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April 05, 2004 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-05

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TIME TO SHINE
The Michigan Daily caught up with Ann Arbor resident David Barrett,
the composer of "One Shining Moment." Arguably the most famous
song in sports, it will air tonight on CBS after the NCAA title game.
PAGE 6B

THE SPORTSMONDAY COLUMN

11

J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGH:
A Trip to the NIT Final
Four was well worth it.
PAGE 3B

RIGHT BOW-MAN FOR THE JOB
Bob Bowman takes over as men's
swimming coach for the retiring
Jon Urbanchek.
PAGE 7B

SPORTS

SECTION B

Urbe Adoimun Thdt

Catch

2-2
2: Minnesota 6, Michigan 5
4: Michigan 12, Minnesota 10

Game 1: Michigan 4, Minnesota 3
Game 3: Minnesota 3, Michigan 2
'M'Nlne rallies to
split four games
w*th M innesota
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer

Game
Game

To be "the man," you've got to beat the man, or so the saying goes.
Going into this weekend, the Michigan baseball team knew that its
four-game series with Minnesota was important in terms of building
a winning club in the Big Ten.
"Minnesota has been running this league for the past ten years,"
manager Rich Maloney said. "Psychologically, it was big for us to
play with them because Minnesota has been so good for so long."
With its 12-10 victory over the Gophers (2-2 Big Ten , 12-10),
Michigan (2-2 Big Ten, 11-11) gained a split of the four-game series
with the Gophers. Yesterday's game started rocky for Michigan with
starting pitcher Michael Penn giving up five runs in the first inning.
The defense did not help Penn, though, as a throwing error advanced
Minnesota catcher Jake Elder to third base. A walk, a single and a
double later and the Wolverines were in a 5-0 hole. Penn never got in
a groove and was out of the game after 3.1 innings, having given up
eight runs.
But down 8-1, Michigan started a characteristic rally to close the
lead to 8-5 in the fourth inning. Using a string of four singles, Michi-
gan had first baseman Kyle Bohm and third baseman AJ Scheidt on
second and third. A double by catcher Jeff Kunkel and the Gophers'
lead was just three runs.
"One thing our team has been able to do is battle back, like the
three games we won against Duke earlier this season," Maloney said.
Michigan kept the pressure on Minnesota in the fifth, as the
Wolverines used some patented small ball to score three more runs
and tie the game at eight. Shortstop Jeremy Goldshmeding doubled
to start another rally. A walk by Brad Roblin and a bunt single by
Eric~..&ose - who was five-for-five on the day - loaded the bases.
ec&6drlaseman Chris Getz singled, scoring three more runs for the
:WWrihs after a throwing error by the Gophers.
"Even when we were losing, we knew we could battle back," Mal-
oney said.
After tying the game at 8-8, Michigan relied on solid relief pitch-
ing by Paul Hammond. Hammond, returning from Tommy John sur-
gery, pitched four innings of relief and gave up just one run.
"Hammond really gave us a lift since our starting pitching was
struggling," Maloney said.
Minnesota came back to take a 10-8 lead in the top of the sixth,
but once again Michigan responded with four runs in the bottom of
the sixth. Michigan registered a two-out rally with two walks and two
singles. Right fielder Matt Butler doubled, scoring two runs that gave
Michigan the final lead it needed with Hammond providing solid
pitching.
While Sunday's game was a shootout, Saturday's second game was
a pitching duel. However, the weather did not cooperate and the
game had to finish yesterday.
See GOPHERS, Page 5B

SOFTBALL
Motycka tees off
on Boilennakers
By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writer
WEST LAFAYETTE - The Michigan softball team
looked like it was competing in a home run derby this week-
end, and Michigan's Nicole Motycka was starting to look a
lot like Shawn Green.
She isn't 200 pounds, and she can't sport the goatee like
Green can. But, going three-for-three
with three home runs is something that
only a handful of players can do.
In the first game of yesterday's soft-
ball doubleheader against Purdue,
Motycka hit three jacks and had five
RBI. Her performance led the Wolverines to a 9-0 victory.
"It's pretty exciting" Motycka said. "Some days you are
just on. You are seeing the ball and there is nothing that's
going to stop you from hitting it. I couldn't tell you why."
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins thought that the weather
had something to do with the team's prolific hitting.
"The wind was really blowing out, so we hit a few up
there," Hutchins said. "I think that some (balls) were really
well hit, and some just got up in the jet stream and just car-
ried. I thought that our kids were just swinging their bats,
and, when they swing, things will happen."
Motycka wasn't the only one who was getting a piece of
Purdue's Diana LaRiva
She led the way, but two other Wolverines also had shots
that cleared the fence. Grace Leutele went two-for-three
with two home runs and four RBI.
"She was just swinging well," Hutchins said. "She was
ready. She was ready for the outside pitch when they threw
it and ready for the inside pitch when they threw it."
Jessica Merchant had just one hit, but it was also a home-
run - her team-leading 12th of the season. All nine of
Michigan's runs came off of home runs.
"We hit the ball really well today, which is good," Mer-
chant said. "I think that we were consistent throughout the
lineup - everyone hit well. That's always a positive, espe-
cially in the Big Ten season."
The weekend marked the beginning of the Big Ten season
for the Wolverines, and they certainly got off to a good start.
The Wolverines (4-0 Big Ten, 29-6 overall) won all four of
their games this weekend against strong teams. Coming into
the weekend, Purdue (0-2, 22-12) had the second-best over-
all record in the Big Ten, behind Michigan.
Hitting, or lack thereof, was the theme for the Boilermak-
ers as well. They are batting .278 as a team this season, but
couldn't get anything started this weekend. In the first game
of the doubleheader, sophomore pitcher Jennie Ritter and
freshman closer Lorylin Wilson held Purdue to no runs on
See BOILERS, Page 4B
MOUND DOMINANCE
After giving up a mere three runs during its four-game trip
through the Hoosier state, which included two shut-outs in
West Lafayette, Michigan's starting pitchers have once again
paced the Wolverines.
Statistics through 35 games:
Pitcher Record E.R.A. Innings Strikeouts
Jennie Ritter 12-3 0.98 105.2 141
Nicole Motycka 11-3 0.61 80.0 63
Lorilyn Wilson 6-0 0.50 42.1 55

