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April 20, 1998 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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'M' softball, Gentile
wallop Northwestern

Brady shines in Spring

1y J. Berka
Daily Sports Writer
Yesterday was a big day at Alumni
Field. The Michigan softball team
tpened its new lockerroom facility to its
fans and honored the building's benefac-
tor, Donald Shepherd. The pep band even
made its initial appearance at Alumni
Field this season.
Although it was a cold, windy, rainy
day, Michigan (15-1 Big Ten, 40-4 over-
all) added some pep of its own, scoring a
run in the bottom of the seventh inning to
beat Northwestern (9-7, 26-15), 5-4, yes-
terday to complete a three-game sweep.
It didn't look as if the game would end
in regulation, though. Northwestern
pitcher Jackie DeBoard (17-5), after
falling behind 4-0 in the third inning, had
been impressive, retiring 12 of the next
13 batters. With two outs in the final
inning, second baseman Melissa Taylor

broke that trend, lacing a double to right-
center past a diving Amanda Peterson.
DeBoard, with first base open, inten-
tionally walked leadoff hitter Traci
Conrad to get to right fielder Kellyn Tate.
Conrad and Tate "had both hit us,"
(this weekend) Northwestern coach
Sharon Drysdale said, "so we might as
well create a force so we have a chance to
get an out at any base."
The plan almost worked.
Tate hit a grounder up the middle and
it was stopped by diving shortstop Tami
Jones.
Jones, seeing Conrad racing hard from
first base, tried to flip the ball - while
flat on her stomach - to second base-
man Mikie Chambers with her glove.
But the flip was inaccurate, and Taylor
sprinted home for the game-winning run.
"The key was Conrad running hard for
See WILDCATS, Page 18

By sharat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
Saturday's spring football game had the feel of
an early season Michigan football contest - actual
referees, hard-hitting, sizable crowd, the band, a
pleasantly sunny day and even a close game.
The only things missing? One - an opponent,
two - a scoreboard; and three - law enforcement
officials with mace and billy clubs to prevent fans
from rushing onto the field after the game.
Doing the best they could to simulate fall game
conditions despite having 17 people injured, the
Wolverines played to a 20-17 final score. The score
was a little tricky to figure out - offensive players
sported blue while defensive players donned white.
The Wolverines were then divided into one
squad coached by assistant Mike DeBord and
another coached by assistant Terry Malone.
DeBord's team came out on top after a 21-yard
Kraig Baker field goal with 59 seconds left in the
game, played in front of an estimated 35,000 people.
But that's not all. With all the injuries, the offen-
sive and defensive linemen did not leave. the field
and remained the same for both teams.
Confusing? Well, the point of early spring

scrimmages is not so much the outcome of the con-
test but to see how far along players are.
"I'm pleased with this spring practice,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "It's not a real
good test for us as a team, but it allows us to see if
individuals know their assignments"
The brightest star of the afternoon was the man
who arguably had most eyes on him. Tom Brady
started for Malone's squad at quarterback in the
beginning of what should be a summer-long battle
for the starting position. And Brady didn't disap-
point, outshining Scott Dreisbach - the starting
quarterback for DeBord's team.
On his very first play from scrimmage, Brady
hit wide receiver Tai Streets with an 85-yard touch-
down strike.
"I've been working on just about everything
right now," Brady said. "I still need to improve a lot
to be at that championship level Brian (Griese) was
at this point last year."
For the other squad, Dreisbach had a somewhat
rough start, being flushed from the pocket and
forced to scramble on many occasions. Wide
receiver DiAllo Johnson made Dreisbach look good
See SPRING, Page 21

1*

JOHN KRAFT/ Daily
Tom Brady put on a solid performance in the spring game,
connecting with Tai Streets for two long touchdowns.

