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September 02, 2003 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-02

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4E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2003

California denies softball world series berth

By Sharad Matta
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan softball team planned on riding the arm
of Marissa Young to its third straight College World
Series, but ran into an even hotter pitcher in Game 14 of
regional action.
Defending NCAA champion California scratched out
a run in the second inning and Cal pitcher Kelly Ander-
son made it stand, shutting down No. 3 seed Michigan
for a 1-0 win.
The No. 2 seed Golden Bears did not give up a run in
25 innings, and dating back to last year's World Series,
have not allowed a run in 47 postseason innings.
Haley Woods roped a double with a runner on first in
the second, putting a pair of runners in scoring position.
Two batters later Chelsea Spencer hit a sacrifice fly to
give Cal the lead.
Michigan's (44-16) best chance at the plate came in
the fourth inning. With one out, senior Melinda

Moulden singled and Young followed with a double.
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins waved Moulden home,
but the relay from right field beat her to the plate.
"I waved (Moulden) in because you don't get a lot of
opportunities to score," Hutchins said. "I thought we had
a great chance and we still had Marissa on second base."
In the sixth, freshman Tiffany Haas reached second
base with one out, but junior Meghan Doe and Moulden
both grounded out to end the threat.
Softball coach Carol
Hutchins won her 800th
game in 2003.
With one out in the final inning, sophomore Jessica
Merchant followed a walk by junior Monica Schock with
a single. But senior Lisa Mack struck out looking and jun-
ior Jennifer Olds grounded out to second to end the game.

The Wolverines were 4-1 entering Sunday's game
against the Golden Bears. After cruising by Western
Michigan 8-0 on Thursday, Michigan struggled Friday
afternoon and lost to Cal, 9-0. The Wolverines played
again right after the loss and bounced back to crush
Wright State, 13-0.
On Saturday, Young single-handedly kept Michi-
gan's season alive in wins over No. 4 seed Notre
Dame (5-3) and top-seeded DePaul (3-2), respective-
ly. Young was on the mound for all 14 innings and
struck out 25 batters in the two games. She had one
stretch where she retired 30 of 31 batters and also
drove in all three runs against DePaul with a first-
inning homerun.
Young - who joined Moulden and Haas on the All-
Regional team - was disappointed to see her season,
and Michigan career, come to an end.
"I gave it everything I had and my team was behind
me," Young said. "We had a great tournament and it's
going to be hard to leave."

After receiving a bid to the College World Series for the past three season,
Michigan's softball team was shut out of the tournament in regional finals
by the University of California.

Tumblers top Big Ten

Field Hockey sticks it to the
Big Ten, wins championship

By Mchaei Nison
Daily Sports Writer
CHAMPAIGN - It's one thing for a
team to compete with half of its schol-
arship athletes, including an All-Ameri-
can, out due to injury. It's something
entirely different for that same team to
win a Big Ten Championship.
The Michigan women's gymnastics
team did just that, scoring a season-
high 197.450 to hold off Iowa and win
its 12th Big Ten Championship. The
win extends the Wolverines' Big Ten
Championship win streak to an impres-
sive five straight meets and is also the
10th Big Ten Title in the last 11 years
for Michigan.
"It's an incredible feeling," Michi-
gan coach Bev Plocki said. "I told
them before we came out tonight that I
wanted them to come out on the floor
and not compete not to lose. They
needed to put it all out there on the
floor and be aggressive, and if they
made a mistake, I wanted them to
make it giving 150 percent, and that's
exactly what they did."
The most satisfying part about the
event was not that the 10th-ranked
Wolverines (10-1 Big Ten, 17-6 overall)
won, but how they won. Going into the
third rotation (Michigan's second
event), the Wolverines trailed the
Hawkeyes 49.250-49.125. The next
event for the gymnasts was bars, an
event that the team has had its fair share
of problems on this season. Junior Calli
Ryals notched a 9.9 in the middle of the
routine and was followed up by fresh-
man Jenny Deiley's career high 9.95.
Sophomore Lauren Mirkovich put the
icing on the cake with a 9.925. Plocki

