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April 12, 2004 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-12

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 12, 2004 - 4B

Players of the Ohio State series

Players of the Penn State series

Kristi DeVries
(Ohio State)
DeVries pitched a solid game for the
Buckeyes on Friday, holding the
Wolverines to just three runs on three
hits.
FRIDAY'S GAME
Ohio State 0
LP: K. DeVries (8-7)
WP: J.Ritter (13-3)

Jessica Merchant
(Michigan)
Merchant's milestone home run in
the last inning of Saturday's game
proved to be the deciding factor in
Michigan's victory.
SATURDAY'S GAME
Michc an 1
WP: N. otycka (12-3)
Ohio State 0
LP: J. Juarez (10-6)

Kate Gentile
(Penn State)
Making the calls behind the plate, Gen-
tile also had the Nittany Lions' sole hit
in the second game of the series and
crushed Motycka's no-hitter hopes.
YESTERDAY, GAME 1
Penn State 0
.@ LP: M. Beseres (7-12)
WP: J. Ritter (14-3)

Nicole Motycka
(Michigan)
In the second game of the series,
Motycka pitched a perfect game
through the fifth inning. She gave
up just a single hit in the shutout.

YESTERDAY, GAME 2
Michigan 2
WP: N. Motycka (13-3)
LP: S. Riggleman (4-1)

YESTERDAY'S GAME 2
Michigan 2, Penn State 0

Blue plays musical chairs with lineup
Chilly weather can't stop Wolverines' winning streak

Michigan (33-
Player
Haas 2b
Doe cf
Schock c
Olds 1b
Merchant ss
Motycka p
Churchill 3b
Betley rf
Milian dh
Teschler If

6, 8-0)

Penn State (16-23, 2-4)

AB R H BI Player
4 0 1. 0 Murraycf
3 0 1 1 Wolfer rf
3 0 1 0 Pierce ss
3 0 0 0 Chavez 3b
2 0 0 0 Lucas 2b
4 1 2 0 NealIf
3 1 1 0 Gentile c
3 0 1 1 Francisco pr
2 0 0 0 Chouinard dh
0 0 0 0 Slar3
Violalb
Riggleman p
27 2 9 2 Total

AB R H BI
3 0 0 0
2 0 0 0
3 0 0 0
2 0 0 0
2 0 0 0
1 0 0 0
22 0 0 0
3 00 0
22010

Total

E - Penn State 2: Chavez; Riggleman. DP - none.
LOB - Michigan 11; Purdue 2. 25 - none. 35 - none.
HR - none. SB- Michigan 1: Merchant; Penn State 1:
Chavez. SB - None. CS- Michigan none; Penn State
none.

Michigan 010
Penn State 000
Michigan IP
Motycka W, (13-3) 7.0
Penn State
Riggleman L. (4-1) 7.0

100 0- 2 90
000 0- 0 1 2
H R ER BB SO
1 0 0 1 8
9 2 2 1 1

By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
Change in a squad's lineup is often
believed to break a soft-
ball team apart. But in the
case of the Michigan soft-
ball team, change is 0
understood as a strength- X
ening strategy, and it is
supported by most of the
players.
With the lack of production coming
from the team's batting order, coach Carol
Hutchins switched around the lineup for
the team's Big Ten homestand this week-
end. It was the second time Hutchins
changed the lineup this season.
In each of the past seven games, the first
five hitters in the lineup stayed the same.
While the results were encouraging, with the
Wolverines hitting .398 in their last five
games, and Merchant hitting .545 with a
1.636 slugging percentage, Hutchins did not
feel the order brought out the full potential
of the team.
In yesterday's game against Penn State,
Hutchins implemented the new batting order
with Haas leading off, followed by Doe in
the No. 2 spot and catcher Monica Schock
hitting third.
"I've been contemplating a switch,

because the top of the order wasn't real-
ly where I thought it could be,"
Hutchins said. "I don't think Doe was
particularly comfortable in the leadoff
spot, and (Schock) has been hitting the
ball better and having better at-bats. and
so we thought we'd give it a shot."
Schock hit fourth at the beginning of
the season, before Hutchins moved her
to the seventh spot five games ago. But
lately, Schock has become one of the
Wolverines' biggest assets, hitting .400
with a team-leading three doubles in the
past five games. Hutchins believed that
she would be more helpful hitting high-
er in the batting order.
"I'm more comfortable hitting in the
fourth spot," Schock said. "It's where I
used to be. I wasn't hitting to my poten-
tial, and, when (Hutchins) switched me
back (to the seventh spot), it was like I
had to step it up and get back to what I
was doing before."
Schock's performance yesterday, two
hits and two runs in the first game against
Penn State, confirmed Hutchins's confi-
dence in the new batting lineup and
Schock's importance hitting near the top
of the order.
"I was happy with Schock's perform-
ance today," Hutchins said. "What we
need from her is consistent, good at-bats

