The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 17, 1997 - 11A
~M' softball lacking
that killer instinct
head to Nationals
By John Friedberg
Daily Sports Writer
'.Many call it killer instinct. Others call
i garing down in the clutch. Currently,
SMichigan softball team is struggling
to bring runners home from scoring
Yesterday's second game was a good
news-bad news situation for the
Wolverines at the plate. The good news:
Michigan's leadoff hitters reached base in
ntr a I
batters stranded _
runners at third
in all five innings in a 5-3 loss to Central.
"In my opinion, you have to swing at
a good pitch and, you know, make good
contact," Michigan coach Carol
Ochins said. "You (as a hitter) are
always supposed to focus on hitting the
In total, Michigan stranded 10 runners
in the second game. Twice, Michigan
hitters came to the plate with the bases
loaded. Twice, Michigan failed to capi-
In the second inning, catcher Jen
McKittrick came up with three
Wolverines on base and one out. After
p ing the count to 3-1, McKittrick hit
a easy grounder to Central's third base-
man Dawn Thompson. Thompson started
ab inning-ending five-two-three double
play to extinguish the Michigan threat.
The Wolverines tallied two runs in the
bottom of the third inning, but the dam-
age could have been much greater.
Traci Conrad was caught in a run-
down between third and home. After
Melissa Gentile and Lisa Kelley singled,
the bases were loaded for Jessica Lang.
Instead of applying the knockout
punch to Foster and ending the inning
with a bang, Lang hit a roller to
Thompson who threw her out at first to
end the threat.
"They knew what their focus was sup-
posed to be, making solid contact,"
Hutchins said. "In my opinion, they just
didn't get it done, and when you don't
get it done, you lose.'
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, hit-
ting was not the only area where they
failed to finish off Central.
Freshman pitcher Jamie Gillies did a
fine job of getting the first two outs of
innings, but the third was much tougher.
Gillies allowed Thompson to knock in
the second run of the game with a two-
That was just the start. Gillies allowed
four of her five runs with two outs in her
"With two strikes and two outs,
(Gillies) has got to be able to shut the
door to an inning," Hutchins said.
"When she gets that done, she'll be a
This is not to say that the doublehead-
er was without its positives for the
Michigan's defense was outstanding.
The Wolverines had their first error-free
doubleheader since March 29 against
It was the Michigan defense and the
pitching of senior Kelly Holmes that
kept the day from being a total wash for
Holmes continued to sparkle as she did
not allow a run to score in her 10 innings
yesterday. Holmes has now pitched in the
By Sara Rontat
Daily Sports Writer -
One meet, two individuals.
The meet is the NCAA men's gym-
nastics championships in Iowa City.
The individuals are Michigan's Jose
"La Lo" Haro and Timothy DeGraw.
They will try to make the finals in a com-
petition, touting the best gymnastics tal-
ent in the nation, including an Olympian.
The NCAAs promise enough excite-
ment to make even the laziest person do
flips. And flips are what the competitors
are going to have to land if they want to
Although he sustained an ankle injury
midway through the season, DeGraw,
junior transfer, hopes that the pressure of
the biggest meet of the season won't get
in the way of completing his floor exer-
He is the third-ranked individual on
the floor, qualifying with a score of 9.65.
Michigan coach Kurt Golder sees the
nationals as a chance for DeGraw to
"I think he could become an All-
American,' Golder said. "He needs to
work on his strength skills and dismount.
If he can hit, with those improvements,
he should be an All-American."
Still, competing against the best talent
in the country isn't easy. Golder hopes
DeGraw can hold his own.
"Once you get into the finals, it's any-
one's game," Golder said. "Tim has had
good practices all week, and (Monday)
he had the best routine I have ever seen
Unfortunately, his ankle injury may
slow him down a bit.
"He has a 10 start value for his floor
exercise, which is the highest, but he
can't do all of the difficulty possible
because of his ankle;' Golder said.
It doesn't, however, seem that the
injury has slowed him down completely,
DeGraw placed fifth in the regional
meet in the floor two weeks ago, and his
third-place ranking is his highest since'
All that suggests that DeGraw has the
capabilities to finish strong today.
DeGraw's teammate, Haro, is the
other Wolverine who qualified for the
Haro had a solid regional meet, plac-
ing third in the all-around, ahead of
Olympian Blaine Wilson of Ohio State.
In the regional, Haro also placed third
on the parallel bars and tied DeGraw for
fifth in the floor exercise.
Entering today's meet, Haro is theNo.
1 seed in the all-around.
In fact, Haro has previously beaten
three of the top four competitors in the
The fourth still remains to be beaten.,
Ohio State's Drew Durbin. He is a senior
on the top-ranked Buckeyes.
"Drew has the reputation of a senior,"
Golder said. "He is surrounded with a
good team, which always helps.
"The meet all depends on who has the
Haro, a 22-year old freshman from
Mexico, is adding the necessary disci-
pline and athletic performance that this
struggling Michigan team needs.
"(Haro) looked real good in practice,
considering he has exams and gets his
work done beforehand," Golder said.
With two weeks between regionals
and nationals, Haro has had the rest and
practice time necessary to perform well.
