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April 06, 1998 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-06

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 6, 1998

SOFTBALL

OHIO STATE
Continued from Page 33
line drive up the middle, allowing
Tune to come home.
Senior Sarah Griffin pulled out her
third victory of the weekend, extend-
ing her record to a perfect 18-0.
"I knew when we scored the runs
that we had it," Griffin said. "Up till
then it was a little shaky, but after
the sixth, I knew that it was just up
to me to finish it out."
Griffin finished with a bang,
striking out the only three batters
she faced in the seventh.
"I think my team's a fighting
team," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. "We don't always
play beautiful softball, but I'll take a
team that fights like them any day.."
Griffin is one of the players who
fought the hardest this weekend. She
pitched two complete games and
closed out the third. After Saturday's
doubleheader, Griffin's earned-run
average was .96. But Griffin still is
not satisfied.
"I'm not where I want to be yet,"
Griffin said. "It gives a pitcher a lot
of confidence when she's got a great
defense behind her, so we're doing
well."
But I haven't peaked yet. I'd like
to do better. I can feel it starting to
pick up."
While Griffin may not consider
her play remarkable, her numbers
prove otherwise. She had l1I strike-
outs yesterday.

"She's really working hard, we
just count on her," Hutchins said.
"There's no question that we have
been pitching her a lot, but if we can
get at least one game out of her each
series, that'd be great. It's not unusu-
al in softball to see pitchers pitch a
lot of games in a row, but we need to
get (Jamie) Gillies and (Marie)
Barda in there again."
Yesterday's offensive spark was
provided by Melissa Gentile, who
breathed life into the initially slug-
gish Wolverines and their fans. In
the bottom of the third, Michigan
was trailing 2-0 when Traci Conrad
singled. The next batter up was
Gentile who hit a deep drive into left
field for a double, allowing Conrad
to score.
Gentile also played a key role on
Saturday. In the first game, she
advanced the runners with a sacri-
fice bunt in the bottom of the sixth.
An intentional walk to Griffin
loaded the bases for Cathy Davie,
who then drove home three runs
with a double, breaking a scoreless
tie.
In the second game, Gentile drove
home centerfielder Lisa Kelley for
the go-ahead run in the top of the
seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie.
Davie then stepped up and drove
home Gentile for the insurance run,
making it 5-3. Once again, that was
all the Wolverines needed.
Just minutes earlier, Davie made
an incredible throw from left field to
.stop the Buckeyes from taking the

lead.
Ohio State's Candace Kollen flied
to left field in an attempt to score
Toni Hielman. But Davie's throw
was a dart to cutoff man Pam
Kosanke, and Hileman was forced to
remain at third. Griffin, who replace
Gillies earlier in the inning, struck
out centerfielder Cheryl Palaroan to
end the rally.
That series of events proved to be
crucial in the next inning, when
Davie helped the Wolverines finally
pull away.
Besides the two teams, there was
another major player who made her
presence known on the diamond
Saturday - Mother Nature. Strong
winds made the motion of the ball
fairly unpredictable.
And another factor was the pitch-
ing of Ohio State's freshman Kristi
Martin, who had two good games
even though she did not record the
win.
Martin had an impressive change-
,ip that fooled Michigan hitters time
and time again.

J
4-1

Schedule gqE°

April 7 April11 April 12
at Central at at
Mic" iota Minnesota
((dliN I p.m.
3 p.m. 1 p.m.
April 14 Apr l1 Aprl 18
at Michigan WSERN NORTH.
Stat MCIGANmWESTERN
2pm p.m. m. Zp.m.

I

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Clutch hits,
niscues aid
By Evan Braunstein
Daily sports Writer
Forget records, statistics and stand-
ings. Winning in softball is all about
getting hot. A team on a hot streak finds
ways to win, no matter what the situa-
tion may be.
Behind the outstanding pitching of
senior Sara Griffin, the Michigan soft-
ball team continues to find ways to win.
The Wolverines' three victories over
Ohio State this past weekend brought
their conference record to a best-ever 8-
0 and brought their current win streak to
I I games.
But the victories, while plentiful,
have not come easy.
Michigan needed some late-game
heroics and a little luck in all three con-
tests against the Buckeyes. The
Wolverines throughout yesterday's
game and found themselves down 3-2,
going into the bottom of the sixth
inning. Three clutch hits from center-
fielder Tammy Mika, shortstop Rebecca
Tune and pinch hitter Kellyn Tate, along
with a dangerous double steal, produced
the victory for the Wolverines.
Still, without some help from the
Buckeyes, the Wolverines' win streak
would be over. With two outs in the
sixth arid down a run, the Wolverines
attempted a double steal with Tune on
first base and Mika on third. The
Buckeyes had Tune dead at second base
to end the inning but opted to throw
home instead. Mika was called safe in a
close play at the plate, tying the game
and opening the door for the
Wolverines.
"There is no question we got lucky on
the double steal," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. "We debated calling that

Michigan fresh-
man Rebecca
Tune, left, scored
the game-winnIng
run yesterday In
the sixth Inning
against Ohio
State. The short-
stop also was
part of a double
steal that result-
ed in Michigan
tying the game
earlier in the
teshinning
JOHN IRAFT/Oail
Buckeye
IBlue tear.
play, but we knew we couldn't just sit
back and hit away. We had to make
some things happen. Sometimes things
go your way and sometimes they don't
We'll take whatever we can get."
Lately it seems that everything is
going Michigan's way. The Wolverines
pulled out two victories on Saturday,
again with timely hits in the lat
innings.
In the first game of the doubleheader,
the two teams battled to a scoreless tie
through five and a half innings. With the
bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth,
lefifielder Catherine Davie's double
drove i all three runners to secure the
vit'sythe mark of a good team to be
able to win when you're not playing
your best," Hutchins said. "Cathy Day
came up with a timely hit. We wer
forced into that position and we pulled it
out."~
The team continued its clutch hitting
in the second game as catcher Melissa
Gentile produced the game-winning run
with an RB single in the seventh.
The Wolverines manufactured more
of the same in a doubleheader against
Penn State on April 1. Tied at six in the
first game, Pam Kosanke drove in t
runs in the fifth when Penn State left-
fielder Tanis Amberlang mishandled the
ball. The Wolverines held on to win 10-
7. The second game went to eight
innings before Griffin broke a 5-5 tie
with a single to left center.
It has been Griffin who has proven to
be the backbone of the team recently,
leading the Wolverines with both her

pitching and hitting performances.
"She's a competitor," Hutchins saij
"We know we can count on her."

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