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March 24, 1997 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-24

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 24, 1997 - 7B

Continued from Page IS
ormance on the beam.
Junior Heather Kabnick won her
second career Big Ten vault title,
with a 9.95, leading the Wolverines
to a comfortable .425 lead over sec-
ond-place Minnesota after the first
Michigan fared almost as well on
the uneven bars, scoring a 49.3.
Another veteran of Big Ten champi-
onships success, sophomore Nikki
tters, led the way with a meet-high
1.95. Last year, Peters won the bar
crown with a 10.
But the blowout stopped there.
Michigan's 48.875 on the balance
beam wasn't horrible, but it was far
below the 49.3 of Minnesota and
Michigan State. One fall on the bars
almost cost Michigan its sixth title.
Despite finishing second on the
beam, every individual apparatus
i14tl, including the all-around, went
a Wolverine. Sarah Cain contin-
ued her season-long domination at
Minnesota, winning the all-around
with a 39.65 and subsequently stak-
ibg her claim as the best gymnast in
the Big Ten.
Sophomores Lisa Simes and Beth
Amelkovich finished second and
third in the all-around with scores of
39.575 and 39.475. They also tied
innesota's Mindy Knaeble for the
Wlance beam title, with a 9.95.
Kabnick, Peters and Cain all tied for
the floor exercise crown with a
But Cain's big award didn't come
on the floor Saturday. The freshman
received Big Ten freshman of the
year and Big Ten gymnast of the
year honors this weekend.
yI'm extremely happy for and
proud of Sarah Cain coming in as a
shman," Plocki said. "She's very
eserving of this."

By Nita Srivastava
Daily Sports Writer
Second to none. That's the best way
to describe the performance so far this
season of the No. 3 Michigan women's
gymnastics team.
The Wolverines overcame some dis-
appointing losses and still managed to
pull everything together, winning their
sixth consecutive Big Ten champi-
onship Saturday in Minnesota.
Throughout the season, the
Wolverines were matched against top-
ranked teams like Georgia, Utah,
Nebraska, UCLA, Utah State and
Florida. Some of those meets resulted
in victory, while some ended in defeat.
It was only through determination and

en tumblers perform when it counts

confidence that Michigan was able to
step up its performance when it was

"We made a lot of mistakes,"
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said after

"Great teams
are not always
great, just great
when they have
to be," Michigan
sophomore Beth
Amelkovich said
earlier last week
in regard to Big
This is more
like the motto for
entire season. In its

that meet. "When yo
"Great teams
are ... great when
they have to beow
- Beth Amelkovich
Michigan gymnast

u compete with a
team com-
prised entirely
of freshmen
and sopho-
mores, any-
thing can hap-
The lack of
experience had
no real hin-
drance on the
Wolverines after

Michigan freshman Sarah Cain, for
example, finished the Big Ten cham-
pionships as Big Ten freshman of the
year and Big Ten gymnast of the year.
And the meet versus Ohio State in
February showed the continuing
improvement of the team - its margin"
of victory was over two points.
"We keep improving, and that's
what we need to do," Plocki said after
that meet. "We're knocking on (a
score of) 197.0, and hopefully, we can
attain that status."
Her comment was foreshadowing of
what was to come in the next meet
against Nebraska and Illinois State,
when Michigan set a school record
with a score of 197.3.

At the end of February, however, the;
Wolverines began a losing streak, as
they were defeated in the Magical
Classic by UCLA and then had three
consecutive dual-meet losses to Utah,
BYU and Georgia.
The Wolverines had to step uptfeir
performance in their meeting against
Utah State last week. They managed
to beat the Cougars and put them-
selves in a good position for the Big
Ten championships.
"I feel we are right where we need
to be heading into the postseason,"
Plocki said after the competition,
"Our goal is to win the Big Ten
Conference and earn the No. I seed at

the Wolverines'
first competition

performance of the

of the season, Michigan suffered a
loss to West Virginia by 1.60 points.

that first competition, as many of the
youngest team members stepped-up
and performed at a very high level.

Blue softball scorches Purdue at Boilermaker Invitational

By Josh Kloinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
After slipping from sixth to ninth in
the latest polls, the Michigan softball
team was out to make a statement at the
Boilermaker Invitational in West
Lafeyette this weekend.
And the Wolverines did just that,
going 4-1 in their five games to claim
the title.
Michigan (25-8-1) exploded yester-

day when it topped host Purdue, 12-2, in
the championship game. Kelly Holmes
(8-4) picked up the win.
Kellyn Tate highlighted the Michigan
offense with a two-run double, driving
in the game-winning runs. Jennifer
Smith, Melissa Gentile and Kathy Davie
all hit doubles for the Wolverines as
The Wolverines' only loss came in
their second game of the tourney, 3-1, to

underdog Ohio. Michigan took a one-
run lead in the top of the second when
Jessica Lang scored on a sacrifice fly,
only to see the lead disappear in the bot-
tom half of that inning. Senior Kelly
Holmes (6-4), who took the loss, was
pulled in favor of freshman Jamie
Gillies in the third.
The Wolverines didn't have much
trouble getting on base, but they were
not able to drive those runners in.

Despite getting nine base hits, Michigan
stranded 12 runners. The victory
marked Ohio's first-ever win over the
"I continue to be concerned about
getting our hitting to be consistent from
game to game as a team and as individ-
uals" Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
said. "I am happy with the early-season
play of our defense and the work of our
pitching staff."

In the first game of the tournamnIt,
the Wolverines soundly beat . ortheno
Illinois, 6-0. Sara Griffin recorded' the
shutout for the Wolverines, her sixth of
the season and the 29th of her career.
She gave up six hits over seven innings,
improving her record to 11-1. Griffin
also provided the bulk of the offense for
Michigan. Her double in the first inning
cleared the bases, giving the Wolverines
an early 3-0 lead.

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