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April 03, 1995 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-03

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6 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, April 3, 1995

SOFTBALL
Continued from page 1
to put the Wolverines up 1-0.
Three batters later, Lang hit a
two-run double to center, followed
by a run-scoring single by catcher
Jennifer Smith. Michigan gained a
commanding 4-0 lead.
"You want to go ahead and get
the edge," Griffin said. "When you
get ahead 4-0 it gives you confi-
dence and shuts down the other
team mentally."
The Wolverines tallied four
more runs in both the second and
the fifth to help Kovach (10-0) reg-
ister a two-hitter for her second win
of the weekend.
Her first win of the weekend
sweep came on Saturday, when she
shut out the Hoosiers 7-0 on five
hits and two strikeouts in the sec-
ond game.
"I really didn't expect to shut
them out," Kovach said. "I really
respected their hitting. It was really
good for the whole team to do so
well and to shut them down."
Lang led the way for the Wol-
verines in the game by going 4-for-
4 with four RBI, while Arvia had
two hits and two RBI. Griffin
chipped in with three hits on the
afternoon.
In what was the start of the Wol-
verine domination this weekend,
D/Dany Michigan jumped all over Hoosier
starter Gina Ugo (9-6) in game one
Saturday. The Wolverines scored
six runs in two innings off Ugo,

Game I
Indiana
Michigan

010 00-1 3 4
425 OX - 11 15 0

"

W - Griffin t82}, L- Ugo (9-4): LOB- Indiana 4. UM 5; 2B
SilverUhl,Griffin ("tM)- Lang(ulm):MR - venturelia
(Indiana), Kovach (UM): E - Brandt 2 (Indiana).
Armendarez (Indiana}, valencia (Indiana).

Game 2
Indiana
Michigan

000
010

000 0 -0 5 2
1014-7 13 1

Lang

helping eventual winner Griffin to
an 11-1 victory.
Griffin (8-2) gave up three hits
and struck out two in five innings
to get the victory, but it was Kovach
who stole the show.
Kovach went 3-for-3 with a ca-
reer high of six RBI and three runs
scored to lead the Wolverines. In-
cluded in those hits was Kovach's
first career grand slam and the first
by a Wolverine since 1989.
"Our team was excellent. I'm in
shock," Hutchins said. "The team
is very up and they're very fo-
cused. They have a vision and
they're playing good ball.
"Indiana is definitely a better
team than we saw, but I think we
were in charge all series."

4

TONYA BROAD
Pinch runner Mary Adams slides into second into second for the Wolverines in game two of Michigan's four
game sweep of Indiana this weekend.

Pitchers lead charge for Michigan
Kovach, Holmes and Griffin provide offense, defense and victoriesx
By Doug Stevens with the Hoosiers proved to be a mi- Griffin was leading the team in bat-;
Daily Softball Writer crocosm of the whole season thus far ting with a .400 average and Kovach
The members of the Michigan soft- for Michigan as it extended its confer- was swinging at a .316 clip, alongr
hltemril pclonAth pm nprpnd 8 to5U .it h abl dof with he tea l din 23 RBI Shp

i
a
1

oat eam couit eas sy cr eut the team s
25-3 start entirely to the hot bats which
they have swung all season. How-
ever, the performances of the Wol-
verines' three pitching aces has been
equally instrumental to the team's
early success.
Senior captain Kelly Kovach (10-
0), sophomore Kelly Holmes (7-1)
and freshman Sara Griffin (8-2); all
have records at or near perfection and
have provided the solid defensive play
necessary to supplement an offense
that consistently*gets 10 hits a game
and puts runs on the board.
"We have three number-one
(pitchers)," coach Carol Hutchins
said. "We have strength that is second
to none. The pitchers are doing a great
job of supporting (the hitters). I have
to give them a lot of credit."
To understand the ability of
Kovach, Holmes, and Griffin, to
supplement the Wolverines' sluggers,
it is only necessary to examine this
past weekend's four-game series with
Big Ten rival Indiana. These games
£ 1
T-SHIRT
PRINTING
HIGH QUALITY
LflIU PtMCF

