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APRIL 11, 2000
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By Dona Beth Krischer2
Daily Sports Writer
'M' hopes to avoid
snow at Central
By Sam Duwe
Daily Sports Writer
Tomorrow's game ought to be great,
if the snow isn't greater.
The Michigan softball team (6-1
Big Ten, 28-7 overall) is scheduled to
play an afternoon doubleheader at
Central Michigan (11-5), a .perennial
powerhouse in the Mid-American
and our attitude."
The team has to know they can win,
Hutchins said. Especially against a
Central Michigan team that will pro-
vide strong opposition.
"These guys are a very good team
- they're always at the top of their
conference in the MAC," juni*
Melissa Taylor said. "They always
come out and fight against us. It
One of the more over-used cliches
states that, no matter what goes wrong
with the world, "tomorrow s anothe-,
T h e
like a uni-
tic u 1 arl y
d o e s n ' t
RAY FISHER STADIUM
Who: Michigan (10-18-1) vs.
Pall State (14-10)
When: 3 p.m.
On the Mound for Michigan:
Sophomore Bobby Wood
(RHP, 0-2,7.65 ERA)
Latest: Michigan looks to find
the winning touch before it
hosts preseason No. 1Ohio
State this weekend.
But with a projected
high of 35 degrees and a
radar map full -of green,
the chances of ball being
played look sketchy at
"Coach Hutchins and I
have discussed what
we'll do about tomor-
row," Central Michigan
coach Margo Jonker
said. "We'll make the
won't be an
Who: Michigan (6-1 Big Ten,
28-7 overall) vs. Central
When: 2:00 p.m. today
Latest: After sweeping
Minnesota on Sunday, the
Wolverines look to start
another wining streak.
team batting average is
.237, well below
Michigan's .286 clip.
But the Chippewas are
currently riding a five-
game winning streak
and are the top-fielding
team in the MAC..E
A 21-year veteran,
Jonker gives Central
Michigan a strong pres-
helm. The seasoned skip-
m C e t a
i m p o s e d
Freshman infielder Brock Koman is
For him, today is just another day:
Another game and a chance to get back
into the swing of things, so to speak.
Today Koman will have the opportu-
nity to break out of an eight-game, 4-for-
24 hitting slump and reclaim from junior
catcher David Parrish his throne as
Michigan's leading batter - as he and
the Wolverines take on Ball State today
at 3 p.m. (assuming the game's not
snowed out, of course).
If only it were that simple.
Los Angeles Dodger legend Sandy
Koufax once said that hitting a round
ball with a round bat is the hardest thing
an athlete can do. So difficult, in fact,
that any player who finds success at the
plate three out of 10 chances is consid-
ered a candidate for the Hall of Fame.
Koman may not be Cooperstown-
bound, but during his 29-game stay at
Michigan he has proven himself as one
After starting the season batting .330, freshman Brock Koman has cooled off as of late, going just 2-for-13 this past weekend.
of the Wolverines' best, leading
Michigan with a .330 batting average
through 25 games.
But suddenly he hit a bump in the
baseline and hasn't made enough solid
contact to maintain his stellar average.
This weekend alone, his average fell
.022 points after going 2-for-13 with
three strikeouts and only one RBI.
"I've been struggling," Koman said.
"I've been seeing the ball well. I just
haven't been able to get it to fall."
In 29 games, Koman has made contact
with whatever pitch - fast, curve or
junk ball - the hurlers have fed him.
He's struck out only 15 times in 104 at
But six of those strikeouts have come
within the last eight games.
Koman's slump has Michigan coach
Geoff Zahn fiddling with the lineup -
removing him from the No. 3 spot and
inserting him lower in the order at the
No. 6 slot.
"It's frustrating, but I just want to do
what's good for the team," Koman said.
Since the season began, Koman's
name has been synonymous with
Michigan's bright future.
The freshman inherited the dubious
task of restoring Michigan's prowess
after 14 seniors graduated a year ago.
Zahn had Koman pegged as one of
'those guvs' who will drive in some runs
and help lead Michigan to victory.
Despite his offensive problems as of
late, Koman has played tremendous
defense, giving the Wolverines 48
putouts and 27 assists. He may have
committed an occasional error, but that's
natural at the hot corner.
In addition, Koman has given
Michigan the power it needs at the oppo-
site end of the diamond lately, playing
five of the last eight games at first base.
Zahn has penciled him in as the desig-
nated hitter for the other three contests.
But the moving around in the infield
hasn't bothered Koman, who admits that
it doesn't really matter where he plays -
so long as he's in the lineup.
Because if he doesn't play, Koman
won't get the chance to prove his value to
the Wolverines. He won't get his chance
to overcome the hitting slump.
"I just need to realize that tomorrow's
another day," Koman said, somewhat
cliched but still from the heart. "I need to
come out and play hard again. One of
these days, it's going to come true."
call in the morning, but if it looks like
the weather is going to be too bad,
If not tomorrow, then Michigan will
take the two hour bus trip to Mt.
