The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, April 1, 1996 - 58
an postpones basebal's weekend;
Wolverines split in Saturday action
Darren to be Different
By Jim Rose
-Daily Sports Writer
After the snow finally gave into spring,
and the Michigan baseball team was
getting usedto the warmerweather, some-
thing terrible happened.
Proving once again that March base-
ball is simply not meant for the Midwest,
postponed by Mother Nature midway
throughthe third inning ofthe first game.
The Hoosiers were leading the Wolver-
Os,3-2. Play is scheduled to resume, in
progress, today at 1 p.m.
Saturday's action resulted in a split for
the Wolverines. The first game was a 6-
3 Michigan victory, with J.J. Putz pick-
ing up his third win. The freshman threw
four and one-third innings, striking out
four and walking four.
Putz got off to a shaky start in the first
inning, but the Wolverines' defense was
artially to blame. An error by Michigan
hird baseman Mike Cervenak put the
Hoosiers' leadoff man on base. After
Putz issued a walk, he got Indiana's
Mike Crotty to ground into what would
have been an inning-ending double play.
But instead, Putz was forced to face
cleanup hitter Matt Braughler, who
promptly belted a two-run homer to left
center. Indiana went on to load the bases
with a walk, a single to left and an infield
single, but Putz escaped any furtherdam-
age by striking out Ryan Frantz to end
The Wolverines' offense was keyed by
a three-run third. Junior Mick Kalahar
started things with a double, and Kirk
Beerman doubled to score Kalahar. Jason
Alcaraz followed with an RBI single, and
eventually scored onaCervenak sacrifice
In the fourth inning, the Wolverines
picked up a run after Derek Besco doubled
and took third on a wild pitch. Then
Michigan pulled off a gutsy two-out sui-
cide squeeze, with Besco scoring on
Kalahar's bunt single.
The Wolverines had Indiana's pitch-
ing to thank for their final two runs.
Michigan's offense in the sixth inning
went like this: walk, groundout, infield
single, strikeout, hit batsman, hit bats-
man (pitching change), walk,
groundout. Result: two insurance runs
to ice the game.
John Arvai picked up his second save
with two and two-third innings of work,
despite allowing Braughler's second
homer of the afternoon in the seventh.
In the nightcap, the Wolverines let a
sloppy, see-saw battle get away, losing 7-
6 despite giving up just one earned run.
The Hoosiers jumped out to a 5-0 lead
on Michigan starterBrian Steinbach, who
lasted just two and one-third innings. In
the four-run second, Steinbach would
have escaped unscathed, if not for the
two-out error that was followed by four
straight base hits.
Still, the resilient Wolverines climbed
back into the game and actually took a 6-
- a decin all
The Michigan baseball game against Indiana was postponed due to rain
yesterday. The game will resume today at 1 p.m. with Indiana leading, 3-2.
5 lead into the bottom half of the sixth.
But two more unearned runs (thanks to
two walks, an error, a passed ball and a
sacrifice fly) put the Hoosiers in front for
good. Michigan freshman Luke Bonner
took the loss on the mound, despite sur-
rendering just one unearned run.
Alcaraz, Kelly Dransfeldt and Mike
Haskell had two hits apiece for the Wol-
verines. Haskell clouted a homer, and
Dransfeldt's day included a double, a
home run and four RBIs.
Familiar faces set to take field on opening day
of us can lhezvfiz
t appears gender inequity is back.
In case you missed it, the Michigan Athletic Department decided
Saturday not to make women's crew a varsity sport. This is a truly stunning
move, as it reverses the University's recent trend toward balancing athletic
scholarships along gender lines.
To the rest of the local media, this story did not warrant much attention because
of what seemed to be Michigan's motivation for dropping the would-be sport.
Ostensibly, the University just decided that there isn't enough interest in crew to
transform it from club to varsity - pretty tame stuff, and hardly front-page
This reporter, however, wasn't satisfied. Though I personally agree with the
decision, I thought there was something more to it than that.
What I found is what you've been finding out about me all year - I was right.
Besides their fading desire to make women equal on the playing fields, I found
that officials in the Athletic Department have an increasing distaste for the weaker
sex in general.
"Now don't go printing this in the paper," Athletic Director Joe Roberson said,
prompting me to turn on my tape recorder, "but I'll be hornswaggled if I give
another scholarship to another girl. I mean, they can't even throw a baseball right."
