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April 19, 2004 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-19

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4B-The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 19, 2004


Players of the Illinois series

Players of the Iowa series

Erin Montgomery
Montgomery hit a game-tying two-run
homer in the second game of the
series, bringing the score to 2-2 in
the third inning.
Michigan 4
WP: N. Motycka (13-3)
Illinois 2
LP: A. Fortune (17-8)

Nicole Motycka
In the first game of the series,
Motycka drove in Michigan's first
three runs, including a two-out,
two-run homer late in the game.

Michigan 2
LP: J. Rifer (15-4)
F Illinois 3
WP: A. Fortune (18-8)

Ali Arnold
Hitting 2-for-3 in the second game of
the series, Arnold also held Michigan
to only three runs from the pitching
Michigan 3
WP: J. Ritter(16-4)
OPP Iowa 1
LP: L. Birocci (14-8)

Angie Churchill
Replacing Jessica Merchant at
shortstop in the second game,
Churchill hit an RBI single in the
bottom of the first inning.

Michigan 3
WP: N. otycka (14-3)
Iowa 1
V LP: A. Arnold (0-1)

Michigan 3, Iowa 1.

In jury strikes home run queen

Michigan (38-7, 11-1)
Player AB R H BI
Haas 2b 4 0 1 1
Doe cf 4 22 0
Motycka p 3 01 0
J. Ritter p 0 0 0 0
Olds 1b 1 00 0
Merchantss 0 0 0 0
Churchill ss 2 0 1 1
Leutele 3b 3 0 1 0
Schock c 2 0 2 0
Beraw pr 0 100
Betley rf 2 0 1 0
MilianIf 1 0 0 0
Holland ph 1 0 0 0

Iowa (29-17, 8-2)
Player AS R H BI
Johnson rf 3 1 2 0
Murraydh 3 0 0 0
Gerlick 2b 2 0 0 0
May ss 3 0 1 1
Baugh c 3 0 0 0
Thomson lb 3 0 0 0
Arnold p 3 0 2 0
Hentges If 2 0 0 0
Birocci ph 1 0 1 0
Ruff 3b 2 00 0
Heidgerken ph 1 0 0 0
Sprattph 1 0 0 0
Chipmancf 0 0 0 0


23 3 9 3 Total

27 1 6 1

E - Michigan 1; Schock: Iowa: 0. DP -none. LOB-
Michigan 7; Iowa 5. 2S5- Michigan 3: Doe, Motycka,
Schock. Iowa 0. 3B- Michigan: 0 Iowa: 0. HR -
Michigan 0: ; Iowa: 0. BB-Michigan 2:Olds,
Churchill Iowa0:.SB - Michigan 2: Doe, Olds;
Iowa: 2: Johnson (2). CS-Michigan 1: Churchill; Iowa

Michigan 100
Iowa 000
Iowa IP
Arnold (L, 0-1) 6.0
Motycka (W, 143) 6.0
J. Ritter 1.0

0 011 X- 3 91
0 001 0- 1 60
9 3 3 2 3
5 1 0 0 10
1 0 00 3

By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
IOWA CITY- It was a moment
when everyone at Pearl Field winced
and then went silent.
As Iowa leadoff hitter Natalie
Johnson slid into second base on an
attempted steal, Michigan junior
shortstop Jessica Merchant lunged
for senior catcher Monica Schock's
throw. Merchant and Johnson collid-
ed and Merchant went down in a
heap, resulting in a severe sprain of
Merchant's left ankle in the first
inning of the second game of yester-
day's doubleheader.
Although Merchant was able to
walk off the field with assistance,
after being observed by both
Michigan and Iowa trainers and
coaches, she was transported to a
local hospital for X-rays. The initial
thought was that she may have
some sort of fracture, but the X-
rays were negative, showing a bad
sprain - still far from good news
for the Wolverines.
Merchant, who broke Michigan's
single-season home run record last
week and is closing in on the career
mark, provides a spark for the
Wolverines, whether in action and
not. But her presence was missed for
the rest of the day, and the Wolver-

ines were very emotional during
their post-game cheer following the
3-1 win.
"We always do our cheer, and
(Merchant) is the one who says the
'1,2,3'," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. "Somebody else
had to pick it up, and it made us
get all upset."
Michigan junior Nicole Motycka,
who was pitching in the game, was
visibly upset after the incident, but
held strong for her 14th victory of
the season.
"(After. Merchant got injured,) I
wasn't really thinking anything
about the game," Motycka said. "I
just wanted her to be OK. She is a
big part of the team, and I almost
want to say the heart and soul,
because she loves the team more
than anything else in the world. So
to see her not be able to play in one
of the biggest games of the year was
kind of heartbreaking."
As she was leaving for the hospi-
tal, Merchant left no doubt about
what was on her mind.
"She wanted us to win, and that's
the last thing she said before going
off to the hospital," Motycka said.
"So we wanted it pretty bad."
Beyond playing through concern
for their teammate, the Wolverines
also had to rely on Merchant's

