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April 02, 2001 - Image 9

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-02

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Sports desk: 647-3336
sportsdesk@umich.edu

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Agony of
the sweep
Penn State takes
hree from baseball
By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
The last time the Michigan baseball team had a
victory over No. 25 Penn State (5-1 Big Ten, 12-15
overall), pitcher Bryce Ralston was a healthy sopho-.
core who pitched five scoreless innings to help beat:
the Nittany Lions 6-1, and propel the Wolverines
into the postseason. That was May 15, 1999.
Since then Ralston has undergone Tommy John,
surgery on his elbow, and did not play last season
as a result. Michigan (1-3, 10-12) was swept by
Penn State in 2000, and hoped not to repeat that this
past weekend, when the Nittany Lions were in Ann
Arbor for four games. Only three were played, how-
ever, as Sunday's game was cancelled due to an
early April snowstorm.
But the man who won the only game against Penn
tate in the last 15 tries for Michigan would not
pitch, having gotten the start on Wednesday against
Oakland.
The rest of the Wolverine staff could not contain
the Nittany Lions, now the best team in the Big Ten.
Penn State took a three-game sweep by the scores of
2-1, 4-1 and 9-3.
"I tell them to keep their chins up," Michigan
coach Geoff Zahn said. "Because in (Saturday's)
second game we started swinging our bats a lot bet-
er. And we're young. They have to realize that the
eams we're playing are no better than the teams we
played at the beginning of the year."
The weekend would get progressively worse for
the Wolverines. A Saturday doubleheader of seven-
inning games gave senior captain Nick Alexander
and freshman Jim Brauer chances to start against

'M' dominates Illinois
after losing to DePaul

By Kdsten Fkdu
Daily Sports Writer

CHAMPAIGN - Last weekend,
the Michigan softball team met two
opponents which it potentially could
have dismissed. The Wolverines had
the talent but struggled to obtain the
drive.
After surrendering one horrible
inning in their first game against No.
10 DePaul last Friday, all concentra-
tion fled for the remainder of the dou-
bleheader. The Wolverines (2-0,
14-11-1) lost both games to the Blue
Demons 4-2 and 5-2.
Michigan spun 180 degrees after
feeling the heat of its mistakes for its
Big Ten season opening against Illi-
nois Saturday and Sunday, winning
10-2 and 2-0, respectively.
Yesterday's game went scoreless
until the bottom of the sixth inning
when Rebecca Tune grounded a base
hit to center field that drove in Moni-
ca Schock and Melinda Moulden,
who had just knocked a double to
left.
Michigan's defensive strategy kept
the freshman-filled Illini team from
scoring in the top of the sixth when
pitcher Marie Barda was faced with
runners on second and third, two outs
and Illinois' best hitter, Janna Sartini,
stepping to the plate.
Catcher Kim Bugel gave the signal
and Barda threw four intentional balls
to walk Sartini, loading the bases.
"We wanted to make the force
because there were runners on second
and third," Bugel said. Sartini "is a
good hitter, and we had a better
chance of getting the next girl out."

The strategy worked. Katie O'Con-
nell took a couple practice swings
and grounded out.
Sartini "is their number-four hitter
and she was 3-3 (Saturday)," Michi-
gan coach Carol Hutchins said. "She
hadn't hit the ball yet today, but you
don't let their best hitter have a
chance to beat you - that's the rule
of thumb."
On Saturday, Michigan came out
strong with Kelsey Kollen hitting a
double to right on the first pitch. Ste-
fanie Volpe hit a single, bringing
Kollen in to score. Moulden then hit
Volpe in with a line drive to center
before Illinois even had a chance at
the plate.
After pitcher Marissa Young hit a
double and Meghan Doe brought her
home, Illinois replaced Amanda For-
tune on the mound with Kathryn
Nevard, intending to close the gap on
Michigan's 3-0 lead.
Then, leading off the fourth inning,
Tune hit a double and was brought in
by Young's homerun.
"It was great because my room-
mate was on second base, and she
told me a changeup was coming,"
Young said. "She picked up the sign,
so it helped a lot."
In the same inning, Chrissy Garza,
Melissa Taylor and Volpe loaded the
bases. After Schock got Garza and
Taylor to the plate, Illinois decided to
try yet another pitcher as Sherri Tay-
lor took the mound.
"They have a lot of pitchers,"
Hutchins said. "I think we were hit-
ting them, and they just thought to try
something else and see if it works."
See ILLINI, Page 38

DANNY MOLOSHOK'JDaify
'the Wolverines were swept by Penn State for the second-straight series. The Nittany Lions own a
seven-game winning streak against Michigan.

Justin Nash and Mike Watson, respectively, of Penn
State. It was the third career start for Brauer, and
the second for Watson.
In the top of the third, Penn State catcher Chris
Netwall did the damage for the second time of the
se ies. After singling to lead off the inning, Netwall

was sacrificed to second by Willie Melendez, and
was driven in by a Zach Smithlin single. In the fifth,
Netwall and Melendez scored on a Rod Perry sin-
gle.
"They're experienced hitters," Zahn said.
See SWEEP, Page 5B

