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March 08, 2010 - Image 12

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4B - March 8, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Michigan sweeps
four-game week

'M' falls in Big Ten Tourney

By CASANDRA PAGNI
Daily Sports Writer
Staying focused on the next
pitch is the No. 7 Michigan soft-
ball team's mantra this season and
the Wolverines put their pitch and
plate discipline on display this past
weekend. Michigan won all four of
its games at the Easton SEC/Mid-
west Challenge in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"(Playing one-pitch softball)
helps you be able to control the
pressure," senior pitcher Nikki
Nemitz said. "If (the game) gets tir-
ing ortough, you know that you just
have to be great for that one pitch.
It's an easier way of thinking of the
game, than thinking 'Okay, were
going to be on the road for eleven
days and going to play ten games.'
That's tough."
The Wolverines (14-4) show-
cased one-pitch softball in Friday's
5-2 win against No. 8 Alabama.
Michigan was down 2-0 after the
third inning, but stayed focused to
rally back. The Wolverines scored
one run in the fourth, one run in
the sixth and three runs in the
seventh to eventually overtake the
Crimson Tide.
Following what Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins called "an emo-
tional win," the Wolverines bats
were quiet'in a 1-0 win over South
Carolina .on Saturday. But again,
Michigan adjusted its approach
to manage a win, this time behind
senior Nikki Nemitz's solid seven
innings.
"Good teams find ways to win,"
Hutchins said. "The first Alabama
game Friday night was a big win
(and) Saturday morning we were
definitely flat against South Caro-
lina. Give their pitcher credit, but
we didn't make adjustments at
the plate. But we played defense
and held them, which is what you
have to do until your offense can
win it. Then we turned around and
had another big game against Ala-.
bama."
Michigan faced Alabama for the
second time on Saturday, with the

Wolverines winning the contest
4-2. Senior outfielder Angela Find-
lay had Alabama's number this past
weekend, with two hits, one run
scored and two RBI on Friday. She
added two hits and two RBI in Sat-
urday's contest.
"I'm just really focusing on going
up there and doing what I need to
do for my team at the plate," Find-
lay said. "Whether that's getting on
base, driving people in, or putting
a bunt down for the runners, my
focus is just going up there and get-
ting good atbats."
Michigan defeated South Caro-
lina 8-0 in just five innings in Sun-
day's finale. Nemitz pitched two
scoreless innings before freshman
pitcher Stephanie Speierman got
the .call. Speierman picked up her
first win of the season, as she tossed
three innings, giving up no hits or
walks, while striking out three.
"All the coaches agreed we
wished that we wouldn't have
ended the game early with our
offense," Hutchins said. "(Speier-
man) was just getting going. We
haven't had a lot of opportunity
to really see what she can do, but
we were pleased with her perfor-
mance. She maintained, made her
pitches work, and she got them to
make outs."
As the Wolverines head to Lou-
isville, Ken. to play in the Red and
Black Tournament next weekend,
the team looks to build on their
complete performances from this
past weekend.
And with their bats heating up
this past weekend, Hutchins would
like to see the Wolverines build on
their recent offensive successes.
"We're beginning to play with
some consistency," Hutchins said.
"We're 18 games into the season,
and our hope is to get consistency
in all areas of our game. Our pitch-
ing has been pretty consistent and
our defense has been pretty con-
sistent. Its typical that the offense
is the last to go, but I'm starting to
see some things and some good at
bats."