"He doesn't need time now," Golder
said. "He needs the right focus and prop-
er mindset to have a good meet.'
.- 5L J . ... ~ .
Kelly Holmes has been a positive for the Michigan softball team lately. Yesterday
against Central Michigan, she did not allow a run in her 10 innings on the mound.
last dozen games for Michigan.
"I think Holmes did a great job;'
Hutchins said. "And she'll be rested for
But if Michigan is to return to the top
of the Big Ten standings, it must improve
on its 2-for-13 performance with runners
in scoring position in the second game.
Michigan also struggled to deliver
clutch hits in the first game as hitters left
three runners in scoring position. If
Holmes had not pitched a magnificent
three-hit shutout, Michigan would be
staring at a two-game losing streak.
Instead, the Wolverines have a simple
goal: to come through in the clutch.
By Tracy Sandier
Daily Sports Writer
KALAMAZOO - When a base-
ball player is experiencing a slump,
he often tries to overcompensate.
All of a sudden, he's tense at the
He might take a
pitch that he would
cause he's ner-
vous, or he might 1 e 4
swing at a terrible
pitch, because he's )
Iistead of work- _
ing his way out of
the slump by doing what comes natu-
rally, he tries to force his way out.
The aforementioned scenario
sms to be the current problem with
Michigan baseball team. Until
recently, hitting has not been the
Wolverines' main area of weakness
"We're frustrated, because we know
that the score should be the other
way," Michigan coach Geoff Zahn
"We should be hitting the ball, and
we should be pitching better and
doing things right. We didn't do them
the last two days, and that's frustrat-
In the past two games, Michigan
has manufactured four runs on eight
hits, shaking the confidence of the
That lineup will travel to
Bloomington this weekend to face the
Hoosiers and to try to maintain a
first-place ranking in the Big Ten.
After Tuesday's loss, Zahn talked to
the team about the importance of
keeping focused, a theme which need-
ed to be reiterated after yesterday's
game in Kalamazoo.
"Coach Zahn touched on it today"
third baseman Mike Cervenak said.
"He thinks we're trying too hard.
We're getting up there; we're tight;
"We're just not being confident in
our abilities and just letting every-
thing flow. 1 think that's the biggest
problem right now."
Adding to Michigan's worries is its
record in mid-week, non-conference
The Wolverines are 2-5, after loss-
es this week to Bowling Green, 16-3,
and Western Michigan, 7-1, respec-
Although the Wolverines are sitting
atop the Big Ten with an 11-3 confer-
ence record, their performance during
the week is a cause for concern.
"They are frustrated about their
mid-week record," Zahn said. "We
just talked about the difference
between trying too hard and playing
hard. Trying hard is someone who
tries to do something they can't do,
they lose their focus, and they get
frustrated. Guys who play hard
knows how they did the things right,
and they concentrate, they stay
relaxed and they go ahead and do
"We just have to regroup, stay
together and remember that we're 11-
3 in the Big Ten. Things could be a
whole lot worse. We're going through
a tough time right now, and we'll see
how we battle out of it."
DOUBLE-TROUBLE: First baseman
Bryan Besco is one double away from
tying the Michigan record. He has 18.
Besco produced the Wolverines'
only run yesterday, hitting a seventh-
SHORT STOP AT FIRST: Western
Michigan designated hitter Bill
Chepulis grounded out six-three in
three of his four at bats. He did have
an RBI, but he struck out in his last
time at the plate.
Cervenak 3b 3
Scales dh 4
0. Besco If 4
B. Besco lb 4:
Kalczynski ss 41
Beermann 2b 41
Kalahar c 2t
Buch cf 21
Berryman p 01
Kelley p 01
Wozniak p 0
Berryman L, 2-3
Stewart W, 26
Player AB RH
Sachs3b 5 1
Devissercf 3 1C
Holyszke 2b 1 0C
Gundrun rf 5 0
Chepulis dh 3 32
Shelley ss 5 11
Tocco lb 0 0
Seestadt c 4 2
L'schwgr ph/c 2 0C
Hayerf 4 12
Stewart p 0 0
Blomnshield p 0 0C
34 7117 1
000 000 100--7
300 310 OOx-1
H R ER 85 SO
2 1 1 2 2
0 0 0 0 0
2 0 002 5
0 000 1 0
10 0 150
A DV E R T I S E M E N T
UNIVE SITY OF MIHIGA
AT INDIANA, 3:00 PM
AT KANSAS RELAYS
AT LEGENDS OF INDIANA
AT INDIANA, 1:00 PM
VS. PENN STATE
VARSITY TENNIS CPLX, 10 AM
VARSITY TENNIS CPLX, 1 PM
ALUMNI FIELD, 1:00 PM
AT MICHIGAN STATE INVIT.
AT KANSAS RELAYS
AT LEGENDS OF INDIANA
AT IOWA DUEL
AT INDIANA, 1:00 PM
VARSITY TENNIS CPLX, 1 PM
ALUMNI FIELD, 1 PM
LET YOUR NIKE STUDENT REP KNOW THE TIME AND LOCATION OF YOUR EVENTS. REACH HER AT JEN.LINDER@NIKE.COM
The Wolverines weren't celebrating yesterday, after failing to Westem Michigan, 7-1.
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