ity Uma Subramanian
Df45 Sports Writer
Familiar results in an unfamiliar set-
N -- that was the theme this past
weekend as the Michigan softball team
swept Ohio State in a three-game home
series against the Buckeyes. While win-
ning isn't new for the Wolverines (8-0
Big Ten, 29-3 overall), the locale was.
The Wolverines played at home for the
first time since April 27, 1997.
Although the Buckeyes (2-6, 14-14)
are a young, inexperienced team, it was
series in which Michigan needed
even innings to put them away in all
three games, as resilience and experi-
ence ultimately prevailed.
This was especially true yesterday
when the Wolverines were trailing, 3-2,
heading into the bottom of the sixth.
With two out, Michigan's Tammy Mika
singled and then stole second, leaving it
up to freshman shortstop Rebecca Tune
to bring her home. After Tune reached
bass, Mika pulled a double steal, bring-
Mika in for the run. It was a dramat-
ic moment as Mika slid past home plate
and reached back to score the run and tie
the game. With the go-ahead run on sec-
ond. pinch hitter Kellyn Tate hit a
See OHIO STATE, Page 4B
41v "An 4&
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Blue takes 2nd place
By Vaughn R. Klug
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnastics team went
to the 1998 Central Regional Championships in
Tuscaloosa, Ala., with two goals in mind. The first
goal was to win, and the second was to qualify for
The Wolverines' fell short of their first goal as
Alabama prevailed in front of a home crowd of
5,290 Saturday night. The Crimson Tide registered
a team score of 196.55, compared to the
Wolverines' second-place score of 196.
It appears as though competing before a home
crowd is a key factor when it comes to winning
the Central Regional Championships.
In 1997, Michigan was cheered on to victory by
the crowd at Crisler Arena. This year, the partisan
fans cheering at Coleman Coliseum may have
been the catalyst that drove Alabama to the title
and possibly hindered the Wolverines' chances.
"This year's competition had a different feel-
ing," Michigan's Sarah Cain said. "Last year we
were at home, and this year Alabama had the
Despite the disappointment of not defending
last year's regional crown -- which would have
guaranteed the Wolverines an automatic bid to the
national championships - the team's overall score
was still good enough to reach their second goal
and earn an at-large bid to NCAAs.
No. 2 Michigan's second-place finish has an
even sweeter ring to it when considering the fierce
competition. All seven teams were ranked among
the Top 25 in the nation, with No. 3 Alabama
ranked just behind the Wolverines. Other competi-
tors included the 1998 Big Ten champion,
Minnesota, as well as conference rivals Michigan
State and Illinois.
Senior co-captain Heater Kabnick secured the
most prestigious individual honor at this year's
regionals - the first-place title in the all-around
- with a score of 39.375.
"I was really excited that I won," Kabnick said.
"But I would have traded it for winning the Central
En route to winning or tying for first place in
three of the four events, Cain came up big, earning
a tie for first place on the vault with a 9.875,
Sophomore Lisa Simes was also a key to the
Wolverines' success, as she shared the uneven bars
title with a near-perfect 9.9.
The alleviation of pressure that came from try-
ing to defend seven consecutive Big Ten champi-
onships was a major relief to the team and provid-
ed for a better performance.
"Regionals were exciting," all-Big Ten fresh-
man Bridget Knaeble said. "We weren't as ner-
vous as we were at Big Tens."
The team's relaxed attitude may have been
spurred by coach Bev Plocki's pre-meet speech,
which calmed the team and put the stress of the
tournament into perspective.
"I told the team we have nothing to lose and
everything to gain," Plocki said. "No one can take
anything away from us."
For now, the team has two weeks to prepare for
the national powerhouses that will assemble af
NCAAs, hosted by UCLA.
Junior Lisa Simes and the Michigan women's gymnastics team placed second at the NCAA Central
Regional this weekend, The Wolverines qualified for the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
Bucks bounce 'M' into last place
Michigan center Johns signs with WNBA
y Andy Latack.
