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March 27, 2000 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-27

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 27, 2000 - 3B

.Hutchins and softball topple 'M' record

Coach passes Ray Fisher for Blue all-time wins record

By David Roth
Daily Sports Writer

With her softball team's 20-1
*mashing of Kent State en route to a
Boilermaker Invitational title, Carol
Hutchins became. the all-time win-
ningest coach in Michigan athletics
history. Hutchins tallied her 638th
win, toppling former baseball coach
Ray Fisher's record that stood for 42
years.
The day was also a milestone for
the whole team, as the 19-run differ-
ence was the largest margin of victo-
ry in Michigan softball history and
*'he fourth most runs the team has
ever scored. Earlier in the day, in a
relatively meager 6-2 edging of
Bradley, the Wolverines recorded
their 800th victory in team history.
Winning the Boilermaker
Invitational has become old hat for
the Wolverines, as they have been
crowned champion all four times in
the tournament's four-year existence.
ichigan has now won 12 straight
games on the season and improved
its record to 22-6.
Initially, during the record-setting
win over Kent, No. 13 Michigan had

to play from behind after giving up a
first inning run.
But the Wolverines had plenty of
fries for their catch-up, as catcher
Stefanie Volpe pounded her first
career grand slam in the second
inning to give her squad a 6-1 lead.
Sixteen more runs followed before
the game stopped short because of
the five inning mercy rule.
"We hit the ball well all weekend,
and did a good job of coming back
from early defensive problems,"
Hutchins said. "Stefanie Volpe's
grand slam highlighted the week-
end."
Volpe's come-back efforts were
not limited to the Kent game; as her
three-run double against Butler
keyed a five-run sixth inning to
ensure the Wolverines a spot in the
tournament championship.
On the day, Pam Kosanke and
Melissa Taylor each totalled a blis-
tering five hits.
Hutchins was pleased with the
Wolverines' play both days of the
tournament, especially with her
team's offense. Since Michigan
slaughtered Toledo, 14-0, on
Saturday, Hutchins could insert a

plethora of different players into the
line-up each day of the tournament.
"A lot of people played in the tour-
n.ment, which really gets us ready
for the Big Ten season," Hutchins
said.
Freshman Lisa Mack took advan-
tage of her opportunity to play. After
starting shortstop Rebecca Tune got
injured against Bradley and had to
miss her first career start in her three
years, Mack picked up the slack
against Kent, going 3-4 and notching
two RBI.
Hutchins also noted her team's
strong pitching throughout the tour-
nament. Freshman pitcher Marissa
Young, the only other player to hit a
grand slam on the team besides
Volpe, scattered eight hits ,against
Bradley to improve to 7-1 on the sea-
son. Kate Eiland started, and Jamie
Gillies finished the Kent massacre,
with Eiland posting the win to
improve her record to 3-1.
The first day of the tournament
was similar to the second, as one
game was a blowout while the other
was a four run victory.
In the first game against Toledo,
the Wolverines took advantage of

Hutchins on top
With the Wolverines' 20-1 victory es-
terday over Kent, Carol Hutchins
became the all-time winningest coach
at Michigan, leap-frogging Ray Fisher.
The win broke a 42 year old record.
The top three Michigan coaches in wins:
1. 638 Carol Hutchins Softball 16 years
2. 637 Ray Fisher Baseball 38 years
3. 465 Bud Middaugh Baseball 10 years
four Rockets errors to cross home six
times. Michigan added three runs in
the second and five in the third to put
Toledo out of its misery.
Gillies held the rockets to five hits
and a walk to improve her record to
5-1 on the season.
Against No. 22 Notre Dame,
Michigan's only ranked opponent in
the tournament, freshman Melina
Moulden broke open the game with a
three-run homer to cap a four-run
fifth-inning. Moulden was 3-3 at the
plate and just a triple away from hit-
ting for the cycle.
The Wolverines will open their Big
Ten season March 31 with a double-
header at Indiana before heading to
Purdue for two games against the
Boilermakers.

