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September 02, 2008 - Image 53

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-02

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New Student Edition - 9E

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com N Su td

Hokie hurler
shuts down Blue
By RUTH LINCOLN Alessandra Giampaolo will have
Daily Sports Writer to settle with just one trip to the
Women's College World Series,
May 27, 2008 - When Michigan when the then-freshman duo and
coach Carol Hutchinswalked into Michigan won the 2005 National
the postgame press conference Championship.
followingthe Wolverines' 1-0 and "My seniors have established
6-1 NCAA super regional losses careers, and they were part of our
to Virginia Tech on Sunday, not a greatest moment," Hutchins said.
single player accompanied her. "It wasn't meant to be for them
"Just me," Hutchins said calm- this year, and they took us awful
ly before she took her seat at the close."
table, which she had shared with And the fact that Michigan tied
her players at every other post- a season-high with four errors
game press conference this post- during its 1-0 loss in game two
season. didn't help the cause either.
It was just The Wolver-
Hutchins there to ines' defense
answer questions -inc ich was nearly flaw-
about why her Ti C er ptched less in Saturday's
team lost back- win, but the con-
to-back gamesal tree games, sistently crisp
for the first time throws and solid
this season. allowing jUSt catches were
Only the win- nowhere to be
ningest coach in two runs. seen Sunday. Key
Michigan history defensivecontrib-
was there to rea- utors like second
son the decision baseman Findlay,
to pull sopho- junior -shortstop
more pitcher Nikki Nemitz in the Teddi Ewing and sophomore
final game and replace her with catcher Roya St. Clair stumbled.
freshman Jordan Taylor in the "The key to (Saturday) was play
third, just to bring back Nemitz defense," Hutchins said. "Defense
one out and four Virginia Tech startsuon the mound... Ourdefense
runs later. -.let us down, and it hurt us."
And why after taking game one Meanwhile, the unseeded Hok-
1-0 on Saturday in a tight pitchers' ies had more to enjoy.
duel between Taylor and Virginia Virginia Tech coach Scot
Tech'sAll-American senior Ange- Thomas anl three of his players
la Tincher, the Wolverine defense filled the chairs behind the same
faltered and looked the sloppiest table Hutchins had just occupied
it had all season the next day. alone. The Hokies rejoiced and
"When things don't go our way, recollected how it felt for a team
Ilook to the coach first," Hutchins of walk-ons and passed-over
said. "I make the decisions. You recruits to upset Michigan.
make decisions, and when they Tincher pitched all three
work you look brilliant, and when games, allowing just two runs
they don't - that's the way it in 19 innings and struck out 15
goes." in game two, the most the Wol-
She may have been protecting verines have been struck out in a
her players, but there were few game in three years.
Wolverines with much to cel- "She seemed to have a differ-
ebrate Sunday. ent approach for each batter,"
FreshmanfirstbasemanDorian Hutchins said. "She didn't give
Shaw had her first hit of the us anything to get on.
weekend, a solo home run once "I thought we needed to con-
the final game was out of reach. tinue to get better and lay off
But that still left four Michigan some pitches. I didn't feel we
starters hitless in the three-game made adjustments, and that's on
series, including senior Samantha us."
Findlay.
Findlay hoped to help the
fourth-seeded Wolverines (52-
8) avoid their third straight
super regional loss. But Findlay
and fellow senior co-captain
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'M'outed at home in regional

By JASON KOHLER
Daily Sports Writer
June 2, 2008 - The Michigan
baseball team thought it would be
charging onto the field at Ray Fish-
er Stadium after a victory yesterday
afternoon. After all, the Wolverines
were hosting the NCAA regional.
They had already beaten Kentucky
a day earlier, so another win over
the Wildcats was in their grasp.
But the only hugs the Michigan
baseball players gave after a 12-6
loss to Kentucky were consolatory
ones.
"It's over now," junior third
baseman Adam Abraham said. "I
don't have any regrets. We played
hard. In the end we did everything
we could, and it just wasn't quite
enough."
The night before, the 16th-
ranked Wolverines (46-14) lost a
heartbreaking game against No. 23
Arizona, 4-3, and were pushed into
the loser'sbracket. No. 24 Kentucky

(44-18 overall) then eliminated the
Wolverines from the NCAA Tour-
nament.
The Wildcats didn't waste time
tearing apart Michigan. The best
hitting team in the Southeastern
Conference (.319 combined batting
average) scored seven runs in the
first inning.
Michigan coach Rich Malo-
ney started lefty sophomore Jeff
DeCarlo on the mound because of
a favorable matchup against Ken-
tucky's left-hand-heavy lineup,
even though DeCarlo had pitched
just 15 total innings entering the
game.
He still had 15 after the game.
Maloney pulled his starter with
the bases loaded before he ever
recorded an out.
"We thought the matchup, left
on left, was the right matchup,"
Maloney said. "As it turned out, we
didn't get it done."
Junior Ben Jenzen relieved
DeCarlo and allowed all three

runners to score, letting in four of
his own before the inning ended.
"If you really look at our season,
we only lost 14 times, and teams
had to get us in the first inning,"
Maloney said. "If they didn't get us
in the first inning, we didn't lose
too many games."
Michigan clawed back when
junior Zach Putnam hit a three-
run home run in the fourth inning,
and fifth-year senior Leif Mahler
had an RBI double in the fifth to
pull the Wolverines within three
runs.
"In the dugout, we thought
we had a chance," Abraham said.
"They just came up with some
good plays on us. You need to have
breaks in this tournament, and we
definitely didn't get any breaks."
Michigan had chances to close
the gap even more, putting run-
ners on base every inning. But the
Wolverines also left men on base
every inning - 17 in all. The Wol-
verines actually out-hit Kentucky

16-42, but the Wildcats stranded
just five runners.
"We just didn't get the timely
hits the way we needed to in order
to win the tournament," Maloney
said. "We just didn't get the hits to
knock in the runs. Sometimes that
happens."
Michigan had arguably its best
season in the program's recent his-
tory. Its Big Ten record for most
wins in a season (26) will likely
never be broken because the con-
ference season will be reduced to
24 games next year. The Wolver-
ines had their most wins in a sea-
son since 1989. And for the first
time since 1986, Ann Arbor hosted
a regional.
But all its accomplishments
were soured with two losses this
weekend.
"We were flyinghigh to winthis
tournament and had a lot of confi-
dence in this team with good rea-
son," Putnam said. "It just knocks
the wind right out of you."

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