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April 05, 2006 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-04-05

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Wednesday
April 5, 2006
sports. michigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

EleRiSligFn tlg

10

. . .............. ...

Errors
erode
Bronco
defen se
By Amber Colvin
Daily Sports Writer
KALAMAZOO - It was obvious the Wol-
verines had trouble finding their offensive touch
in yesterday's doubleheader sweep of Western
Michigan. But fortunately for Michigan, where
its bats lacked, the Broncos' defense lacked even
more.
Western Michigan looked shaky throughout
the day, totaling eight errors, with five com-
ing in the first game. Most of the miscues led
to Michigan runs. In the
top of the fourth alone, the
Broncos committed three
errors, and three Michigan CT
runners scored. O
With two outs, senior Tif-
fany Haas reached base on
an error by the second base-
man. Senior Becky Marx followed Haas onto the
basepaths with a walk. When senior Grace Leu-
tele popped up to left, it looked as if the inning
would be over.
But Bronco leftfielder Kristi Strange let the
ball slip out of her glove, bringing Haas in for the
first score of the day.
The next batter, junior Tiffany Worthy, hit to
second, where Bronco shortstop Mandi Sayres
was waiting. Both Marx and Leutele scored after
Sayres overthrew first base, as Worthy sprinted
to second.
Another error in the sixth inning allowed
junior Rebekah Milian to make her trip from
second to home. The third baseman dropped a
relay throw from leftfield that allowed Milian to
score.
"It's up to the defense to field (the ball), and a
lot of times they didn't," Haas said.
All four of the Wolverines' runs in the first
game resulted from errors. Western pitcher
Krysten Shumaker's stellar outing, including 12
strikeouts, was all for naught.
"We weren't getting it done on the offensive
side today,' Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said.
"(Shumaker) was brilliant against us."
SPECIAL "K": There was no announcement,
acknowledgement or any sort of celebration. But
one of senior Jennie Ritter's 14 strikeouts in yes-
terday's first contest went in the history books.
When Ritter struck out the first Bronco
batter in the bottom of the second inning on
three straight strikes, she became Michigan's
all-time strikeout leader. She now tops the list
with 939 Ks.
Ritter broke the single-season strikeout record
last year with 417.
"She's had a tremendous career for us,"
Hutchins said. "She's going to go down as one of
the very best pitchers to ever pitch here. I think
that's a tremendous honor for her, and an honor
for us."
SCARE AT SECOND: Play was stopped yester-
day in game one when Alessandra Giampaolo
crumbled to the ground near second base.
Unsure whether to slide into the base or not,
Giampaolo rolled her ankle and eventually
limped off the field. Milian entered the game as
a pinch runner.
"She was indecisive, and she ended up roll-
ing her ankle instead of sliding," Hutchins said.
"We've been a little indecisive too many times
this year, whether it's cost us games or cost us
good at-bats. In this case, it almost cost her her
ankle."
Giampaolo returned in the second game,
though she did have some difficulty running.
"She'll be OK," Hutchins said.

STILL ROLLING: With yesterday's doubleheader
sweep, the Wolverines continued their shutout
streak. Michigan has held its opponents score-
less in six consecutive games and in eight of its
last nine contests.

N BASEBALL
M '-Nine hits road
for crucial contest

By Colt Rosensweig
Daily Sports Writer

For the Michigan baseball team, the road
to redemption begins in Mount Pleasant.
The Wolverines (1-3 Big Ten, 12-10 over-
all) will look to rebound from last weekend's
disappointing series against Northwestern
when they face Central Michigan (4-2 Mid-
American Conference, 14-12
overall) today. A win would -
propel Michigan into this i
weekend's series at Minnesota Mic
on a positive note. Centk
But the Chippewas will
not be pushovers, despite3
being weary after playing 25 Theunis
of their first 26 games away Mt.
from home. Although Central -
Michigan dropped two of three
games to Kent State last weekend, it leads
the Mid-American Conference in almost
every offensive category.
In contrast, Michigan's hitters appear to
have entered a slump, one which Wolverine
coach Rich Maloney hopes will soon end.
"Three-quarters of the hitters right now
are in a little bit of a funk," Maloney said.
"That's baseball. You just hope you can
fight through that funk and play .500, then
get hot.... We've got a good club, and we'll
battle back:"
The identity of Michigan's starting
pitcher is still uncertain, which is under-
standable given the rotation's recent
struggles. Wolverine starters allowed
16 runs in the Northwestern series. The
relievers did not allow a single tally.
Maloney said redshirt freshman Chris
Fetter had earned an opportunity to start
notching five strikeouts in four perfect
innings of relief in Saturday's second
game. Whether Fetter's big chance will
come on Wednesday remains to be seen.
One pitcher who will not get the call
is freshman Zach Putnam. The highly-
touted rookie won't return until the

.0..
31
isse

weekend series against Minnesota, at
the earliest.
"Putnam has something that no one
else does on our team, something special;'
Maloney said. "But he isn't going to be the
answer. We didn't lose (the Northwestern
series) because we didn't have Zach Put-
nam. We lost (those) games because we
didn't make enough plays."
If today's starter avoids
the first-inning pitfalls
DAY that plagued Michigan last
weekend - Northwestern
igat scored 13 first-inning runs
- the Wolverines might
P.M. be able to leave Theunis-
en Stadium sen Stadium with a win.
leasant Central Michigan's pitch-
ing staff has also strug-
gled recently. In its most
recent series, it allowed 34 runs in three
games.
Senior co-captain A.J. Scheidt said he
believes the Chippewas' home stadium
could provide the boost the offense needs.
"I know they play in a smaller park,
which is the way most MAC schools are,
which I think is probably better suited to
our team," Scheidt said. "We're not a team
that necessarily will kill a team with six or
seven hits in a row. But we do tend to put
the ball in the air, which hurt us this past
weekend. At Central (Michigan), (those fly
balls) might carry out."
Although this game won't count in the
Big Ten standings, a win this afternoon
would be crucial to the team's momentum.
Prolonging the losing streak could have
grave implications for Michigan's Big Ten
title hopes.
"We've got to bounce back from three
losses," Scheidt said. "Right now, our team
is down, and, if we can pick up a big win
here against Central (Michigan), then that's
definitely going to carry some momentum
and give us some more confidence going
into Minnesota."