ence recora to -v witn a en o
strong offense and defense.
In the first game of the double-
header on Saturday, Griffin pitched
five solid innings only letting up
three hits and one earned run. The
Wolverines cruised to an 1I-I vic-
tory. In the night cap, Kovach threw
seven scoreless innings to help her
team to a 7-0 win over the Hoosiers.
Sunday's doubleheader was more
of the same for Michigan's pitching
staff as Holmes got the shutout win,
7-0, in the first game. Kovach then
let up two runs in five innings to
wrap the weekend series up with a
12-2 win.
"I have confidence in our hitting,"
Kovach said. "I don't feel any pres-
sure because there are so many great
hitters on our team. The run factor is
very important to you (as a pitcher)."
Despite the run support the trio
has received, they are not strictly the
beneficiaries, they are contributors
as well.
Heading into the weekend series,

W er e11Im L eaUI I ni'Lig nDI. e311C
certainly didn't hurt her cause against
Indiana as she went 8-for-12 over the
weekend. Kovach was equally im-
pressive in going 7-for-13 with nine
RBI.
"You always try to balance the
hitting with the pitching," Griffin
said. "You can't let the offense affect
the defense."
. After an unsure start to the trio's
relationship, a camaraderie has de-
veloped. The three came together at
the beginning of the season with the
veterans, Kovach and Holmes, being
a little concerned about a three-per-
son rotation, something they were
yet to experience. However, things
have begun to gel for them as the
wins have been collected.
"At first, I was a little skeptical
about not getting enough innings,"
Kovach said. "It took us a while to
step up. Three pitchers are really
working out for the best, though. It is
keeping everyone fresh. Our pitch-
ers are all top-notch."

W - Kovach (94), L - Ugo (9-5; LOB I-ndiana 9, UM 8:
2-Lang(UM);:CsGriffin (UM);s.SmitW (M); 3-
mager 2 (Indiana), Kovach (UM)._
Game 3
Indiana 000 000 0-0 5 3
Michigan 000 006 X-6 8 0
W- Holmes (7.1). L- Campbell (3.7): LOB- Indiana 7, UM
10; 28=- Griffin (UM), MitOell(Indiana): S- Mager
(ndiana):SB- Venturea Indiana); I- Aenarez
(Indianal. Valenca e(n(iana Campbell (ndiana.
Game 4
Indiana 200 00 -2 2 1
Michigan 440 04 -12 13 1
w . moach 10.0) , I.'-go (9.6); LOB - u iM.-'ndiana 1;
29. Carr (tIM), tang 2 (iM); BR Anmedww p(Iniana):
SF. Giffin (UiM); E" .Lonigro (Indana), Ga n (M
Softball Notebook:
Miecigan
dominaion.
continues
By Tim Smith
Daily Softball Writer
The Michigan Softball team has
been a force this season compiling a
25-3 record including an 8-0 mark in
the Big Ten.
Along the way, the team has set
some streaks and put up some im-
pressive numbers.
Perhaps the most impressive num-
ber so far is the 18-game winning
streak it started on March 4 against
Utah. Along the way the Wolverines
have beaten powerhouses UCLA and
Florida State in tight games.
"We don't talk about it," senior
pitcher Kelly Kovach said of the
streak. "We don't think about it.
(Coach Carol Hutchins) never talks
about it. It's just this game right now
in the present (that we worry about)."
During the streak, the Wolverines
have posted back to back four game
sweeps against Big Ten opponents
Purdue and defending champion In-
diana. The Wolverines also won eight
straight games at the Florida State
Lady Seminole Classic two weeks
ago giving up only one run on the
weekend.
Scoring runs has not been a prob-
lem for the Wolverines either, con-
sidering they have outscored their
opponents 147-50 on the season and
have 12 shutouts while being shutout
only once themselves.
AND THE OSCAR GOES TO... Michi-
gan second baseman Jessica Lang
may get"a few cracks about sharing.
the name of the Oscar award winning
best supporting actress, but her per-
formance this weekend against Indi-
ana may make up for that.
Lang went 8-15 with 12 RBI and
six runs scored to lead the Wolverine
hitting assault. But some still can't
help but kid about her name.
"We always tease her," Michigan
assistant coach Bonnie Tholl said.
"Opposing teams will hear her name
and say, 'isn't she in Hollywood?'
YOU DON'T NEED A CAR TO GET TO
FIRST BASE: If she had any doubts
before, Wolverine third baseman
Tracy Carr found out for sure on
Sunday that you don't need to put the
bat on the ball to make it to first base.
Carr walked all four times she
went to the plate in the first game and
was hit by a pitch in her first appear-
ance in the second game, before fi-