By ZAK PYZIK
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS - It all looked
over with just 5:35 remaining in
the Michigan women's basket-
ball team's 61-50 loss to Michigan
State. Freshman guard Dayeesha
Hollins had committed her fifth
foul and was replaced by sopho-
more guard Courtney Boylan.
Shortly after that, the Spar-
tans went up by 11 at the Conseco
Fieldhouse in the quarterfinal
round of the Big Ten Tournament,
junior guard Veronica Hicks air-
balled,
and it MICHIGAN 50
seemed MICHIGAN STATE 61
there was
nothing that could slow the Spar-
tans down.
"We started off quickly," Boylan
said. "We played a day ago, so we
were used to the court. We were
just excited and readyto go. I don't
necessarily know what happened
in the second half But it wasn't
good. It was frustrating. It seems
like when we tried to be aggres-
sive we would get a foul called. But
then on the other end we couldn't
do anything. They just pressure
the ball very well."
The Wolverines kept it close
in the first-half. They were quick
out of the gate, catching Michigan
State offguard. Michigan led by as
many as eight points. But by half-
time; Michigan State put together
a full effort, going ahead 32-29.
"Offensively, we didn't slow
down as much," Hicks said. "It
was on the defensive end that we
were not getting as many stops.
They started getting a few more
offensive rebounds, then we
started getting foul calls and they
were able to get to the line a lot.
Our defense wasn't getting stops."
Senior center Krista Phillips
was on top of the pack with eight
points of her own in the first half.
Spartan senior center Allyssa
DeHaan left the game in the mid-
dle of the first half after a move
from Phillips triggered a back
spasm DeHaan had suffered from
earlier in the week. DeHaan's
injury left Phillips as the tallest
player on the court and giving the
Wolverines a size advantage.
But the injury didn't help the
struggling Michigan squad as the
Spartans were able to take advan-
tage of Michigan's foul problems.
The Spartans got eight points
from the charity stripe alone in
the first half. And then in the sec-
ond stanza, it was free throws
again that doomed the Wolver-
ines. e
"It seemed like most of our

0

4

TOREHAN SHARMAN/Daily
Freshman Dayeesha Hollins, pictured here, scored six points and fouled out in Michigan's 61-50 loss to rival Michigan State. The
loss knocked the Wolverines out ofithe Big Ten Tournament and put them on the bubble for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid.

,o

starters were in foul trouble,"
Boylan said. "Them getting to the
line gives them huge momentum.
(Dayeesha) is in there and she
picks up three, then the tripping
call and she's out. (Hicks) had to
sit because she had three or four
fouls, and even (freshman guard)
Jenny Ryan had to sit early in the
game because she had some trou-
ble."
With the foul trouble, Michi-
gan had to play its starters very
conservatively.
And even when the Spartans
missed their foul shots Michigan
still couldn't capitalize. Michi-
gan State collected 17 offensive
boards and cashed them in for 14
second-chance points. The Spar-

tans dominated the glass all night,
they beat the Wolverines 41-29 in
rebounds.
"They started getting a few
more offensive rebounds," Hicks
said. "They collected loose balls
and offensive rebounds. When
thathappened that started mak-
ing our offense a little more stag-
nant because it gave them more
confidence in transitions."
Michigan knew that rebounds
would be a significant factor in the
game, and that it would be hard
to outrebound a more aggressive
team in the Spartans.
"I think you have to be able to
make somea of those," Michigan
coach Kevin Borseth said. "It's
a little tougher to get to the rim

obviously because they really
got the gaps shrunk and they're
a lot bigger than we are, a lot
more physical. They played good
defense-but they're physical. You
try to get open and they bump."
The Wolverines wound up cut-
ting the lead to just eight points
with a minute left, but Michigan
State drained another 3-pointer at
the shot clock buzzer and Michi-
gan didn't attempt to foul.
"I'd like to begin by saying the
beginning of the year they picked
us to finish 11th in the confer-
ence," Borseth said. "Last? Well,
we didn't. We finished tied for
sixth, which was pretty good. In
our eyes obviously we'd like to fin-
ish a little bit better."

