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April 07, 2005 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-07

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Thursday
April 7, 2005
sports. michigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

OE R TSicbigtnBailg

0

8A

___ __ _ w,

'M' recovers lost
bats in big win
against Central

Detroit rock city?

Yeah, it

S' c

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
After an abysmal weekend in Min-
nesota, Michigan looked to cure its
hitting woes at home. The Wolverines
took advantage of their first opportunity
to improve yesterday against Central
Michigan.
Led at the plate by senior Matt Butler
and junior Mike Schmidt, the Wolver-
ines strung together 12 hits en route to a
7-2 victory over the Chippewas.
The Wolverines' turnaround was
most evident in the sixth inning.
The score was 2-1 and junior Chris
Getz and senior Kyle Bohm had flied out
to begin the inning. Michigan appeared
to be falling back into the hole.
But the Wolverines were ready to
prove to themselves that their bats hadn't
died but were just dormant.
After juniors Jeff Kunkel and A.J.
Scheidt reached base on a single and
triple and junior Matt Rademacher
walked, sophomore Leif Mahler ripped
a line drive down the leftfield line for
a one run double, giving Michigan a 4-
1 lead. Central Michigan coach Steve
Jaksa hoped to cool the Wolverines
down by bringing in lefty Jayson Ruhl-
man to face Schmidt. Ruhlman was able
to force a ground ball, but, as third base-
man Jim Geldhof and shortstop Troy

Moratti converged towards the ball, the
miscommunication between the two
resulted in a single and two more runs
for Michigan.
The Wolverines added one more run
off a single by Butler to cap their scor-
ing for the day.
"It was nice," Butler said. "Especially
when you have a bunch of two-out hits
in a row. I think it's a big confidence
builder. When one guy (gets a hit), it
takes the pressure off."
Michigan also excelled in the field.
Sophomore centerfielder Eric Rose set
the tone for the defense when he robbed
Moratti with a diving catch in the first
inning. In the third, Bohm made a nice
snag at first and tagged the bag himself
to record the second out of the inning.
But the biggest defensive play of the
game belonged to Mahler. With runners
on second and third with two outs in the
sixth inning, Central Michigan needed
a base hit to take the lead. Brad Foutch
hit a soft line drive that seemed destined
for center, but Mahler was quick to run
behind second base, dive and make the
catch before he hit the ground. The Wol-
verines would break open the game in
the bottom half of the inning.
"The tale of the game is when
(Mahler) made that diving play," Michi-
gan coach Rich Maloney said. "The
next inning, we come back and get five

TONY DING/Daily
Michigan shortstop Leif Mahler made a key stop in the Wolverines' 7-2 victory yesterday.

runs. We stopped their two runs and we
turned that into runs on our side, and
that was the difference in the game."
Before the sixth, Michigan had
pushed across two runs - both scored
with two outs - because of the smart
play of Getz. In the first, Getz put him-
self in scoring position after stealing
second base and advancing to third
after the catcher's throw sailed into cen-
terfield. He would later score on a wild
pitch. Then, in the third inning, Getz
practiced what every baseball coach
preaches - executing a sacrifice fly.
The flyout scored Schmidt from third.
"I think, if you look at our statistics,
we have a team with a solid ERA, a

solid batting average and a solid field-
ing percentage," Maloney said. "I think
we've stayed with what we're doing, and
it's been working. We stay to the plan,
and the plan is to keep hitting from the
middle to the other way, move the run-
ners and do the little things well."
Yesterday's win gives the Wolver-
ines some momentum heading into this
weekend's series against Iowa.
"We definitely wanted to get a win
here," Butler said "After coming off
a rough weekend like this you want to
get back on the horse as fast as you can.
We're excited about what's happened,
and we're excited to try and keep it
going."