Teeing Off

A$:

N ights at 'ThePFish'
would draw more fans

T.J.
BERKA

Women's tennis wins first Big Ten match

y Joe Smith
aily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - In her doubles match
against Michigan State on Saturday, senior co-
captain Brooke Hart served up a lob across the
net.
Her opponents' eyes lit up, anxiously awaiting
the opportunity to slam it back in the Wolverines'
faces - hoping to take a 7-6 lead in the eight
oint match.
The problem was, they both wanted it a little
too much.
Both called it in the air, but neither backed off.
When both attempted to overhand smash the
ball, the only things that were smashed were their
rackets - the ball was sent flailing harmlessly
into the stands, along with any chance the
Spartans had in gaining enough momentum to
upset the Wolverines.
This type of miscommunication has represented
Michigan State's season (0-4 Big Ten, 2-8 overall)
nd its inability to take charge in its rivalry with
ichigan.
The Wolverines (1-3 Big Ten, 6-5 overall) beat
the Spartans for the 14th-straight time, blanking

them 7-0 and notching their first victory in the
Big Ten.
After winning two out of the three doubles
matches, the Wolverines dominated the singles,
all in straight sets.
"This win was so important," Michigan coach
Bitsy Ritt said.
"We needed this for our confidence and for our
first win in the conference."
The Wolverines had previously lost their last
five out of six and needed a win in a match that
they were expected to win.
Their fellow in-state rivals have struggled this
season, getting shut out in their four conference
matches by a combined score of 28-0 - winning
only one set.
Under first-year coach Tim Bauer, the Spartans
are trying to turn things around and build the
rivalry into one similar to the hysteria that sur-
rounds campus when the football teams knock
heads.
"We're looking to get after them in the Big Ten
Championships," Bauer said. "It's a great rivalry,
and one of my goals is to get after them and make
things more competitive."
Bauer got the job in January, and starting in

midseason has put him about a year behind in
preparing the team and recruiting.
"Everything is different now, from the way we
warm up to the way we practice," Bauer said. "It's
gonna take time, and we're trying to set the stage
for the future."
On the other side of the net, the future is now
for the Wolverines.
After establishing themselves as one of the con-
ference elite by winning the Big Ten
Championships in 1996-97 season, Michigan has
been highly competitive among the conference
powerhouses throughout the past seasons.
With close losses to No. 12 Northwestern and
Minnesota, along with two other top 20 teams in
No. 23 Kentucky and No. 20 Tennessee this sea-
son, the Wolverines have proven they can compete
with the best.
With an experienced and talented group of
seniors, and a solid freshman class that brings
depth, these Wolverines have a chance to turn
some heads before the season comes to a close.
But with No. 14 Notre Dame on deck, coming
to the Varsity Tennis Center this Wednesday,
things definitely won't get any easier for Ritt's
squad.

efore I start this column, I
want to confront some criti-
cism that I know I'm bound to
receive. In my column a couple of
weeks ago, I made the argument that
North Carolina did not deserve to
receive a bid in the NCAA
Tournament.
Since the Tar Heels have bucked
the odds and advanced to the Final
Four with a victory over Tulsa, I have
the sneaking feeling that many peo-
ple might think my argument was
chumpish.
While I do
think the North Although the
Carolina hasm
played someme ersona
quality basket- People who
ball during its t need to
tourney run, it week y after
still doesn't checking o
change my origi- bas
nal premise that
North Carolina's
regular season performance was not
worthy of an NCAA bid. What the
Heels did in the tournament has noth-
ing to do with that argument.
And before you armchair Brian
Ellerbes tell me that you foresaw this
happening, I will say that anyone
who claims to have North Carolina in
the Final Four this season is full of it.
That prediction was as likely as pick-
ing Wisconsin to go to the Final Four,
a laughable idea at best.
Now that I got that off my system,
I will harken back to an occurrence
this weekend that gave me great plea-
sure - watching a baseball game on
a sunny, warm afternoon at Ray
Fisher Stadium.
Even though the Michigan baseball
team didn't quite play College World
Series-like ball against Minnesota -
in fact, the Wolverines lost all four
games this weekend by a combined
score of 34-8 - it was still a fun
experience.
An afternoon at the Fish, for those
of you who have never been there, is
the essence of baseball. When lying
on the wooden bleachers, absorbing
the warm early spring sun, thoughts
and delusions of grandeur engulf you
like a tidal wave off the Atlantic
Ocean.
This relaxed atmosphere allows
your mind to expand and flow. Being
a second-semester senior, these
thoughts didn't have to deal with the
normal undergraduate clutter of use-
less class knowledge or worries. I
honestly haven't had those thoughts
since the end of my sophomore year.
As my readers might know, any
opportunity for me to engage in ran-
dom thoughts is a potentially danger-
ous situation. Anyone who read my
Tar Heel column knows this to be
true.
So as my mind was wandering dur-
ing the third Michigan throwing error
Friday afternoon, I had a thought.
Why not install lights at Ray Fisher
Stadium so the Wolverines can play

