Can there ever be
a reason to root
PLANE ON FIRE
for the Spartans?
The SportsMonday Column
Travel complications nearly prevented the
men's tennis team from even making it to
Iowa but didn't stop them from winning.
SPORTS l DAY
1 April 4, 2005
ate firot anot,
' MICHIGAN 3,
MICHIGAN 8, J :,MICIGAN 10
Blue bounces back after Iowa loss
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
It just wasn't her night.
During Friday's game against No. 24 Iowa,
sophomore pitcher Lorilyn Wilson faced a dif-
ficult situation in the top of the second inning.
After Wilson sat down the first three Iowa
hitters, Iowa's Sami Baugh started off the sec-
ond with a double off the leftfield fence. Then,
after Wilson struck out Brandi Sargent with a
curveball, she gave up a base hit to Kylie Mur-
ray. With runners at first and third and one out,
Wilson got Natalie Johnson looking on an out-
side fastball, and it seemed like she might escape
without any damage. But Wilson couldn't cap-
ture the final out and gave up five runs before
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins pulled her in
favor of junior Jennie Ritter. The Wolverines
eventually lost the game, 5-2, with junior Grace
Leutele fueling Michigan's sole offensive pro-
duction by hitting a two-run homer in the bot-
tom of the second inning.
Michigan (3-1 Big Ten, 35-2 overall) finished the
weekend 3-1 with a split against Iowa and yester-
day a sweep of Illinois. But during Friday's game
against Iowa (2-2, 28-8), the Hawkeyes snapped the
Wolverines' 32-game winning streak and lowered
Wilson's record to 13-1.
"Lorilyn had a lot of doubt for some reason
on Friday," Hutchins said. "She had no reason
to doubt herself. She needed to trust what she
was capable of, go back to the basics and not get
caught up in Iowa or the Big Ten race."
Bouncing back from the tough loss on Friday,
Ritter and the Wolverines took care of business
on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Iowa.
Wilson returned to the pitcher's circle in
the second game of yesterday's doubleheader
against Illinois (0-4, 15-15). Although she lost
her first game of the season Friday, Wilson put
the loss behind her and came out firing.
In five innings of work, Wilson surrendered
just one hit. In the second inning, third base-
man Leutele knocked down a sharp grounder by
Illinois's Angelena Mexicano but couldn't get
a throw off to first base. When the Wolverines
seemed on the brink of another second-inning
disaster, Wilson rose to the occasion. She got
Jackelyn Diekemper to ground out and snagged
a Mackenzie Smith ground ball to end thefight-
ing Illini threat.
"I just wanted to pitch my guts out today,"
Wilson said. "I was really concentrating on
As Wilson continued to pitch well, the Wol-
verines' offense eased the tension with three
huge innings of production.
In the second inning, junior Stephanie Ber-
caw put the first Michigan run on the board
with a double off the rightfield fence that drove
in senior Nicole Motycka. Junior Becky Marx
followed Bercaw with a ground ball that hit
Illinois pitcher Claire DeVreese in the hand.
On DeVreese's ensuing throw to first, the ball
skipped into rightfield and Marx advanced to
second while Bercaw scored.
In the third inning, the Wolverines added to
their 2-0 lead when freshman Samantha Findlay
smashed a three-run home run to right-center-
See SOFTBALL, page 4B
Ritter rescues 'M'
Junior pitcher Jennie Ritter pitched 20 straight innings over the weekend, stopping
Iowa's offensive onslaught on Friday and picking up two wins in the process.
WHAT ONCE WAS TRUE...
Before Friday's 5-2 loss to Iowa, the last time No. 1
Michigan was defeated came on Feb. 12 to Baylor. Back
then, the following events were believed to be true.
The Michigan hockey and basketball teams were still playing.
The NHL was still a possibility.
No one knew Alex Sanchez was on the juice.
Daniel Horton's situation was still up in the air.
Illinois was undefeated in college basketball.
Mark McGwire was still an American hero.
Nobody knew who Terry Schiavo was.
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
Damage control was the name of the
game when junior Jennie Ritter entered1
the Iowa game Friday afternoon. When:
sophomore Lorilyn Wilson couldn't1
manage to get out of a tough second1
inning, Ritter was brought in to keep
the Wolverines in the game. Little did
she know that she would be pitching for
20 straight innings from that point on.
Ritter started Saturday's game and also
the opener of yesterday's doubleheader.
