L2 The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 1, 1998
ALA Tournament came
on Monday night, the
i House contest also
id. Much like the Big
e only able to end the
with one winner, but
:ame close. This year's
,. Guikema, whose
ere enough to hold off
ly Sports would like to
>ne for entering and
for sponsoring the
'M' softball rolls into Penn
State with top-notch record
By Evan Braunstein
Daily Sports Writer
To say that the Michigan softball
team is playing well doesn't do the team
The Wolverines have won their past
six games and 16 of their past 17. Their
24-3 start, including a 3-0 conference
record, matches their best ever, and they
haven't lost a conference game since
April 13, 1997.
The team puts its streak on the line
when it travels to Penn State today to
play its second conference series of
the season. The Wolverines have won
their past nine contests against the
Nittany Lions (2-1 Big Ten, 10-13-1
overall). Still, they don't take anything
"They (Penn State) are an improved
team this year and have very good pitch-
ing," Hutchins said. Besides, "it doesn't
matter if we won with last year's team,
we want to win for this year's team"
The second-ranked Wolverines began
their Big Ten season last weekend with a
three-game sweep of Indiana. Looming
in the back of their minds, however, is a
goal slightly more grand - winning the
College World Series.
Continued from Page 10
Michigan defense allowed two break-
aways that led to goals.
When the Wolverines play like that,
they're not going to win many games.
But this past weekend, Michigan cut
down on its mistakes. The Wolverines
played a tough, physical game, and
after the first period, they didn't give
the Fighting Sioux any room to score.
When the Wolverines play like they
did against North Dakota, they can
beat anyone in the country.
Last season, Michigan was far and
away the best team in college hockey,
and the Wolverines were on a roll.
But in the semifinal game they did-
n't play their best and they went home
This year, three of the best teams in
college hockey - Michigan State,
North Dakota and Boston University
- are out of the tournament because
they didn't play their best game when it
In contrast, Michigan is still alive
because it did. And if the Wolverines
plan to beat New Hampshire and
advance to the championship game,
they'll have to do it again tomorrow.
But the Wolverines are not just good,
they're great, and if their performance
against Indiana is a sign of things to
come, a national title is not out of reach.
"I thought we played picture-perfect
Michigan softball," Hutchins said.
The Wolverines were led by senior
pitcher Sara Griffin, who has shown all
Who: Michigan vs.
Where: State College
Notables: Looking to keep
up their dominant play, the
Wolverines head to Penn
State for their second Big
Ten series of the season.
end as she pitched in two of the three
games, providing stellar performances
She gave up just one earned run in 14
innings, lowering her ERA to a scant
0.66 on the season. She also knocked in
five runs in the two games, including a
three-run homer in Saturday's game that
moved her into first place on Michigan's
career home run list with 12. Her per-
she is deter-
G r i ff i n
of that this
formance on Sunday was even better, as
Griffin struck out 10 batters en route to
a two-hit shutout, improving her record
"That's the type of player she is for
us," Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
said. "She's an all-American because
she is great on both sides of the field."
First basemen Traci Conrad is anoth-
er reason the Wolverines are ranked sec-
ond in the nation. The junior leads the
team in five offensive categories -
including hits and runs scored - and is
one of the team's best defensive players.
Her eight hits and five RBI this weekend
earned her a second-straight national
player of the week award.
"Traci is hot,' Hutchins said.
That's an understatement if there ever
Conrad's performance this past week-
end raised her batting average 39 points.
In Saturday's doubleheader, she hit a
perfect 7-for-7, including a double and a
"Right now, she's playing our leadoff
hitter role," Hutchins said. "But if she
keeps trying to knock in the runs, I will
have to move her down a few spots in
The Wolverines shouldn't find themselves wincing too often in State College
today, as they put an almost year-long conference win streak on the line.
Senior's career ends after final loss
Continued from Page 10
quality time with your friends. They're a
great group of guys"
For Drury, it was business as usual on
the ice Sunday, and he made his final
game in scarlet and white a quality indi-
vidual performance despite the loss.
He created a turnover in the UNH
zone and fed forward Tommi Degerman
at the right circle for the goal that made
it 2-2 at 15:55 of the second.
Less than two minutes later, with
UNH on the power play, he created
another 2-on-1 with a steal and again
found Degerman for a go-ahead goal on
a nearly identical play.
So efficient was Drury that night that,
though his team didn't win a single game
in the tournament, he was chosen to the
all-East Regional team.
"Those were two great passes," senior
forward Mike Sylvia said. "They
weren't easy. They were just great indi-
vidual plays. He never gives up on the
puck. If it's turned over, he's all over
them, and that's what he did tonight"
"Everybody looks up to him," Sylvia
added. "He's a tremendous leader, a
great player and a hard worker. I know
he's going to be successful in the
For Drury, the future almost came a
lot sooner than he expected.
Faced with the choice of going pro
after his junior year, Drury opted last
summer to put his start with the
Colorado Avalanche off for another
And Sunday, even with the loss, he
said he was as satisfied as he's ever been
about his decision.
"Even though we lost, even though we
didn't get to the final four, I wouldn't
change a thing," Drury said. "It's been a
lot of fun."
For every compliment Drury's team-
mates dished out after Sunday's game
pertaining to his on-ice abilities, there
was some added praise for the side of
him they'll miss most next year.
"He's obviously the best player in the
country," freshman forward Nick Gillis
said. "He's got a lot of heart and deter-
mination. He's just a great leader. But
he's also such a great guy, and I was just
happy to play with him this year."
But it's likely no one will miss him
more than the man who recruited him '
four years ago when he was a just quiet
kid from Trumbull, Conn.
"I've been coaching at Boston
University for 25 years, and I've never
coached anyone like him," Boston coach
Jack Parker said "There have been a lot
of great players here, but I've never had
anybody that combined his talent, his
effort and his character of being a great
teammate as Chris Drury has."
Parker knows how the humble Drury
loathes the attention and praise he's been
getting throughout his career.
The subject of himself is never one
that Drury wants to address or even hear
Knowing this all too well, Parker
turned to Drury after his comments at
the postgame press conference and said,
"I'm sorry, Chris."
And moments later, as Drury's team-
mates reflected on their co-captain's bril- 4
liant career, it was obvious that Parker
was not alone.
611 Church St.
Marty Turco should be able to continue
celebrating in Boston If the Wolverines
play as well as they did last weekend.
I T i
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