was visibly pleased, giving an emphatic
fist-pump after each routine. The score,
a 49.450, was a season-high, and was
also good to tie for the fifth-best post-
season bars score in Michigan history.
"It just goes to prove that the poten-
tial is there, the talent is there, and you
just have to learn how to hit it mentally,
and we did that today, so we're on a
roll," Ryals said.
Sometimes teams experience let-
downs after a particularly pleasing per-
formance, but the Wolverines would
have none of that. After a fall by sopho-
more Kara Rosella on the first perform-
ance on beam, Michigan caught fire.
Sophomore Chelsea Kroll tied a career
high with a 9.925, and Deiley and
Becca Clauson gave solid contributions
with a 9.85 and 9.825, respectively. But
those scores just paved the way for sen-
ior Janessa Grieco, who scored a 9.95,
which was a career high and also tied
the Michigan record for postseason
beam scores. Ryals finished off the
magnificent series of performances
with a 9.925 of her own.
"It was really exciting, too, because I
don't usually watch anyone do beam, but
I had seen Kara fall, and so I was like,
'This is it, we want to win Big Tens. This
is going to be it,' Grieco said.
After the Wolverines matched their
bars score with an identical-49.450 on
floor, it was all over. Well, almost.
The Big Ten conference also handed
out its season awards. These awards
included the Coach of the Year and
Freshman of the Year, which were won
by Plocki and Deiley respectively.
The feeling in the gym after it was all
over was one of jubilation for the
Michigan fans who had made the trek

By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Writer
The weekend of November 9-10 was bittersweet for
the Michigan field hockey team. Saturday saw the sec-
ond-ranked Wolverines (6-0 Big Ten, 15-2 overall) end
their 14-game winning streak with a heartbreaking 4-3
overtime loss to No. 1 Old Dominion Saturday, but they
won the Big Ten title against Penn State on Friday.
If Michigan could take anything away from the loss to
Old Dominion (6-0 Colonial Athletic Association, 15-2), it
is possible that the Wolverines could face them again in
the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan dug itself an early 3-0 hole, but began to claw
its way back as forward April Fronzoni opened the scoring
midway through the first half. Defender Kristi Gannon
notched the second Michigan goal off a penalty corner,
and Fronzoni pulled the score even with six minutes to go
in regulation. But Old Dominion's Lotte Bant scored the
game winner three minutes into the extra session.
Coming into this weekend, the Wolverines had already
wrapped up a share of the Big Ten title. But beating Penn
State would wrap up the conference schedule with a per-
fect 6-0 record and an outright title.
That was the case Friday, as Michigan beat Penn State,
3-1, to win its second outright Big Ten title and the third
title in school history.
This season, the Wolverines were determined to win the
conference title after watching both of their biggest rivals
share the crown last season. Michigan coach Marcia
Pankratz felt that the Big Ten is the primier conference in
the nation, and going undefeated in conference play was
no easy task.
"This is the toughest Big Ten conference ever, with
every team a quality team," Pankratz said. "The Big Ten is
the toughest conference in the nation, and to not lose a
game is a really important accomplishment for them."
Penn State (3-2, 12-3) made things interesting for the
Wolverines in the early going on Friday afternoon. After

Fronzoni opened the scoring six minutes into the game,
the Nittany Lions' Kelly Concini netted the equalizer just
two-and-a-half minutes later.
Defender Stephanie Johnson was the difference for the
Wolverines in the game, finding the net for the first time
in nearly a month on a penalty corner. Johnson added one
more for good measure just before halftime, tying her sea-
son record for goals at 11.
In the second half, Michigan was content to play
defense and keep shots away from goalkeeper Molly Mal-
oney, who faced only a single shot in the second half.
"Penn State's speed was real close to ours, and they
were the fastest team we've played to date," Pankratz said.
"Molly Maloney played solid today in goal and made
some important saves on breakaway situations. When your
score opportunistic goals and you have solid goalkeeping,
it's going to be a good day."

Janessa Grieco received a career high
9.95 on the beam at Big Ten's.
from Ann Arbor to support the team.
Perhaps the happiest person of all was
Plocki herself.
"Up until tonight, I think that the
1992 Big Ten Title - the first won that
we won - probably held the warmest
place in my heart," she said. "But after
tonight, this one definitely does
because just what this team has been
through, and to come out here and com-
pete and win this meet with really only
using 50 percent of our scholarship ath-
letes is just a testament to these kids'
sheer grit and determination. I am so
proud of them, I could just burst."

Kate Dillon sets up Krsti Gannon as they play against
Northwestern. The stickers missed winning the NCAA
championship for a second year after a loss to Princeton.



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