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April 08, 1998 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-08

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

Scoreboard-ft Iirdl u Tracking 'M' alumni
NBA BASKETBALL NHL HOCKEY MAJOR LEAGUE Yesterday Tom Dolan was in the news for his triumph
ATLANTA 92, DETROT 5, BASEBALL at the U.S. Nationals. Today, it's Chris Webber and
New Yk 79 T. Lous 3 DETROIT 3, Juwan Howard - but the news about Dolan was sub
NeIaNA 8 ORIDAat Ba oe 11, stantially better. Check out the story on Page 11.
MINNESOTA 92. Montreal 3, KANSA CITY 7
Miami 89 NY RANGERS 1 Atlanta 11,
CHICAGO 103, Boston 4, PITTSBURGH 3 SOT Wednesday
Washington 85 OTTAWA 2 New York Mets 3, April 8, 1998
CHICAGO CUBS 2

In a year of unprecedented success in Michigan athletics,
there's a little-known team that plays in the spring and summer months, and that is
already an astounding 31-3 this season. Could the Michigan softball team be ...
Mi chi ans best team

The Muckalt countdown:
It's no secret that outgoing senior Bill Muckalt will
soon be an official member of the NHL's Vancouver
Canucks, or at least a member of one of their farm
teams. The Canucks drafted Mocks in 1994. The ques
tion is, when will he go? Sources say that the national
championshipcelebrating pep rally was held Sunday
night because Muckalt would be in Vancouver by
Monday, and further, that a contract snag is the only
thing delaying Muckalt's departure. Neither Muckalt
nor coach Red Berenson could be reached yesterday. A
Canucks official said last night that there was "nothing Muckalt
new to report" on Muckalt's status.
'M' baseball slugs
way to victory, 13-11

Wolverines
take two
from Chips-
By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
On March 8, the Michigan women's
softball team wasn't feeling too great,
after just losing a tight 2-0 decision to
Texas. Since then, it hasn't looked
back, and it is off to its best start ever.
Yesterday, in Mt. Pleasant, the No. 2
team in the country and the defending
Mid-American Conference champion
duked it out in the first meeting of the
teams since the 1997 NCAA Regional
Championship. Michigan won that
series, two games to one.
But yesterday's stakes were not as
high. This time the Wolverines (31-3)
defeated a much weaker Central
Michigan team (13-16-1) in both
games of a doubleheader, winning the
first 4-3 and the second 3-0.
The game tipped the overall series
record ever-so-slightly in favor of the
Wolverines, who now lead the alt-time
series 27-26.
For Michigan, the nonconference
doubleheader was an opportunity for
senior Sara Griffin to rest her over-
worked pitching arm. It was a well-
deserved rest for Griffin, who is 18-0
on the season.
It also was an opportunity for
sophomore Jamie Gillies and fresh-
man Marie Barda to pick up the slack.
And they did.
""This is the best pitching perfor-
mance we've had all year," Michigan
coach Carol Hutchins said. "This is
very promising."
The praise is especially impressive
considering the Wolverines' top pitch-
er did not throw an inning.
In game one, Gillies demonstrated
why her coach was pleased as she
extended her record to 9-1 on the year
with her sixth complete game. She
gave up just two walks and one earned
run.
Traci Conrad warmed up early for
the Wolverines, as the back-to-back
Big Ten player of the week hit a lead-
off double in the first. She advanced
to third on a sacrifice by Kellyn Tate,
and scored on catcher Melissa
'Gentile's 30th RBI of the season.
It was a great day for Gentile. The
slugger notched her fifth home run of

JOHNKRAFT/Daily
First baseman Traci Conrad has been solid in the leadoff position for the Michigan softball team - she has received Big Ten play-
er of the week honors In each of the past two weeks. Conrad is also the Wolverines' career leader in batting average and runs.

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan baseball team was
seeing orange yesterday, and plenty
of it.
Bowling Green, donning its
orange-and-brown uniforms that
seemed better suited for fast food
employees, played everyone but the
bus driver against the Wolverines.
And it almost worked, as the
Wolverines withstood a furious
Falcon rally before winning, 13-11,
yesterday at Fisher Stadium.
Nineteen players saw action for
Bowling Green, as coach Danny
Schmitz used all but three of his
available players on the trip.
And the all-out approach gave
Michigan (1 1-15) everything it
could handle, as the Wolverines
committed two crucial errors dur-
ing the Falcons' three-run rally in
the game's final inning.
Michigan entered the ninth with a
comfortable advantage, leading the
Falcons 13-8. But after the first two
Falcon runners reached base against
closer Tyler Steketee, two consecu-
tive Bowling Green singles drove in
runs, and Michigan's lead shrank to
13-It).
Facing the top of the Bowling
Green lineup with the bases loaded,
Steketee was in a jam.
But the senior, who gave up the
game-winning hit in a loss at Ohio
State last weekend, refocused. He
struck out two of the final three
Bowling Green batters, blowing a
fastball by second baseman Jay
Harrington for the final out of the
game. Steketee struck out four and
gave up just one earned run in his
two-inning performance.
Despite the active bats yesterday,
Michigan also received some solid
pitching.
Freshman Nick Alexander made
his first start of the season and was
effective, allowing three runs and
four hits before leaving after the
fourth itning.
I thought I threw pretty well,"
Alexander said. "I was hitting my
spots. I just let them hit the ball,