'M' swept in series with ranked Tar Heels

MARISSA MCCLAIN/Daily
Sophomore Michelle Sulahian, pictured here, won herfirst singles match at No.6 in
Michigan's win o ver Pepperdin on Friday
Blue beats Waves,
for first time ever

By BEN ESTES with an injury two weeks ago. In
Daily Sports Writer the eight games since he broke his
thumb, the squad has scored just
The Michigan baseball team two runs or fewer on four different
knew its road series against No. 12 occasions.
North Carolina would be a difficult Part of the reason for the strug-
one, but it was still confident in its gles against the Tar Heels was
ability to compete, even without the quality of pitching faced. Two
star centerfielder Ryan LaMarre. All-American candidates - right-
Three games later, the Wolver- handers Matt Harvey and Colin
ines were left staring at their first Bates - took the mound for North
series sweep of the young season, Carolina and performed as adver-
wondering what went wrong. tised. Harvey went eight innings
The squad just came off of a big on Friday, allowing no runs and
road victory -at Florida Gulf Coast, striking out 11. Bates followed Sun-
but droppedallthree gamesagainst day with 5.2 innings of one-run
the Tar Heels (10-1), including a 9-1 baseball.
blowout in Sunday's finale. The Wolverines (4-7) just didn't
"Whenever we play, we expect seem to have an answer.
to win," Michigan coach Rich "I thought we were putting
Maloney said. "We knew North some good swings on the ball ...
Carolina had a great program and [but]unfortunately we were on the
agreat team, and they've obviously wrongside of both ofthosegames,"
been playing real well with their senior catcher Chris Berset said.
record the way it is ... (but) we had "We just got to keep fighting out
hoped that we could win the series. there and keep scrapping."
It's very, very disappointing." Maloney said the results of Fri-
A Michigan offense that showed day's 4-2 defeat and Saturday's 7-6
signs of busting out against FGCU loss could have been different with
reverted to a lackluster form on the preseason All-American in the
Friday and Sunday which it had lineup.
taken since LaMarre went out "There's several games in this

trip and this stretch where we
certainly would've been ip a much
better position (with LaMarre),
there's no question," Maloney said.
"I'm sure our record would be two
or three games different. But you
can't put it all on one guy. This is a
team, and there are other guys that
ought to be able to get it done."
But so far, nobody has stepped
into that role. The varied attempts
to replace LaMarre's production in
the lineup continued to fizzle over
the weekend. Redshirt freshman
Tyler Mills and senior Mike Kit-
tle both got starting nods against
North Carolina, but they, along
with redshirt sophomore Garrett
Stephens and redshirt freshman
Kevin Krantz, have failed to secure
the vacant leftfield spot.
It's an issue that needs to be
resolved with the outfielder out
of action for at least another three
weeks.
"I think some guys are pressing,
trying to do too much," Maloney
said. "With LaMarre out of the
lineup, I think some other guys are
tryingto hit an eight-run home run
in the first inning. They're going
to have to work their way through

that to get better."
Freshman centerfielder Patrick
Biondi (who shifted from leftfield
to take LaMarre's defensive spot)
continued to shine for Michigan
He came into the series hitting at
a torrid .405 clip, and with a hit in
each game against the Tar Heels
(including a 4-for-4 performance
Saturday), Biondi extended his hit-
ting streak to eight games.
The squad showed grit in com-
ing back from a 6-1 deficit Saturday
by scoring five runs in the final
three innings and nearly stealing a
win from UNC's grasp.
But despite their best efforts,
the Wolverines were unable to
pick up a single victory in Chapel
Hill. The sweep left abitter taste in
the mouths of the players as they
returned to Ann Arbor, hoping to
regroup for next weekend when
they compete in the Caravelle
Resort Classic in South Carolina.
"We're ekind of tired of just
taking moral victories out here,"
Berset said. "We're ready to win
games. We're going to have bad
games, but we got to keep battling
out there. We've got to learn from
this and move on."

