Chi. White Sox, ppd.
N.Y. Yankees at
CHI. CUBS 3
ST. LOUIS 2,
NEW JERSEY 92
NEW YORK 73
SAN ANTONIO 96,
New Jersey 2,
TAMPA BAY 2
April 9, 1997
Softball splits with Purdue
Wolverines fall to 1-2 without injured Griffin in lineup
By Josh Kielnbaum
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan softball team need-
ed to sweep yesterday's doublehead-
er with Purdue. It didn't.
After winning the first game of the
twinbill, 7-3, the Wolverines (4-3
Big Ten, 31-11-1 overall) dropped
the second game, 3-1, and now find
themselves in a hole.
The two-time defending Big Ten
champions have dropped three of
their last four games and are in the
middle of the Big Ten standings, two
games behind undefeated Michigan
State and 1 1/2 games behind No. 6
And the Wolverines are going to
have to make their title run without
one of their best players - Sara
Griffin, the pitcher/third baseman
who broke her arm in a collision
with first baseman Traci Conrad on
It was the first time in the all-time
series that a Purdue softball team has
Conrad, who was expected to miss
yesterday's games due to a concussion
and a sprained shoulder suffered in the
collision, batted in both games, playing
Conrad paced Michigan's offense.
The sophomore went 3-for-7 at the
plate despite her shoulder injury.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 3-
0 lead in the second inning of the
first game, only to have the
Boilermakers strike right back, scor-
ing three of their own in the same
inning. Michigan used a pair of two-
run innings, the fifth and the sixth,
to put the game away.
The Wolverines turned to an
unlikely source for some offense -
catcher Jen Smith.
The senior was batting .169 com-
ing into the doubleheader and had hit
only one extra-base hit all season.
But Smith got a hold of a Jenny
Deno pitch and drove it out of the
park for her first home run of the
season. Smith drove in three runs.
Senior Kelly Holmes pitched her
10th complete game of the season,
allowing three runs, striking out two
and walking two. Holmes improved
her record to 9-5.
Michigan scored first in the sec-
ond game, too, when Tammy Mika
knocked in Cathy Davie. But fresh-
man hurler Jamie Gillies got no more
run support, and couldn't hold on for
the win. The Boilermakers put two
runs on the board in the fifth and one
more in the sixth for the victory.
Gillies (7-4), who was relieved by
Holmes in the sixth, let in all three
Purdue runs on six hits. Holmes
allowed two hits and one walk in her
two innings of work and struck out
In the first game, the Boilermakers
were not able to mount much offense
because of the lack of production
from the middle of their lineup.
Jenny Schoen, Jen Blasnick, Susan
Denny and Kristie Boland, Purdue's
third through sixth hitters, could not
muster a single hit between them.
But in the second game, Purdue
used a much more balanced offense
to beat the Wolverines, getting base
hits from eight different batters, but
not getting multiple hits from any
Entering the doubleheader, the
Wolverines had committed 42 errors.
Griffin's pitching and batting,
though. managed to get the
Wolverines out of situations created
by those mistakes. Without Griffin,
the Wolverines knew they had to play
mistake-free softball to win.
"Errors that we've been getting
away with, and little mistakes that we
have been making and getting away
with, we don't have time for those
any more," Holmes said after
"We have to make .sure we're
focused every pitch and just get the
job done the first time."
In the first game, the Wolverines
did just that. The only two errors
committed were both by
Boilermakers, and the Wolverines
held on for the victory.
But Holmes' prediction proved
true, as Tammy Mika and Pam
Kosanke both committed Michigan
errors in the nightcap.
Mika has been hot at the plate of
late. Her 3-for-7 day gives her a .464
average in her last 13 games - a
stretch in which Mika has reached
base safely in 10 games.
Lisa Kelly's 0-4 performance in
the nightcap halted a nine-game hit-
The Wolverines now return home
to face Notre Dame tomorrow at 2
p.m. at Alumni Field.
Michigan's Kelly Holmes will have to carry the pitching load for the Wolverines with the loss of pitcher Sara Griffin. Holmes
itched in both games yesterday, winning the first game after giving up just three runs in seven innings. Holmes' contribution
the second game was limited to two innings of relief work.
Conference season challenges Blue netters
. . _
By Andy Latack
0The Michigan men's tennis team is
in the middle of something very
important. Its Big Ten season.
Having struggled through their
first six games, the Wolverines (3-3
Big Ten, 5-10 overall) have only five
matches remaining in their defense
of last season's Big Ten champi-
onship. In the midst of a crucial five-
game road trip, the Wolverines may
te searching for some inspiration.
nter Michigan State.
Michigan visits its arch-rival today
with a chance to climb above .500 in
the conference and win some brag-
ging rights in the process.
"We love this rivalry," Michigan
coach Brian Eisner said of the yearly
meeting, which was televised on
cable two years ago. "There's usually
a good crowd, and it's always a tough
* It could be a particularly difficult
test for the Wolverines this time.
Last year, the Spartans finished 6-
7 in the Big Ten and fell, 5-2, to
Michigan in Ann Arbor. The
Wolverines lost one conference
match all year, en route to their 36th
Big Ten title since 1910.
This year, the teams are more
Although Michigan enjoys a com-
manding 38-5 series edge over the
Spartans, their records- this season
are nearly identical. Michigan State
(3-3, 7-11) like Michigan, has beaten
Ohio State and Iowa and lost to
Purdue and Minnesota. As if the
teams could possibly be more even,
Michigan is ranked No. 57 in the
nation, while Michigan State checks
in at No. 60.
Michigan State coach Gene
Orlando anticipates a slugfest
between the two rivals.
"It's going to be a hard-fought
match," Orlando said. "Every time
we play the Wolverines, it's a battle."
There will be plenty of attention
paid to No. 1 singles matchup, which
pits Michigan junior David Paradzik
against Michigan State sophomore
Both lead their respective teams in
overall wins, and Eubanks is 5-1 in
the conference, while Paradzik is 5-
2. Eubanks has won his last two
matches, including a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
win over Minnesota's Lars Hjarrand.
Hjarrand defeated Paradzik, 7-6, 6-1,
"Eubanks is a very strong player,"
Eisner said. "He's having a great
year, and he always plays strong ten-
nis. He's going to be a tough oppo-
Michigan, which struggled last
weekend on the faster, foreign sur-
faces at Iowa and Minnesota, will
have to deal with such adversity
"We're going to have to adjust
quickly to the courts," Eisner said.
"We have to come out and compete,
regardless of the surface."
The similarities between the two
teams extend to include poor doubles
play. Like Michigan, the Spartans
have cycled through their nine-man
rotation, searching for a doubles
pairing that would result in consis-
tent victories. The Wolverines do not
have a duo with a winning record in
the conference; Michigan State has
In a contest between two so nearly
identical teams, something's got to
As Orlando said, the teams are
"both 3-3. One team's got to win, and
the other one's going to drop."
After visiting East Lansing, the
Wolverines will move on to State
College for a meeting with Penn
State on Saturday.
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