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March 30, 2009 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-30

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The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom March 30, 2009 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandaiiy.com

March 30, 2009 - 3B

Blowout victories allow
playing time for bench

Mi
LO

FILE PHOTO/Daly
Senior Chris Fetter pitched a complete game Friday night, bouncing back after giving up three runs in the first inning for a win.
'M' Nie take series
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chigan destroys "She deserved the opportunity,"
Hutchins said. "She works very
)yola Chicago in hard every day, and she does a lot
ho e to help our team win. She pitches
home opener to our hitters in practice a lot, and
it was a good opportunity to give
By MIKE FLOREK her a chance to get what she's been
Daily Sports Writer working for."
Not too long after fans returned
the second game of the to their seats at Alumni Field for
pan softball team's home- the second game, the game was
ig doubleheader against effectively over.
Chicago, Michigan coach The scoreboard read 11-0 after
Hutchins sent a Taylor to the the first inning. Some fans headed
1 to toward the exits before Michigan
out MICHIGAN 13 could take the field for the top of
me. LOYOLA 0 the second.
The Wolverines scored first-
sn't MICHIGAN 4 inning runs in both games of the
LOYOLA 1 doubleheader, and nine players
can collected hits. Despite Michigan's
r Jordan Taylor. recently streaky offensive produc-
homore walk-on Lauren tion, the Wolverines (22-9) have
took the mound to pitch scored in the first inning of 13
al inning of the Wolverines' games.
rut. Her appearance marked "We've been working on that
st time someone other than a lot in our practices, just getting
Nemitz or Jordan Taylor ahead," Nemitz said. "As a pitcher,
rpped into the circle for the it's a great relief because you know
rines in 91 games. your team is ready to play and is
tichigan's 4-1 and 13-0 wins helping you out early."
urday every player on the Freshman Amanda Chidester
entered the game. did the job in the first inning of the
or allowed two hits but sur- first game with a two-run home
ed no runs in her first career run.
Michigan exploded for 11 runs

By RYAN KARTJE
DailySports Writer
It was the bottom of the 7th
inning on Saturday as Michigan
sophomore relief pitcher Tyler
Burgoon approached the mound.
The Wolverines were in a 1-1
deadlock with Iowa in the first
weekend of Big Ten play.
Burgoon tossed a wild pitch
that flew past freshman catcher
Coley Crank, sending a Hawkeye
baserunner home to break the tie.
Michigan (2-1 Big Ten, 16-7 over-
all) couldn't recover from the 2-1
deficit and suffered its first Big
Ten loss at Duane Banks Field in
Iowa City.
The only thing colder than the
Wolverine bats was the weather,
which spent most of the weekend
below 40 degrees.
"When the weather is so bad,
so cold, it's usually a low-scoring
game," fifth-year senior outfielder
Kenny Fellows said of Saturday's
2-1 loss. "It's tough to get the bats
going in those situations when
they're already so cold."
To manufacture more runs,
Fellows knew the Wolverines
would need to play scrappy base-
ball and improve the small-ball
aspect of their game to build on
' their Friday win and claim the

Big Ten opening series on Sun-
day.
The former walk-on responded
yesterday to the tune of a career-
high four hits and four stolen
bases as Michigan cruised to a
7-5 win over Iowa (1-2, 9-12).
Michigan coach Rich Maloney
called the team's performance "a
gritty one, to say the least".
"Thank goodness we got a run-
ning game going finally," Malo-
ney said. "It's been stalled for
quite a while. And today, Kenny
Fellows was great. He was our
spark plug."
The rest of the Wolverines con-
tributed two more steals to give
the team a season-high six stolen
bases. It couldn't have come at a
better time. After two baserun-
ners were picked off in the wan-
ing innings of Michigan's 3-1 loss
to Eastern Michigan last week,
Maloney admitted baserunning
was key to the Wolverines' suc-
cess.
And on Sunday, Michigan's
improved baserunning disrupted
the Hawkeyes' defensive efforts
and allowed the team to put last
week's embarrassing loss to the
Eagles behind them.
Of course, the return of a
legitimate offensive threat from
Michigan's bats sure helped as

