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April 13, 2009 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-13

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Robinson Athletic Dept.
and Forcier got it right
.,t 1 I~hthis tim e
finally m eet here's a line between a fan-friendly game
and too many marketing gimmicks, and the
Mihigan Athletic Department has flirted
By ANDY REID with it before.
Daily Sports Editor Basketball promotions this
year included free pizza and
On National Signing Day in February, early-en- ticket packages that practically
rollee Tate Forcier couldn't even remember Denard begged students to go to games
Robinson's name. All he knew was what his mom had in order to earn Michigan mer-
explained over the phone earlier that day: the Wolver- chandise at the end of the season.
ines signed another dual-threat quarterback, and he Even the media was treated to
is really fast. an exclusive preseason hands-on
Forcier and Robinson were finally introduced practice with coach John Beilein
before Saturday's spring game. While Forcier warmed at Crisler Arena.
up with the first-team wide receivers, Robinson, don- It seemed like the team and COURTNEY
ning his bright red Deerfield Beach (Fla.) high school the Athletic Department were RATKOWIAK
letterman's jacket, made his way around the field and trying to compensate for the
talked with players and coaches. Bubbly and excited, : previous year's 10-22 record by
Robinson made his rounds, even stopping to sign drawing attention to everything except the team's
autographs. SAID ALSALAH (TOP) CLF REEDER (OTTOM)/Daly past. But it just came off as tacky, and the fans only
The two, along with redshirt junior Nick Sheridan, Early enrollee Tate Forcier impressed in his first performance in front of a crowd of Michigan fans at Saturday's spring game. started to respond noticeably when the Wolverines
will soon be battling for the starting quarterback He looked calm in the pocket, tossing three touchdowns - including a 50-yarder to redshirt freshman Roy Roundtree - and ran started to win.
See QUARTERBACKS, Page 4B for another. He and incoming freshman Denard Robinson will most likely compete for this fal's starting job. See RATKOWIAK, Page 4B


Relief pitching remains a problem for Blue
after dropping series against Big Ten leaders
By RYAN KARTJE Ines' pitching that doomed them in
Daily Sports Writer games two and three.
"I've seen these pitchers do a lot
With a full count in the seventh better," Michigan coach Rich Malo-
inning against Illinois on Saturday ney said. "Pitching was supposed
night, Mike Dufek stood dumb- to be our strength this season, but
founded,staringtowardthe mound. we're just not there yet."
Illinois pitcher Lee Zerrusen had As usual, senior ace pitcher Chris
just struck Dufek out swinging. Fetter dominated in his Friday
Frustrated, the junior slammed his night start, notching a career-high
bat into the dirt behind the batter's 13 strikeouts to lead Michigan to ar
box. He fumed as he walked backto decisive victory. With his double-
the dugout with a bent bat and the digit strikeout effort, Fetter passed
Michigan baseball team still down -Jim Brauer for fourth-most career4
10-7. strikeouts in program history.
Dufek's l - 1 "We believe Chris Fetter is the
reaction ICIN 11Sbest pitcher in the league," sopho-
to the HIGAN more Anthony Toth said. "He
strikeout definitely carried us tonight. We A
epitomized his 0-for-4 night and expect him to do what he did (Fri-
the Wolverines' weekend. Michi- day) all the time, and he never dis-
gan lost two of three, suffering a appoints."
two-run loss on Saturday and a six- With the team's relief corps'
run defeat yesterday, to drop the struggling, Maloney decided to .
weekend series against Big Ten- let Fetter go the distance in the
leading Illinois (6-3 Big Ten, 21-8 4-2 win. The weekend's other two
overall). starters couldn't produce nearly
Dufek and the offense didn't the same success..
have much of problem manufactur- On Saturday, junior Eric Katz-
log tuna in the series, registering man, who came into the weekend
eight on Saturday and five yester- with four wins, left the game after SAID ALSALAH/Daily
day. Instead, it was the Wolver- See FIGHTING ILLINI, Page 3B Senior Chris Fetter struck out a career-high 13 batters against Illinois on Friday.

Taylor breaks out of -
slump, leads 'M' in sweep

Daily Sports Writer
After struggling through
the first month of Big Ten play,
sophomore pitcher Jordan Taylor
spent last week pitching to Strike
Out - a piece of tarp with a hole
in the middle.
terday, MINNESOTA 0
she was MICHIGAN 7
back to
racking up strikeouts.
Taylor twirled a three-hit
shutout as the Michigan softball
team defeated Minnesota 7-0 to
complete a two-game sweep at
Alumni Field. The Wolverines
topped the Golden Gophers 4-1
on Saturday.
In her previous five appear-
ances, Taylor had tallied a disap-
pointing 3.81 ERA and thrown
just one complete game.
"Everything was a little bit
off," she said. "Timing, spin, you
name it. What wasn't I struggling
But last week, Taylor spent
some extra time with Strike Out.

The tarp, which hangs in the
team's practice batting cages,
lends itself to a simple drill -
throw the ball through the hole.
Retrieve. Repeat.
When a pitcher's mechanics or
timing is off, that hole can seem
awfully small. Last Sunday, when
Taylor came to the practice facili-
ty by herself for some extra work,
Strike Out looked like a pinhole.
"It was basically punishment,"
Taylor said.
Last Wednesday, Taylor held
Central Michigan to two runs in
seven innings of work. She called
the game a "step in the right
direction" but still didn't feel
back in her pitching rhythm.
So on Thursday, she spent
another session throwing at the
hole in the tarp.
The extra work paid offyester-
day as Taylor tossed seven strong
innings, fanning 12 Minnesota
batters and allowing just five bas-
"I was smoother," she said.
"I was thinking a lot less about
pitches. I was just throwing."


The Michigan men's track and field team U Seniors Lindsey Howard and Chisako
traveled to Columbus and avenged its indoor Sugiyama playedtheir last match at the
_j Dual loss. Page 4B. Varsity Tennis Center. Page 2B.

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