nally reaching on a single in the third.
THE UGO IS A LEMON:-Before the
Indiana series, it looked as though
the Wolverines would be facing a
tough pitcher in Gina Ugo who had
an ERA under two and 90 strikeouts
in 77 innings.
But after losing her three starts
giving up 24 hits and 14 earned runs
in 10 innings, it seems the Wolver-
ines had nothing to worry about.
"We never go into a game taking
a pitcher lightly," Michigan fresh-
man Sara Griffin said. "She was a
very decent pitcher, but we're a very
powerful hitting team and when
you're on you're on."

TONYA BROAD/Daily
Kathryn Gleason and the Wolverines hold an impressive 25-3 overall
record, including an 8-0 mark In Big Ten play. Michigan boosted its record
by taking four games from Indiana this past weekend.

Hutchins gets 400th career victory vs. Indiana

By Dan McKenzie
Daily Softball Writer
When the Michigan softball team
swept Indiana this weekend, they not
only inched closer to a conference.
crown, but they gave head coach Carol
Hutchins her 400th career victory as
well.
Although Hutchins has had a win-
ning record every year of her career,
this year's team is on course to post
Hutchins' best record so far. With a
winning percentage of close to 90%,
the Wolverines appear to have a good

chance to eclipse the 1993 squad's
46-13 record.
"They're very focused," Hutchins
said of her current team. "I've got a
great group of kids. They're playing
great ball. They've got real compo-
sure and maturity."
Hutchins began her career at Ferris
State where she was named Great
Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Con-
ference Coach of the Year.
After only a year with the Bull-
dogs, Hutchins joined the Michigan
coaching staff as an assistant under
Bob Decorlis.
Two years later, Hutchins was
named head coach. With 377 wins
since then, Hutchins has become the
Wolverines' all-time winningest
coach.

"I don't know if I've had a high
point," Hutchins said. "I guess it
would be the great quality kids that
stay in touch with the program."
What is missing from Hutchins'
list of accomplishments? Despite the
fact that she played on the Michigan
State World Series-winning team in
1976, she has yet to go there as a
coach.
"We really want to go to the World
Series," Hutchins said. "That's our
team's focus. That would definitely
be a high point."
Not only has Hutchins been able
to rack up an impressive record at
Michigan, but many of her players
have been able to find individual
success as well.
Four former Hutchins-coached
Wolverines were named to the Big
Ten's All-Decade team, the most
from any conference school. She has
also had players named Big Ten
player of the Year four times, Big
Ten pitcher of the Year twice and Big
Ten Freshman of the Year three times.
"She's helped me so much." se-
nior co-captain Kelly Kovach said.
"She's very smart. Other coaches
might run their team out of the game.
We trust her. She knows what's right
for the team."

"She's a real positive coach," added
freshman Sara Griffin. "She's never
yelled or gotten down on me. That's
one thing that has helped me a lot as a
freshman."
Hutchins' achievements have won
her the respect of her peers as well.
She has been named Mideast Region
Coach of the Year and has been cho-
sen Big Ten Conference Coach of the
Year three times.
Assistant coach Bonnie Tholl has
seen time with Hutchins both as her
assistant and as a player.
"I think that one of her best quali-
ties is that she shows that she's a
person too," Tholl said. "She has the
kind of personality that rubs off on
people. It's a very positive personal-
ity."
But maybe the most important as-
pect that Hutchins has been able to rub
off onto her team has been her ability
to win.
Michigan is currently in the midst
of an 18-game win streak, threatening
to surpass Michigan's longest win
streak in history, set at 22 by the 1993
squad. And with a current No. 6 na-
tional ranking, Michigan has a legiti-
mate chance at a national title. For
Hutchins, that is the only high point
that exists.

I

Don't let half your grade get you
stressed during finals.

Set your on SPRING!

i

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