CHRIS BURKE
Goin' to Work
m sick of listening to it.
Make that sick and tired.
Sick and tired of having to listen to
anyone who gets the chance to bash the
city of Detroit.
So, with my days as a member of The
Michigan Daily staff limited and my col-
umn opportunities dwindling, I'm finally
doing what I should have done earlier:
standing up for the Motor City.
There's a pretty difficult challenge
ingrained with taking on that task. It's the
fact that Detroit's history has played it into
this situation. Detroit gets mentioned and
the majority of people are going to start
thinking of the race riots from the 1960s,
the less-hate-driven riots following titles
like the Tigers' 1984 World Series win and
a crime rate that climbed sky high during
those years.
The city's biggest problem is that those
are all valid historical points to bring up.
The fact that the remnants of those dark
days in Detroit's history are littered all
over the city in the form of burned down
buildings doesn't help the image people
have in their minds.
But I'll tell you what my biggest prob-
lem is: The majority of those who are so
quick to condemn the city as a forsaken
hell hole are making such claims with an
ignorant mind - too scared to venture
into town for a day, too quick to believe
everything they've heard from everyone
else. Detroit earned a bad rep, and, unfor-
tunately, that reputation precedes itself
more often than not.
And it's definitely a glass-half-empty
vs. glass-half-full situation in Detroit. You
can either focus on Comerica Park, Ford
Field and its surroundings of the Fox The-
atre and the Detroit Opera House, or you
can focus on the deserted lots you park in
to attend events at those locales.
You can see the Renaissance Center
and the nice area around it, or you can

oming soon
look at the filthy spots bordering the
Detroit River.
Walk across the highway from Com-
erica Park and you might notice a brand
new development of well kept townhouses
priced to move. Or you might notice the
abandoned 15-story building 20 feet away.
I'm well aware of the negatives of the
city. I love it in spite of them.
What bothers me is that most don't even
stop to notice the positives. They won't
even give Detroit the benefit of a half-
empty glass - they're tipping the glass
over, spilling it out and looking at a city in
need of a complete refill. (Side note: I'm
well aware Ijust pushed the boundaries of
the glass analogy as far as it will go, so I'll
stop using it now).
I'll tell you what they would have
seen if they had bothered to look past
this on Monday when the Tigers held
Opening Day.
It was about as full as Detroit's glass
gets these days (Sorry, that was the last
one ... honest). Thousands upon thou-
sands of people flooded into downtown
Detroit bright and early on a Monday
morning, excited about the start of the
baseball season.
Excited about being in the city.
And it wasn't just the quick layover so
many Detroit visitors are accustomed to
making. It was an arrival hours before
game time and a stay well after the game
ended.
Opening Day is Detroit at its best, and
it's the reason why I still believe down-
town could be vibrant again. There are
some pieces in place - that rejuvenated
area around Ford Field and Comerica
Park, Greektown and the plethora of
museums throughout the city.
But for Detroit, the most important
spots are now and have always been those
related to sports. It was the Tigers that
pulled Detroit through the misery of riots
in 1968 and then helped again with a 1984
title. Opening Day and the recent cham-
pionship parades and celebrations of the
Pistons and Red Wings have brought more
people into downtown than at just about
any other time.
And so it's important that - even as
those who live around Detroit continue
to ignore its resurgence - the rest of the
sports world has opened its collective eyes.
See BURKE, page 9A

SOFTBALL
Wolverines split doubleheader in shaky fashion

By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
MOUNT PLEASANT - The crowd at the CMU
Softball Complex stood in unison, cheering loudly.
The bleachers rattled, fans gave high-fives and smiles
beamed. The Central Michigan fans reveled in the
moment; their softball team had just defeated the No.
1 team in the land, 5-4.
As the Central Michigan fans and players celebrat-
ed the victory, the Michigan players hung their heads
in anguish, knowing that they should have and could
have won.

"We really only played in one inning," Michi-
gan coach Carol Hutchins said. "I told them
(between the games) that they need to play in
more than one inning."
Although the Wolverines (3-1 Big Ten, 36-3
overall) did not play their highest caliber of soft-
ball in the first game, they still had a chance to win
when the latter innings rolled around. Trailing 4-0
heading into the top of the sixth inning, Michigan
finally figured out how to hit Jessica Garvin's vari-
ety of offspeed*pitches.
With one out in the sixth inning, junior Tiffany
Haas and freshman Alessandra Giampaolo hit consec-

utive sharp groundballs up the middle of the infield.
Garvin then hit senior Jessica to load the bases. Fol-
lowing Merchant, freshman Samantha Findlay laced
a two-RBI double to deep leftfield, narrowing Central
Michigan's lead to 4-2. After senior Nicole Motycka
grounded out, junior Grace Leutele hammered a 0-2
curveball into rightfield for a two-RBI double.
"We figured that we had nothing to lose," Haas
said. "We were just going to have to figure it out. We
had some time at the end of the game where we could
show our true ability."
The Wolverines looked like they were about to take
See CHIPPEWAS, page 9A

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