The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 19, 1994 - 19
Hitters begin break from Big Ten
By RYAN WHITE
DAILY BASEBALL WRITER
While non-conference games are
not the Michigan baseball team's big-
gest focus at this point in the season
that's Big Ten competition - it
still has to play those contests. And
this week provides the Wolverines
with plenty to play.
This afternoon Michigan (9-7 Big
Ten, 15-18 overall) begins a string of
four games against non-Big Ten foes,
facing Detroit-Mercy (13-14) at 3p.m.
at Fisher Stadium.
Wednesday the team travels to
* Ypsilanti for a 3 p.m. start against
Eastern Michigan. The week con-
cludes with a doubleheader Saturday
at home against Ferris State at 1 p.m.
The break from conference play
gives Michigan a chance to compete
in less pressure-filled games, as well
as offering-a chance to improve.
It is improvement which will be
necessary for the Wolverines consid-
ering their next two Big Ten oppo-
nents are first-place Ohio State
(doubleheaders April 30-May 1) and
second-place Minnesota (doublehead-
ers May 7-8). All of those games that
will be important for the Wolverines
hopes of qualifying for the Big Ten
One part of the Wolverines' game
that needs work, or at least consis-
tency, is offense. After blasting its
way through the opening part of the
schedule, Michigan's offense has been
sporadic as of late. In their two wins
against Iowa last weekend, the Wol-
verines scored a combined 14 runs. In
the two losses, however, the team
managed just three.
"Hitting is contagious," Michigan
captain Kevin Crociata said. "It seems
like if a few guys go up there to start
the game and things don't happen for
us, it seems to change the tide."
One player who has been as in-
consistent as the team is Scott Weaver.
A candidate for the Smith Award given
to college baseball's top player,
Weaver went 0-for-4 in game one
against Iowa Saturday. Game two,
though, was another story. Weaver
recorded three hits and five RBI in
four at bats.
The Titans will start pitcher Bran-
don Endicott, who has a 8.65 ERA
and a 2-0 record, against the Wolver-
Michigan coach Bill Freehan is ex-
pected to use a number of pitchers
throughout the Detroit-Mercy game, as
well as the others. It is a strategy that
Freehan employed last week against
the Eagles, and two weeks ago when the
Wolverines faced Oakland.
Since the Wolverines don't play
any Big Ten competition this week,
Freehan will most likely use his con-
ference starters, as well as the rest of
Michigan's contest against the
Eagles will be a rematch from last
week. After two cancellations due to
weather the two teams finally played
ball last Thursday. The Eagles ended
up winning that game, 5-4.
After the doubleheader against
Ferris State the Wolverines will take
time off for finals. Their first play
after the break will be the series against
JUDI I H KINN/Daily
The Wolverines eagarly awaits a week of non-conference games before their crucial series against Ohio State.
Softball expects tough battles with Chippewas
Recycle the Daily
By JOSH KARP
DAILY SOFTBALL WRITER
If Michigan softball coach Carol
Hutchins can get the same results as
she did last year against Central
Michigan, she'll take them. The
Wolverines (22-18) swept the
Chippewas (16-14) last season, and
look to do the same today at 3 p.m.
in a non-conference doubleheader
at Mount Pleasant.
"Central Michigan is pretty ag-
gressive," Hutchins said. "They like
to run a lot. We expect them to come
right at us. We need to keep the
game under control and go after
Although the Chippewas have
been inconsistent for much of the
season, senior shortstop Mary
Campana also expects them to be
ready to play.
"They always come out and play
us tough," Campana said. "Anytime
they play us they're always gunning
to beat us. They'll be a tough com-
The Chippewas, who sport a me-
diocre .266 team batting average,
do have some offensive punch.
Brenda Schrader leads the team in
seven offensive categories, includ-
ing batting average (.442), slugging
average (.568), and RBI (14).
"They've got a couple of really
6 fine hitters," Hutchins said.
"Schrader could hit for anybody in
the Big Ten."
Michigan will depend on junior
Kelly Kovach (10-9, 1.33 ERA) and
freshman Kelly Holmes(10-9,2.60)
to stop the Central attack. Holmes is
coming off two impressive 7-2 vic-
tories at Penn State, while Kovach
split her decisions in State College,
despite giving up just two runs in
"Our pitching staff is throwing
well," Hutchins said. "Holmes has
hit her stride. She's doing the job
we need her to do."
Campana, the team captain, ap-
preciates the pitching as well.
"It's nice when they can hold
(the opposition) to two or less runs,
which they really have," Campana
The Chippewas have a solid
pitching staff of their own. The Cen-
tral Michigan squad carries a 2.26
ERA, and strikes out 2.2 batters for
every one it walks.
"We're a good defensive club,
and we've got a good pitching staff,"
Hutchins said. "It's just a matter of
us scoring runs. We've got to hold
the other team down so we can score
One Wolverine who will be
counted on to drive in some runs is
freshman designated hitter Jessica
Lang. Against the Nittany Lions,
she went 8-for-14 and had four RBI.
"It's always great when a fresh-
man performs that well," Campana
said. "Jessica's been doing great
and it helps us out a lot."
In addition to Lang's recent
surge, outfielder Cheryl Pearcy and
third baseman Tracy Carr continue
to sock the ball. Pearcy leads Michi-
gan with a.292 batting average, and
Carr (.290) is tops with 36 hits, 22
RBI and 45 total bases.
But for the Wolverines to keep
winning, Campana says it's the little
things that are important.
"(We need) to play good funda-
mental softball," Campana said.
"Just fundamentally strong defen-
sive skills as well as executing on
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