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April 09, 1996 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-09

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p I

Perfect no more ...
The Chicago Bulls' quest to go 41.0 at home this season was ended
last night by Charlotte. The Hornets shocked Chicago, 98-97, at the
United Center, ending the Bulls' 44-game home-winning streak.
Chicago must now be content with trying to tie Boston for the best
single-season home-court mark ever. The 1985-86 Celtics went 40-1
at Boston Garden.

jlot-hitting

Tuesday
April 9, 1996

9

Wolverines face slumping Spartans in pair

By Andy Knudsen
Daily Sports Writer
Over the weekend, the Michigan soft-
ball pitching staff froze Northwestern
hitters, allowing only two runs in the
three-game series.
But Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
looked to other elements to explain her
team's weekend sweep of Northwestern.
"Our hitting is what cane through for
us," she said. "We hit the ball well and
played good defense."
The Wolverines (7-1 Big Ten, 28-9
overall) will need to continue their strong
hitting performance as they head up I-96
today for a 2 p.m. twinbill with intrastate
rival Michigan State (1-5, 17-12).
Against the Wildcats, freshman
leftfielder Cathy Davie had no trouble
warming her bat in the not-so-spring-
like cold weather. She had five hits off
of Northwestern pitching, including a
rally-starting triple in Saturday's series
opener with the Wolverines down 2-0.
Michigan came back to win, 3-2.
Davie also got the game-winning RBI
in Sunday's 6-0 victory with a first inning
single.
Fellow freshman and first baseman
Traci Conrad also warmed up the action
with seven hits, six of which were singles.
Conrad attributed the team's perfor-
mance at the plate to its patience.
"Ithelps when wejustwait forourown
pitches because then we just hit the ball a
lot harder," Conrad said.

A Michigan-Michigan State matchup
in any sport is usually a hot rivalry, but
today's contest could be chilled by an-
other cool spring day. The biting breeze
of a Michigan spring, however, will be
nothing new for either team today.
"This is the nature ofthe game," Michi-
gan coach Carol Hutchins said during last
weekend's breezy weekend series versus
Northwestern.
"We don't look at the scoreboard and
say, 'There's a weather column,"' she
continued. "You just play the game."
The players can't help but notice the
absence of the burning summer sun usu-
ally associated with the softball diamond,
but they do their best to ignore the condi-
tions.'
"The weather was a little cold," Davie
said. "But I just went up to the heaters
before I went up to bat."
The trick obviously worked against the
Wildcats.
Despite their slow start in the confer-
ence season, the Spartans' statistics sheet
shows that Michigan State is nota team to
be taken lightly.
Senior third baseman Patti Raduenz
is her own self-contained offensive ma-
chine. Playing in all of Michigan State's
29 games, she has a .506 batting aver-
age and has sent nine of her 43 hits out
of the park.
In comparison, Michigan, as a team,
has only five home runs, all hit by differ-
ent Wolverines. The Spartans will hope

that any brisk breeze today is heading out
for the fences.
Raduenz is the Frank Thomas of the
Spartans - a slugger with a good eye.
She has earned 12 free passes to first
while striking out only nine times.
Michigan State's pitching has struggled
in the last four games - three of which
were against conference front-runner
Minnesota (5-0, 27-6) - allowing five,
seven, four and seven runs respectively.
For the season, though, the Spartans'
team earned-run average is an impressive
1.85.
Stacey Smith (9-6, 1.5 ERA) and Ste-
fanie Noffsinger (7-5, 2.05) are expected
to take the mound for Michigan State
today. The steady Wolverine pitching of
sophomore Sara Griffin (16-4, 1.28) and
junior Kelly Holmes (12-5, 1.47) will
challenge the Spartans' duo.
Big Ten Standings
Team and record (conference, overall)
1. Minnesota (5-0, 27-6)
2. Michigan (7-1, 28-9)
3. Purdue (6-1, 21-10)
4. Iowa (4-2, 27-10)
5. Indiana (3-2, 23-14)
6. Ohio State (3-5, 14-28)
7. Northwestern (2-4, 8-18)
8. Michigan State (1-5, 17-12)
Wisconsin (1-5, 10-22)
10. Penn State (C:7, 17-15)

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily

TheMihigan softball team will carry its hitting and pitching streaks to East Lansing today.

