10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 14, 2004
'M' Nine hands ball to freshman
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
To be a contender for the Big
ference title, a team needs young
to step up throughout the season.
For the Michigan baseball tean
man pitcher Michael
McCormick has to do just that
for the Wolverines if they want
to beat in-state rival Central}
McCormick will make his
first start for the Wolverines
after making six relief appear-
ances and pitching 9.2 innings
Although Michigan coach
Rich Maloney and the rest oft
would like to bring him and som
other younger players along slom
Many of the veteran pitcher
team have been worked hard a
rest, so it is up to McCormick
advantage of the spot start.
"It is time for him to get som
ence," Maloney said. "He hase
stuff, he just needs the work."
After a solid bullpen session on
Maloney penciled in McCormick
start against the gritty Chippewas today.
McCormick, a lefty, will have to pay
attention to baserunners. The Chippewas
are one of the most aggressive teams
Michigan (5-3 Big Ten, 15-12 overall) will
face. this year.
"(Central Michigan) will try to steal 120
to 140 bases in a season,"
DA"Having a lefty starting
should help keep them close
to the bag."
The Chippewas (5-1 MAC,
16-13 overall) present a tough
T s ai a challenge for the Wolverines,
as they are similar to Michi-
gan. Both teams are blue-col-
lar, small-ball teams. The
the staff entire pitching staff for Central Michigan
ne of the mixes its pitches well and keeps batters on
wly, they their toes.
Michigan feels it needs to beat Central
s on the Michigan to establish itself as the dominant
nd need team in the state.
to take If Michigan can beat Central Michigan,
after defeating Eastern Michigan last week,
e experi- it would help the Wolverines toward
excellent recruiting in the state, something Maloney
feels Michigan needs to control to be the
Monday, best in the Big Ten.
k for the "We have to get back to dominating the
state," Maloney said. "To do that, I think
we need to win eight out of 10 games
against the in-state teams. No easy task."
Maloney has not been able to see as
much of Central Michigan as he would
have liked due to the Wolverines' road trip
to Iowa City, but he feels that Michigan is
ready to face the team.
A few Wolverines are swinging hot bats
right now. Second baseman Chris Getz
had eight hits and five RBI last weekend.
"Getz is really coming into his own
right now," Maloney said. "He wasn't hit-
ting poorly before, but he hadn't caught
fire yet, either."
Getz is not the only Wolverine hitting
well. Maloney feels that the team is show-
ing flashes of good, timely hitting.
Michigan may not be hitting .330 as a
team, but it has been hitting with men on
base and when the game is on the line.
That was evident this weekend in the
final game against Iowa. Third baseman
A.J. Scheidt hit a double that scored first
baseman Kyle Bohm and ultimately won
While timely hitting goes a long way,
solid pitching always beats good hitting,
and McCormick hopes to provide that
today when he goes for his first career
Second baseman Chris Getz has improved his hitting, producing eight hits and five RBis last weekend.
Tumblers hoping to finally
break through at Nationals
Continued from Page 9
from that I was always wondering
about what got left out and went
The most gratifying part has
been that people not only read my
stuff, but also cared enough to
respond and tell me what they liked
or why I was wrong.
The first time someone thanked
me for what I wrote stopped me in
my tracks - I still feel like I
should be thanking people for read-
ing my columns, not the other way
And I was humbled when I read
an e-mail last week and learned
that what I write can actually
change the way someone thinks
and even behaves.
With my time at this University
and my space in this column run-
ning out, I'm sitting here thinking
about all the hours I've spent in
this building, all the effort I've
poured into this column and this
I know that whatever I've put
into it has been far overshadowed
by what I've gotten out of it.
Thank God my five-year-old self
liked the color blue better than
Courtney Lewis would like to give a
shout-out to Pete, so he can finally
stop bugging her about putting him
in one of her columns. She can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jeremy Antwr
Daily Sports Writer
After a season of ups and downs, the
Michigan women's gymnastics team is
finally right where it wants
to be: competing for the pro-
gram's first national cham-'
pionship. Michigan has y**
made the trip to Nationals
before - it has qualified for CA
the meet in each of the last
11 seasons - but has never T
come up with the illusive Pav
Some of the keys to the ____
team's success this weekend
could be its experience and the tough
schedule it has competed in this season.
Michigan coach Bev Plocki believes that,
for a team competing in nationals for the
first time, it is easy to get caught up in
the excitement and not fully concentrate
on the task at hand. But this year's team
has as much experience as any of Ploc-
ki's teams in the past.
