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April 05, 2004 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-05

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 5, 2004 - 4B

Players of the Indiana Series

Players of the Purdue Series

Abby Stark
(Indiana)
Stark helped the Hoosiers give the
Wolverines a run for their money by
going 2-for-3 with an RBI which put
Indiana on the board in the seventh.
FRIDAY'S GAME
SIndiana 2
LP: M. Bogado (12-8)
Michigan 3
WP: J. Ritter (11-3)

Grace Leutele
(Michigan)
Before injuring her hamstring,
Leutele held up the bottom half of
the order with an RBI to drive in
the first run of the second game.
SATURDAY'S GAME
Michigan 4
WP: N. otycka (10-3)
Indiana 1
LP: M. Bogado (12-9)

Brooke Baker
(Purdue)
Baker held the Wolverines to just two
runs in the second game of the
series. She was named Big Ten Pitch-
er of the Week last week.
SUNDAY'S GAME 1
Michigan 9
WP: J. Ritter (12-3)
Purdue 0
LP: D. LaRiva (9-9)

Nicole Motycka
(Michigan)
In the first game of the series,
Motycka hit three home runs in her
first three at-bats to lead the
Wolverines' massacre of Purdue.
SUNDAY'S GAME 2
Purdue 0
LP: B. Baker (13-3)
m Mich(1an 2
SWP: N. otycka (01-3)

YESTERDAY'S GAME 2
Michigan 2, Purdue 0
Michigan (29-6, 4-0) Purdue (22-12, 0-2)
Player AS R H BI Player AB R H BI
Doe cf 3 0 0 0 Knight rf 3 0 1 0
Milian h 3 0 1 0 Absher cf 2 0 00
Haas 2b 3 0 1 0 Lilley ss 3 0 0 0
Olds 1b 3 1 1 1 Devich 2b 3 0 0 0
Merchant ss 3 0 1 0 Johnson dh 3 0 1 0
Motycka p 2 0 00 Dum pr 0 00 0
Schock c 3 1 1 0 Messer3b 3 0 2 0'
Churchill 3b 3 0 1 1 Peterson c 3 0 1 0'
Betleyrf 2 00 r0 FazonIf 2 000
TeschlerIf 0 0 0 0 Fo n 1b 1 0 0 0'
Fortune lb 2 0 0 0
Baker p 0 0 0 0
Total 252 6 2 Total 250 5 0
E - Purdue 1: Lilley. DP - none. LOB- Michigan 6;
Purdue 5. 2B - Michigan 2: Merchant; Churchill. 3D -
Michigan 1: Schock. HR.- Michigan 1: Olds. DBR-
Michigan 1: Motycka; Purdue 0. SD- None. CS - Pur-
due none; Michigan none.
R H E
Purdue 000 000 0- 0 51
Michigan 010 100 X - 2 6 0
IP H R ER BB SO
Michigan
Motycka W, (11-3) 7.0 5 0 0 0 5
Purdue
Baker L. (13-3) 6.0 6 2 2 1 2
At- Varsity Softball Complex, West Lafayette
Time - T1:30
YESTERDAY'S GAME 1

Motycka plays one-woman show

By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer

In any game at an outdoor venue,
wind plays a factor. In softball, it
holds home runs in and blows sure fly-
outs into the next zip code. Wind does
not discriminate, so those who deal
with it best will come out on top. Dur-
ing yesterday's doubleheader in West
Lafayette, Michigan junior Nicole
Motycka showed that she has the abili-
ty to adapt to rough conditions, both
on the mound and at the plate.
In the opening game against Purdue
she sent a school-record three shots
over the outfield wall, anchoring the
Wolverines' record-setting six home
run performance. No amount of wind
was going to take Motycka out of her
zone. Prior to this weekend, Motycka
had hit just two home runs in her
career, but yesterday's outburst did not
seem to take her by surprise.
"I wasn't surprised that I did well,"
Motycka said. "Sometimes you just
have that feeling, but I didn't expect it
to go out three times."
After taking advantage of the wind
while at the plate during the first
game, Motycka was determined to
prevent the Boilermakers from doing

