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b Mcign ai
Tracking 'M' teams
Check out the Michigan men's tennis team against
Notre Dame tomorrow. The Wolverines and the
Fighting Irish square off at the Varsity Tennis Center at
April 15, 1998
very time I enter Tiger
Stadium, the same thought
races through my mind.
Ihere I was, 10 years old, searching
for the rarefied dirt of the infield.
Various sections of the diamond were
obscured by the stadium support beams
and as a kid wanting to see a ballgame,
the rationale of construction was lost
But the nagnitude of the day was in
proper perspective. It was the final day
of the 1987 season and my beloved
Tigers secured the division title on a
Larry Herndon home run.
Following the game, I remember the
police horses that surrounded the field .
But more than anything, I recall the
excitement of the old man.
It was Sparky Anderson at his best.
The exuberance of that day - also
Plocki leads women's gymnastics to sunny NCAAs
By Vaughn R. Klug
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnastics
team is currently in Los Angeles
adapting to the Pacific time zone and
savoring California's sunny skies and
Michigan coach Beverly Plocki has
led her squad to the City of Angels for
the NCAA Championships.
Ihe site? Pauley Pavilion, home of
the UCLA Bruins. The dates?
Tomorrow through Saturday. The
goal? Bring the University its third
national championship in one school
In the past five seasons at Michigan,
April has become synonymous with
the NCAA Championships. The
Wolverines have become a mainstay
among the top of college gymnastics.
But, when Plocki took over the
coaching position in 1990, she was not
bestowed a team that simply needed a
new face to take it to the NCAAs.
Plocki was only able to muster a 7-15
record in her maiden season at
Michigan, despite the same coaching
mentality that has earned her four Big
Ten coach of the year awards.
Following her only losing season,
f o r m e d
Michigan into a
house. In 1990,
the team fin-
ished sixth in
., the conference.
The next season
p r o d u c e d
Plocki n o t a b I e
the team climbed to third place.
In retrospect, the third-place season
was a meager improvement compared
to what the next six entailed - - six
consecutive Big TIen titles. Better yet,
the Wolverines tied for second in the
nation in '95, and won the '96 Central
Plocki has earned the utmost
respect and admiration from her col-
"She's my hero!" Michigan men's
gymnastics coach Kurt Golder said.
"I'm trying to live up to her stan-
Plocki is not only an extremely tal-
ented coach, she also took care of
business as an athlete.
In her freshman year at West
Virginia, she tumbled her way to All-
She maintained similar standards as
an upperclassman, claiming all-
Atlantic 10 status in her final two
years of school.
For now, all the preparations are
complete, and only time will tell what
mark the 1998 squad will make. But
one thing is certain the team has
been coached by one of women's gym-
seen in 1984
when the Tigers
World Series title
- lit up Sparky's
enjoying the vic-
tory, he made the
Tigers fun to
watch and fun to
But his teams
took on a down-
ward spiral and by
1990, Anderson had
sph lib spi
By TJ. Berka
Daily Sports Witer
EAST LANSING - For most peo-
ple involved with the Michigan-
Michigan State rivalry, a loss is cause
For softball fans of both schools,
yesterday's action contained a mixed
bag of emotions, as the Wolverines and
Spartans split a doubleheader. Who
can possibly come out ahead in this
scenario? Michigan coach Carol
Ilow could I lutchins possibly come
out ahead in this exchange when her
second-ranked Wolverines didn't play
up to their abilities in splitting a dou-
bleheader with the Spartans yesterday?
Hutchins, the Michigan coach for 14
years, is a graduate of Michigan State.
She made quite an impact in last
Lansing during her time there, helping
the Spartans to a national champi-
onship in her freshman year - 1976.
"I helped pay for that sign, as a mat-
ter of flct," Ilutchins said about the
championship banner hanging on the
outfield fence, just to the right of the
right-field foul pole at Old College
As evidenced by the donation,
See HUTCH, Page 12
By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
EAS'T' LANSING - Michigan State softball coach
Jacquie Joseph knew it was going to take a little somethingi
extra to beat No. 2 Michigan.
So she told her pitching staff be fore the game, "I'm gonna
use all of you,' and she said she "threw everything but the
kitchen sink" at the Wolverines.
It worked. Joseph's Spartans took the second game of yes-
terday's doubleheader from Michigan 7-4. The Spartans'
upset snapped Michigan's 25-game Big 'Ien win streak after
the Spartans relinquished the first game, 3-0.
Tammy Mika went 3-for-3 in the first game, including a
two-RBI double to left in the sixth. Sara Griffin, who picked
up the 32nd shutout of her career, also added an RBI single.
All three runs came against Michigan State's third pitcher of
the day, freshman Erica Strut.
So her 'musical pitchers' system didn't seem to work in that
But between games, Joseph said she didn't need to make
any adjustments. The way she looked at it, the Spartans held
Michigan to three runs - they didn't hit enough to overpow-
er the Wolverines. And in the second game, Joseph still might
have been doubting her team, especially after they "blew it" in
the bottom of the fifth after going up 4-0, she said.