i

TONY DING/Daily
After a single by second baseman Chris Getz, Michigan outfielder Brad Roblin (9) slides home under
Minnesota catcher Gary Dick. Three runs came across on the play to tie the game at eight.

*

Blue survives 'torture,'
advances to Nationals

0 MEN'S GYMNASTICS
Wolverines upset with
fifth-place perfornance

By Melanie Kebler
Daily Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE - "This just
felt like sheer torture," Michigan
women's gymnastics coach Bev Plocki
said Saturday.
And for Michigan, she was right. The
Wolverines eked out a second-place fin-
ish at the Northeast Regional meet with
a score of 196.375, and qualified to
compete at the National Championships
in two weeks. Georgia ran away with
the competition, scoring a 197.525.
Mistakes and a few flat performanc-
es by Michigan allowed Iowa State and
Penn State to stay close - the
Cyclones and host Nittany Lions fin-
ished .225 and .400 points out of sec-
ond place, respectively, in a
competition that came down to the
wire. A comeback on beam gave the
Wolverines just enough to become one
of the two teams that the region will
send to nationals.
The night seemed destined to be a
difficult one from the start. Michigan
drew a rotation in which they started
on the floor exercise and ended on
balance beam.
"Starting or ending on beam are the
two most difficult rotations to draw,"

trying to leave themselves some room
for scoring in later rotations.
"At a regional meet, judges are more
picky with deductions because they are
trying to differentiate six really quality
teams," Plocki said. "When you do a
good routine and the score is average,
it's hard to keep that emotional enthusi-
asm up."
During the third rotation, in which
Michigan had a bye, it was Penn State
that started bringing emotion into the
competition. The Nittany Lions hit
vault after vault, igniting the home
crowd and gaining momentum. Then it
was the Wolverines' turn to step up to a
difficult apparatus - the uneven bars.
Freshman Lindsay Bruck, who fell
during her touch warm-up, fell again
during her routine, as did junior Lauren
Mirkovich. This meant that Michigan
would have to count a fall in its total
score for the event.
"When we had the fall on bars, Penn
State was on a roll, and they were look-
ing great;' Plocki said. "I wasn't really
sure (if we could recover)."
Like true veterans, Ray and senior
Calli Ryals finished the event with
strong scores of 9.975 and 9.900,
respectively. The Nittany Lions also
counted a fall on bars, recording a

By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writer

CHAMPAIGN - The expression
on the faces of the Michigan men's
gymnastics team said it all. In less
than two hours, as the Wolverines
went from elated to dejected - their
facial expressions gradually shifted to
fit the mood.
The Wolverines placed fifth this
weekend at the NCAA Champi-
onships. The finish was higher than
their No. 7 seed, but lower than Michi-
gan coach Kurt Golder's preseason
hope of a team that "could shock the
gymnastics world." Golder said that
the team wasn't unhappy, but exhaust-
ed from a weekend's work.
"Right when the competition ended,
they were pretty darn happy," Golder
said. "They felt like they did a good
job, and I do too. We're just not quite
that good. We had to have everything
go perfect, and we didn't."
The night began with an ominous
opening routine from sophomore
Gerry Signorelli on vault. Signorelli
started his round off a step too early
and missed the vault completely.
"I have never seen him do anything

tion. After Bottke's vault, the team was
on its feet, yelling and screaming for
each competitor. The Wolverines fin-
ished the rotation with a team vault
score of 37.750, which was not only
the best team vault score at the
NCAAs, but was also good enough to
break Michigan's school record.
The Wolverines continued with a
strong showing on the parallel bars,
which had been a weak event for the
team all year long. But their third rota-
tion, the high bar, was somewhat dis-
appointing. Michigan scored a 37.125,
but had a couple of missed routines
and was not as good as it had been in
the past. The intensity gained from the
vault began to fade, and the bye that
they had next round didn't help.
"(Being intense) is much easier to
do in the beginning of the meet than
the end," Golder said. "They should be
able to sustain it, but they are getting a
little bit tired and if things are going,
it's hard to get up."
Michigan finished off the last three
rotations looking flat, but it was still
able to post a team-high score of
220.525. The coaches and gymnasts
were all pleased that they were able to
end the season with their best score of

MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
Michigan's Elise Ray shown earlier this year after a victory against Utah. Ray led
Wolverines to place second in the Northeast Regional.

solid routine directly after Kroll's fall,
earning a 9.825. Sophomore Becca
Clauson and Deiley followed suit, with

also said placing veterans at the end of
the lineup is crucial.
"They've been there. They know

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