the Wolverines had four players
with multiple hits on the after-
noon.
"Ittookeveryounce ofenergy we
had to get it done," Maloney said.
"Now, we have a lot of guys just
waiting in the wings, so they have
to be scrappy in order to win."
In the series opener Friday, the
Wolverines sent ace senior pitch-
er Chris Fetter to the mound. Just
like all season, he didn't disap-
point.
After allowing three runs in
the first inning, Fetter rebounded
to throw a complete game. He
gave up five hits and struck out
nine Hawkeye batters to lead
Michigan to a narrow 4-3 win.
The winning run came cour-
tesy of a sacrifice fly from senior
second baseman Kevin Cislo in
the eighth inning that scored
senior pinch runner Nick Urban.
The real difference from the
Wolverine bats came from junior
first baseman Mike Dufek who
was 6 of 12 with four RBI on the
weekend to continue his hot hand
as of late.
In a conference that looks tobe
much closer than in past seasons,
the Wolverines will need offen-
sive production from players like
Dufek and Fellows who have been
"waiting in the wings".
"The last few years we were
dominant (in the Big Ten),"
Maloney said. "But we knew that
wasn't the case this year. On any
given day, any of these teams can
beat each other up ... It's going
to be a contested race right to the
end."

on eight hits in the first inning
of the second game. The inning
also included a stretch where 12
straight batters reached base safe-
ly.
With a 4-for-5 performance
from the plate, Chidester could
have left it at that and had a good
day. But the utility player also
showed her defensive prowess.
Playing catcher in the first
game, Chidester made two dynam-
ic plays. On a small foul pop up, she
made the only play possible, a div-
ing stab to her left to record the
out.
With runners on second and
third in the bottom of the seventh,
a slow roller came to Nemitz, who
quickly sent it to Chidester.
Chidester caught the ball and
lunged back to make the play at
home, keeping the game out of
reach.
Now, the Wolverines can focus
on Big Ten play. With Michigan's
0-2 start in conference play after
two losses to Northwestern last
weekend and the elimination of
a conference tournament, regu-
lar season play is more important
than in past years to determine
postseason seeding.
The Wolverines return to action
Wednesday when they travel to
Penn State.
thing there is at the University of
Michigan, particularly our Athlet-
ic Department," Rodriguez said.
"Our spring game is, more than
anything else, a spring event. Our
Athletic Department has done a
terrific job of trying to promote
that."
A member of the Athletic
Department said the roster for
the alumni flag football game - a
new tradition for the spring game
weekend - will slowly leak over
the coming weeks on Rodriguez's
official facebook.com page.
On Saturday, the only thing
Rodriguez knew about the roster
was that a few former members
of the Wolverines who won Super
Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh
Steelers this year would be play-
ing in the game. LaMarr Wood-
ley and Larry Foote are the only
Michigan players on the current
Steelers roster.
A member of the Athletic
Department said he was contact-
ing the members of the NFL Super
Bowl runners-up Arizona Cardi-
nals about playing. Steve Breas-
ton, Gabe Watson, Alan Branch
and Victor Hobson are all on the
current Cardinals' roster.
The Detroit Free Press con-
firmed that Rick Leach, Derrick
Walker, Jim Betts and Bill Dufek
will be participating.

FOOTBALL
From Page 1B
It was achance for younger play-
ers - especially those like fresh-
man Tate Forcier, who enrolled at
Michigan early to participate in
these practices - to exhibit their
play-making abilities.
"You don't get a lot of coaching
during a scrimmage, and that's by
design," Rodriguez said. "You just
kind of sit back ... let them play and
see who steps up.
"For some of the new guys that
are in this environment, we want
to see how they compete without
a coach telling them what to do on
every snap."
Forcier played with the first
team because redshirt junior Nick
Sheridan fractured his right leg
during Tuesday's practice.
Although Rodriguez planned
to use a smaller playbook for the
scrimmage, he said he would
"simplify a little bit," while Forci-
er took snaps.
"We've got to be able to run the
offense, but we've got a smaller
package in anyway," Rodriguez
said. "In particular, in the scrim-
mage, not only because of him but
because of some of the other young
guys. I don't want them thinking
too much - just let them play."

LINE SHIFT: After redshirting
last season, there are six linemen
making waves during spring prac-
tice. With their addition to the
roster, Rodriguez and his staff are
still waiting for five to emerge as
starters.
"I don't really have a first group
yet," Rodriguez said. "We've got
six or seven or eight that are rotat-
ing in the first group ... I think it's
still a work in progress."
Rodriguez is still consider-
ing shifting redshirt junior Steve
Schilling to guard, but he was
quick to mention that nothing is
set in stone just yet.
"I want him to wind up where
our best five are at," Rodriguez
said. "If our best five have Steve at
guard and somebody else at tackle,
that's fine. I think he's comfortable
in there. I also think he's athletic
enough to play both spots."
FIRST GLANCE: Although Sat-
urday's scrimmage was closed,
the public will have the chance
to see the Wolverines play at the
spring game on April 11 at noon at
Michigan Stadium.
More information about
the additional festivities was
announced before Saturday's
practice.
"We want as many people as
possible to come, not only to
watch our game, but to see every-

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