Slugging shortstop
leads Fighting Illni

M freshmen divers
gain some expenence

By Will McCahill
Daily Sports Writer
Two and a half years ago, a motor
scooter accident almost ended his base-
ball career.
Today, he leads the Big Ten in home
runs andruns battedin, and is inthe top 10
13 of the conference's offensive cat-
egones.
Meet Josh Klimek, starting shortstop
and slugger extraordinaire for the Fight-
ing Illini.
Klimek has propelled his team into
second place in the Big Ten, with a 8-
3 record in the conference and an 18-
12 mark overall. Only Michigan is
ahead of Illinois in the league, by a
1 f game.
The Illini are scoring an average of
7.27 runs in each conference game, thanks
in large part to Klimek, who is averaging
2.27 RBI per contest through this past
weekend.
Hard to believe Klimek sat out the
entire 1994 season recovering from the
broken' leg and shoulder injury he suf-
fered when his scooter crashed in No-
vember 1993.
Looking over the sheets of Big Ten
ensive statistics, it's easier to count the
egories Klimek does NOT appear in.
There are only two: triples, and triples per
game.
"He's tearing things up," Illinois out-
fielder Dtanny Rhodes said.
Rhodes said he's not surprised to find
Klimek's name peppered throughout the
Big Ten's leader board.
"I knew he would be up there," the
sophomore said. "He's a tremendous
#der and ballplayer. He works the hard-

est on the field, and (Klimek) is bringing
our team as far as it's come this year."
Not that the success in the conference
comes as a shock: counting all Illinois'
games, Klimek leads the nation in RBI,
with 61.
"I expect Josh to be a good player,"
Illini coach Richard "Itch" Jones said.
Undoubtedly much to the chagrin of
Illinois' future conference opponents,
Jones said he can't see Klimek's hot pace
at the plate cooling off anytime soon.
"There's no reason for it to stop," the
sixth-year coach said.
Jones and Rhodes also concurred on
Klimek's defensive abilities.
"He's an outstanding defensive player,
with an exceptionally strong arm," Jones
said, pointing out that Klimek went
through the 1995 Big Ten regular season
without a fielding miscue.
"His defense is unbelievable," Rhodes
said. "He's got a rifle (arm), and the
softest hands I've ever seen."
For his efforts in the last week, the St.
Louis native was named the Big Ten's
Athlete of the Week. Klimek batted a
monster .550 while the Illini won four of
six.
With 17 round-trippers in 30 games,
Klimek is already within two dingers of
the team's single-season record. And
given that he's taking apitch deep at a rate
of more than half a homer per game, it's
safe to say Klimek will own that mark by
the Ides of April.
Unfortunately for Klimek and the sec-
ond-place Illini, they have no regular-
season date with the Wolverines to look
forward to. If the two teams are to meet
head-to-head, it will have to be in the Big

N
.,.'4 .\ ... . .i3j.X .
'rv

I

By Susan Dann
Daily Sports Writer
Sports ethics dictate that winning isn't
everything.
Three Wolverines typified this ethic
this past weekend at the U.S. Diving Zone
Meet held in Rockville, Md., leaving
before the final results were posted.
Freshmen Nate Shepard, Jill Unikel
and Laurel Dougherty competed in the
U.S. National qualifying meet, but weren't
concerned with their standings.
"Honestly, I didn't stick around long
"enough to see how I finished," Dougherty
said. "Ireally just went to the meet to gain
some experience."
The meet began a chain of national
competitions. From the regional meets
across the country, divers advance to the
U.S. Diving Senior National Meet in
Miami, Ohio.
The top eight finishers in the platform
and three-meter springboard, and the top
four in one-meter competitions atNation-
als qualify to compete on the national
team at the Pan Am Games and other
international meets.
The divers who make the national team
twice become eligible to compete at the
Olympic Diving Trials.
The Zone meet is not a pre-qualifica-
tion meet for the diving series, which
explains why the remainder of the Wol-
verine men's and women's diving squads
did not attend.
"Some people wanted to take a break
and concentrate on their studies for the
rest of the term since we've been so busy
training for the regular season," Shepard
said.
To qualify for the Zone meet, the en-
trants' dives had to meet national degree-

