4B -- The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 2, 2001
Michigan has dominated the Big
Ten the past six years and the
1999-2000 season was no differ-
ent. Here is a recap of what you
may have missed:
Sixteen-game winning streak: The
Wolverines won 16 consecutive
games leading up and including
the beginning of the Big Ten sea-
son. The streak included wins over
No. 4 Arizona State and No. 22
Notre Dame. Michigan lost just
one game in the month of March.
Stellar play of Marissa Young:
Then-freshman Young showed no
signs of intimidation as she
accumlated a 18-4 record to go
with a 1.14 ERA. Young was
named All-Big Ten second team
All-Great Lakes region first team.
In addition to pitching, Young was
the first Wolverine to hit two grand
slams in a career when she hit
against Auburn and one against
Hutchins leads all-time wins list:
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
became the all-time wins leader
with a 1-0 victory over Indiana.
She currently has a 675-292-4
Big Ten Tournament champs: After
succombing to Iowa in the Big Ten
conference race, the Wolverines
defeated the Haweyes in the final
to capture their fourth Big Ten
Tournament title in six years.
Stumped by DePaul: In hosting the
regiqnal, Michigan was beaten by
the Blue Demons in the first round
and were eliminated by them in
the final. The loss marks the sec-
ond consecutive year that the
Wolverines were unable to get
past the NCAA regional. Michigan
lost to Notre Dame in the 1999
BIG TEN STANDINGS
Team W L W L
Michigan 2 0 14 11
Penn State 3 1 21 11
Wiscbnsin 3 1 20 13
Iowa: 3 1 19 13
Northwestern 2 1 9 12
Illinois 2 2 30 ;d4
Ohio State 1 2 21 11
Purdu~e 2 2 25 10
Minnesota 1 2 22 11
Indiana 1 2 11 21
Michigan State 0 2 12 24
Through April 1, 2001
Player G BA AB RBI HR
Taylor 24 .439 82 5 0
Kollen 26 .306 85 9 0
Moulden 26 .284 81 16 4
Doe *22 .283 60 3 0.
Volpe 24 .267 60 4 2
Tune 26 .250 80 8 1j
Mack 16 .250 4 0 0
Young 23 .241 58 2g
Bugel 15 .217 23 0 0
Schock 22 .212 52 4 0
Betley 12 .208 24 & 0
Churchill 17 .188 16 4 1
Garza 21 .181 44 3 0
Elsner 4 .143 7 3 0
Conner 11 .000 7 0 0
Murdock 3 .000 2 0 0
Prichard 2 .000 0 0 0
Barda 2 .000 0 ' 0
ERA leader (12 innings pitched)
Queens of the
. __..__.. .. ___._.
Kosanke's graduation leaves Blue
troubled with changng lneus
Junior Stefanie Volpe, an Al-America Designated Player last season, will try her
hand at third base this year. Volpe won the job over freshman Angie Churchill.
By Nathan Linsley
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - From 1998-2000,
Michigan softball coach Carol
Hutchins did not have to ponder who
would be the Wolverines' third base-
The hot corner was occupied by Pam
Kosanke, who was a four-year starter
- three years at third base. Kosanke
was a career .300 hitter and Michigan's
MVP in 2000.
When Kosanke graduated, Hutchins
needed to choose between two possible
replacements: Junior Stefanie Volpe
and freshman Angie Churchill.
Volpe, an All-America selection a
year ago, was primarily used as a desig-
nated player, and Churchill was expect-
ed to fill the defensive void left by
Before this weekend's road trip to
DePaul and Illinois, neither one had
filled the hole.
"I'm constantly searching for a third
baseman," Hutchins said. "It's tough
for the kids to come in and play in that
The obvious choice for Hutchins was
to play Churchill at third and keep
Volpe in her role as designated player,
but defensive lapses and a lack of
offense forced a change.
In the first game against DePaul,
Churchill garnered her coach's wrath
by not covering her base on a routine
grounder, allowing a Blue Demon to
advance to third uncontested.
"Church hurt us (Friday)," Hutchins
The door was open for Volpe to play
third base in the second game against
DePaul and in the games against
Illinois, and for now, she has taken
"Volpe has had a better attitude and
has worked harder," Hutchins said. "I
told her the only reason I put her in was
that I felt she wanted to play third base.
For a couple weeks there, I didn't think
she wanted to."
"It's not that I don't want to be out
there, it's just that I was struggling with
my offense and everything was affect-
ing everything else," Volpe said. "I just
lost a lot of confidence out there."
In the first game against Illinois,
Volpe fielded five chances without an
error, while going 2-3 at the plate with
4 RBIs. In the second game, she strug-
gled with her offense but was still able
to help the team with error-free play at
Hutchins was enthused about the
play of her All-American.
"Volpe is working to win the posi-
tion, and I'm pleased to see that,"
Volpe believes that her age and her
time working with Kosanke gives her
the edge over Churchill.
"Pam Kosanke - I learned every-
thing about third base from her. So I
just try to take after her," Volpe said.
"Plus, being a junior, I kind of deserve
With the designated player spot
open, Hutchins could find another hit-
ting specialist to insert into the lineup
and inject life into the Wolverines'
Michigan had been rotating its catch-
ers, with senior Kim Bugel and fresh-
man Monica Schock splitting time.
With Volpe at third, Hutchins put
Bugel behind the plate and had Schock
hit for her.
Schock hit the ball well in the first
game against Illinois, driving in two
runs, and Bugel had some key blocks
on wild pitches in the rainy weather.
Only a freshman, Schock is the
Wolverines' catcher of the future.
