junior Dan Gamess has been the staff
ace after losing his first outing of the
year. The right hander is 3-1 with a 1.99
ERA. Bob Scafa has matched Garness
record and brings a 2.16 ERA into the
Brian Greene, Chris Koehler and
Chris Peters have all been productive
for the Hoosiers this season with a com
bined record of 11-2 and individual
ERAs of under 3.00. The staffhas given
up 260 hits to opponents' 303 and 134
runs to opponents' 244.
'We figured the pitching staffwould
be strong going into the season, and it
has performed to expectations," Mor-
gan added.
Penn State is the mutual opponent of
the two squads thus far. Michigan
reached the high point of the season last
weekend against the Nittany Lions tak-
ing the last three in a four game series.
Indiana accomplished the same feat a4
the Wolverines losing the f"st, but comn
ing away with three straight ;wins.
Doubleheaders are scheduled for
Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. The
Wolverines are expected to send Eric
Heintschel, Ray Ricken, Ron Hollis
and Heath Murray to the mound.

Baseball coach Bill Freehan grimaces during a game earlier this year.

Stretch run arrives for Blue netters
Women take on conference foes Wisconsin and Northwestern

by Tim Spolar
Daily Sports Writer
As if the pressure of upcoming fi-
nals wasn't enough, the Michigan
women's tennis team is about to learn
the meaning of "crunch time."
Coming off a strong performance
last weekend in which they trounced
Minnesota and Iowa, the Wolverines
face their toughest weekend of the sea-
son to date. In Wisconsin tomorrow and
NorthwesternSunday, Michigan meets
the Big Ten's second- and third-place
teams of a year ago. In the race to
determine the conference tournament
seeding, it doesn'tget much bigger than
Perennial powerhouses, both squads
are again near the top of their games.
Northwestern sports a 3-3 mark in the
conference, having only lost to
frontrunner Indiana in the past two
months, while Wisconsin (4-2 Big Ten,
6-10 overall) is ranked No. 24 in the
"Last week's wins gave us a lot of
confidence because we beat the teams
pretty solidly and they finished right
behinduslastyear," sophomore Simone
Lacher said. "These teams are right

ahead of us, so it makes us feel that
there's a distinct difference between us
and Minnesota and Iowa and now it's
like we'vemoved up and we're going to
see how we can compete with the top
The Wildcats' early-season gaffe, in
which they falteredagainst Illinois, gives
the Wolverines a foothold to work from.
"Northwestern is a top team, but
they lost to Illinois," Lacher said, "so
that's a good confidence booster for
Michigan played a tough pre-con-
ference schedule, which should also
work in its favor. As they demonstrated
against Michigan State, early season
meets against powers such as North
Carolina and Florida State helped the
Wolverines develop mental toughness.
"I think we haveapretty good chance
(against Wisconsin)," Lacher said.
"North Carolina was ranked up there (in
the top 25) too, and we did pretty well
against them. They have some good,
solid players, but I think all the way
down the line we do too. If we're all
playing well, we definitely have a
What Wisconsin has that Michigan

does not is a single standout player.
Junior Marija Neubauer, a graduate of
local Rochester Adams high school, has
moved into the top 100 rankings of
individual Division I singles players at
No. 86. However, after facing the likes
of North Carolina's Cinda Gurney (No.
8) and Florida State's Audra Brannon
(No. 49), the Wolverines remain un-
"(They have no individuals) that are
way out of our league at all," Lacher

said. "I think we have indirect wins over
some of them - our No.4 went three
sets and lost to their number three last
semester-so I think we're pretty even
"I played (Neubauer) last year and
lost in three sets. She's definitely
beatable. She has days where she's ei-
ther up or down. She has days where she
can beat anyone in the country, but she
also has other days where she's not
nearly as dominant."

Preps entertain crowd
with Palace Magic

Men seek to build on first Big Ten
victory of season vs. Penn State

..- ...-................ . ---- ....---......
Lunch Specials
Monday: BURGER, fries, & soft drink $4.89I

by Dave Schwartz
At last, the first conference win.
After a thrilling victory over Michi-
gan State on Wednesday, the Michigan
men's tennis team tries to continue its
solid play this weekend atWest Virginia
and Penn State.
The Wolverines (1-4 Big Ten, 4-9
overall) are coming off a tremendous
win at MSU (3-2, 9-10). Not only was
the4-3 victory important for Michigan's
Big Ten hopes, but italsorestored much
needed confidence in the team.
Michigan was able to take four of
the six singles matches in front of a
hostile crowd of about 300 Spartan faith-
ful. Junior Dan Brakus continued his
excellent play at the No. 1 slotby taking
care of State's Brad Dancer, 7-6 (7-4),
4-6, 6-3.
Without question, the best match of
the evening was the No. 2 singles
matchup between Michigan freshman
John Costanzo and Michigan State's
Mashiska Washington, brother offormer
Wolverine tennis great Malivai Wash-
Playing with back and neck spasms
in addition to a sprained ankle, Costanzo
defeated Washington in straight sets, 7-