Of course, no one's asking them to play baseball; women's crew is the issue
here. But on that issue, the University has made up its mind - the only "women s
crew" on this campus will be in the form of a sorority.
Instead, the University plans to grant usage of the Huron River. as well as all of
the club's boats, to the football team. The football Wolverines will use the
equipment and facility as part of a new training regimen.
"The girls can come watch, though," football coach Lloyd Carr said.
The Athletic Department echoes Carr's sentiment. It might not want the girls
around, but it's sure not going to just forget about them.
All of the scholarships set aside for crew will continue to go to women -just in
other ways. In the future, the monies will be directed toward helping women study
executive assistance, clerical science and, of course, knitting.
"We admire their drive," Roberson said. "We just think they should refocus it."
So, too, has the Athletic Department fine-tuned its stance on gender equity. The
University still intends to comply someday; now, however, it's going to go about it
a little differently.
Michigan will no longer classify athletes as male simply because they have ;
external plumbing. Now, teams will evaluate their players on a yearly basis and
then reclassify the poorer half of them as girls.
The message is clear: From now on, to be a man, you've got to play like a man.
"How's that for motivation?" Carr said.
This new plan helps the University on several levels. For one, you'll
probably see an increased on-field determination from Michigan athletes.
Losing is one thing, but being told you play like a girl and not being able to
deny it is far worse.
Secondly, it allows Michigan to achieve gender equity after all. Now the
Athletic Department won't even need a single women's sport to do it - and so
many of those sports will cease to exist.
The University has secretly decided to drop women's soccer, gymnastics, track
and cross country all by the end of 1996. Field hockey, softball, volleyball and the
rest will go the way of the dodo by the end of next year. Only women's swimmiig
will stick around for a while -though not indefinitely.
"We figure we'll give 'em another year or two," Roberson said, chuckling. "Let
'em win a national title, get some notoriety for the school, then wham-o! - give-
'em the axe."
National titles and gender equity are nice, but their value doesn't approach that
of the third effect of the University's new plan. Athletes carrying only X-chromo
somes just won't be varsity athletes - not here.
"Damn straight," Roberson said. "If you don't have a Y, go play at the Y."
- Darren Everson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you believe a word
of this column, you may be an even bigger Aprilfool than he Js.
The Associated Press
Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves
oet their World Series rings, Ryne
andberg returns from a 1 1/2-year retire-
ment and major league baseball becomes
a Vegas act'today on the first full day of
the 1996 season.
Recently retired Dave Winfield will
throw outthe firstball in Cleveland, Tony
La Russa will manage his first game for
St. Louis and Cal Ripken will play con-
secutive game No. 2,154 for Baltimore,
highlighting some of the day's 12 open-
The season began last night when Chi-
cago played at Seattle. The March 31
opener was the earliest in major league
history - never before had a regular-
season game been played before April 2.
For the first time in three years, base-
ball is expecting a full season, the reason
for the early start. What baseball isn't sure
about is fan reaction - attendance was
down 20 percent in last year's strike-
The Braves, despite lastyear's success,
were not assured a sellout for their game
against San Francisco. The fans in atten-
dance at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
will see the World Series banner raised
and rings passed out.
"After that, it's a whole new season,"
Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "What
we did last year won't mean a thing."
Philadelphia was not anticipating more
than 40,000 for its game against Colo-
rado, and Florida may not get near that
number for its game with Pittsburgh.
In otherNL openers, itwill be St. Louis
at New York, Montreal at Cincinnati, San
Diego at Chicago, and Los Angeles at
Houston. In the AL, it's Kansas City at
Baltimore, New York at Cleveland, De-
troit at Minnesota, Boston at Texas, and
Toronto vs. Oakland in Las Vegas.
The Athletics, forced to leave Oakland
because of construction at the Coliseum,
will play their"home" opener at Cashman
Field in Las Vegas. It will be the first time
a major league game has been played at a
minor league park since Sept. 3, 1957,
when Brooklyn faced Philadelphia at
Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, N.J.
The ballpark, with fewer than 9,400
seats, has a center-field fence 433 feet
from home plate. But the power alleys are
only 364 feet, and it has been the site of
many home runs when the Las Vegas
Stars, the Triple-A affiliate of the San
Diego Padres, play their Pacific Coast
League games there.
"It's not a pitcher's park," said Carlos
Reyes, who will start for the A's.