Clash

of the titans

Poor shooting,
buries Spartans
After ending the defendingl
champ's repeat bid, Arizona will
face Duke in battle of stars.r
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - As the buzzer sound-
ed, Arizona's Richard Jefferson threw his hands in
the air and sent a salute to all those Wildcats fans
who have watched this bittersweet season unfold.
On the strength of an extremely impressivej
performance, Arizona moves on to the title game. ,
And what an emotional ride it has been for the
Wildcats. Think about it: Lute Olson - who mar-
ied his beautiful bride, his high school sweet-
heart, the late Bobbi Olson, here in MinneapolisA
- has an opportunity to win the national champi-
onship in this very city.
"One more win," he mouthed to the crowd, as he
thrust his index fingers in the air."One more win."4
A five-minute barrage of can't-miss shooting
and smothering defense pushed the Wildcats to
an 80-61 victory over defending championx
Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament's semi-r
linals Saturday.
With a victory Monday over Duke, a 95-84
winner over Maryland in the second semifinal, AP PHOTO AP PHOTO
At the men': finals in Minneapolis tonight, ...or the effort-induced scowl of Shane Battier
See WILDCATS, Page 38 either the dinking snarl of Loren Woods... will be the face of a champion.
NBA will be more terrptzg next tbne around r Izzo

Down 22,
Duke rallies
past Maryland
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Duke was
down by 22 points and coach Mike
Krzyzewski didn't mince words.
"You're losing by so much, you can't
play any worse; he told top-ranked Blue
Devils during a timeout. "So what are you
worried about, losing by 40?"
Duke turned things around in a record
way, digging itself out of its biggest hole
of the season and into another NCAA
championship game in a dome that's been
a lucky home.
The Blue Devils rallied yet again
against Maryland, this time for a 95-84
victory Saturday night and a chance at
another national championship in the
Metrodome.
"It's a 40-minute game and they beat us
for 12 minutes," said Duke freshman
Chris Duhon, who had 10 points and six
assists. "If you're going to beat us you've
got to do it for 40."
Shane Battier, the national player of the
year, had 25 points for Duke (34-4),
which will play Arizona for the title Mon-
day night on the same court where it won
its last title in 1992.
"It's going to be a special night, Batti-
er said. "You can't get two better teams,
coaches and traditions in this game"
It will be Duke's seventh title game
under Krzyzewski, who moved into a tie
for second place with Kentucky coach
Adolph Rupp with his ninth Final Four
victory. UCLA's John Wooden holds the
record with 21.
Championship coverage
Page 3B

AP PHOTO
Niele Ivey celebrates after the Fight-
ing Irish defeated Purdue, 68-66.
Riey catchecs
fire to secure,
Iish's title
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Notre Dame
pulled off yet another comeback, this one
for the biggest prize of all.
The Irish clawed and scratched their
way back from deficits time after time
and beat Purdue 68-66 on Ruth Riley's
two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to
win their first national championship.
Notre Dame trailed by 12 points in the
first half and was down 66-64 with a lit-
tle more than a minute to play when-
Riley, the team's unanimous All-Ameri-
can and national player of the year, came
through.
"I can't even describe it," Riley said.
"This is the only thing I wanted. To be
able to share this with my teammates is
unbelievable. We worked so hard that it
was fitting to end the season this way."
It ended the way it did in large mea-
sure because of Riley.
First, she scored in the lane to tie it at
66 with 1:01 remaining. Then, she
rebounded a miss by Purdue's Shereka
Wright, enabling the Irish to set up a late
shot.
They got the ball to Riley - who else?
- and she was fouled by Wright. She
made the first throw, returned to the line
after a Purdue timeout and calmly made

ichigan State coach Tom Izzo flirted with
the idea of the NBA last spring - when
e had something to return to.
But would he have stayed without a Final Four-
caliber team returning?
An interesting question. And probably more
salient than you might think.
Consider: Last May the
Atlanta Hawks offered Izzo the^
job. Coming off of a national
title, a third straight Big Ten title
and a highly regarded recruiting
class, East Lansing loved him.
He took a perennial middle-
of-the-pack Big Ten team to the RAPHAEL
national title.
In his five years, the Spartans GOODSTEIN
evolved from repeat NIT perfor- On
mances, to the Sweet 16, to the Point
Final Four.
And then, of course, the national championship.

ing, and withiason Richardson and Zach Randolph
likely leavingjsearly for the NBA, Izzo will need to
decide if he has a team capable of contending for a
fourth-straight Final Four. Or if the Michigan State
dynasty will fall apart, forcing him to rebuild.
Without its four best players, even a well-coached
Michigan State will struggle contending for an
NCAA berth let alone a national title. Just ask the
1998-99 Wolv4trines. They followed up their Big
Ten Tournamext title with a12-19 performance.
And they had Louis Bullock returning, their second-
best player.
Now, some rmight think, well, Izzo did it once,
what will prevexit him from rebuilding Michigan
State again? Or,next year freshman Marcus Taylor
and recruit Kelvin Torbert will be around, so the
cupboard won't be that bare.
Both are true.
But Izzo built'the Spartans into a heavyweight
when Michigan was at its weakest. Rumors swirled
of the NCAA piacing Michigan on probation

Rumors have subsided of the NCAA hammering
Michigan with probation. Tommy Amaker is con-
sidered by many to be the best young coach in the
business, and is famed for his recruiting ability.
Teamed with Terrence Greene, the Flint-native and
incumbent assistant coach who might keep his job,
Amaker is a legitimate contender for just about
every recruit in Flint.
As for having two young guards returning? If
Izzo thought about jumping to the NBA with a
potential history-in-the-making roster, why would
he return for Louis Bullock and Robbie Reid, err,
Taylor and Torbert.
Obviously, the first sign of danger doesn't mean
Izzo will just up and leave.
First, another NBA team needs to offer him a job
- something that's not certain, now that he's one
year removed from his title. Also, he turned down
the NBA last year. So what will push him to go pro
this year?
Without the talent and with a new-and-improved

Last Dance Floor: The Michigan Daily's
final self-congratulatory entry of 2001.
Everyone's a star: Break-
ing down the
match-ups in one -s
of the most talent-
laiden champi-
onships in history.
Ten pizzas, two
hooptologists in
contention: A run x

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