vs. Michigan St. (DH)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
vs. Ohio State (DH)
Today, 3 p.m.
Wolverines do Tour-dc-Michigan
'M' plays at Spartans tomorrow, return to Fisher Stadium Sunday
By SCOTT BURTON wreaked havoc on Michigan's prena- the collegiate Pla er f the Year-has The Wolverine nitchers chbold get
DAILY BASEBALL WRITER
When Ernie Banks said "let's play
two," he probably didn't have in mind
battling gusting winds to catch a fly
ball or fielding a ground ball with frost-
But such is the fate of the Michi-
gan baseball team (2-2 Big Ten, 7-
12 overall) who will have to over-
come unpredictable weather patterns
this weekend to challenge Michi-
gan State (3-1, 10-9).
The series opens with a double-
header tomorrow in East Lansing
and concludes with a twinbill Sun-
day in Ann Arbor.
"We're getting used to playing
baseball outside," Michigan coach
Bill Freehan said. "The more we do
that, the better we will be as a base-
ball team. You just hope that you
can have a chance to practice out-
The harsh conditions this week have
ration for the weekend. The second
game of a doubleheader with Siena
Heights was canceled Tuesday. In ad-
dition, practice and a intra-squad game
were also disrupted.
"The weather is distracting for
everybody," Freehan said. "We're
disappointed (that the second game
with Siena was canceled) because it
allows you more of an opportunity
to play baseball and see more
Despite the problems created by
the weather, Michigan has started to
make the improvements that Freehan
has been looking for all year.
The Wolverines' bats have come
alive the past five games after a slump
against Arizona State. Michigan
knocked in just under five runs a game
over that span, and raised its team
average to .271.
Sophomore leftfielderScott Weaver
- a candidate for the Smith Award for
g 1L4J 4.'i patLIIy'. A '.m4 -" ib
been the main catalyst, leading the team
with a .355 batting average.
Just as important, the starting
pitching hit its stride in last
weekend's four game series with
Ray Ricken tossed his third com-
plete game, Ron Hollis threw a shut-
out and, aside from a seven-run lapse
in the final inning against the Hoo-
siers, Michigan allowed only seven
runs in the previous 26 innings at
HeathMurray (1-3,5.00ERA), who
pitched six strong innings last week-
end, will be the first-game starter. Ricken
(2-3, 3.82) will pitch the second game.
Hollis (1-3, 5.11), will be Sunday's
opening game starter. Chris Newton (0-
1, 4.91) will pitch the series capper.
"I thought (the pitchers) were good
to outstanding," Freehan said. "They
have given me no reason to lose any
confidence in them."
111~t VT Jp gV.'* AiR' . 11GAL% b11VU1U,.R l '
a fair test from the first-place Spartins,
who took three of four games from
Illinois. Michigan State is hitting .318,
with sophomore catcher Matt Riggins
at .409 and senior outfielder Steve
Money at .389. Five other Spartansare
"They are a team that you have to
play pretty good baseball against t4 be
successful," Freehan said.
Michigan State's pitching does not
possess the same depth as its hitters,
though. Starters Todd Pine (2-0, 1.83)
and Trevor Harvey (4-0, 3.12) have
been conference standouts but Tom
Olejnik (1-2, 9.31) and Dan Garman
(0-4, 23.14) have been statistical eye-
"One of their big pitchers that we
expected to be outstanding (Garman)
doesn't appear to be pitching well,"
Freehan said. "But my concern isn't
with what somebody else doesjt's
with what we do."
Kevin Crociata and his teammates look to gun down
Softball opens home season against Bucks
By MARC DILLER
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The disappointment of a sub-par
1994 record in non-conference play
has not affected the spirits of the Michi-
gan softball team. The Wolverines are
just happy to finally be at home after an
arduous preseason jaunt.
Michigan (12-14) will host two
doubleheaders this weekend against
Big Ten rival and 22nd-ranked Ohio
State (13-9) at Alumni Field.
r This weekend marks the beginning
of the Wolverines' home season and
their quest for a third consecutive Big
Ten title. The team plans to put its
preseason distractions behind it and
focus only on the fundamentals that
will win ball games.
"We need to be focused on what's
ahead of us and focus on Michigan,"
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said.
"Now, we need to focus on what we're
good at as a team."
2' The Wolverines' struggles as of
late have not been due to their lack of
skills. Despite its two losses to Notre
Dame on Wednesday, Michigan still
managed to pound out 17 hits. Rather,
the team has had difficulty in sustain-
Michigan returns several standouts
from last year's championship squad.
The Wolverines will depend on cap-
tain Mary Campana, 1993 first team
All-Big Ten infielder, to lead them to
Junior Kelly Kovach, a member of
the All-Big Ten second team, will take
her 7-7 record and 1.04 ERA to the
mound for the Wolverines at least once
this weekend. And infielderTracyCarr,
the 1993 Big Ten Freshman of the
Year, has to continue her hitting bar-
rage with her team leading.283 batting
The Buckeyes will not just fold at
the Wolverines expense, though. Ohio
State is tabbed as one of the favorites in
the Big Ten this year and looks to
avenge the Wolverines' four game
sweep last season.
Pitcher Genice Turley has been
consistently impressive, posting nine
of the Buckeyes' 13 wins with a 1.42
ERA. Likewise, leftfielder Jen
Fredrickson has been solid at the plate
this season, batting a stellar .424 and
knocking in 15 runs.
Notwithstanding Ohio State's
mediocre fifth place finish in the
Big Ten last year, Michigan refuses
I think we need to get
tougher mentally and
suck it up when we
don't do something
well and find some way
to turn it around and
do it well.'
- Carol Hutchins
Michigan softball coach
to treat the meeting lightly. The
homecoming could be just the cure
that the team needs to combat its
"There's no excuse in the win-
loss column," Hutchins said. "We're
not going to blame it on the youth or
we're not going to attribute it to
The Wolverine's disappointing pre-
season record doesn't worry them
though. Two years ago, Michigan won
the Big Ten title despite a losing record
in its preseason (15-18).
"We know what we're supposed to
do, and that's play Big Ten ball,"
ing its focus.
"The key is finding a way to win
rather than playing not to lose,"
Hutchins said. "I think we need to get
tougher mentally and suck it up when
we don't do something well and find
some way to turn it around and do it
You should get a little experience
before you navigate these roads:
GIIII RE & GM T
Infielder Tracy Carr leads the Wolverines in batting with her .283 average.
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Best of Ann Arbor Ballot '94
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