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March 13, 1997 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-13

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16A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 13, 1997

'M' softball relying on

The Michigan
softball team will
participate in this
weekend's Lady
Seminole
invitational in
Tallahassee, Fla.
The Wolverines
are led by a domi-
nant pitching
staff with a team
1.19 ERA:
FILE PHOTO/Daily

By Tracy Sandier
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 6 Michigan softball team
(18-5-1) might want to consider taking
up residence in Florida. After returning
to Ann Arbor Sunday night from the
Speedline Invitational in Tampa, the
Wolverines are returning to the
Sunshine State.
Today the team leaves for Tallahassee
to participate in the weekend's Lady
Seminole Invitational. Competition
begins tomorrow with games against
Miami (Ohio), Southern Illinois and
Florida Atlantic. Saturday brings Iowa
State, Georgia State and the beginning
of the tournament's playoffs.
Historically, Michigan has performed
well at the Invitational. The Wolverines
were the 1995 champions, and last year,
the then No. 7 Wolverines finished sec-
ond.
Pitcher and third baseman Sara
Griffin, who recorded her 65th career

victory last weekend, was named the
National Fastpitch Coaches Association
National Player of the Week. She
pitched two shutouts during the team's
spring trip, helping to lower the team's
ERA to 1.19. One came against No. 16
Michigan State, while the other was
against No. 14 South Florida. At the
plate, Griffin hit a grand slam against
Marshall.
Freshman pitcher Jamie Gillies is
also having a strong season, with a 4-2
record and four complete games.
"Key for us has been pitching and
defense," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. "We're fielding .968
through the first three weeks of the sea-
son. I am most pleased with the consis-
tency we have shown defensively. All
three pitchers are throwing and each is
doing a good job."
Putting together a strong offense, the
team has a solid .304 batting average.
Outfielder Lisa Kelley has improved on

pitching,..
her 1996 average of .354 with a.487
clip this year. Likewise, outfielder
Cathy Davie is hitting 72 pointszbter
at .375. Yet, Hutchins would liketo'fee
more uniformity.
"We still need to be consistent irbur
hitting, especially doing a betterjob
versus the better pitchers we fa,"
Hutchins said. "I am pleased with' the
improvements made by several of
players over their 1996 numbers, but I
want to have everyone hitting more
consistently."
With only a couple of weeks until the
the Big Ten season, Michigan is con-
centrating on working out any kinks.
"We (are looking) to keep everyone
sharp these next two weeks, and we xIo
that by playing games and getting out-
side for practice," Hutchins said. "We'll
continue to throw all three pitched
no one is tired before the six-'x
grind of doubleheaders. And we will try
to get consistent at the plat."

_,.

Spartans' Berens suspended
after alcohol-related accident.

By Marc Vieau
and Joseph Swavy
The State News
A Michigan State hockey player has been suspended
because of his involvement in an automobile
accident last weekend. CC NA
Junior center Sean Berens was given a one- Playof f
game suspension by coach Ron Mason Tuesday Who: Michig
and will sit out Friday night's CCHA semifinal Bowling Gre
game with Miami (Ohio) at Detroit's Joe Louis sate vs. Mh
Arena. Where: Joe L
If the Spartans advance to Saturday's cham- When: 5; 8:3
pionship game, Berens would be eligible to TV: PASS
play. He is practicing with the team and will
continue to do so, Mason said.
The accident occurred at shortly after midnight Sunday at
the corner of Division and Linden streets, Lt. Louis Muhn of
the East Lansing Police Department said.

S'
;an

According to Muhn, Berens, 20, was driving a car eastbound
on Linden and collided with a northbound vehicle driven ' a
16-year-old East Lansing resident.
Both drivers received minor injuries, as did a 16-yeafld
passenger in the northbound vehicle.
Muhn said alcohol was a factor in the incident,
but wouldn't release further details becausethe
vs investigation is still open. Muhn also said a cita-
Michigan tion was issued, but would not specify who w
ii (Ohio) cited.
uis Arena Berens, who is tied for the team lead in points,
p.m. will be missed during Friday's game.
"It is a rather unfortunate situation because
Sean is a really good kid," Mason said."But rules
have to prevail."
"Sean feels bad about this. In this situation, we discussed it
and felt that it was in the best interest of the team to make this
decision."

,

STREAK
Continued from Page 15A
his first complete-game shutout of the
year last week, a three-.hitter against
Maine. He has not allowed an earned run
over his last 17 innings.
The Wolverines face Kansas State for
the first time ever on Saturday. J.J. Putz
is expected to start against the Wildcats,
who have a 10-6 record on the season.
Kansas is coming off of a sweep of
Nebraska and is led by shortstop Heath
Schesser and Scott Poepard. Schesser
leads the team with a .508 batting aver-
age and 36 RBI while Poepard is batting
.433 with 23 RBI.
Putz, who has a 1-0 record on the sea-
son, is coming off his strongest pitching
performance to date, in which he held

Virginia Tech to five hits and two runs in
six innings.
Michigan winds up the weekend
Sunday against Pepperdine. Last season,
the Waves finished second in the West
Coast Conference with a 19-6 confer-
ence record. Zahn was an assistant coach
at Pepperdine until his hiring as
Michigan's head coach.
"There are players there that I love"'
Zahn said. "It'll be great to see them, but
I would love to beat them."
Sophomore Luke Bonner is expected
to start for the Wolverines against
Pepperdine. Bonner is 1-2 this season,
and picked up his first win against
Virginia Tech last week.
In order to win this weekend,
Michigan will need both strong pitching
and the same good hitting that propelled

it to eight wins last week. The weatherin
Michigan has helped the team's cause.
"We've been fortunate to get outside
both days so far," Zahn said. "We want-
ed to work on a few things, our fielding,
pitching and hitting."
Junior Derek Besco, last week's offen-
sive star, was named one of the
Louisville Slugger's National Players of
the Week as selected by Collegia
Baseball. Besco highlighted Michiga,
offensive display in Winter Park with a
.486 batting average, four home runs and
22 RBI. Besco was not the only player
who performed well in Florida.
"Bryan Kalczinski played well; Zahn
said. "Also, (freshman) Rob Bobeda has
been a surprise." Through 12 games,
Bobeda is batting .385 and has scored 1I1
runs.

Announcing the
be Strbt Fri twn1

1996-1997

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