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September 09, 1993 - Image 28

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-09

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-Sports - Thursday, September 9, 1993

Michigan softball provid
Wolverine hurlers win second straight.

by Rachel Bachman
Daily Softball Writer
Like "The Tonight Show starring
Johnny Carson," it was a nearly impos-
sible act to follow.
After the Michigan softball team
finished the 1992 season with its high-
estwinning percentage ever, its first Big
Ten title and its first NCAA playoff
berth, it appeared there was nothing left
to achieve.
"Last year is over. Nobody cares that
we won the Big Ten last year," head
coach Carol Hutchins said at the begin-
ning of the season.
That was before the 1993 Wolver-

ines took the field
- a newly refur-'
bished Alumni A
Field.
"This team re-
ally came to-r
gether," sopho-
morepitcher Kelly
Kovach said. "Our
last month, we re- Hutchins
allyturnediton."
Afterfinishing with aMichigan soft-
ball best 45-11 record, the team won
its second straight Big Ten title and
earned its second bid in two years to the
NCAA tournament.

"Winning a back-to-back conference
title is Michigan softball's greatest mo-
ment," Hutchins said.
To their skillful accomplishment,
the Wolverines added a little luck when
Ann Arbor was chosen as one of the
sites for an NCAA regional, giving
Michigan a home field advantage.
"[Sophomore] LesaArviacalledme
and when she found out it was at home,
she screamed on the other end
'Yeahhhh,"'centerfielder and team cap-
tain Kari Kunnen told the Ann Arbor
News.
"It's really exciting to have it here,"
Kovach said. "That will help if we're

:s repeat
Big Ten title;fall
going to pull an upset."
The Wolverines, ranked No. 10 in a;
20-team field, hosted No. 20 Bowling
Green and No.8 Southwestern Louisi-
ana. If Michigan beat both teams, it
wouldadvancetotheeight-teamNCAA
Softball World Series in Oklahoma City,
Okla., for a chance to play for the na-!
tional title.
On its way to the NCAA tourna-
ment, the squad broke anumberof team
and individual records. The Wolverines
won more games than ever before, and
equaled their best seasonrecord against
the Big Ten.c
Senior and 1992 Big Ten Player of
theYearPattiBenedictbroketheMichi-1
gan individual season batting average,1
finishing the regular season with a.430
average. Benedict also broke the season
records in hits and RBI. k E
Kari Kunnen made her mark on the1

performance
in NCAAfirst round

record books too, breaking the runs
scored record and posting the most
walks.
'We just said we were
going to win and never
give up, and we didn't
give up.'
-Mary Campanas
Michigan shortstop
Highlights of the 1993 season in-
cluded standout pitching and hitting.
Senior pitcher Kelly Forbis hurled a
perfect game against Santa Clara at the
National Invitational Softball Tourna-
ment in March.
Benedict, Kunnen, and utility play-
ers Michelle Silver and Tracy Car all
posted batting averages above .300.

Despite these powerful perfor-
mances, it was not just an individual
effort that powered the Wolverines.
"This team really came together,"
Kovach said. "The freshmen had to take
on tremendous roles, our seniors just
did the job and they both led us to the
Big Ten championship."
Michigan began its section of the
NCAA tournament with an 8-2 victory
over Bowling Green. A few hours later,
though, the Ragin' Cajuns from South-
western Louisiana squeaked past the
Wolverines, 6-5.
The next day the Cajuns prevailed
again, 2-1, and ended Michigan's run
for the national title.
Shortstop Mary Campana summed
up Michigan's pride in the faceQfdisap-
pointment.
p"Wejustsaidweweregoingtowinand
never give up, and we didn't give up."

r. t

--4

WOMEN'S TENNIS:
by Tim Spolar
Daily Sports Writer
TheMichiganwomen'stennis team
enteredlastyearwith the goal ofjoining
the elite powers of the Big Ten.
However, as a result of a rather
ordinary performance at the season-
ending conference tournament,
Michigan was once again forced to
accept its middle-of-the-pack status.
"(The tournament) was definitely
a disappointment," sophomore co-
captain Jaimie Fielding said.
After dropping their first match to
fourth-place finisher Northwestern,
the Wolverines hammered Minne-
sota to earn a spot in the fifth-place
match against Iowa. Though down 4-
2 after the singles matches, Iowa took
full advantage of the pairs matches
for a 5-4 victory.
Though aloss to Iowain the fifth-
placematchsentMichiganhomewell
short of its goal in sixth place, the
season as a whole could not be con-
sideredawash. For thefourth straight
year, head coach Bitsy Ritt's team
finished above the.500 mark, ending
with a7-6recordinthe Big Ten while
posting a 12-11 mark overall.
MEN'S ENNIS:
by Jesse Brouhard
Daily Sports Writer
Youth searching for cohesion. This
aptly describes the adventures of the
Michigan men's tennis team through
the 1993 season.
Junior Dan Brakus, No. 1 singles
player and elder statesman on the
squad, led a group consisting of all
sophomores and juniors into the rig-
ors of the Big Ten schedule. As the
season came to a conclusion, all the
members realized the time had come
for the team to register a collectively
strong effort.
"Wejusthaven'tcome together as
a team," said Michigan sophomore