replacement, senior Angie
Churchill, to come in ready to play.
Churchill certainly did, putting on a
performance that, according to
Motycka, merits the title "MVP of
the day."
Churchill was 1-for-2 at the plate,
drove home a run and made several
key defensive stops.
Her biggest highlight was a div-
ing stop of Iowa first baseman
Sarah Thomson's line drive in the
top of the second. Churchill's stab
prevented a base hit and probably
further damage. Once it got going,
Iowa was difficult to stop, and this
key out destroyed any chance of
the Hawkeyes building rallying in
the second.
"I'm really pumped up after I
make a play like that," Churchill
said. "It's really important that we
make plays like that and we make
the routine plays, because maybe
when the pitchers aren't blowing it
by them or hitting their spots, they
have to have confidence that they
can put it in there and we will make
the plays."
As of yesterday evening, there
was no timetable for Merchant's
recovery, so the Wolverines may
need continued success from
Churchill if they hope to continue
their run for the Big Ten title.


At -Pearl Field, Iowa City
Time- 2:00
Michigan 3, Iowa 1

Michigan (37-7, 10-1)
Player AB R H BI
Haas 2b 4110
Doe cf 2 02 0
Schock c 4 0 0 0
Oldsl1b 3 1 20
Bercawib 0 100
Merchant ss 3 0 2 1
Motycka dh/p 3 0 2 0
Leutele 3b 2 0 0 1
Betley rf 3 0 0 0
Milian If 3 0 0 0
3. Ritter p 0 0 0 0

Iowa (29-16,5-1)
Player AS R
Johnson rf 3 0
Hentges If 3 0
Murray dh 2 0
May ss 3 0
Spratt pr 0 0
Baugh c 2 0
Birocci p 2 0
Thomson 1b 3 0
Chipman cf 1 0
Heidgerken ph 1 0
Arh 1 0
Gerlick 2b 2 0
Ruff 3b/pr 0 1

H Sl
0 0
0 0
0 0
1 0
0 0
0 0
1 0
1 1
0 0
0 0
0 0
0 0

Michigan's Jessica Merchant sprained her ankle early In the second game against Iowa.


The Michigan Daily softball writers evaluate the team's performance in this weekend's road trip against
Illinois and Iowa. 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.


27 3 9 3 Total

231 3 1

Diamond Stars

E - Michigan 0. Iowa: 0 DP - Michigan: 0. Iowa: 0
LOB - Michigan 5; Iowa 4. 2B- Michigan 3: Olds (2),
Merchant,. 3B- none. HR - none. B- Michigan 1:
Doe; Iowa 1: Birocci. SS8- Michigan 1: Doe; Iowa 0:.

CS - None
J. Ritter (W, 16-4)
Birocci (L, 148)

200 001 0 - 3 9 0
000 000 1- 1 3 0







9 3 3 1 4

At.- Pearl Field, Iowa City
Time -1:45
Attendance - 731
Ohio State
Penn State
Michigan State

Conference Overall
11 1 38 7
8 2 29 17
7 3 29 15
7 5 24 13
7 .5 27 16
5 7 25 21
4 6 27 16
4 6 18 25
4 8 24 19
2 8 25 19
2 8 25 25

Yesterday's results:
Minnesota 6, INDIANA 4
MICHIGAN 3, Iowa 1.
Penn State 6, MICHIGAN STATE 1
NORTHWESTERN 5, Ohio State 3
Wisconsin 4, PURDUE 2
INDIANA 1, Minnesota 0
MICHIGAN 3, iowa 1
Penn State 11, MICHIGAN STATE 6
NORTHWESTERN 5, Ohio State 3
PURDUE 3, Wisconsin 2
Saturday's results:
NORTHWESTERN 2, Penn State 0
PURDUE 2, Minnesota I
Wisconsin 1, INDIANA 0
Ohio State 8, MICHIGAN STATE 7
lilnois 3, MICHIGAN 2
Friday's results:
NORTHWESTERN 4, Penn State 1
Minnesota 2, PURDUE O
INDIANA 3, Wisconsin 2
MICHIGAN STATE 4, Ohio State 2
MICHIGAN 4, Illinois 2
Michigan returns to Alumni
Field to take on the current
Mid-American Conference lead-
ers. Central Michigan's record
includes a victory over Michi-

