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April 20, 1998 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-20

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18 - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday, April 20, 1998

SOFTBALL

SERIES SCORE
MICHIGAN 3, NORTHWESTERN 0

Whatever her name, she
still torches 'Cats for 7 RBI

NORTHWEST
Player
Peterson cf
Chambers 2b
Siebel cdh/p
Hattabaugh If
Shull c
Nesbitt lb
Prezell rf
Jones ss
Nelsons3b
DeBoard p/dh

TERN (0) MICHIGAN (11)
AB R H BI Player AB8RH BI
3 000 Conrad1b 3 2 22
1 0 00 Taterf 2 3 20
2 0 20 0 appo ph 1000
3 0 0 0 Gentile c 3 2 3 4
2 0 0 0 Beard ph 10 0 0
2 0 10 Griff in p 3 12 2
2 0 0 0 Gillies p 0 0 0 0
2 0 0 0 Daviedf 2111
1 0 0 0 Mika dh 2 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 Kosanke3b 2 0 0 0
Bugel3b 1 0 0 0
Taylor 2b 2 1 2 1
Judd 2b 0 00 0
Kelley cf 3 1 1 0
Tune ss 0 00 0
18 0 30 Totals 25111310

By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
Almost everyone calls her Skeeter,
but after this weekend, opposing pitch-
ers might have other names they'd like
to call her.
Michigan catcher Melissa Gentile
(that's the name on her drivers' license,
anyway) has been hitting the softball
with dead-eye accuracy, and if she had-
n't made a name for herself yet, she has
now.
Her 5-for-9 performance in this past
weekend's series against Northwestern,
which included her eighth and ninth
homeruns of the season pleased,
among others, her coach, Carol
Hutchins.
The hot-hitting sophomore capped
off her weekend with a two-run blast in
yesterday's 5-4 squeaker over
Northwestern. But she was just cooling
down. She called Saturday her own,
with five RBI including the game win-
ner in the second game.
I lutchins joked after that game, "I'm

mad at her" but if anyone was mad, it
was probably Northwestern pitcher
Jackie DeBoard, whose offerings
Gentile feasted upon in every game.
Even in the second game of
Saturday's doubleheader, when
McBoard struck out five Wolverines
and allowed only two hits, Gentile
found a way to get to her, as she sent
DeBoard's pitch over the right-field
fence for the only run in Michigan's 1-
{ victory.
This came on the heels of a game in
which Gentile simply fired away at
everything the Northwestern pitching
staff offered.
She started the blaze with her first-
inning single to right, which scored
Kellyn Tate, and then scored a run her-
self.
In the second, she came back, but
she and her teammates had already
chased DeBoard from the pitching cir-
cle.
When Gentile stepped to the plate in
the second, Brooke Siebel became her

next target.
Different pitcher, same result.
Gentile singled in a run again, this time
to left field.
But she wasn't finished yet. _
In the third, Gentile came to the pla*
for the third innning in a row This
time, the bases were loaded.
The shot she sent deep was no clay
pigeon. It came within six feet of a
grand slam, as her deep fly ball
bounced off of the 'Big Ten
Champions' sign in centerfield. Gentile
had to settle for a two-RBI double.
Gentile only went 1-6r-3 in the
nightcap, but her approach had j
changed from quantity to quality.
Hutchins called her star behind the
plate "a hard out."
And it's hard to get someone out if.
they feel as comfortable behind the
plate as Gentile did on Saturday.
"It comes with confidence," Gentile
said. "I was seeing the ball well."
And seeing's believeing, especially
for her latest victims --- the Wildcats.

ITotals

Northwestern
DeBoard L, 17-3
Siebel
Michigan
Griffin W, 23-0
Gillies

IP
1
3

H
6
7

R ER BB SO
5 5 1 1
6 6 4 2

3 1 0 0 4 1
2 2 0 0 0 0

LU: BROWN/Daily
Melissa Gentile pounded seven RBI out of Northwestern's softball team this week-
end, including three on hombrs.