and good, hard-hit balls. And that's what
we got. I think we'll keep this order for a
while."
MAKING A STAND WITH A HOMESTAND:
Before earning a 3-0 win over Ohio State
on Friday night, the Wolverines were 11-10
all-time in Big Ten openers, surrendering
their last two conference homestands to
Illinois last season and Penn State in 2002.
"I was very happy to get out of the
game with a win," Hutchins said. "It's
been a while since we've got a Big Ten
home-opener win."
The Wolverines go on the road next
weekend before coming back to Alumni
Field to face Minnesota and Wisconsin
in two weeks.
IT'S GETTING COLD IN HERRE: With a
chilly breeze, temperatures below 50
degrees and hot chocolate becoming the
spectators' drink of choice, players from
both Michigan and Penn State appeared to
have a difficult time staying loose
throughout the games on Sunday. The ath-
letes had to wrap themselves in their large
parkas between innings to stay warm
before going back onto the field.
"Playing in the cold weather is
tough," Hutchins said. "You can't let the
weather affect you. You can factor it
into the game, but there's no excuse on
the board because it's cold outside."

At2-AlumniField
Tme -1:20
Attendance- 503
YESTERDAY'S GAME 1
Michigan 7, Penn State 0

Penn State (16-22,2-3)
Player AB R H BI
Wolfer rf 3 0 1 0
Lucasr2b 3 0 0 0
Murray cf 3 0 1 0
Pierce ss 3 0 1 0
Francisco pr 0 0 0 0
NealIf 3 0 00
Chavez c 3 0 1 0
Stauffer 3b 3 0 0 0
Chouinard dh 3 0 0 0
Viola1b 3 00 0
Beseres p 0 0 0 0
Hanson p 0 0 0 0
Total 27 0 5 0

Michigan (32-6, 7-0)
Player ABR H BI
Haas 2b 4 11 1
Doecf 4 0 1 0
Schock c/dh 3 2 2 0
Bercaw pr 0 10 0
Oldsl1b 3 01 0
Prichard pr 0 0 0 0
Merchant ss 4 1 3 3
Motycka dh 3 0 0 0
Holland ph/c 1 0 1 1
Churchill 3b 3 1 0 0
Betley rf 2 1 2 1
Teschler ph/rf 1 0 0 0
Milian If 2 0 0 0
Leutele ph 0 0 0 0
J.Ritter p 0 00 0
Wilson p 0 00 0
Total 307 1.16

Michigan senior Monica Schock went 2-for-3 yesterday and
scored two runs.

Jbe £ibigau i aiI.
Diamond Stars

I

The Michigan Daily softball writers evaluate the team's performance in the weekend's homestand against
Ohio State and Penn State. 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.

E - Penn State 2: Pierce; Breseres; Michigan 1: Olds.
DP - none. LOB - Penn State 6; Michigan 10. 2B -
Michigan 1: Schock. 3B - none. HR - none. B -
Penn State 0; Michigan 2: Churchill; Leutele. SB -
Michigan 3: Motycka; Betley; Milian. CS - none.

Penn State
Michigan
Penn State
Beseres tL (7-12)
Hanson
Michigan
J. Ritter W (14-3)
Wilson
At -Alumni Field
Time - 2:00
Attendance- 503

000 000 0 - 0 52
003 031 X - 7111

IP
4.1
1.2

H R ER BB SO
652 0 1
5 2 121

6.0 5 0k 0
1.0 0 0 0

0
0

7
2

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

STANDINGS
Conference Overall
W L W L
8 0 33 6
7 1 26 16
6 2 28 14
5 3 24 13
3 5 19 13
3 5 21 16
3 5 23 19
2 4 23 14
2 4 15 23
1 5 24 22
0 6 23 17

Defense:
Though Ohio State and
Penn State had runners in
scoring position many
times, Michigan's infield
crushed these teams'
hopes of crossing home
plate. The Wolverines QoM-
mitted just one error in all
of its four games.
Pitching:
Junior Nicole Motycka
pitched two stellar perform-
ances, keeping Michigan in
each game when the
offense wasn't producing.
Sophomore Jennie Ritter
had a tough time Friday,
though she managed to
pull out the win.
Offense:
Though Michigan had
nine hits in yesterday's
second game, the team
scored just two runs. The
offense needs to reduce
the number of stranded
runners.