i

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0

Haro leads
Michigan
By David DenHerder
Daily Sports Writer
One All-America honor was not
enough for LaLo Haro.
It has been 28 years since Michigan
has had an All-American in the all-
around. Last Thursday, Haro broke that
skid, placing fourth at the NCAA
Championships at Penn State.
But after Berkeley claimed the team
title on Friday, the Michigan co-captain
returned for Saturday's individual
finals, where he was again crowned an
All-American --this time on vault.
"I went into the competition without
expecting anything," Haro said. "All I
was thinking was, 'Just do your best."'
After a season of roller coaster per-
formances, Haro was able to eliminate
mistakes down the stretch, turning out
strong routines both at NCAA
Regionals and the Championships.
"He did what any good athlete will
do," Michigan coach Kurt Golder said.
"He was at his best when it was most
important.'
Haro placed fifth on vault Saturday
with a 9.500, while in the al-around he
recorded a 57.100 for the fourth-place
finish. All-American status is awarded
to the top six competitors in each event.
"He sure pulled it together this week-
end," Colder said. "He has certainly
done a lot for the Michigan program."
But Haro was not the only one to be
recognized for his accomplishments
last weekend. Golder was named the
Collegiate Gymnastics Association
Central coach of the year, and was also
elected vice president.
After just two seasons as an NCAA
head coach, Golder said the honor was
unexpected, though his team seemed to
think otherwise.
"We all knew he totally deserved it,"
Haro said. "It was such a good feeling
after a long season. I think he was
happy, just like us"
In his two years at Michigan, Golder
has brought the program from the
league cellar to the NCAA Regionals.
His new recruiting class is considered
by many other top coaches to be the
most talented in the nation.
Aside from Haro, three other
Wolverines participated in the individ-
ual prelims Thursday evening, but
failed to advance to Saturday's finals.
Freshman Kenny Keener scored a
9.650 on rings to finish in 15th place,
while classmate Justin Toman was 37th
on parallel bars with a 9.100.
Senior Tim Lauring concluded his
collegiate career by finishing 23rd in
the nation on vault with a 9.550.
Travis Romagnoli of Illinois scored a
58.225 to take the all-around title.
Finishing behind Berkeley's champi-
onship team score of 231.200 was Iowa
with a 229.625.
Golder said that Haro's All-

Individual
performances
ease team loss
By Vaughn R. Klug
Daily Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Michigan's women's gymnas-
tics team showcased three of its finest athletes at the
NCAA individual event finals held Saturday -
Heather Kabnick, Sarah Cain and Nikki Peters.
Senior co-captain Kabnick reacquainted the crowd
at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion with the Wolverines after
the team's surprising absence from Friday's Super 6
championship finals.
They were only too glad to be back.
"It sucks!" Kabnick said. "It is hard to watch (the
Super 6) knowing we are better than some of these
teams. We had a rough go on beam, but still deserve
to be out there."
Kabnick reminded the crowd how talented the
Michigan team is by opening the night on the vault
with two fine attempts - a 9.700 and 9.900.
Kabnick's average of 9.800 was good enough to earn
her third-place honors on the vault.
Next up for the Wolverines was all Big Ten sopho-
more Peters, who also redeemed Michigan with a sec-
ond-place tie on uneven bars. She did so by scoring a
near perfect 9.900.
Placing second on the bars was fitting for Peters.
She has been ranked No. I or 2 nationally for the vast
majority of her time at Michigan.
Peters' finish was an improvement on the big state-
ment she made as a freshman in the individual finals
- a tie for sixth place.
Out of 17 gymnasts from 10 universities who com-
peted in the floor exercise, Cain secured a fourth-
place tie. She did so by scoring a 9.900 before a panel
of conservative judges who did not deem any of the
nation's top gymnasts performances worthy of a per-
fect 10.
While pleased to place so well at NCAAs, Cain
does not place a lot of importance on individual com-
petition.
"It is more for kicks," Cain said. "I guess it I see it
as just a good time."
Kabnick joined Cain with an impressive fourth-
place tie on the floor exercise, but her perfor-
See NCAAs, Page 17

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Senior co-captain Heather Kabnick was one of the few successes for the Michigan women's gymnastics team this weekend. Kabnick finished
third on the vault with a 9.80 average, but the Wolverines weren't as successful, falling to qualify for Saturday's Super 6 by a slim margin.
Beam bounces Blue from'6'

By Nita Srivastava
Daily Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - There were
blinking lights, silver streamers and
famous celebrities at UCLA's Pauley
Pavilion this weekend for the NCAA
women's gymnastics Championships.
The theme was "The Stars Come
Out" in L.A.---------------
It's just too bad Women's
none of those Gymnastics
stars were
f r o m Commentary
Michigan. ------ -----
The worst part of it was that
Michigan was supposed to win the
preliminaries and get to the "Super 6,"

Arizona State by .025 points. Had
Michigan gotten one fewer break in
any .routine, the Wolverines would
have tied Arizona State and qualified
for the Super 6.
The Wolverines' downfall was their
shaky performance on the balance
beam. The beam caused similar prob-
lems for defending national champion
UCLA. Both Michigan and UCLA
turned in very strong performances on
the rest of the events, but the Bruins
still made it to the Super 6.
Michigan's performance on the
beam in NCAAs was worse than its
performance during the entire season.
The average score for the Wolverines

their fifth-lowest score of the season.
Needless to say, to score so low rel-
ative to past performances - in the
most important meet of the year - is
bad.

Both senior Lauren LaBranche and
junior Lisa Simes fell on the appara-
tus, and freshman Bridget Knaeble
touched, which was an obvious deduc-
tion in points for the Wolverines.
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said
that inexperience in national competi-
tion was one reason the Wolverines
did so poorly.
"A lot of people who had breaks
were our most inexperienced athletes
who were competing inthe NCAA

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