the same during the nightcap. Know-
ing Motycka's typical pitching style,
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins was
confident in sending her out there.
"On a day like today, Nicole is the
kind of pitcher we want out there,"
Hutchins said. "She keeps the ball
down so you are not going to hit the
ball in the air as much."
Motycka pitched a five-hit shutout
in the second game, the Wolverines'
15th shutout of the season. As
Hutchins suspected, Motycka con-
trolled the Boilermaker hitters, forcing
them to ground out time after time.
"That's always been part of my
game, using the ground," Motycka
said. "I use our infielders to get the
outs - I've never been a strikeout
pitcher. I guess it helps on windy
days."
This sort of double duty is nothing
new to Motycka, who has worked
overtime all year. She is one of Michi-
gan's three starting pitchers, and on
what would be her off days, she serves
as the team's designated player.
Through Sunday's action, Motycka
has compiled an 11-3 record, with a
paper-thin 0.61 earned-run average.
She sat out several starts during the
past few weeks with a leg injury but

bounced back to give up just one run
in 15.1 innings of work this weekend,
including complete games both on
Saturday at Bloomington and yester-
day against Purdue.
"I don't know if (sitting out) really
helped my leg so much, or if it just
helped me get rid of bad mechanics I
had because of my leg," Motycka said
At the plate she has been one of the
team's most consistent hitters, compil-
ing a .309 batting average, while driv-
ing in 12 runs and scoring 13. She has
been responsible for nearly twice as
many runs on offense as she has given
up in 80 innings on the mound for
Michigan.
Hutchins believes the key to Motyc-
ka's success is her well-founded self-
assurance.
"Her greatest aspect is her confi-
dence," Hutchins said. "She was con-
fident, she was loose and she was
having a good time. I think it's easier
to play when you enjoy what you are
doing."
As the Big Ten season continues at
home against Ohio State and Penn
State, Motycka's continued success on
the mound will play a large part in
Michigan's run for a Big Ten title and
a trip to the College World Series.

Michigan 9, Purdue 0
Purdue (22-11, 0-1) Michigan (286, 3-0)
Player AB R HB l Player., -
Knight rf 3 0 1 0 Doe cf
Absher cf 3 0 1 0 Milian If
Lilley ss 3 0 1 0 Haas 2b
Flazon If 2 0 0 0 Oldsl1b
Messer 3b 2 0 0 0 Merchant ss
Johnson dh 1 0 0 0 Motycka dh
Dum pr 0 0 0 0 Schock c
Devich 2b 2 0 0 0 Holland c
Peterson c 2 0 0 0 Lueutle 3b
Fortune lb 1 0 0 0 Churchill 3b
Stone ph 1 0 0 0 Betley rf
LaRivap 0 00 0 J. Ritterp
Wilson

AD R H B
4 0 1 0
3 0 0 0
4 010
3 3 3 5
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
27 9 8 9

SETH LOWER/Daily
Michigan junior Nicole Motycka was the winning pitcher for Michigan twice this
weekend and also earned her first save against Indiana on Friday.

Diamond Stars

The Michigan Daily softball writers evaluate the team's performance in the weekend's road trip to Indiana
and Purdue. The categories include defense, pitching and offense. For each category the team will receive
a grade between one and five 'M' logos, with five being the highest.

Tota

20 0 3 0 Total

E - Purdue 1: Lilley. DP - none. LOB - Michigan 1;
Purdue 4. 2B8- Michigan 1: Olds; Purdue 1: Lilley 3D
- none. HR - Michigan 5: Merchant, Motycka (3),
Leutele."BRD- Michigan 1: Schock; Purdue 1: Falzon.
SB - none. CS - Michigan: Doe; Purdue: Absher

Michigan
Purdue
Purdue
LaRiva L (9-9).
Michigan
J. Ritter W (12-3)
Wilson

030 402 -
000 000 - -

R H E
9 80
0 32

Defense:
Senior Angie Churchill
epitomized Michigan's
nearly flawless defense
this weekend when she
dove into Purdue's dugout
to catch a foul ball. The
Wolverines committed just
one error in all of its four
games.

IP H R ERBB SO
6.0 8 9 8 1 8

5.0 3 0 0 1
1.0 0 0 0 0

8
2

At- Varsity Softball Cormplex, West Lafayette
TimeG 1:55
BIG TEN STANDINGS

Team
Michigan
Iowa
Minnesota
Illinois
Ohio State
Penn State
Michigan State
Northwestern
Wisconsin
Purdue
Indiana

Conference Overall
W L W L
4 0 29 6
4 0 22 15
3 1 22 11
2 2 23 13
2 2 19 12
2 2 14 21
1 3 19 13
1 3 16 11
1 3 19 16
0 2 22 12
0 2 23 18

h j ..4Pitching:
Michigan's pitching was
led by junior Nicole Motyc-
ka, who allowed just three
fly balls yesterday. She
also earned her first save
in the Wolverines' 3-2 vic-
d4 a . tory against Indiana.
v. Offense:
It was the weekend of the
home run for Michigan.
They had seven, including
six in yesterday's first
t game. Had they been more
aggressive at the plate,
yesterday's nightcap would
not have been ckose.
Leutee is Blue's sav aeg Grace
Merchant closes in on school home run record