The rally Michigan was hoping
for never occurred, but it wasn't on1
account of a bad performance by Ritter.:
She faced 16 batters and subsequentlyl
retired each one.
"My job was to go in there and shut
them down," Ritter said. "We needed to1
give them the opportunity to score, and
that's all we can do on defense."
Although the offense could not rally
on Friday, it did its part for Ritter yes-1
terday against Illinois. After anotherl
solid performance early on - allow-l
ing just two hits through the first six1
innings - Ritter's bid for a second,
straight win looked to be in jeopardy.1
Protecting an 8-3 lead, she faced Lee-
Ann Butcher with two outs and run-
ners on second and third. But Ritter
struggled to get the elusive third out,
and Butcher singled up the middle to
make it a four-run game. Shanna Diller
followed by clearing the bases with a
three-run home run, putting the tying
run at the plate.
"It looked like she might have run
out a gas a little there in that 20th
inning of work," Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins said.
But Ritter's tank had not hit empty.
She was able to regroup and gain her
11th strikeout of the game to put an end
to the Illinois comeback attempt. She
sent Jenna Hall back to the dugout with
her bat still on her shoulder after paint-
ing the outside corner to end the game.
"Obviously, (Sunday) was a little bit
rougher than the other two," Ritter said.
"But I had to just stay focused and keep
pitching my pitches."
Ritter ended up with 28 strikeouts in
her 19 and one-third innings of work,
putting her one strikeout shy of 500 for
her career. Although her six earned runs
hurt her impressive 0.75 ERA, Hutchins
was impressed with the junior's ability
to step in and pitch quality innings when
See RITTER, page 4B
Junior Becky Marx watches during the second inning of Friday's 5-2 loss to Iowa,
during which the Hawkeyes scored all five of their runs.
By Pete Sneider
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - You got swept.
Coming into this weekend riding a ten-
game win streak, Michigan (16-7) couldn't
salvage a single victory from Minnesota in
its first series of Big Ten play. It was the first
time the Wolverines suffered a four-game
sweep since 2000, when they dropped four in
a row to Penn State.
After suffering painful defeats of 1-0, 3-2
and 6-3 in the first three games, the Wolver-
ines were routed 13-3 in yesterday's final con-
test at the Metrodome.
Michigan coach Rich Maloney has
endured sweeps in the past but felt strongly
* that such a collapse shouldn't happen to a
can't slow down rowers
By Chastity Rolling
Daily Sports Writer
BELLEVILLE - Despite the hasty time
change of this weekend's regatta, the No. 5
Michigan women's rowing team earned five
wins in the six races against No. 3 Ohio State
at the Wolverines' home opener on Belleville
Lake. The regatta was moved from Satur-
day morning to Friday evening due to harsh
Michigan coach Mark Rothstein said that
the key to the Wolverines' wins on Friday was
an internal focus - concentrating on having a
good race, rather than beating their opponents.
"I think we are in good shape," Rothstein
said. "But we need to keep working hard, and
then the races will take care of themselves."
The focal point for the varsity eight on Fri-
day was its start.
"Ohio State is a really good crew," senior
Leah Ketcheson said. "We knew we were going
to have to have a strong start, and, once we had
the lead, we weren't going to give it up."
The first varsity eight led the way over
Ohio State. The Wolverines achieved their
goal of a physically powerful launch to start
But when the two teams competed as rivals
this weekend, Michigan won.
"I was pleased with our varsity eight,"
Rothstein said. "I think they rowed very well
today. I was also really pleased with how our
varsity fours rowed. Both lost to Ohio State
a week ago. Both won today. That was really
good to see."
Rothstein said that the Wolverines need
to build off the momentum of this week-
"What I like about this team is that they
are aggressive," Rothstein said. "And they
like to race. As long as we can continue to
improve our technique and fitness, I think
we'll do well."
Ketcheson thanked her coxswain, senior
Tara Medina, whose basic responsibilities
are to steer the boat and give commands
to the rowers so they know what to do and
when to do it.
"(Medina) pretty much lets us know where
we are in relation to the other crew," Ketcheson
said. "We knew, based off what she was say-
ing, that we were going to do great."
Michigan's fast start this weekend gave the
team confidence, but Rothstein noted that the
cnocnn is far frrn nvr
Junior Derek Feldkamp lasted just one and two-thirds innings in yesterday's 13-3 loss at Minnesota. He
allowed eight earned runs on five hits in his outing.
effort, and we couldn't get it today. But Derek
In the second inning, Feldkamp sur-