Grady Burnett, whoplayedNo.4 singles
and No. 2 doubles during the season.
The squad did have very tight
matches with both Ohio State and Iowa
at Iowa City. Both matches, however,
ended in defeat by the score of 4-3.
"We were in a position to win some
of these matches, but just couldn't pull
them out," Michigan coach Brian Eisner
said.
MEN'S GOLF:
by Jaeson Rosenfeld
Daily Sports Writer
Weak play from the four and five
positions plagued the Michigan men's
golf team all year, and Michigan's sev-
enth-place finish in the Big Ten champi-
onships proved no different.
Michigan's Bob Henighan and
James Carson turned in fine perfor-
mances but received little help from
Michigan's three, four and five players.
Throughoutthe season, coachJimCarras
grew accustomed to the Wolverines'
inconsistency.
"Very frankly, this is very close to
what I anticipated," Carras said. "We
didn't have the balance we needed to be
a better team."
Michigan's team totalof 1,182leftit
seven strokes out of the fifth-place po-
sition that Carrashad hoped for heading
into the Big Ten season.
"The competition level has gotten
unbelievably strong," Carras said.
'There's a lot of parity in the Big Ten."
WOMEN'S GOLF:
by Jaeson Rosenfeld
Daily Sports Writer
The women's golf team was lucky
to escape an auto accident the day be-
fore the Big Ten Championships in Iowa
City relatively unharmed.Unfortunately
for the Wolverines, injuries to senior
Wendy Bigler and sophomore Jenny
Zimmerman probably cost the Wolver-
ines a chance to finish in the top half of
the Big Ten.
The players were injured when the

team van driven by coach Sue LeClair
struck a passenger car and flipped
while making a left turn. Wolverines
Shannon McDonald, Tricia Good,
MauraHawkinsandTeganMcCorkel
were all treated and released from the
Iowa University Hospital.
"I give the team a lot of credit for
competing in the tournament,"LeClair
said. "They couldhave said on Thurs-
daynightthatthey couldn'tplay.They
were determined to compete."
The Wolverines were forced to
field a team of four instead of six and
thus were required to count all four
rounds instead of dropping the high-
est two rounds from the team score.
The result wasa 10th placed finish for
Michigan.
MEN'S VOLLEYBALL:
By Jeremy Strachan
Daily Sports Writer
TheMichiganmen'svolleyballteam
finished its season with possibly its best
team effort all yearin a loss toMaryland
at'TheMen's Club Volleyball Nationals
in Austin, Texas in April.
The Maryland game was one of the
few highlights for the Wolverines this
season. The team lost five starters from
the 1992 season and several people quit
the team early this year.'These internal
problems along with injuries made it a
bumpy ride for the young teamandfirst-
year coach Pam Griffin.
"We knew coming into the season
that it would be a rebuilding year,"
Griffin said. "But I think we made
progress from the beginning of the
year to the end of the year."
The Wolverines, hoping for a top-
half finish, placed eighth out of 11
teams at the Big Ten tournament this
year.
"The Big Ten tournament had to
be the biggest disappointment in my
two years ofplaying here," said starter
and Defensive Player of the YearMike
Rubin.

0d l-

FILE PHOTO

Michigan pitcher Chris Newton tosses one against Eastern Michigan at Fisher Stadium.

M' baseball ends year on up note

4.

by Antoine Pitts
Daily Baseball Writer
It began to look like another long
year for the Michigan baseball team. It
seemed like a continuation of the 1992
season when the Wolverines posted their
first losing record in 21 years.
Michiganbegan the 1993 season the
same way it ended 1992 - losing.

I U

University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports
INTRAMURAL SPORTS PROGRAM
FUN!! ENJOYMENT!! EXERCISE!!
COMPETITION!! RECREATION!!
PARTICIPATE IN
INTRAMURAL ACTIVITIES
THROUGHOUT THE 1993-94 YEAR.
Fall Term Activities
Soccer Basketball Slow-Pitch Softball
Tennis (Sgls & Dbls) Tennis (Team)
Ice Hockey Track & Field Golf (Team best ball)
3-on-3 Basketball Wrestling Cross Country
Pre-Season Basketball Flag Football
(Sign-ups begin Thursday September 9)
Winter Term Activities

A MIHGNTRADITION
SINCE 1915

Opening the season with the first 22
games on the road, facing some of the
nation's best competition, the Wolver-
ines struggled.
A6-24 start, including 0-9 intheBig
Ten (a school record), almost assured
that the Wolverines would surpass last
year's school-record 32 losses.
Things turned around, though, for
the Wolverines, beginning with two
doubleheaders on the third weekend of
the Big Ten season. Scott Tnmerman
and Nate Holdren returned from inju-
ries to help take three of four from Penn
State.
Confidence stayed with Michigan
the rest of the season as the Wolverines
won 20 of their last 27 games to finish
25-30. Michigan won 13 of the last 19
conference games, including a split with
eventual conference champion Ohio
State and a sweep of Northwestern, to
finish 13-14.
'We got healthier, our pitching got
better, and we got Nate Holdren back,"
coach Bill Freehan said of the Michigan
turn around.
'We were playing really good com-
petition at the beginning of the season,"

Timmermansaid."We werealwaysright
there in the game,.we just didn't know
how to win."
Freshman first baseman Scott
Weaver led the Wolverines at the plate
in batting average (.378), slugging per-
centage (.622), doubles (11), and RBIs
(42). Matt Copp took the home run title
with seven, and Holdren had five, de-
spite missing the first half with a knee
injury.
On the mound, Eric Heintschel and
Heath Murray notched five wins apiece
and Todd Marion recorded 8 saves.
Marion ended his career as Michigan's
all-time saves leader.
"It's something that I never thought
I'd get when I came here," Marion said.
"It's probably something I'll appreciate
later down the road when I haven'tbeen
playing for a couple of years."
Marion was the last player from the
pre-probation days of Michigan base-
ball and sees the Wolverines building
on this year's effort.
"The program's in the right direc-
tion. Hopefully this will carry over to
next season."

II!

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