0

MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
Junior Rebekah Millan jump-started Michigan's offense in yesterday's doubleheader sweep.
Uglywi ns extend
unbeaten streak

E WOMEN'S GOLF
Golfers take seventh
in impressive fashion

By David VandeVusse
Daily Sports Writer

KALAMAZOO - It wasn't pretty. But the
Wolverines got it done.
Fighting against winds that reached 30 miles
per hour, the No. 12 Michigan softball team won
a pair of contests over West-
ern Michigan at Ebert Field,
avenging its March 4 loss to
the Broncos.
In the second game, Mich-
igan (22-9) posted four runs
in the seventh inning en route to a 6-0 victory.
Senior Tiffany Haas kicked off the inning with a
slicing triple to right and scored on a single to left
by centerfielder Alessandra Giampaolo.
After sophomore Samantha Findlay drew a
walk, the stage was set for senior catcher Becky
Marx. With two runners on base, the St. Joseph
native blasted her team-leading 10th home run of
the season to crush all hopes of a Bronco vic-
tory.
Junior pitcher Lorilyn Wilson went the distance
on the mound, striking out 10 batters and surren-
dering just one hit. Wilson relied on her inside
pitches to retire most of the hitters she faced,
allowing just one ball to leave the infield. The
shutout victory was her fifth straight, improving
her record to 9-4.
"I give Lorilyn credit because she's been work-
ing," Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said. "I see
that she's determined"
In the fourth, Michigan picked up two runs
after some sloppy play by the Western Michigan
infield. But junior Rebekah Milian sparked the
scoring. Milian, one of the team's speedsters,

recorded an infield hit after slapping the ball to
the second baseman, narrowly beating out the
throw. The Grand Blanc native scored the only
run Michigan would need after a couple of throw-
ing errors allowed her to cross home plate.
"I think that was one of the game-changers,"
Hutchins said. "(Milian) put the ball in play, and
it went our way."
Earlier in the game, Milian reached on an error
and, once again, her speed was the difference.
Milian got down the basepath quickly, forcing
Bronco second baseman Amanda Heckman to
rush her throw. Energy plays such as this helped
jump start the Wolverines when their bats weren't
working.
In all, Michigan collected eight hits and capi-
talized on three Western Michigan errors for its
ninth consecutive win.
The first game was no prettier than the second
one.
Michigan emerged victorious, 4-0, but failed to
post a single earned run. Bronco pitcher Krysten
Shumaker held Wolverine bats at bay, surrender-
ing just two hits. But her supporting cast didn't
back her up. Western Michigan (15-10) commit-
ted five errors, including three in the fourth.
Michigan had a solid defensive outing, control-
ling the Broncos' bats and allowing nothing to
seep through the infield cracks.
"The defense is doing great," Haas said. "We've
been consistent."
Senior Jennie Ritter came up big in the circle
for the Maize and Blue. She seemed uncharacter-
istically shaky after her second pitch of the con-
test was hit deep off the rightfield fence for a base
hit, but the All-American went the distance and
didn't allow another baserunner.

By Lisa Gentile
Daily Sports Writer
The Northwestern Invitational ended
yesterday with several season bests for the
Michigan women's golf team.
The Wolverines shot a 54-hole season-
low total (892).
Junior Ali Stinson had a season-best score
of 217 - 1-over-par - tying for 10th place.
It was also the first time Stinson led the
Wolverines this season. The season bests
propelled Michigan to a seventh-place fin-
ish in the event, held at the Westin Mission
Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Kent
State won the tournament.
"I was really happy with the way I
scored," said Stinson through the athletic
department. "I had some shots that were
good at times, but there were also the shots
that weren't good at times. Overall, I was
able to score and keep it consistent through-
out, get some birdies and a couple of eagles,
and I was happy with that."
Behind Stinson's superior play, the rest
of the Wolverines continued to rack up sea-
son bests. Sophomore Lindsay Davis had
a season-best 54-hole total of 225, which
trumped her previous best by eight strokes.
She tied for 36th place.
Shooting a 4-over-par 76 in the first
round,junior Julie Inwood had a career-best

single round for the third straight tourna-
ment and, as an invited individual, finished
in a tie for 54th place (233).
Michigan coach Kathy Teichert said she
was pleased with the Wolverines' showing
during the two-day event. This was the first
tournament for the Wolverines since the
SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational on March
11 and 12.
"It was really the first time that we had a
chance to get out and play after the work we
had put in at home," said Teichert through
the athletic department. "We scored really
well before we left for this tournament dur-
ing practice rounds, and I was very optimis-
tic to see how we would play this weekend.
I was just very pleased to see us continue
that this weekend:"
The Wolverines need to continue to per-
form well as NCAA regional selections
approach.
"I still feel that this tournament was
important for us," Teichert told the athletic
department. "We did pick off a few teams
that were ahead of us and held off some oth-
ers, so that is going to help us down the line.
We just need to keep a strong mindset going
into Illinois."
The Wolverines will resume tourna-
ment play when they head to Cham-
paign for the Illini Spring Classic on
April 14 and 15.

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