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April 07, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-07

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a

10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 7, 2004
Using speed, Doe sets the table--

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
Whoever says softball games are slow most likely has
never met fifth-year senior Meghan Doe.
As one of the fastest players on Michigan's softball
team, Doe has 16 of the club's 36 steals so far this sea-
son. In Michigan's 4-1 win against Indiana on Saturday,
Doe collected her 50th career steal, tying her for fourth
place on Michigan's career-steals list.
"Coach (Carol Hutchins) has sent me more than
usual," Doe said. "Basically I need to get on base to
steal. I've been working on my slides to avoid tags at
second base."
The sliding practice has paid off. She has been caught
stealing just three times thus far this season.
Hutchins has been sending Doe more often because
freshman Rebeka Milian, who bats second behind Doe,
draws the infield in when she slap-bunts. With the
infield in, Doe has a better chance to steal successfully.
Doe's other offensive weapon is the slap-bunt that
Milian uses. Illustrating Doe's versatility, Hutchins
explained that if the defense is pulled in, she tries to
slap the ball past them. Conversely, if the defense backs
up, she can lay down a bunt.
"She's a play-maker," Hutchins said. "Her job is to
get on base and make things happen - to pull the other
team out of position."
Though Doe bats from the left side, she is naturally
right-handed. At 14, she started hitting left-handed
because her coaches wanted to take advantage of her
quickness. From the left, Doe has even less distance to
run from home plate to first base.
"I just try to set the tone of the game," she said. "Ide-

ally, I try to get on base every time, so hitters behind me
can move or score me."
Lately, Doe has been doing her job well. She had a
six-game hit streak until Michigan's game against Indi-
ana on Friday.
The starting center fielder's defensive play is just as
impressive as her hitting prowess. Doe has committed
just one error so far this season.
Doe also stands out in the dugout as one of the team's
two captains. Hutchins said that Doe's strength as a cap-
tain is her ability to demonstrate "leadership by exam-
ple" to her teammates.
"Meghan is one of the greatest kids I'll ever coach,"
Hutchins said. "She has always understood what this
program is all about."
Echoing her coach's sentiments, Doe does not make
light of her responsibilities as captain.
"I try to lead the team both on and off the field," she
said. "I teach the underclassmen the ways of the pro-
gram and to take pride in everything they do."
Doe's personal pride for playing for Michigan is no
less apparent.
"This program has defined who I am," she said.
"I've grown up so much. I owe it to my coaches and
players who have taught me all I have known on and
off the field."
This year is Doe's fifth at Michigan, and she will be
sorely missed after the conclusion of the current season.
Hutchins said she admires her hustle, experience, confi-
dence and good attitude are nothing short of admirable.
"The mark of an athlete is to be able to face adversi-
ty," Hutchins said. "(Doe) is one of the most resilient
kids. She bounces back, and that's a great quality in an
athlete. I would take a team full of Meghan Does."

0

As the leadoff hitter, Meghan Doe's role is to get on base and give her teammates opportunities to drive in runs.

WEBER
Replacing Fox no easyCn.m Pg
task for backstop duoCategory
Weber

a

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan catchers Jeff Kunkel and
Matt Rademacher have their work cut
out for them.
The duo is working on filling the sig-
nificant void created when Jake Fox, the
squad's standout catcher
last season, was drafted in
the third round last sum-
mer by the Chicago Cubs. To
Fox, an All-American and Eastern
Michigan's team MVP last at M
season, batted .357 and hit Te
15 home runs his junior
season. The
Without Fox behind the -
plate finishing off a four-
year career at Michigan, the younger
catchers are working together to com-
pensate for the loss.
"I don't think anyone's going to
replace Jake Fox," redshirt freshman
Rademacher said. "I mean, those are
pretty big shoes to fill. We just do what
we can. But I think what we're doing
right now, what we've got, is working
for us."

Judging by the duo's performances
last weekend in the Wolverines' four-
game series split with Big Ten power-
house Minnesota, Rademacher could
be right. Although Kunkel is typically
the starter, and was behind the plate in
both of Michigan's victories, both play-
ers have important roles on the team.

Covered club spor
the Daily

V: Instead of studying freshman year
Iverson
ts for Did time in jail following
bowling-alley brawl

Edge

Iverson

Category: After feeling disrespected ...