After committing just two
errors in its last nine Big
Ten games, Michigan had-
three defensive miscues in
its 3-2 loss to Illinois. How-
ever, the defense rebound-
ed against Iowa.
Coming into the week-
end, Michigan's pitchers
had served up 59.2 con-
secutive scoreless innings.
With the bases loaded in
the seventh inning of the
second game of the Illinois
series, sophomore pitcher
Jennie Ritter allowed the
game-winning run to score
after hitting the batter.
Though Michigan's
offense continued to pro-
duce runners, five strand-
ed Wolverines in the
team's loss to Illinois
proved to be the difference
in the game.
loss at Illinois on Saturday. They came
from behind to beat Illinois on Friday
4-2, but could not hold onto a lead dur-
ing Saturday's game and lost 3-2. The
loss snapped a 19-game winning streak
for Michigan, and Hutchins said that it
made the games against Iowa even
more important.
"We really rebounded," Hutchins
said. "And we have shown great char-
acter this weekend. We were behind in
the first game against Illinois, and we
came back. We dropped one yesterday
that we certainly had an opportunity to
win, but I thought that we have shown
great character, and we're going to
need that."
Motycka added that the Wolverines
really wanted to get Iowa back for last
year when the Hawkeyes beat out
Michigan for the Big Ten conference
title. She added that the team had been
waiting for this opportunity.
"We felt that this was a game that
we really needed to win if we wanted
to think about winning the confer-
ence championship," Motycka said.

Iowa City fans no match for M' HAWKEYES
contInued from Page 1B

Pitchers prove dynamic duo against Big Ten foes

By James V. Dowd
and Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writers
IOWA CITY -With the nearest
major professional sports teams more
than 200 miles away, Iowa City locals

turn to University of
Iowa sports - the tra-
ditionally "small
sports" included - to
share their love.
Fans packed Pearl
Field to near its capaci-


The Michigan players dealt with the
hostile crowd well. Michigan senior
Angie Churchill thinks it helped the
team in crucial wins.
"Iowa is an intense place to play,"
Churchill said. "I mean, they always get
a big crowd and they are always kind of
rowdy and yelling. You know what, I
think that pumps us up, too."
Michigan sophomore Jennie Ritter,
the winning pitcher in game one, also
said the pro-Iowa sentiment is exactly
what she needed to pump herself up.
"We knew when we came in that it
was going to be a tough game and it was
going to be a tough crowd," Ritter said.
"We talked about the crowd and I had
told my coaches I feed off people who
don't like me. So I go in there and feed
off what they say, and I just do better."
DYNAMIC Duo: They weren't able to
pitch any shutouts like they had for the
previous eight games, but the Michigan

also said that she was pleased with her
"I thought I pitched pretty well,"
Motycka said. "I let a few slip in there
that they hit, and they are a good hitting
team. But I was really ready for the
challenge today."
Michigan is a team that has three
strong starting pitchers - Motycka
and Ritter, plus freshman Lorilyn Wil-
son - but has gone primarily to the
two veterans over the last couple of
weeks. Yesterday, when Ritter got into a
jam in the first game, Hutchins went to
the bullpen and brought in Motycka,
even though she was scheduled to pitch
the second game of the doubleheader.
"I really felt like we could get out of
it," Hutchins said. "But, you know
what, we were a bit behind in the count,
and, sometimes, your gut says that you
better make a change and be sure. We
weren't ahead by enough to mess

In the first game of the day, it was
mostly the outfielders helping out Rit-
ter. With a strong wind blowing out to
left-center field, more balls than usual
were being hit into the grass. The first
batter of the day, Iowa's Natalie John-
son, hit a pop-up into right field that
was dying fast. Senior Courtney Betley
made a diving catch to get the Wolver-
ines off to a good start and Ritter went
on to pitch a perfect game through the
first 13 batters.
The game ended much the same way
it began - with spectacular fielding.
Iowa was rallying in the seventh inning
when pinch hitter Ali Arnold stepped to
the plate. The Hawkeyes had already
scored one run and had runners on first
and second with two outs. Arnold hit a
fly ball just over second base, but sen-
ior captain Megan Doe ended the game
with her diving grab.
The Wolverines (11-1 Big Ten, 38-7
overall) were coming off of a tough

ty Sunday afternoon to see their
beloved Hawkeyes step up to the plate
against Michigan, and the more than
700 fans were loud and dressed to
One local, who is known unanimous-
ly as "Smiley," brought along two cus-
tom-made hats.
One read "I (heart) (Iowa center-


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