of-difficulty standards.
About 50 men and 50 women com-
peted in the open. The open-entrant for-
mat provided a large field for a wide range
of skills.
"All in all, the competition wasn't that
great," Dougherty said. "Everyone was
good enough to be there; we had all pre-
(qualified), but it was not as competitive
as I had expected."
Unikel echoed disappointment with the
level of competition.
"(At the meet) there were some really
good divers," Unikel said. "The people
were good, but the competition itself
wasn't as good as it could have been.
People didn't dive as well as they could
have."
Although the Wolverines weren't
pleased with their final results, the meet
was not a lost cause. The meet proved to
be a test of character for the freshmen.
"I haven't been diving that long and
haven't been in that many high-pressure
situations," Dougherty said. "It was a
good opportunity to dive in a competitive
atmosphere and get used to the pressure."
Likewise, Shepard needed to adapt
to the competitive constraints. The day
before leaving for the meet, Shepard
learned that his prepared dive from the
three-meter springboard did not meet
the degree of difficulty standards. He
changed his two-and-a-half inward tuck
to a pike.
"(The dive) went all right in practice
but it didn't go as well as it could have in
the meet," Shepard said. "I don't usually
have to change my dives that quickly or
close to a meet, but now I know I can do
it and I'll probably add it to my list of
dives."

ILINOIS SPORTS INFORMATION
Shortstop Josh Kilmek has led Illinois to second place in the Big Ten - behind
Michigan - by hitting 17 home runs and knocking in 61 runs.

Ten tournament, May 16-19.
Jones said he's looking forward to play-
ing Michigan if both teams finish the
season in the top four of the league and
make the conference playoffs. The off-

kilter Big Ten schedule accounts for the
teams not meeting this year.
"You can only play what you have,"
Jones said. "We may see Michigan down
the line."

NEWM

Hinton's strong performance leads golfers; rest of squad battles inconsistency

By John Fdedberg
Daily Sports Writer
The Michiganmen's golfteam returned
to Ann Arbor with a familiar refrain: The
more things change, the more they stay
r same. One golfer shot well, but the
am struggled.
The Wolverines finished ninth in the
18-team Marshall Invitational in Hun-
tington, W.Va. Michigan had hoped to
play its way into the top five of a tourna-
ment for the first time this season. How-
ever, the Wolverines were unable to battle
through the unseasonably cold weather.
For the third time this spring, the team's
rformance resembled the weather -
rmy and inconsistent.
Big Ten rival Ohio State won the team

event with a spectacular three-round total
of 868. Miami (Ohio) finished 21 strokes
behind the Buckeyes. The Wolverines
will compete against both Ohio State and
Miami for the rest of the season. The
Wolverines' 917 total shows how much
they need to improve.
"Ohio State is a very, very good team
and Miami (Ohio) is very strong," Michi-
gan coach Jim Carras said. "We need to
start playing better if we are going to be
competitive."
As in all of the Wolverines' week-
ends this spring, there has been a
bright spot, in this case the play of
sophomorebKeith Hinton. Hinton
posted the best 54-hole score of his
career with a four-over-par 220.

Hinton finished seventh in the meet,
leading to his first collegiate medal.
"Keith was the least experienced player
that we brought with us this weekend,"
Carras said. "His strong play was encour-
aging."
Aside from Hinton, the rest of the
Wolverines were inconsistent at best.
Junior Kyle Dobbs shot a 73 in the
second of the three-round competition.
Dobbs could not maintain his form, how-

ever, evidenced by his 79 and 76 perfor-
mances in the first and third rounds, re-
spectively.
"Kyle Dobbs was reasonably good,"
Carras said. "But he needs to start putting
those types of rounds together. Unfortu-
nately, we had young men shooting rounds
in the 80s. We can't have that if we are
going to be competitive."
Hinton was not the only Wolverine
making strides this weekend. Freshman

Isaac Hinkle played well at times, but he
had his troubles. His three-round total of
232 was six strokes above his season and
career-best.
Carras's lineup changes did not work
out as well as he had hoped. Junior Brent
Idalski's three-round score of 242 was six
shots worse than his best finish of the
year. The left-handerstruggled with three
rounds in the 80s.
Senior captain Chris Brockway's

return was marked by the same diffi-
culties that have hindered him all year.
His 239 placed him fourth among his
teammates.
The loss of top player. David Jasper
hurt the Wolverines. The junior has been
the most consistent golfer on the team and
would have played in the No. 1 slot.
Jasper figures to be back for the Leg-
ends of Indiana tournament in Franklin,
Ind. this weekend.

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Beginning April 10, 1996 The Michigan Daily

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