Weber

Iverson

Edge
Weber

4

Quit the Daily sports staff
at beginning of junior year

Sat bench in Milwaukee
Bucks outfit to spite
interim coach Chris Ford

DAY
Michigan
ichigan
:3 p.m.
e Fish

The duo kept the Golden
Gophers at bay, allowing
Michigan to make an
attempt at a win in the
second game of the series.
Kunkel, a redshirt
sophomore, believes that
he owes some of his suc-
cess to a practice that is
relatively unusual among
catchers. Most catchers at

Category: Worst ailment faced

Weber

Iverson

Edge
Weber

Kidney stones during the
middle of Michigan-Washington
football opener in 2002

Current knee injury that
will keep him out for rest
of season

4

Category: Annual salary

TONY DING/Daily
Redshirt sophomore Jeff Kunkel was pushed Into the role of starting catcher when
Jake Fox chose to join the Chicago Cubs. Kunkel's done the job, hitting .377.

*1

As an engineer in
the U.S. Air Force,

the collegiate level wear knee savers,
which lessen the tension that they put
on their knees while staying in a squat
inning after inning. Kunkel breaks thej
mold in this respect.
"To be honest, I think (knee savers)
tend to make catchers lazy," Kunkel
said. "And I like to be up instead of sit-
ting down anyway."
But he would still be strapping them
on if he hadn't experimented with
playing without them.
"I wore them in high school, but
one day I took them off and found outj
it was more comfortable," Kunkel
said. "Since then, I haven't put them
back on."
It is also up to these two to make1
sure that they are comfortable with
every pitcher that Michigan coach Rich
Maloney can send to the mound. Since
the team carries an almost excessive
number of hurlers (17), as several
Northern squads do, this is quite a for-
midable task. But both Kunkel and
Rademacher are certain that their abili-
ty to catch from each pitcher - and
adjust to each individual style - is
something they've excelled at.
"During the offseason, we have to
throw with everyone, so now we're
pretty much comfortable with them
Rademacher said. "And hopefully
they're comfortable with us."
Kunkel echoes these sentiments.
"Every game we're catching some-
body different'"Kunkel said. "So we see
everybody and know what their stuff's
going to do, what they like to throw."
Kunkel is also a major contributor on
the offensive end of the Wolverines'
effort. He is currently third on the team
in hitting at .377. In Sunday's come-
back, he drove in two runs on a double.
"I think all around, Jeff is a good
catcher," Rademacher said. "He's
shown that so far."

$2,400 (including
endorsements)

$12 million (excluding
endorsements)

Category: Favorite NBA moment

Weber

Iverson

Edge
Iverson

Weber

Cheering Ricky Davis on TNT Being the 1996 NBA
as Davis entered game against Draft's No. 1 overall pick
his former team, the
Cleveland Cavaliers

Iverson

Category: Sample rap lyric

Weber

Iverson

Edge
Push

You, you at Kinko's, selling
your cassette singles / And
yeah I jacked that line, but
I ain't a new jack/ So don't
talk smack, you're a quack
like an Oregon Duck

How you wanna die: fast
or slowly? / Fast as a rolie,
slow as a rolie-polie

Edge
Iverson

q

Category: Can't stop repeating ...

there's no telling what
you'll work on.
(Seriously, we can't tell you.)

Weber
Pointless columns
At this point I started to realize
Allen Iverson is a hell of a lot realer
than I am.
Accepting defeat, I had to see the
shoe that led to my downfall. So I
headed over to my friend's place anc
picked up one of those hideous red
and black shoes. There it was splat-
tered across the sole: "The Realist.
What? Real-ist, not Real-est?
As in, Allen Iverson is pragmatic
and practical?
I laughed uncontrollably. There is
nothing sadder than a fallen champi
on; and after all the time I spent
worrying about becoming one, it

Iverson
"We talkin' 'bout practice"

Edge
Iverson

turned out Iverson never even chal-
lenged my title.
Either Team Iverson decided to
reposition Allen as practical, or they
made a serious spelling blunder.
Or maybe they just found out
"The Realest" was taken.
One of the other privileges of being
The Realest is a month break between
challengers (in other words, not until
after graduation on May 1). Ifyou
want to e-mail Jim Weber about any-
thing else, he can be reached at
jamesmw@umich.edu

United States Air Force applied technology is years ahead
of what you'll touch in the private sector, and as a new
engineer you'll likely be involved at the ground level of new
and sometimes classified developments. You'll begin leading
and managing within this highly respected group from day
one. Find out what's waiting behind the scenes for you in

the Air Force today. To request more information,

call

1-800-423-USAF or Log on to airforce.com.

h Have You
Graduated ,. .
From Your

m

a

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