By EMILY BONCHI
For the Daily
After upsetting then-No. 5 Bay-
lor University 4-3 on Feb. 26, the
Wolverines improved their rank-
ing to No. 7, the highest in team
history. With a7-0 shut out against
Loyola Marymount on March 3,
Michigan didn't have much trou-
ble leaving its California spring
break trip with another victory
last Friday.
The Wolverines defeated Pep-
perdine for the first time ever,
improving their record against the
Waves to 1-3. The Wolverines (10-
3) dropped just one singles match
to the Waves (4-7), winning 6-1.
"Pepperdine is a very solid
team," Michigan'coach Ronni Ber-
nstein said. "We knew we were
going to have to play well and we
definitely stepped up."
One of this season's best play-
ers has been Michigan freshman
Mimi Nguyen, whose victory on
Friday clinched the match for the
Wolverines. Nguyen improved to
a team-best 11-2 in dual matches
after defeating Pepperdine's Ali
Walters at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-3.
"As a freshman I have to adjust
to college tennis and having a lot
of success really boosts my confi-

dence," Nguyen said.
Nguyen is also half of the 32nd-
ranked doubles team with sopho-
more Michelle Sulahian. The pair
dropped just their second doubles
msatch all season on Friday, losing
to Pepperdine's Marie Zalameda
and Anamika Bhargava 8-7. ,
Despite the loss by Nguyen
and Sulahian, Michigan earned
the doubles point for the seventh
match in a row.
Sulahian then won the first
singles match at No. 6 singles
defeating Tania Rice 6-1,66-0. The
next two points went to the Wol-
verines as well, with victories by
junior captain Whitney Taney and
Nguyen.
At No. 1 singles, No. 27 junior
Denise Muresan defeated Pepper-
dine's only ranked player, No. 81
Arianna Colffer, 6-2, 6-3.
After taking the uncoming
weekend off, the Wolverines will
look to win their fifth consecutive
match against in-state rival Michi-
gan State for the first of several Big
Ten Conference matches.
"Any conference match is going
to be important," Bernstein said.
"We'll get back on the courts on
Tuesday and continue to improve.
Each match helps you with seed-
ing, so it's big."

Bauer sets tournament record in Wolverine victory

By MICHAEL LAURILA
Daily Sports Writer
Setting a tournament record
and also tying a career-best
score, senior Ashley Bauer led the
Michigan women's golf team to a
win this past weekend at the Rio
Verde Collegiate Invitational. But
she was still not entirely happy
with her performance.
"In the first round, I hit a lot
of greens," Bauer said. "But the
second two rounds, I didn't hit as
many. I think that's usually one
of my strong suits. I can always
make more putts, too. I had a
couple of three putts that cost me
a couple of strokes out there and

that's not acceptable."
Bauer was pleased with the
team's performance over the
three-day tournament, especially
how the Wolverines kept their
composure as Michigan won the
tournament, 14 strokes in front of
the second-place finisher, Minne-
sota.
"It's exciting," Bauer said. "You
know every day, every stroke
counts. That's kind of the mental-
ity that we have right now."
After a disappointing last-place
finish last weekend at the Central
District Tournament in Florida,
the Wolverines were hoping to
move on. And with the dominant
performance they did just that.

"I thought we played really
well," Michigan coach Cheryl
Stacy said. "Especially after play-
ing down in Florida and finishing
last in the tournament. I thought
the girls took that as a motiva-
tional thing and made it work
for them and played really well
here."
The team thrived off of Bauer's
stellar performance. After two
days, Junior Min Yean Tan was
tied for third, but finished tied
for seventh after hitting seven
over par on the third day. Senior
Andrea Ratigan tied for third fin-
ishing 7-over par.
Since Michigan cannot play
outdoors in Ann Arbor, it is forced

to strictly play in tournaments
farther south.
"We shot some good numbers
and those numbers, no matter
where we play, will be competi-
tive," Bauer said. "We'll be out
hitting some golf balls, and hope-
fully the weather will break thin.
You can't promise that, but it is
unfortunate that we can't play on
the grass for a while. We just got
to keep doing what we can, and
make the most of it."
The Wolverines will follow up
this victory in two weeks at the
Mountain View Challenge in Tuc-
son, Ariz. where they hope some
of their luck in Arizona will con-
tinue.

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