MICHIGAN (1)
Player ABR H BI
Conradi1b 2 0 0 0
Tate rf 2 0 1 0
Gentile c 3 1 1 1
Griffin p 3 0 0 0
DavielIf 3 0 0 0
Mikaof 2 00 0
Kosanke 3b 2 0 0 0
Taylor 2b 2 0 0 0
Kelley dh 2 0 0 0
T.ne ss 0 0 0 0

NORTHWESTERN (0)
Player AB R H B1
Peterson cf 3 0 0 0
Chambers 2b2 0 0 0
Siebel dh 2 0 0 0
Hattabaugh If3 0 0 0
Shulc 3 00 0
Nesbitt l b 2 0 0 0
Prezell f 3 0 1 0
Jones ss 3 0 0 0
Nelson 3b 2 0 0 0
DeBoard p 0 0 0 0

Beard finds herself back into
swing of things with 1st RBI

Totals 21 1 2 : Totals

23020

Michigan
Griffin W, 24-0
Northwestern
DeBoard L, 17-4

IP
7
7

H
2

R ER BB SO

0

0 2 6

2 1 1 1 5

MICHIGAN (5)
Player AB R H8
Conradi1b 3 1 1 1
Tate rf 4 0 1 1
Gentile c 3 1 1 2
Griffin dh/p 3 1 1 1
Davie If 3 0 0 0
Mika ct 2 1 1 0
Kosanke 3b 2 00 1
Kelleyph 1 00 0
Tne ss 3 00 0
Taylor 2b 3 1 1 0
Barda p 0 0 0 0

NORTHWESTERN (4)
Player AB R H B1
Peterson cf 4 1 1 0
Chambers2b4 1 2 0
Siebel p/dh 4 1 3 2
Hattabaugh f3 0 1 1
Shull c 3 0 0 0
Nesbit lb 1 0 0 1
Prezellrf 2 00 0
DeBoarddh/p3 0 0 0
Jonesss 3 1 1 0
Nelson 3b 0 0 0 0

Totals 27 4 8 4 Totals
lWo outs when winning run scored.

2756 5

Michlgan
Garda
'Griffin W, 25-0

IP H R ER 88 SO
3 5 33 0 0
4 3 11 2 1

Northwestem
Siebel 0 0 0 0 0 0
DeBoard L, 17-5 6.2 6 5 3 2 7

By Rick Freeman
DaiV Sports Writer
She found herself in the unlikeliest of
positions. Second base. And she stood
there shaking after getting her first RBI
ever.
And as she stood there, she could only
think, "Oh my God."
Lisa Beard didn't expect her first RBI
to come so long after she first signed on
with Michigan. But then, her softball
career hasn't gone exactly as planned.
Her freshman year was full of
promise, but one day, during drills last
season, things changed. Going for a rou-
tine grounder in practice, she felt it. Pop.
And there went her freshman season.
She saw limited action on the field, Most
times, if she washed off any sweat in the
shower it was from standing and cheer-
ing her healthy teammates in the heat.
WILDCATS
Continued from Page 22
second base," Michigan coach Carol
Iutchins said. "That made it a tough
play for them.
Another thing that was tough on the
Wildcats was the hitting of catcher
Melissa Gentile. Gentile smacked a two-
run homer ---her ninth of the season and
fourth of the week - in the third,
extending the Michigan lead to 3-0.
Gentile also homered off DeBoard in
the second game of Saturday's double-
header, providing that game's only run.
'the sophomore also accounted for four
RBI in the first game Saturday -an I 1-
0 debacle halted by the mercy rule
giving her seven on the weekend.
"I'm seeing the ball really well now,"
Gentile said. "I don't know how to
explain it, but you get in a zone some-
times, and that's where I'm at right now"
Pitcher Sara Griffin has been in a zone
all season, winning all three games in the
series to increase her record to 25-0.
The zone' expanded to include her hit-
ting, as she belted a homer to left field
immediately after Gentile's shot.
Griffin also took over for starting
pitcher Marie Barda after Barda ran into
trouble in the fourth. The Wildcats, down
4-0, hit Barda for three runs. Griffin gave
up a run-scoring double to Brooke Siebel
in the fourth, but battled through.

This season looked to be ditlerent.
And it was, until the first day of out-
door practice. Grounder drills again, and
Beard stabbed at one.
Plop. Another herniated disk.
And this season began to look just like
her last one did.
Just as in her freshman season, Beard
saw limited action, in runaway victories.
The kind of game like this past
'1hursday's against Western Michigan.
After the Wolverines extended their
lead, Michigan coach ( arol I lutchins
dug deep into her bench. And out came
Beard, in her first appearance since
February.
As she stood at the plate, she could
barely wait, thinking that she was
"gonna hit the hell out of" whatever the
pitcher gave her.
And she did. lo right field.