"For the majority of the team, they've
been here before," Plocki said. "They've
been through it and they're more able to
mentally prepare for it."
Adding to this experience is the fact
that Michigan had a grueling schedule this
season that included the likes of No. 5
Alabama, No. 2 Georgia and No. 1
UCLA. Plocki feels that the schedule will
benefit the team this weekend.
"The first couple years when we got to
Nationals, it was all brand-new teams we
had not seen all season, and I think our
kids felt like they were the outsiders who
didn't belong there," Plocki said.
Michigan has already competed against
six of the 11 teams it will face off against
Another factor that might contribute
to the team's success is the rotation of
events. Ideally, Plocki said she would
like to start on the vault and end the
competition on the floor exercise. Ploc-
ki said the reason for this
is that, historically, the
judging on floor exercise
starts out tight and then
gets more lenient as the
meet goes on. This is
never done intentionally. It
usually occurs because,
early in the meet, the
judges have to allow them-
selves room to give scores
for better performances
be Final Four preview
later in the meet.
The one event that most teams would not
like to start or finish on is the balance
beam. It is difficult to compete in an event
that requires so much control at times when
excitement and adrenaline are at their peak.
At regionals, Michigan had the bad luck
of ending on the floor exercise. But rather
than faltering under the pressure, Michi-
gan responded with an incredibly clutch
performance. The Wolverines earned the
highest score on the beam of any team in
the competition, and it propelled them to a
qualifying score of 196.375.
Due to Michigan's range of perform-
ances this season, Plocki said it would be
difficult to predict how the team will per-
form this weekend.
"We're prepared physically," Plocki
said. "The question for us throughout the
season is: Mentally and emotionally,
which team is going to show up?"
Plocki did make one prediction, howev-
er. "If the team that competed at Big Tens
shows up again on Thursday night, I pre-
dict that we have a very strong chance of
qualifying to Friday."
Continued from Page 9
"This team does a good job of not
overlooking people," Anderson said.
"I generally go one game at a time.
This weekend we have to prepare
for three different opponents
because we already know what our
Michigan's head man is worried
about the possible distractions that
can come from playing at home,
This weekend's tournament will
mark the first time the Wolverines
have played a non exhibition game
since Jan. 25.
Between then and now, the team
has been criss-crossing the country
from the West Coast to the East
Coast seemingly every week.
"Being at home for a regular
game is always nice," Anderson
said. "When it's something like a
conference championship, where
there's stuff at stake, being at home
can actually cause distractions. Yes,
I'm glad we're home because we
don't have to travel. I'm also hesi-
tant because there are a lot of dis-
tractions that can make us forget
why we are playing."
Anderson remarked that he had
two main concerns about distrac-
tions: The presence of family and
friends and the possibility of his
players getting out of their game-
day routine, which includes follow-
ing a proper diet and staying
"It's easy to say, 'Oh, I'll get on
the Internet or talk to my room-
mates (instead of getting focused),"
Distractions aside, the coach is
still confident that his team will
take care of business this weekend.
Regardless of what happens in
the CWPA championship, Michigan
will travel to Lewisburg, Pa., to
compete in the Eastern Champi-
onship on April 23, with a trip to
the Final Four on the line.
"Our game Sunday could very
well be a preview of next Sunday's
championship game for a bid to the
Final Four," Anderson said.
"(Michigan or Indiana) will be the
top seed, and both of us will be in
the top three seeds for the NCAA
"I do like the fact that we will
play a team that will get us ready
for the exact same team that we will
have to play a week later."
Sophomore Jenny Deiley and the rest of the women's gymnastics team
will face tough competition this weekend at the NCAA tournament.
Last time around
The Michigan women's gymnastics team will head to Los Angeles this weekend to com-
pete in the NCAA Championship. Even though the team has had a winning record this
season (9-1 Big Ten, 14-6 overall), it has not fared well against other toumament-bound
teams. The Daily looks back at this season's matchups against these opponents.
Calli Ryals (39.450)
Calli Ryals (39.550)
Calli Ryals (39.500)
Elise Ray (38.975)
Elise Ray (39.450)
Elise Ray (39.575)
Sophomores Becca Clauson and Jenny Delley, along with senior Caill
Ryals, cheer on a teammate in Michigan's win over Michigan State.
Junior goalie Betsey Armstrong sets up a shot. Michigan hosts the CWPA
Championships this weekend.
Interested in a Career in Sport Business?
The faculty of the University of Michigan's Sport
Management Program is holding an information
meeting for prospective undergraduate students
on Wednesday, April 14th