men players in the nation. John really
wanted to prove that he belongs in the
Big Ten," coach Brian Eisner said.
'We showed alotof character, espe-
cially from the freshmen," sophomore
Greg Artz said. "To win this match in
front of 300 fans shows that we are a
better team than our record indicates."
Michigan, which has been waiting
for its young talent to shine, snapped a
five-match losing streak.
"Beating State at State is so diffi-
cult,"Eisnersaid.'Weneeded thismatch
to get the Big Ten season going for us.
We put a lot of positive things together.
"I felt this was outstanding. MSU is
in second-place in the Big Ten and this
was only their second conference loss
(the other was first-place Minnesota)."
Freshman Geoff Prentice came
through in No. 6 singles slot defeating
State's Gus Giltner, 6-4, 7-5. The other
victory was in No. 4 singles, as sopho-
more Grady Burnett beat the Spartans'
Wade Martin, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4).
'We've had a lot of bad luck this
year. It's ahuge weight off of our shoul-
ders," Prentice said. "Their fans were
crazy, yelling at our players during their
The Wolverines' schedule doesn't
get any easier, travelling for two tough
matches in Morgantown and State Col-
lege. After Penn State, Michigan will
have played six consecutive matches
away from Ann Arbor.
"If West Virginia was in the Big Ten,
they'd be in the first divsion," Eisner
said. "Penn State is also very tough.
Their only loss was to Minnesota."
After Sunday, the Wolverines only
have four remaining Big Ten dual
matches before the Big Ten Champion-
ship in May.

by Ken Davidoff
Daily Basketball Writer
Many years ago, a little-known per-
formernamedRobin Williams appeared
on the popular sitcom "Happy Days"
and debuted a character named Mork
from Ork. Mork's memorable showing
alongside Richie Cunningham and the
Fonz proved to be a valuable spark plug
in garnering excitement for Williams'
own "Mork and Mindy" program.
Magic Johnson's Roundball Clas-
sic, a high school basketball all-star
game taking place Sunday at the Palace
of Auburn Hills, will provide a similar
opportunity for a few of the nation's
finest prep players. Michigan fans will
get their first chance to see point guard
Bobby Crawford from Houston
Eisenhower, who committed to the
Wolverines last November, in person.
Much like Williams did back in the days
of disco and Jimmy Carter, Crawford
could create enthusiasm for the future
with a standout performance.
To this point, Crawford ranks as the
only Michigan recruit. However, three
other participants in Sunday's game
have been aggressively recruited by
Wolverines coach Steve Fisher and his
staff. Shooting guard Sylvester Ford of
Memphis, small forward Charles
O'Bannon and power forward Avondre
Jones all include Michigan on their
"short list" of schools.
The safe money seems to be on
Jones selecting Michigan, with Ford
likely staying at home with Memphis
State and O'Bannon either going to
UCLA or Kentucky.
"What I heard on O'Bannon that it
was likelyUCLA or possibly Kentucky
as the two leaders," Brick Oettinger,
recruiting columnist for The Poop Sheet,
said. "But I heard that Jones wouldn't
go with O'Bannon, and that Michigan,
he'd made clear right now, was the
leader, and Southern Cal was second."
Oettinger believed that Jones would

wait until his return to California tO
announce his decision, but the Ann Arr
bor News reported yesterday that Jones
might make his choice public while in
the Detroit area.
As for Ford, it has been thought all
along that he would go with his home-
town school. Ford's father, who also
coaches his son's high school team, has
a longtime relationship with Tigers
coach Larry Finch. Back in November,
Ford insisted his father's and Finch's
friendship would not play a role in his
decision. He could not be reached for
comment this past week.
Bob Gibbons of All-Star Sports in
Lenoir, N.C., considered to be the guru
among gurus when it comes to recruit-
ing, ranks Michigan seventh among the
Big Ten, with Indiana, Illinois, Iova
and Wisconsin all placing in the nation's
top 10. The Hoosiers' class has received
special notice due to an unusually high
six recruits: Oettinger, however, priori-
tizes quality over quantity when it comes
to evaluating recruiting squads.
"I don't think (Indiana) got any su-
perstars," Oettinger said, "But they got
a lot of good players. It's six guys who
can help you... Crawford is at least as
good, maybe better, than the best of the
Indianarecruits. Crawford and Avonde
Jones will be two of the best three or
four signees in the Big Ten, probably.
So frankly, with a program like Mich-
gan, you'd rather have the best players
than have a lot of pretty good ones.
"I think Fisher's recruiting very se-
lectively. He's not throwing (his schoj-
arships) away. He's trying to get the tdp
of the line that can step right in and play
immediately and end up being outstan4-
ing players."
This will mark the debut of tfie
Roundball Classic since Johnson took'it
over and moved it to the Palace. It was
previously known as the Dapper Dan
Roundball Classic and was played in



Tubs - 15g WINGS, $3.25 Pitcher
Thursday: BEEF on weck, fries, & soft drink $4.89
Friday:'CHICKEN KABOB, fries, & soft drink $4.89


1220 S. University 665-7777
"--- ----"-"""---""--"m

Chaka Demus and Pliers
lq- I

Hit Single!
Murder She Wrote!

Sun., April 18,1993
17017 W. 9 Mile,




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