And the next time up, in that same
game against Western Michigan, she hit
another RBI single.
And just like that, she's seeing more
playing time.-I wo at-bats aginst Western
Michigan. And another against
Northwestern.
But its not as if two years ofsweatless
ballgames can disappear in one good
weekend.
11er next time at bat, hitting for
Melissa Gentile again1 Northwestern,
she went down swinging on three
straight pitches.
But she's not going to get upset about
it.
"It's not like I'm the clincher;" Beard
said.
But for someone who lives the sport,
it must feel like a whole new ballgame.
Or at least a new season.

PAUL TALANIAN/Daily
Lisa Beard found herself with something unusual this weekend - a hitting streak.
Two years of back injuries had limited her action before this weekend.

New facilities broken in;
Conrad's streak ends, at 18

Closing in

With seven games remaining,
Michigan is four games ahead of
Iowa.
After hosting a doubleheader
with Purdue tomorrow, the
Wolverines play a three-game
home series with the Hawkeyes
next weekend. If the Wolverines
hold up against Purdue and take
two of three from the Hawkeyes.
they will assure themselves of a
share of the regular season title.
Clinching the regular season
title ensures that Michigan will
host the Big Ten Tournament, May
8-9.'The regular-season Big Ten
champion hosts the four-team
event, with an automatic NCAA
tournament berth on the line.

By Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
Sophomore sensation Melissa Gentile can't
seem to keep the ball in the park her season
and career home run totals are both Michigan
records.
Gentile collected her eighth and ninth home
runs of the season this weekend, totaling 15 for
her career. Her fourth-inning tater in the second
game of the doubleheader against Northwestern
was especially rewarding, as it proved to be the
------ __----game-winner in the 1-0
contest.
Soft ball Gentile, who holds the
Notebook best batting average on the
-----------. team at .459, says she does
not think about hitting home runs at the plate.
"If I go out there thinking about the record
and try to swing for the fences, I'd probably just
screw myself into the ground," she said. "I just
try to get base hits, and if the home runs come,
then that's great."
NEW FACILITIES: The Wolverines' record is
not the only thing that has seen improvements
this season.
A new team facility, funded entirely through
a $500,000 gift to the softball program from
Michigan alum Donald R. Shepherd, has been in
place since the start of the home portion of the
1998 season. The facility houses locker rooms
for the teams and coaches, as well as an athletic
training room, public restrooms and the
Michigan All-American team room.
Shepherd also sponsors the Robert and

Majorie Shepherd scholarship, which is given to
one member of the softball team every year.
This year's recipient was centerfielder Tamniy
Mika.
The Wolverines recognized and thanked
Shepherd before yesterday's game and invit
fans to tour the new building. Improvements 'o
the field this year include a new scoreboard and
sound system.
"I'm thrilled with everything," Michigan
coach Carol Hutchins said. "Don Shepherd had
been really good to us, and we are continuing to
make this field as nice as it can be."
END OF THE LINE: The Wolverines' April 14
loss to Michigan State put an end to their 17-
game win streak, and those in attendance
Saturday's nightcap saw first baseman TrJ
Conrad's hit streak end as well. Conrad's two-
hit, two-RBI performance in the first game
extended the streak to 18 games, but
Northwestern's Jackie DeBoard was too tough
in the second game, allowing just two hits in all
seven innings.
The 18-game streak is the best of Conrad's
three-year career, eclipsing two previous 17-
game streaks.
One streak still alive for the Wolverines is
pitcher Sara Griffin's 25-game win streak.
The NCAA Division I player of the week ca -
ries a 0.99 ERA and is undefeated this season.
But the 25 consecutive victories are not a career
best for Griffin. She compiled a 31-game win
streak in the 1996 season.

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT _

METROPARKS/HAVE OVER 500 JOBS ALBL
THIS SUMMER IN A DELIGHTFUL PARK ENVIRONMENT
LIFEGUARD, NATURAUST, PUBLIC SERVICE ATTENDANT.
Mt&AMIMANC: AND MORF

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Sara Griffin improved her record to 25-0 this weekend with
three victories over Northwestern.

1 13 /r

vAl

I. Go to Elbel Field at 8:30 AM on May 21

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