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - As the curtains
closed on this weekend's series with
Ohio State, the Michigan baseball team
found itself in a very unfamiliar place.
After losing three of four games to
the Buckeyes at Bill Davis Stadium, last
year's regular season Big Ten champions
now sit in the conference cellar. looking
from the outside on the race for the
Big Ten title.
Michigan (2-6 Big Ten, 10-15 overall)
'and Ohio State (5-3, 17-8) were the top
two teams in the conference last year,
but have gone different ways since their
Big Ten season started. Still, the two
teams added another chapter to their
heated rivalry with this weekend's bat-
Michigan posted its only victory of
e weekend in a 12-8 slugfest in yester-
day's season finale. Derek and Bryan
Besco, mired in a combined 1-for-39
slump going into yesterday's game, each
belted three-run homers as the
Wolverines exploded for nine runs in
the fifth and sixth inning off Ohio State
starter Andy Lee.
"Michigan sophomore Bryan Cranson
(2-3) earned the victory, striking out six
while going 6 1/3 innings.
"It just goes to show you, when the
cescos are playing well, we play well,"
Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said.
Derek went 2-for-4 with four RBI,
and Bryan went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Yesterday's victory served as some
consolation for the first three games of
the series, which the Wolverines lost by
a combined total of three runs.
The nightcap of Saturday's double-
header, a hard-fought battle that came
down to the last inning. typified the
intensity of the weekend's games.
Michigan junior J.J. Putz, making his
first start since suffering a knee injury
earlier in the spring, started the game on
the mound for the Wolverines. Putz,
after allowing a run in the first; settled
down to pitch 3 1/3 innings before he
was relieved by senior Brian Steinbach.
Putz's opponent on the mound, Ohio
State junior Kurt Fullenkamp, turned in
an equally solid performance, holding
the Wolverines hitless through four
Michigan finally got to Fullenkamp
for a run in the top half of the fifth. After
centerfielder Rob Bobeda tripled first
baseman Bryan Besco flied out to deep
center field, scoring Bobeda and knot-
ling the score at one.
With the score still tied in the seventh
inning, Michigan mounted another rally.
After Ohio State pitcher Mike Statford
walked Besco. catcher Mick Kalahar
reached base on a third-strike wild pitch.
Pinch hitter David Parrish walked to
load the bases, and the stage was set for
freshman second baseman Scott Tousa.
Tousa, who had been on fire at the
plate coming into the weekend, had yet
to hit safely against the Buckeyes.
Stafford got two quick strikes against
See BUCKEYES, Page 5B
From Staff Reports
Make that two great Michigan
post players to take their game to
the next level.
Less than one week after
Michigan center Robert Traylor
declared himself eligible for the
NBA Draft, Michigan center
Pollyanna Johns followed suit.
After leading her team to one of
the best seasons in
women's basketball history~ Johns
signed a player contract with the
Women's National Basketball
Association last Thursday.
Johns, Michigan's all-time leader
in field-goal percentage and career
rebounding average, will wait until
the WNBA draft on April 29 to find
out for which of the 10 franchises
she will play.
The'WNBA signed five other col-
lege seniors to contracts on the
same day as Johns, including the
Western Athletic and Big Sky
Conference players of the year.
The league will hold a pre-draft
camp for prospective players at the
Moody Bible Institute in Chicago
from April 16-18.
PURSUING A CAREER IN
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At~letk--- csm e
J Drop by Zingerman's Bakeshop on South University and enter to win
A FREE LUNCH FOR 2 AT ZINGERMAN'S DELICATESSEN.
On April 20, '98, a winner will be drawn and awarded a gift certificate for lunch for you
and a friend. Lunch includes: a yummy sandwich, side salad, beverage, dessert and coffee for 2.
Gain valuable experience by joining Team Blue, The Michigan
Football Department's Volunteer Student Intern Program.
0 FASTEST SERVICE! U
1002 PONTIAC TR. U
All Office Skills Needed
For more information call Mary Passink at the
Football Recruiting Office, 313-764-2592.
d; .JNO C..I I t