and let the defense take care of h,
rest. That's my job."
Alexander's outing was ma
more successful by plenty of ru
support from his teammates. -
After Bowling Green (14-10) g
to Alexander for two quick runs i
the first inning, Michigan respont
ed with a six-run explosion in t
third.
Thid baseman Mike Cervena
wasted no time starting the rail
leading off the inning by beltti
massive 400-foot homerun to rib
center off Bowling Green starte
Chris Vaught. The next batter, rigt
fielder Derek Besco, blasted a sht
similar to Cervenak's that bounce
off the wall, giving him a doubli
Besco would later score whe
Bowling Green shortstop Dre'
Niles booted Bobby Scale
grounder in the hole.
Michigan would only get 4
more hit in the inning, but pot
control by Vaught and relief pitehi
Tony Fontana kept the inning altv
Vaught and Fontana combined I
throw three wild pitches and wal
three more batters before the mirn
was over, giving Michigan a lead
woild never relinquish.
"We've been waititig for the rut
to come around, because the hitte
have been struggliig late
Alexander said. "We knew the
ting was there, and it's nice to st
scoring some runs.
The Falcons refused to go aW
thougn thanks in large part toTit
baseman Bob Niemet. The 6foot-
200-pound Niemet, who double-;s
the Falcons' quarterback durit
football season, had a monst
game. The Wolverites did not
Niemet out alt day, as he bla4
two home runs, going S-for-5 NVi
four RBt atid fotir runs scored.'
Niemet was responsible J
sparking Bowling Green rallies
both the sixth and seventh inniIf
He ted off the sixth with a dou
off witning pitcher Vince Pis1
(1-0), eventually scoring on
error by
See FALCONS, Page

the year in the top of the fifth inning,
moving her into second place on the
Michigan career home run list with II
- only one behind Griffin. The two-
run homer gave Gentile two RBI and a
share of first place on the season's
RBI list with 32. She went 3-for-4 in
the game.
Gentile's homer put Michigan up 4-
1, but the Chippewas came back. An
error in the third inning by shortstop
Rebecca Tune allowed Ceitral short-
stop lope Robertshaw to come home.
The errors continued to haunt the
Wolverines, as four players reached
base after being hit by pitches.
But the tost costly mistake cane it
ite end of the seventh inninig.
Michigan second baseman Melissa
Tavlor's error allowed Chippewa
catcher Eli Barnes to score. That put
the go-ahead run on third base with
only one out. Sharon Blower ground-
ed into a double play, however, ending
the game and securing the win for
Gillies.
The second game was much cleaner

Running up the numbers...
The Michigan softball team is having a blast
so far this season. and why not? The
Wolverines are rewriting the record book:
RECORDS BROKEN: RECORDS IN DANGER:
Career home runs Career home runs
Sara Griffin 12 1) Sara Griffin ('95-) 12
Career batting average 2) Melissa Gentile ( 97-) 11
Traci Conrad .394 Career hits
Career runs scored 1) Patti Benedict ('90-'93) 244
Traci Conrad 141 2) Sara Griffin ('95-) 239
Career strikeouts 2) Kellyn Tate ('95-) 239
Sara Griffin 505 Career innings pitched
Career wins 1) Kelly Kooach( "92-5) 769.0
Sara Griffin 89 5) Sara GTiftin ('95-) 681.1

for the Wolverines.
Barda had her most impressive wil
of the season, pitching her first com-
plete game since March 6. The will
was especially sweet for Barda, who
pitched her first-ever one-hit shutout.
Prior to yesterday's matchups.

Hlutchins spoke about the importance
of getting Barda back into the pitch-
ing rotation so she could regain her
confidence. This important victory
should be a confidence builder -
Barda had a no-hitter going into the
bottom of the third.

Basketball Bust rewards successful season

By James Goldstein
Daily Sports riter
Many thank-yous were expressed and many awards
were handed out last night at the 36th annual Michigan
Basketball Bust at Crisler Arena.
It was a time to reflect on the 1997-98 season - a
season that started with the firing of coach Steve Fisher
and was quickly followed by the hiring of Brian Ellerbe
as interim coach. It was a season that sa the
Wolverines stun then-No. I Duke at home and capture
the first-ever Big len Tournament title. It was a season
that ended with Michigan's second-round NCAA
Tournament defeat to UCLA after the Wolverines had
all the momentum heading into the tourney.
Interspersed with team and individual video high-
lights throughout the event, the other two orders of

business were to htonor the seniors - Jerod Ward,
Maceo Baston, Mike Weideman and Travis Conlan -
ind to give out team awards.
"It's been a great ride," said Conlan, who was
choked-up whent te spoke. "I hope it doesn't end, but I
can say if it does, I'll aways bleed maize and blue."
Conlan, who led the Wolverines in assists and steals
each of the past three seasons, shared two team acco-
lades - the 1thad Garner Leadership Award, vith fel-
low co-captain Robert Traylor, and the Wayman Britt
Defensive Player Award, with Baston.
Traylor announced recently that he wouldn't return
for his senior season and will enter the NBA Draft.
In total, Traylor was a co-winner of three awards and
received one on his own. He shared the Bill Buntin
Most Valuable Player Award with junior guard Louis

Bullock for the second consecutive year. Andl e took
the Loy Vaught Rebounding Award, amassung a team-
leading 344 rebounds.
Baston - Traylor's partner in the paint - pot extra
emotional wuhen he wsas honored. When Baston started
to thank his teammates, he couldn't contain himself,
sobbing as he tried to speak. He started to break down
once again when he began thanking Travlor, one of his
good friends on the team.
Ward, who E llerbe said "played well in every big
game" this season, received the Rudy Tontjanovich
Most Improved Player Award. Ward improved in every
statistical category from last season, finishing with
averages of 13.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
Robbie Reid, who transferred to Michigan this sea-
son. was the recipient ofthe Steve Grote HustlerAward.

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SARA STILLMAN/
Last night, Robert Traylor was commended for a successful Michigan career, rece
ing four awards at the Michigan Basketball Bust. Traylor is leaving early for the N
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