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April 05, 1996 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-05

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Ub itcho hBia dI

'M' football radio announcer fired
Former Michigan assistant football coach Jerry Nankon, who did radio
commentary for Wolverine football games with WJR's Frank Beckmann
for the past three years, was fired yesterday. The station has yet to
choose a replacement. "We're just trying to change the flavor and tone
of some things," said WJR sports director Chuck Swirsky.

Friday
April 5, 1996

11

M' tennis
readies for
homestand
By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis team is
literally going nowhere. And the Wol-
*rines are actually where they want
to be - right at home.
Michigan (3-1 Big Ten, 8-7 over-
all) begins a three-match homestand,
facing Purdue (3-1, 12-3) tomorrow
and Illinois (3-1, 7-7) Sunday.
The teams are deadlocked in a three-
way tie for second place in the Big
Ten; a pair of victories would vault
the Wolverines into first place in the
ig Ten standings, one game ahead of
e current leader, Minnesota. Michi-
gan has been perfect at home, going
2-0 heading into the weekend.
Both the Fighting Illini and the Boil-
ermakers have improved from last
season's seventh- and last-place fin-
ishes, respectively.
"Purdue is a much improved team
this year," Michigan singles player
Peter Pusztai said. "We expect it to be
a good match."
The Boilermakers are coached by
rmer Michigan assistant coach Tim
Madden, whose team has already sur-
passed the Big Ten and overall-win
totals it recorded last year. Michigan
head coach Brian Eisner said Purdue
is a much different team this year.
"Purdue is coming in with enthusi-
asm this season," Eisner said. "They
have three freshmen starting for them
that have done a good job."
See TENNIS, Page 12
Women's
track goes
$o Relay
By Jeremy Horelick
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's track and
fieldteam is hoping the April rain might
wash away its early outdoor-season
sorrows. After last week's washout at
the Florida Relays, the team flies to
Williamsburg, Va., for the Colonial
elays.
With the Florida meet scratched, this
weekend's competition officially kicks
off the outdoor season. After a third-
place showing in the conference indoor
championships, the team realizes it must
improve in several areas if it hopes to
avoid a similar fate outdoors.
"I'm still unsure about what we have
forthe outdoor season," Michigan coach
James Henry said. "It's our first full
meet."
While the team's questions clearly
itnumber its answers, the weekend
slate is set.
Freshmen Sarah Hamilton and Katie
McGregor, the squad's top half-milers,
hope to shine in the freshman 1,500-
meter. The tandem of junior Mara
Guillemette and senior Jennifer Barber
are scheduled for the open 1,500.
Sophomore Tania Longe, who ear-
lier this week set an NCAA provisional
*andard in the heptathlon with a 5,142-
point effort, will represent Michigan in
the triple jump.

"It's been a really, really hard week,"
Longe said, referring to the recent flux
of strenuous workouts, both on the track
and in the weightroom. "I'm starting to
get really tired."
Longe leads a talented group ofjump-
ers, throwers and hurdlers, including
freshman Tiffany Hodge and sopho-
ore Hayley Wilkens, both of whom
ill compete in the 400-hurdles.
In addition, the quartet of seniors
Tearza Johnson and Ebony McClain
and freshmen Atiya Bussey and Rachel
Edwards will provide a solid veteran-
rookie balance in the 4x100 relay. Last
week, Johnson, McClain, Bussey and
sophomore Brandy Taylor eclipsed the
school record of 1:43.1 with a 1:39.5
performance in the 4x200.
Henry hopes the addition of Edwards
ill help the group repeat last week's
See TRACK, Page 12

Weather 3, Mic 0
Baseball game canceled; Blue will host Minnesota

By Jim Rose
Daily Sports Writer
Surprise, surprise. The Michigan baseball team
had another home game cancelled due to inclem-
ent weather.
Feel like you've read this before? You probably
have.
Yesterday's cancellation with Western Michi-
gan marked the third time in just over two weeks
that the Wolverines found Ray Fisher Stadium to
be unplayable.
Instead of getting in one more nonconference
contest before Minnesota visits Ann Arbor this
weekend, Michigan will jump back into Big Ten
play Saturday on two full days of rest. The Wol-
verines eked out a 5-4 extra-innings victory over
Michigan State in a ceremonial nonconference
game Wednesday. Michigan is currently 6-2 in
league play, 9-15 overall.
The Wolverines' strong start in the Big Ten is
due in no small part to the contributions ofa young
nucleus of players.
"I'm happy with the progress we're making,"
Michigan head coach Geoff Zahn said. "When
you've got young players, like we do, you have to
improve with each game. We've got to continue to
improve without making mistakes."
There have been some mistakes along the way,
but the young squad is definitely improving. Con-
sider Michigan's pitching staff: the team ERA is
still a whopping 5.98, thanks to the inauspicious 1-
13 start, but the Wolverines have surrendered just
23 runs in the past six games - hardly Atlanta
Braves material just yet, but nonetheless a marked
improvement. Most importantly, four of those six
games have been Michigan wins.
"I think we need to pitch a little better than we
have in the last couple of games," Zahn said, "but
we're definitely making progress."
Of the freshman pitchers, J.J. Putz has been
somewhat erratic (20 walks), but he's also shown
flashes of his potential (21 strikeouts in 20 and