The Athletics, in addition to playing in
Vegas, will have another April Fool's
joke waiting for them today. Mark
McGwire has an injured foot and will not
be able to play, one of several stars out of
action on opening day.
Kiruy Puckett of Minnesota, Chipper
Jones of Atlanta, Tim Raines of the New
York Yankees, Jose Rijo of Cincinnati
and Bret Saberhagen of Colorado also are
among those sidelined for now.
But several other stars will be back.
Sandberg will again be at second base for
the Cubs, Dwight Gooden returns this
season from his 1 1/2-year drug suspen-
sion and Jimmy Key, Dean Palmer and
Aaron Sele have recovered from injuries
that cut short their 1995 seasons.
Six managers will be making debuts
with new teams. La Russa has moved
from the A's to the Cardinals, Joe Torre
is with the Yankees, Davey Johnson is in
Baltimore, Ray Knight is in Cincinnati,
Art Howe takes over in Oakland and
Buddy Bell succeeds Sparky Anderson
Anderson, however, will be back in
Cincinnati, where he managed the Big
Red Machine, for opening day.
Among the prominent players with
new teams are Roberto Alomar in Balti-
more, Dennis Eckersley in St. Louis,
Kevin Brown for Florida, Rickey
Henderson for San Diego andJulio Franco
While the Braves did not add anyone
significant in the winter, the AL cham-
pion Indians signed Franco and former
Cy Young winner Jack McDowell.
"We accomplished something lastyear
by going to the World Series, but we
didn't win it," Indians shortstop Omar
Vizquel said. "We still have unfinished
business to take care of"
No. 11softball comes alive to
take series from Hawkeyes
By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
The reigning Big Ten champion
Michigan softball team began its de-
fense of the conference crown this
weekend by doing something it had
not done in eight years -take a series
In winning two out of three over the
Weekend, the Wolverines also got their
revenge on the Hawkeyes, who ousted
them from last year's NCAA
Women's College World Series.
After splitting a Saturday double-
header against the rival Hawkeyes,
No. 11 Michigan (2-1 Big Ten, 23-9
overall) came from behind to beat the
No. 16 Hawkeyes, 3-1, yesterday to
win the weekend series.
A Wolverine offense that struggled
roughout the weekend finally came
live in the bottom ofthe sixth yester-
day, rallying for three runs and four
hits giving Michigan a thrilling come-
With Iowa (1-2, 22-10) leading 1-
0, the Wolverines loaded the bases
with one out in the sixth.
Junior catcher Jennifer Smith then
smashed a ground ball single up the
middle to drive in the tying and win-
Junior second baseman Jessica Lang
followed with another RBI single up
the middle to make it 3-1.
Sara Griffin (13-4) pitched the com-
plete game, allowing one run on four
"I tried to keen (the hall) low,"
a dribbler in front of the plate for an
An intentional walk to Griffin later
in the inning loaded the bases to set
the stage for Smith's game-winning
Sophomore pitcher Debbie Blibao
took the loss for Iowa.
The weekend ended much better
than it began for the Wolverines.
In the firsti game of Saturday's
twinbill, Michigan struggled offen-
sively and defensively in falling to
the Hawkeyes, 6-2.
Iowa sophomore pitcher Debbie
Bilbao (11-4) shut down Michigan's
serious damage. But afterthree hits
and one hit-batter, Michigan trailed,
Bilbao's two-run scoring single was
the big blow in the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, the
Wolverines cut the lead to 4-1 thanks
to a Hawkeye throwing error that al-
lowed senior right fielder Erin Martino
to score from second.
But Iowa answered immediately to
take a commanding 6-1 lead with two
more runs in the fourth.
"Wejust were tentative," Michigan
coach Carol Hutchins said. "In both
big innings, they had opened up on
plays that should've been made, but
we're playing tentative ball."
Michigan added a run in the fifth,
but it was too little too late for the
Holmes took the complete game
loss, dropping her record to 11-5.
In the second game, Griffin took
the mound and quieted the Hawkeye
The game remained scoreless until
the Michigan bats came alive in the
top of the fourth.
Four straight hits with one out, in-
cluding three consecutive doubles, re-
sulted in a 2-0 Wolverine lead.
Griffin (2-for-3, two doubles)
started the rally with a double to left.
Freshman left fielder Cathy Davie fol-
lowed with an RBI-double, and then
senior center fielder Cheryl Pearcy
doubled Davie home.
Iowa came back with a run in its
Big Ten Tournament
NCAA College World Series
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