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April 08, 2003 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-08

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 8, 2003

ICers want to make
this chance count

Hutchins heading for
milestone No. 800


By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer

By Courtney Lewis
Daily Sports Editor

After advancing all the way to the
Frozen Four the last two seasons, only
to be sent packing after the first game,
Michigan junior Andy Burnes has
learned one thing.
"Looking back at (the last) two years
now, (making it to the Frozen Four) is
nothing - just being there is nothing,"
Burnes said.
The Wolverines are no longer satis-
fied with just getting to the Frozen Four
- they want to take the next step. They
said the difference between playing for
the ultimate prize or going home as just
a semi-finalist for the third straight year
will be the opening minutes of Thurs-
day's game against Minnesota.
In both last year's loss to the Gohpers
and its 2001 loss to Boston Coilge,
Michigan trailed from the first period.
"I think it all comes down to our
start," captain Jed Ortmeyer said."The
last two years, we put ourselves into a
hole the first 10 minutes of the game.
We came back, and I felt like we

might have controlled the game from
that point in the game, but we were
too far in a hole."
The importance of a good first peri-
od could be magnified Thursday
because Minnesota has opened up early
leads in its last four games.
"That's good - it's good for a wake
up call for our team," coach Red Beren-
son said. "The whole game could be on
the line in the first five minutes. So we
need to be ready for that."
Michigan's upperclassmen have all
been to the Frozen Four twice, and just
the freshmen and goaltender Chris Gart-
man have never been there, so that expe-
rience could help the Wolverines be
ready to play as soon as the puck drops.
Also, the team has been focusing on
being mentally prepared and brushing
aside any distractions.
Much has been made of Michigan's
senior leadership lately, and Burnes said
he thinks that leadership will help the
rest of the team stay focused.
And getting another crack at the team
that ousted them last year could give the
Wolverines some extra motivation.

Michigan captain Jed Ortmeyer hopes to change his recent Frozen Four results.
"Last year's game is in the back of going into the weekend than in the
our head," Burnes said. "Nobody for- past two years.
gets the feeling of losing (after) being "We're going there on a mission,"
right there on the doorstep. It's a terri- Burnes said. "We've got just one goal
ble feeling, and you don't forget the in our minds and it starts Thursday
tears you shed." night. Our first goal is to put our-
Both Ortmeyer and Burnes said selves in a position to win a National
Michigan has a different attitude Championship."

It turns out the Michigan softball
team has played some games lately.
But its weekend opponent wasn't
Iowa - instead, the Wolverines
scrimmaged against themselves.
And, with today's scheduled dou-
bleheader versus Central Michigan
pushed back to tomorrow due to
snow, coach Carol Hutchins had the
team do the same.
"We're simply trying to create
game situations for the team,"
Hutchins said. "On Saturday, we
basically had a scrimmage for our
pitchers. They each pitched seven
innings of competitive ball and were
excellent, and we're going to contin-
ue to do that until we get back on
the field."
When the Wolverines manage to
get back on the field, Hutchins will
be just two wins shy of 800 - a
number reached by just 14 Division
I coaches. Of the 798 wins she has,
775 have come with Michigan.
As is often the case when coaches
reach milestones, senior captain
Marissa Young expects everyone to
be excited when it happens -
everyone other than Hutchins that is.
"We haven't talked about it at
all," Young said. "Hutch always tells
us take it one game at a time, and
not look ahead to things like that.
"It will be great to get it for her,
but knowing Hutch, she'll treat it as
just another win. She's just not the
type of person to make a big deal
out of it."

According to Young, the team
appreciates the fact that Hutchins
focus is always on the team.
"Hutch is a great player's coach,"
Young said. "She really relates well
to us. One thing I've really taken in
from her is to never be satisfied.
Now I'm always challenging myself,
and it's helped me a lot."
During games Hutchins usually
displays a steady, steely demeanor.
With the team, she knows when to
push them to improve and when to
ease off and have some fun.
"When I think about how Hutch
is different from other coaches I've
had, I remember when we were
approaching the Big Ten Tourna-
ment, and we were struggling badly
with our hitting," Young said.
"Hutch went to a store and got
some old fruit. When we saw her,
we had no idea what she was doing.
She had us take batting practice
with the fruit. It loosened us up and
the idea really worked because we
went on to have a good finish to the
The team has been scrimmaging
to avoid any rustiness, but at the
same time hasn't enjoyed facing
each other. To address that,
Hutchins is trying to add games to
the schedule.
"It's been frustrating and disap-
pointing, but if we let it affect us
that would be unacceptable,"
Hutchins said. "Since this isn't the
first time this has happened, I know
my kids will handle this the right
way. When we're back on the field, I
know they'll be ready."


Michigan senior Marissa Young and the rest of the Wolverines were forced to
practice and scrimmage Indoors thanks to the tarp of snow covering Alumni Field.







'' s

$25,000 IN CASH








(TIME, APRIL 15, 2002 AND FOX NEWS APRIL 4, 2002)



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