'CC
;dl)
ac
atl
noI

night games during the week?
At first I shrugged off this idea. I
was enjoying the baseball action in a
warm, soothing environment, some-
thing that can be lost if the game was
in the evening.
It's no secret that March and April
evenings in Ann Arbor are unpre-
dictable. Depending on the whims of
Mother Nature, you can either wear
shorts and sandals or snow boots dur-
ing the early spring months. That
potential for chilly weather might
hinder attendance, one would think.
But as I was sitting in the bleach-
ers behind home
oncept baffles plate, I found
ythere are myself watching
ttda think the crowd. This
:tualy think isn't abnormal at
tend cZuss on a baseball game,
ons instead of as it is easy to
t Michigan find yourself
all. scanning the
crowd looking
for the most
bizarre or beautiful fans.
In the process of doing this though,
I noticed one thing - plenty of
empty bleachers. This didn't exactly
make sense to me, as it was as per-
fect of a day - 70 degrees, bright
sun, very few clouds - as southeast-
ern Michigan is capable of in late
March.
After thinking about this for a
while, I came to the conclusion that
Michigan baseball games are too
early during the week.
While starting games at 3 p.m.
during the week gives you plenty of
sunlight and the warmest weather
possible, it makes it hard for people
to attend.
Although its concept baffles me
personally, there are people who
actually think that they need to attend
class on weekday afternoons instead
of checking out Michigan baseball.
While I don't understand that kind
of thinking, moving the games back a
couple of hours would attract more
students.
And although students get free
admission to the games, more stu-
dents mean more concession sales.
And more concession sales mean
more money.
Later baseball games during the
week would also increase the number
of non-students that could attend.
It is far easier for your typical 9-
to-5 working stiff to attend a game in
the evening then in the afternoon.
And since they actually pay for
admission, the Athletic Department
would make even more cash.
And if there is one thing that the
bigwigs at Michigan can agree on, it
is the love of money.
- TJ. Berka is happy that the person
he voted for in the MSA elections,
"Hi "deki, won, but is disappointed
that Duanv Duany, Hootbot, Kurt
Anderson, and Roy Tarpleyfailed in
their bids as LSA-SG representatives.
He can be reached at
berkat@unich.edu

Men's golf places third at Tanglewood Invite

By Job Singer
aily Sports Writer
All these competitors from District
I, who could have asked for more?
Out of the 18-team field this week-
end at the Tanglewood Intercollegiate
golf tournament in Pottsboro, Tex., 15
hailed from the midwest region:
District IV
With timely play and its share of
breaks, one of the top teams came
from Ann Arbor- Michigan posted a
lid third-place finish, shooting 287-
288-281, for a three-day total of 856.
Minnesota won the event.
The highlight for the Wolverines
was Michael Harris, who won the
tournament with a 70-67-69, beating
Ben Curtis of Kent and Martin

LeMesurier of Minnesota by one
stroke.
Moreso than in years past, the
Wolverines appear to have the ammu-
nition to contend for a spot at the
regional tournament May 18-20.
"We are a bubble team right now.
With six teams going to the regionals
from District IV, we are seventh.
"We needed to play well to do it,
and we did," Michigan coach Jim
Carras said.
This weekend was a prime oppor-
tunity for the team to show that they
are capable of running with the big
dogs.
By performing well this weekend,
the team may have been able to ignite
a spark that stays lit the remainder of
the season.

"Each tournament potentially
makes or breaks our goal of trying to
get to regionals," Carras said.
Largely because Michigan has a
team that is made mostly of upper-
classmen, the Wolverines' hot play
has been a little better than expected.
The fall season saw the Wolverines
normally place anywhere from third
up to 19th. But, on Oct. 12 at the
Xavier Tournament at the Kings
Island Resort near Cincinnati, the
Wolverines overcame three years
worth of demons to finally win a tour-
nament.
"Winning in October was a positive
message was for the team," Carras
said. "It said "We really may be as
good as coach says we are."'
The team finished third at the

Wolverine South tournament in
Savannah, Ga. two weeks ago.
They were led by the strong play of
sophomore Andrew Chapman and
senior captain Michael Harris, who
finished fourth and fifth place respec-
tively.
But, they dropped from second to
ninth place at the Silver Springs
Shore Tournament in Ocala, Fla.
One of the main limiting factors to
the Wolverines' success has been the
weather.
Even in a mild year such as this
one, the winters in Ann Arbor seem to
extend indefinitely.
While the Wolverines have been
able to practice this past week on the
Michigan golf course, it has not offi-
cially opened to the public.

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