Pleasant on Wednesday.
"We always look forward to playing
Michigan," Jonker said. "I have a lot
of respect for Hutch and her team.
They do an outstanding job."
The NCAA allows Michigan to
play a total of 56 games, 18 of which
are against Big Ten schools. The bal-
ance of the schedule can be played
against any teams - such as MAC
schools - and are played more for
experience than for purely wins and
Michigan, coming off a sweep of
Minnesota on Sunday, has maintained
its strengths. Junior Marie Barda con-
tinues her strong pitching with a 0.40
ERA, followed by freshman Marissa
But, the Wolverines' weaknesses
haven't disappeared, either.
"Our pitching staff has obviously
been our strength right now,"
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said.
"We're still continuing to work on our
hitting. The rest is in our confidence
per collected her 700th career victory
earlier this season.
Looking back over time, the serifs
history is as close as tomorrow's
games are predicted to be. The series
is tied at 27 games apiece. Last see
son, the Wolverines narrowly scalpeu
the Chippewas, 3-2.
Jonker did not feel that playing a
school from a bigger conference
would intimidate her players.
"Yes, Michigan is in the Big Ten,
but we won't look at that," she said.
"We see Michigan as just another
great team, not a conference, to beaf"
Tomorrow will offer a pair of nail-
biting games, not to mention -some
easy travel. The northern trek, whi*
is under 150 miles, will offer a quick
jog up the mitten and back.
"We're used to traveling five or six
hours on a bus, so a short trip will be
really nice," Taylor said.
Michigan's 16-game winning streak
was snapped last Friday by Wisconsin.
After winning two games on Sunday,
the Wolverines hope to regain their
momentum heading into May.
"If each of us do our part and hit th*
ball, we'll do alright," Taylor said.
ence at the
'M' recognizes talented scholar athletes
Elizabeth Kampfe and Rob Renes highlight academic award winners
By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
A little over a week ago, Justin
Toman won his second individual
national title-on the parallel bars.
Just barely four months ago, Rob
Renes, a 1999 football tri-captain, con-
cluded his four-year career in the 2000
Orange Bowl - a career captured
under the spotlights of a 40-9 record
highlighted by a national champi-
And at the end of the last millenni-
um, Elizabeth Kampfe erased memo-
ries of an injury-riddled season and
showed signs of brilliance that resem-
bled the performance she gave as a
sophomore, en route to winning the
1997 NCAA Regional in cross country.
Throughout their careers, these three
have left indelible marks on Michigan
Regardless of their on-field achieve-
ments, last night at the Tenth Annual
Michigan Athletics Academic
Achievement Awards, Toman, Renes
and Kampfe, along with 320 of their
peers, were honored for their accom-
plishments in the classroom.
The athletes in attendance were rec-
ognized for maintaining at least a 3.0
grade point average for two consecu-
For Toman, though this recognition
may not quite live up to the thrill of
winning an individual title, it was spe-
"It's a different kind of excitement,"
Toman said. "Sports are intense. This is
just quiet recognition and honor."
Though Toman still has a year of eli-
gibility left at Michigan, last night's
event was Renes and Kampfe's chance
to bid a final adieu to their fellow ath-
As recipients of the Big Ten
Conference Medal of Honor, which is
awarded to the graduating male and
female student-athlete who best
"excels in the classroom, in the athletic
arena and in the community."
"I am truly honored and thrilled that
my years at Michigan have come to a
close on such a high note," said
Kampfe, who will begin graduate
school at Illinois next fall. "I remember
sitting in the airport with Coach Mike
McGuire on my flight home from my
recruiting trip (and telling him) 'I don't
think I can make it here. I'm not the
best runner on the team, and the ath-
letes you have are so much better than
"But what I didn't realize then was
that it didn't matter what I had achieved
until then, but if I was not quite
Michigan material then, I would be by
the time I left."
Kampfe's Michigan career may be
over, but the three-time All-American
still has a year of eligibility left in
track, which she could carry over to
Illinois if she so chooses.
"I think when I was recognized for
(the Big Ten Medal of Honor), it was
probably one of the greatest honors
I've received both academically and
athletically," Kampfe said. "It was a
great opportunity for me to thank
This season, Renes, became "only
the third player in the 120-year history
of Michigan football to be recognized
as an All-American for his academic
achievements as well as being honored
as an All-American player for his per-
formance on the playing field,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
"I'd like to congratulate all of you for
a job well-done, Renes said to his fel-
low award recipients. "And I'd like to
encourage all of you to keep doing -the
things you've been doing.
"And I promised myself freshman
year that I would never say this, but it
goes faster than you can possibly imag-
While Renes and Kampfe were the
featured honorees at last night's cele-
bration, the athletes who had attained a
4.0 GPA in either term last year were
also honored as well as those who were
All-Conference Selections in 1999.
Senior Elizabeth Kampfe won the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor for her
excellence in academics, the community, and her performance for cross country.
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