Yesterday's results:
ILLINoIS 4, Indiana 1
MICHIGAN 7, Penn State 0
IOWA 6, Purdue 0
Minnesota 2, NORTHWESTERN 1
Michigan State 7, WIScoNSIN 5
Illinois 2, INDIANA 1
MICHIGAN 2, Penn State 0
Iowa 4, PURDUE 0
Northwestern 4, MINNESOTA 0
Wisconsin 11, MICHIGAN STATE 8
Saturday's results:
Illinois 7, PURDUE 4
INDIANA 1, Iowa 0
MICHIGAN STATE 5, Minnesota 2
NORTHWESTERN 4, Wisconsin 0
MICHIGAN 1, Ohio State 0
Friday's results:
Illinois 3, PURDUE 2
Iowa 6, INDIANA 0
Wisconsin 4, NORTHWESTERN 2
Minnesota 2, MICHIGAN STATE 1
MICHIGAN 3, Ohio State 0
ON DECK:
EASTERN
MICHIGAN
Coming off three losses to
Miami (Ohio) this weekend, the
Eagles are currently 12-17. The
Wolverines will travel to Ypsi-
lanti on Wednesday in hopes of
repeating last year's rout.

0
9
0

MERCHANT
Continued from Page 1B
said. "Gentile and Young are some
of the greatest hitters who have
come here. But I've got more
important things to worry about
than the home run record, like the
Big Ten (championship)."
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
echoed Merchant's selfless senti-
ments.
"I'm not really impressed by
records," Hutchins said. "It's most
important that (Merchant) does not
get caught up in records or home
runs. More than anything, the key
to beating teams is getting base run-
ners on base. She will hit her share
(of home runs this year) because
she is capable."
Though she called sharing the
record an "honor," Merchant said

she was most pleased that she was
able to influence the outcome of an
important Big Ten game.
"I try to help us win every single
day whether it's on defense or
offense," Merchant said. "Today
(my home run) ended up working
out for us"
Merchant's hitting was also key
in Michigan's 7-0 rout against Penn
State in the first game of yester-
day's double header. Hitting fifth in
the batting order, Merchant was
responsible for four of the Wolver-
ines' runs. She drove in three runs
off of three singles and scored a run
herself in the fifth inning.
Hutchins explained that she will
only worry about records such as
Merchant's when she retires.
"(Merchant) should be proud that
we won and that she was part of it,"

NITTANY LIONS
Continued from Page 1B
is the way we want to do it."
Motycka had eight strikeouts and walked one in her
complete-game shutout. She has pitched four times in
the last two weeks after taking time off of the mound to
nurse a leg injury.
"I felt great," Motycka said. "I am still coming off
my injury so I am getting back into it. It's just fun to
be out there.
"I think we have great confidence right now. Every-

one is hitting the ball well. It just didn't happen this
game. But we have seen it all weekend."
Hutchins said that Motycka has been great this sea-
son for the Wolverines. She added that her attitude has
played a large part in her getting results.
"I go back to the fact that she's enjoying the
moment," Hutchins said. "She's out there enjoying her-
self. I don't think that it's a coincidence that she's
pitching well."
Motycka was able to help herself out a little bit, too.
She was also 2-for-4 with two singles. She started a
rally in the second inning and scored the first run of the
game. In the third, with two outs and runners on first
and second, the junior hit a hard line drive over third
base. But Jessica Merchant was tagged out at third, and
Michigan couldn't manufacture any runs.
"I thought that in the second game we made some
mistakes ... and I think we need to get more runs out of
that," Hutchins said. "If you get nine hits, you need to
get more than two runs. In general, I still think we are
playing good softball."
The softball team has won with strong pitching all
season, and Motycka wasn't the only pitcher shining for
the Wolverines. The Michigan pitchers didn't give up a
single run all weekend.
"I'm very pleased," Hutchins said. Our pitching is
shutting them out. I don't care who you are playing, a
shutout is a great performance. And most importantly,
our defense is making plays. And it's tough to beat a
team when you don't give up very many runs. It makes
us tough to beat."
The Wolverine haen't lost since Mareh 14 .and thev

*

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