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March 30, 1998 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-30

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6B-- The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 30, 1998

Softball sweeps Hoosiers

Uy T.J. Befk
Daily Sports Writer
A warm front came through the Midwest this
-weekend. While many people cite El Nino for the
msummer-like weather, the Indiana softball team may
hiave found an entirely different reason altogether.
'This weekend in Bloomington, Michigan (3-0
1ig Ten, 24-3 overall) generated some serious heat,
jorching the Hoosiers in a three-game sweep. The
second-ranked Wolverines blanked Indiana (0-3, 6-
16-1) 7-0 yesterday and swept a doubleheader
,aturday with 12-5 and 7-6 victories.
i The flamethrower for the Wolverines was senior
Sara Griffin. Griffin won two games this past week-
Ind to extend her perfect record to 13-0. She also
Ontributed a home run in the first game of
Saturday's twinbill - her first this season and 12th
wf her career - to become Michigan's all-time
eader.
Griffin was especially sparkling yesterday, fan-
iing 10 Hoosiers and scattering two hits in the
hutout. Shortstop Monica Armendarez and first
baseman Jaime Thedford, with singles in the first
and third innings, were the only Hoosiers to hit their
Zay on base.
The Wolverines provided the only run they
,needed in the opening inning, as catcher Melissa
3etile doubled to right centerfield with two outs.
.uiimediately afterward Griffin exploited right cen-
teifield again, driving in Gentile with a single.
IMichigan went up 2-0 the next inning, as third
Lseman Pam Kosanke scored on Indiana third
'aseman Erica Del Toro's error.
The Hoosiers kept things close for the next three

innings, but the Wolverines proved to be too strong
in the sixth and seventh innings for Indiana pitcher
Teresa Martinez (3-7).
Indiana's wheels began to fall off with one out in
the sixth, as leftfielder Kellyn Tate singled into right
field. Kosanke doubled to left center in the next at-
bat, scoring Tate to stretch the lead to 3-0. Tammy
Mika singled, scoring Kosanke after Indiana center-
fielder Khara Good misplayed the ball.
Michigan added insult to injury in the final
innings, adding three more runs. After rightfielder
Lisa Kelley was hit by a pitch, the Wolverines added
three consecutive hits to produce the runs. Gentile
and Griffin singled to score Kelley, and Tate added
a double to bring in Gentile and Griffin.
Saturday was more conducive to hitting, as both
teams took advantage of the wind blowing out. In
the two games, Michigan and Indiana combined for
five home runs - the Wolverines smacking three
and the Hoosiers collecting two.
The first game saw Griffin claim the home run
milestone, as she hit a three-run shot in the third
inning. Her homer was part of a six-run inning that
extended the Michigan lead to 10-0 and assured
pitcher Jaime Gillies (8-1) of the victory.
Armendarez also reached a home run mark of
her own, hitting a two-run shot in the sixth inning to
tie Indiana's all-time mark.
The second game also saw another Michigan
three-run homer, as Gentile connected for her team-
leading fourth round-tripper. First baseman Traci
Conrad hit her first dinger of the season as well,
summing up a doubleheader in which she had five
singles and a double with four RBIs.

'M' pitchers struggle,
with Illini in slugfest

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
There aren't many rivers in
Champaign. So it might surprise some
that the floodgates busted open early
Friday afternoon and flowed freely all
weekend - in the form of the Illinois
offense, that is.
The Michigan baseball team opened
its conference season with four games
against the Illini. But Geoff Zahn's
squad didn't look like the defending
Big Ten champion, losing three of four
games.
The Illinois hitters began their
assault in the every first inning on
Friday, en route to a 20-3 romp in game
one. First baseman Kevin Rudden pro-
duced enough offense to beat the
Wolverines all by himself, hitting three
home runs and driving in seven.
Rudden ate up Michigan pitching all
weekend, going 10-for-16.
Illini hitters put on their rally caps
once again during Saturday's first game
and knocked out Michigan starter
Bryan Cranson before he could get two
outs. Cranson gave up four runs in one-

third of an inning.
At least the 14-6 blowout allowed
Zahn to give ailing pitcher J.J. Putz
some needed work. Putz faced 24 bat-
ters in four innings, but gave up I
earned runs.
Michigan finally got a quality start
out of a pitcher in Saturday's nightcap.
Brian Berryman (2-1) threw a seven-
inning complete game shutout and
struck out as many - six - as"he
allowed on base.
But, just as he had found his groove
in last week's 14-6 win over Ball State,
yesterday's pitcher, Mike Hribernik, fell
off track. Illinois touched Hribernik for
10 runs in less than four innings.

Schedule

0l times ESI
8twi gamest GAPS

mar 31 April 1 April
WESTERN DETROIT 8t OMD
1MOHIGAI4 State
3 p.m. 3 pm, 6:35 p.mr.
AprlI4 Apr5 April
at Ohio atOhio BOWLING
State (DH) State GREEN
3:05 p.m. 1:05 p.m. 3 p.m. 4

FILE PHOTO
Michigan pitchers allowed 45 runs at Illinois this weekend,
losing three of four games in the conference opening series.