"Mo is a great catcher, and she's
going to be one of the very best, I think,
in the country," Hutchins said.
But Bugel adds experience and lead-
ership to a team that is looking for both.
"As we get into the Big Ten, experi-
ence counts and Mo is going to get*
some more experience, but right now I
have to say that I like Bugel behind the
plate," Hutchins said. "She gives us that
calming edge we need."
"It's my position," Bugel said with a
smile. "I know when I go back there,
Hutch is like, 'Bring the spunk out
there.' (Monica) is a freshman - she
needs to learn. She's getting there. I'm
trying to teach her."
Since Marissa Young is the only
Wolverine pitcher who also hits, using
Volpe at third, Bugel catching and
Schock as the designated player will
not work when Marie Barda or Kates
In those situations, Bugel and Schock
will probably both hit, with Bugel
spending the majority of the time
behind the plate.
Having a set lineup for even one.
game in three will allow the Wolverines
to build confidence and consistency.
If the new lineup produces the same
kind of offensive outbursts it did in the
10-2 win over Illinois on Saturday, the
Wolverines should compete for a Big
Ten title with their solid pitching and
"Offense hasn't been our strength, so
you have to soar with your strengths,
and pitching and defense have been our
strength the whole season," Hutchins
Michigan looked to senior backstop Kim Bugel for experience and leadership after
the team had problems with defense and passed balls against DePaul.
Continued from Page 1B
With Volpe's two-run homer in the sixth, Young only had
to control the slippery ball after the Illini's two runs in order
to end the game with the slaughter rule after the sixth inning
Michigan's efforts on Friday were much less valiant.
By the time the second game rolled around, the Wolverines
looked like they'd had enough fun in the sun. DePaul capi-
talized on Michigan's lax defensive efforts, and the
Wolverines couldn't only manage two run scored in the
bottom of the seventh inning.
"I'm very disappointed because defense and pitching are
our strengths. Offense hasn't been our strength, so you have
to soar with your strengths," Hutchins said. "They goofed up
first-third plays that we needed to make - just sloppy crap.
That is absolutely unacceptable."
Michigan came out strong against the first game against
DePaul with a 2-0 lead, but it gave up four runs in the third
inning. The letdown dominated the players' attitudes and per-
"It has not been our strength the last couple of years to
come in and be the fighters because the scrappy team wins
here," Hutchins said. "Really, I don't want to take anything
away from them, but I don't think they're that much better
than us. But their attitude is better than ours, and their scrap-
piness is better than ours. We need to be the toughest team on
the field, and our kids, a lot of them, are learning that."
Although this is the first year for Illinois to play in the con-
ference, the Wolverines didn't look past its talent. The team
was prepared and pumped after two confidence-shattering
losses against the Blue Demons. The difference showed, and
Michigan was able to split the road trip and emerge victori-
ous its Big Ten opener.
"It's important for us to win any games right now because
we're working on, among other things, getting our confi-
dence to where it needs to be," Hutchins said. "It's when we
are in a tough game and they come up with the bases loaded
and two outs that we need to execute by not throwing wild
pitches, by staying ahead in the count, and coming back
strong after we walk a batter, after we hit the batter. That's
where you get your confidence."
at Bowling Green
at Penn State (2)
at Ohio State
at Ohio State
Captains lead with different styles
at Eastern Mich. (2)3 p.m.
at Mich. State 2 p.m.
Michigan State 1 p.m.
Big Ten Tourn. TBA
NCAA Regional BA
World Series TBA
By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Writer
When Kate Eiland and Melissa Taylor were
named as the captains of the Michigan softball
team, Eiland was shocked.
"It is a great honor - it was 100-percent
unexpected," Eiland said.
Why shouldn't she be?
After seeing very limited action last year due
to injury, Eiland's appearances have again
been limited this season because of injury. Her
on-field performance could not be judged and
many of the underclassmen had barely seen
her play, if at all.
Her career record is good - 14-5 with a
1.46 ERA - but she has not seen the action
that she needs or wants. She has appeared in
just 31 games in her career so far, forcing her
, ,, ,I , - - --
While Eiland was glad to see the field again,
she knew that her game showed rust.
"My reaction time is really off," Eiland said
of her error against the Broncos:
As a junior, Eiland is in rare territory as most
captains are seniors who have played for three
By contrast, Taylor has had a healthy career
and an impeccable season so far. She is cur-
rently hitting .439 with an on-base percentage
of .467. She also leads the team in stolen bases
"I've been focusing a lot on my short game,"
Taylor said. "I feel really fast, a lot faster (than
last year) - they aren't throwing me out."
Taylor leads with her performance on the
field, which she has been on since she arrived
to Michigan. She has started in 203 of the 205
games she has played in - No. 7 on the career
1; 't oA c1,n oc ,,-AetPah. o ._ c .,n
team for the rest of the season.
"People really respect her on the field and I
think people respect me off the field," Eiland
In addition to being captains together, they
also have a good relationship off the field.
"We have a great relationship - we are
good friends," Eiland said.
Eiland and Taylor are confident in their abil-
ities, but Michigan coach Carol Hutchins does-
n't think that they have perfected their tech-
nique just yet. As Michigan got off to a bit of a
shaky start at 14-11-1 - its worst start in six
years - Hutchins believes that the captains
must share some of that responsibility.
"Our leadership is not good enough,"
Taylor remains hopeful about the rest of the
"a anhvii din't Weak ea rlyad one.
NFCA TOP 25
As of March 28, 2001
first-place votes in parentheses
Team Record Pts Pvs
1. UCLA (27) 35-0 675 1
2. Arizona 36-2 645 2
3. California 39-1 619 3