Sunday's results:
INDIANA 6, Bowling Green 4
Michigan 9, PURDUE 0
IOWA 8, Michigan State 2
Minnesota 3, PENN STATE 0
ILLINoIS 2, Northwestern 0
Ohio State 2, WIScONSIN 0
Northwestern 3, ILLINOIS I
Wisconsin 3, OHIO STATE 1
INDIANA 4, Bowling Green 2
Michigan 2, PURDUE 0
IOWA 8, Michigan State 2
Minnesota 5, PENN STATE 2
ON DECK:
OHIO STATE
The Buckeyes are 18-11 overall
and 1-1 in conference games
after splitting games with the
Gophers on this weekend. The
Wolverines split the series last
season in Columbus.
IN THE HOLE:
PENN STATE

BOILERS
Continued from Page 1B
on just three hits.
And it wasn't much better the
second time around. Motycka, who
pitched the second game, also
pitched a shutout. She allowed just
three hits, and all of them came in
the fifth inning or later.
For the Wolverines, it was more
important to have strong pitching
in the second game because they
were not able to continue the
offensive slugfest throughout the
rest of the day.
Purdue's freshman pitcher
Brooke Baker pitched a strong
game and held the Wolverines to
just two runs.
"Brooke Baker was the differ-
ence," Hutchins said. "She did a
nice job of keeping us off balance
and working us in and out and
throwing in her change. She did
not let us dig in on her as much
(LaRiva)."

Michigan still won the second
game of the doubleheader, 2-0, but
the Wolverines had a couple of
scares late in the game.
"I'm always worried," Hutchins
said.
"Obviously, when you only have
two runs on the board, one key hit
can make the difference in the
game. So I just want our offense to
get a few more runs on the board.
But our defense is our strength no
matter what. No matter what we do
on offense, our defense is our
strength."
Michigan does not play again
until next weekend, when the
Wolverines stay at home and take
on Ohio State and Penn State at
Alumni Field.
Merchant said that the week off
will give the Wolverines a chance
to prepare for the Buckeyes and
the Nittany Lions. She thinks that
the Wolverines will be able to fix
the few mistakes that they had this
weekend.

By Jamie Josephson
and Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writers
After smacking two home runs in
the first game of yesterday after-
noon's doubleheader against Pur-
due, sophomore Grace Leutele

lived up to her
name by becom-
ing the "saving
Grace" for the No.
9 Michigan soft-
ball team.
"I really thought

j
1

prowess made the difference in
Michigan's narrow 3-2 win. The
sophomore hit an RBI single in the
fourth inning, allowing senior
Monica Schock to score from sec-
ond base.
Leutele has been a bright spot in
Michigan's bottom half of the bat-
ting order. Hutchins has expressed
concern about the offensive per-
formance of batters five through
nine, but lately the Wolverines have
made significant improvements, as
demonstrated by Leutele's recent
hitting surge.
Leutele's only setback this week-
end came when she jammed her
hamstring after sliding into second
base in the first game against Pur-
due. She sat out the second game.
"Today I was most disappointed
that (Leutele) injured her leg a little
bit," Hutchins said. "It didn't seem
to be anything serious, but she just
didn't get to play in the second
game."
GOING, GOING, GONEI: Jessica

records.
"I don't really think about it,"
Merchant said. "If it happens, it
happens. But honestly, I just want
to win the Big Ten, and I have big-
ger goals than breaking the home
run record. So that's really not on
the top of my head ever."
At Michigan's home opener
against Bowling Green on March
25, Merchant hit three home runs,
including one grand slam. She cur-
rently has a slugging percentage of
.826 for the season, and was just
named Big Ten Player of the Week.
With games against Ohio State
and Penn State on the horizon,
Merchant believes the team has not
yet reached its hitting potential.
"I think we can always improve,"
Merchant said. "Some of our at-
bats weren't as good as they could
have been - me in particular. So
that's something that we can get
better at. We have a week of prac-
tice to go and become as good as
we can."
TunV un nl.~. ss - anc Ila. ..,c9

that Leutele was a better player this
weekend," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. "I was really pleased
with her. She is really starting to
hit. I think that she had a lot of
confidence, and that's been an area
where she's needed help."
The starting third baseman also
contributed to the Wolverines' 4-1
victory over Indiana on Saturday.
Up to bat with the bases loaded and
no outs in the second inning,

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