M' gymnasts fall, but qualify for Regionals

David DenHerder
y Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - Nailbiters are
rare when it comes to gymnastics. The
nature of the sport tends to expose the
ominant team early, and the outcome is
men predicted after several events.
But things got a little batty at Jenison
r5eldhouse on Saturday.
Graced by the presence of a flying
Mammal inside the facility, the Michigan
men's gymnastics team tried to topple
Ho. 6 Michigan State while solidifying a
id to the NCAA East Regional.
Yet despite several lead changes and a
suspense-filled final rotation, the eighth-
w nked Wolverines fell to the Spartans in
Teir final regular-season campaign,
p9.225-229.150.
'I think they're about one free-throw
uat rolls in better than us" Michigan
eoach Kurt Golder said of the Spartans,
vho have now edged Michigan three
.weeks in a row.
" "Any time we meet them we could get
fem. But they got us again, and by the
.arrowest of margins:'
Although the loss was a bitter pill to
Wallow, the Wolverines matched their
:sason-high score and cemented a team
pgional bid in the process.
' Sophomore LaLo Haro came out

om v V

strong in Michigan's leadoff event, win-
ning the pommel horse with a 9.725.
Freshman Kevin Rouslton - this
year's Big Ten freshman of the year -
gave the Wolverines another boost when
he won the vault with a 9.8.
As the two teams tumbled into the
final event neck and neck, the East
Lansing crowd roared to life.
"The crowd was going crazy, because
their guys on high bar were doing really
well" Haro said. "That pushing made us
keep going."
Trailing by less than 0.2, the
Wolverines turned in a solid perfor-
mance on parallel bars to finish compe-
tition. Freshman Justin Toman, who took
top honors on it at Big Tens, won the par-
allel bars with a 9.825.
But while Michigan was performing
on parallel bars, the Spartans were doing
just enough on high bar to stay on top for
good. Spartan freshman Chris Weedon
recorded a personal best 9.8 to win the
event and help the Spartans to victory.
Michigan State coach Rick Atkinson
said he was not so concerned with the
team score, but very pleased with
Weedon's performance.
"It was about time he hit the routine;'
Atkinson said. "He does that in practice
all the time, but not in the meet. I was

excited that Chris Weedon did what he
was supposed to do:'
Michigan will have no time to dwell
on the close meet. The team is bound for
Amherst, Mass., this weekend to com-
pete in the NCAA East Regional.
"It's the biggest meet of the year com-

ing up" Golder said. "But the prepara-
tion will be the same." The appearance
will mark the first time in four years that
the Wolverines have qualified for region-
al team competition. It will also mark the
fourth time in as many weeks that they
will face Michigan State.

GOLDENBACH
Continued from Page 38
Not Michigan coach Red Berenson.
"I'm surprised we were able to come back," Berenson said, "especially after the
first period.'
Assistant captain goaltender Marty Turco wasn't betting his house on Michigan
reaching this point.
"With 10 freshmen, we were not supposed to do a lot this year and that has mad
us battle through adversity all year long;" Turco said. "Tonight was no exception and
we handled the adversity like we have all year long."
Michigan reached this point because of what happened a year ago. Last year.
Michigan could've won the Stanley Cup, let alone the NCAA title. They were that
good. But they caught one bad game against Boston University at the most inop-7
portune time in the national semifinals.
Before they took the ice Saturday night, the Wolverines saw the Spartans and -
their presumably omnipotent goaltender Chad Alban get caught by a team that just
gave it a little more than usual. Then they saw the veteran Fighting Sioux and their
defending-national-champion swagger and remembered what happened last year t
another veteran defending national champion.
These underdogs chilled my spine and warmed my heart. That's why, regardless
of the team, you just have to love rooting for the ones that shouldn't make it.
--Alan Goldenbach can be reached via e-mail at agold@umich.edu

TRAYLOR
Continued from Page 1B
"I've never really been scared of any-
thing" he said during the press confer-
ence, "but I'm standing here and I'm
trembling and I'm shaking. I just never
thought this would actually happen to
me."
After signing with Michigan out of
high school, Traylor received a great
deal of criticism for suggesting that he

hoped his game would improve to the
point where he would be able to leave
school after two years, as former
Michigan center Chris Webber did. On
Friday, Traylor said that was "the worst
statement he has ever made."
Traylor, a Sports Management ar
Communication major, also said he plans
to attend classes for the remainder of the
semester, and that he will continue to do
so until he completes his degree require-
ments.

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Michigan lost a nailbiter to rival Michigan State this weekend, 229.225-229.150.
The two teams meet again this weekend at the NCAA East Regional.

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Michigan's Robert
"Tractor" Traylor
ended speculation
Friday when he
announced he
would declare him- ..
self eligible for the k.
NBA Draft.
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