In the top of the fifth, Michigan State second baseman
Carrie Fry singled to right on a full-count Marie Barda pitch.
After advancing on Jacqueline Hall's fly ball, ry scored on an
RBI by the Spartans' leading hitter, catcher Margaret IHollis.
Molly Hugan then hit an RBI single to center and Shealee
Dunavan scored on an error by Traci Conrad, Michigan State
led by four after the two-error, four-hit inning.
See SPLIT, Page 12
to leave the team in the middle of the
season citing exhaustion.
IHe came back to manage the Tigers
through the 1995 season, but was never
'Ihat glow which hooked me on
baseball no longer dominates George
I _ee Anderson. Despite his contention
to the contrary, the years have clearly
taken their toll on the man's passion for
In Ann Arbor yesterday to sign
copies of his new book, Sparky
laughed and joked like a man comfort-
able with his place in the world --
iway from baseball.
Now, his days are consumed with
rounds of golf in sunny California. For
the man who went gray early in life,
retirement is treating him well as he
reminisces on the life he has led.
"To think that where I started out as
a kid in South Dakota, to have met the
greatest players in the history of the
game - and had some of them on my
team - nobody could dream that up,
With the exception of the home tele-
casts he does for the California Angels
as a color commentator, Sparky has
distanced himself from the game which
made him a legend.
"I will always miss managing, but I
don't miss baseball,"Anderson said.
How could this man, a hero to mil-
lions in the city of Detroit and one of
the greatest mangers the game has ever
known, be driven from the game'?
Anderson stood firm during the
1995 baseball strike by refusing to
manage the replacement players.
His respect for the game wouldn't
allow him to be branded "a clown" and
tarnish it in such a manner.
"I feel very strongly that any time
you make a mockery out of something,
you don't want me," he said. "You can
take all the money you want from me,
but you aren't going to make me a
But those values, while they
appeared controversial at the time, are
what endeared him to his legions of
players and fans.
To see the legend in the Tiger
Stadium dugout again - smiling -
before the stadium closes next year
would renew my faith in the game.
Even if I had to sit behind a pole.
Mark Snyder can be reached via
e-mail at msnydertiumick.edu.
( T hks. G,"M AJVLCC.
Shortstop Rebecca Tune committed two of the Wolverines' five errors as they dropped the nightcap of
yesterday's doubleheader, 7-4. The loss to Michigan State marked the end of a 25-game Big Ten win
streak, and a 17-game win streak this season.
Falcons bowl over Wolvernnes ME1ENE
By Josh Borkin
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan baseball team is an
enigma. There is no other way to
describe the erratic and inexplicable
play of the Wolverines. This past-
weekend they looked as though they
had finally come around with a
series victory over Minnesota, but
yesterday, the Wolverines played an
error-filled game and lost to
Bowling Green, 9-5.
Last week, Michigan barely
de feated the Falcons. Although the
put 13 runs on the board, their pitch-
ing and defense allowed 11 Falcon
runs and made five errors. Yesterday,
Bowling Green did not allow the
opportunity to slip away again.
Once again, Michigan's defense
was plagued by errors (3). Of the
Falcons' nine runs - four in the sec-
ond and five in the third - only five
were earned runs. Starting pitcher
Nick Alexander (0-1) took the loss
for the Wolverines.
"When you mak
three errors, you
aren't going to be
- Derek Besco
"When you make three errors you
aren't going to be successful."
Michigan outfielder Derek Besco
said. "I don't know what it is. Whe
usually play good defense, but these
last two garnes against I 1owi10
Green our defense has Just commit-
ted a ton of errors."
MchiganM however, came outfir-
"ir- The Wolkerines scored four runs
in the top of the first. Mike
Cervena, who moved to the three
spot yesterday afternoon, hit a two-
run home run, bringing home Jason
Alcaraz. Later in the inning, Jeff
VanSickle doubled to right field,
scoring David Parrish and Mike
While the offense came out ready
to play, Alexander and the Michigan
defense looked as though they were
still sleeping after the hour and a half
Michigan coach Geoff iahn "was
really mad," Besco said. "He just
kept repeating that today's game was
not Michigan baseball, and that we
came out flat."
For Alexander, the bottom of the
second was a nightmare. The inning
started off on a sour note - Bowling
Green's Bob Niemet reached base on
an error by second baseman Bobby
Scales. Later in the same inning,
with men on first and second, Lee
Morrison homered to right field to
score three runs.The unthinkable
occured when the next batter, Scott
Carden, homered to the same spot
that Morrison's ball had just landed.
See FALCONS, Page 12
Michigan second baseman Bobby Scales committed one of the Wolverines three
costly errors yesterday. The Wolverines lost to Bowling Green, 9-5.
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