two-thirds innings). The hard-throwing righty
has two wins and an impressive 3.92 ERA.
Putz and sophomore Brian Steinbach will prob-
ably draw the starting assignments for Saturday's
twinbill, Zahn said, but Sunday's starters have
yet to be decided.
Another area of concern for Michigan is the top
of the lineup - although the Wolverines have
been scoring runs lately, the meat of the order has
been doing most of the work. Zahn is still looking
for someone to step up and be a consistent table-
setter.
"We need to find a leadoff hitter," Zahn said.
"We'll still be experimenting a little bit with that
this weekend, trying to find the right combina-
tion."
Wolverines Derek Besco and Kelly Dransfeldf
have been on a tear at the plate recently. Besco is
hitting .385 with a .731 slugging percentage after
being injured early in the season, while Dransfeldt
is at .364 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
The Golden Gophers (2-1, 10-12) come to
town having won four of their last five games,
including two of three at Purdue last weekend
Minnesota senior infielder Rob Smith leads the
offense, hitting .357, while juniors Bob Keeney
and Phil McDermott are hot on his heels at .355
and .351, respectively.
Junior right-hander Justin Pederson handles
much of the work on the mound for the Golden
Gophers. Pederson has struck out 49 in just 45
innings, but he has also surrendered 49 hits. He
and junior southpaw Mike Diebolt are each 3-2
for the season.
Regardless of who takes the mound for Minne-
sota, Zahn thinks his Wolverines will have to be
in top form to keep pace with Ohio State (also 6-
2) at the top of the Big Ten standings.
"They're usually a pretty good ballclub," Zahn
said. "They're usually at the top of the conference
standings, so we'll have to play well this week-
end."

Left: Michigan
}freshman J.J. Putz
delivers against
Michigan State in
Wednesday's
action. Putz is 2-2
on the season.
Right: Wolverine
closer John Arval
pitches in the
same game. Arval
picked up his
second win of the
season in the 54
victory '
contest with
Westem Michigan
,,.«:. .-., was canceled due
F .to poor weather.
>$ . The Wolverines
host Minnesota
for a four-game
series this
- weekend.
Photos by JOE WESTRATE/Daily
No.10 softball looks to stay hot in
thecl g s

By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
There's nothing like April softball in
the Midwest.
With high temperatures expected to
barely break freezing this weekend, the
Michigan softball team takes on North-
western in a three-game weekend series
at Alumni Field.
Both teams must take on the elements.
No. 10 Michigan (4-1 Big Ten, 25-9
overall) and the visiting Wildcats (2-1, 7-
15) play a doubleheader tomorrow and a
single game on Sunday, both starting at I
p.m.
Cold temperatures can affect pitching
and hitting, said Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins.
"It'll make hitting that much more dif-
ficult, and it makes it tough on pitchers to
throw pitches that need fingertip con-
trol," Hutchins said. "But our players are
good at dealing with things they know
they can't control."
The Wolverines are coming offasweep
of Tuesday's doubleheader at Penn State,
while Northwestern is coming off a dis-
appointing loss to Northeastern Illinois.
Against the Nittany Lions (0-4, 17-12),
the Wolverines had a hitting bonanza.
In the first game, Michigan piled up 14
hits for a 7-1 win. Junior catcher Jennifer.

Smith, freshman first baseman Traci
Conrad and sophomore pitcher Sara Grif-
fin each managed three hits, including a
doubleandtriple by Conrad. Juniorpitcher
Kelly Holmes improved her record to 11-
5.
Game two featured more ofthe same as
the Wolverines scattered 10 hits in a 5-0
victory. Griffin (14-4) allowed three hits
in her eighth shutout of the season. At one
point, the sophomore retired 19 in a row.
While Wolverine pitching has been
"6(The cold
weather) will make
hitting that much
more difficult."
- Carol Hutchins
Michigan softball coach
strong all season, Michigan's recent suc-
cesses have been keyed by hitting.
With a .328 average, Michigan is sec-
ond only to Minnesota in Big Ten team
batting.
Individually, sophomore outfielder
Kellyn Tate leads the Wolverines, batting
.425, good for fourth in the conference.

Junior catcher Jennifer Smith has
sparked Michigan lately with several key
RBIs in the clutch.
Despite success at the plate, Michigan
has left significant numbers ofrunners on
base lately. The Wolverines stranded 10
runners in each game against the Nittany
Lions.
"We tend to get a little uptight with the
bases loaded," Hutchins said. "Even
though we left the bases loaded against
Penn State, we still scored five runs."
If last season's meetings between
Michigan and Northwestern are any indi-
cation, the Wolverines will need clutch
hitting. Michigan lost twice to the Wild-
cats by one run in splitting a four-game
series last year.
Top NorthwestempitcherAlison Ward
(5-7) is a force to be reckoned with as she,
like Michigan's Griffin, poses a dual-
threat.
The senior leads the Wildcats in pitch-
ing with a 2.04 ERA and in batting with a
.417 average.
The Wolverines must also contain
Wildcat second baseman Katie Ballman,
who is second in the conference with 17
steals in 20 attempts.
The series begins a hectic stretch for
the Wolverines in which they will play 14
games in 12 days.

ATTENTION,.
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISERS!
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Classified Department will no longer be
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Welcome
to Dental
Career
Day
8:30 - 9:15
9:15 - 9:30
9:30 - 10:30
10:30 - 10:40

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
SATURDAY, April 6, 1996
Registration - Refreshments in Kellogg Auditorium
OPENING SESSION - Kellogg Auditorium
Dr. Jed J. Jacobson, Director of Admissions, School of Dentistry
"Dentistry Today and Tomorrow"
PRESENTATIONS ON DENTAL CAREERS
General Practice
Orthodontist
Prosthodontist
Dental Student
FINANCIAL AND STUDENT SERVICES
Dr. Marilyn Woolfolk. Director of Student Affairs

Former Wolverine wideout Alexander faces Jet Ski mishap

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