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March 15, 2010 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

March 15, 2010 - 3B

. Timely scoring lifts Blue over MSU

By MICHAEL FLOREK with 0.7 seconds left on the clock in
Daily Sports Writer the first period to take the lead and
grab the momentum for the first
The Michigan hockey team land- time all weekend. But three min-
ed its final blow long after the game utes into the second frame, junior
was over. Ben Winnett made a move at the
Fresh off of their sweep of No. 2 point, jumped into the slot and bur-
seed Michigan State, the Wolverines ied a wristshot to tie the game.
lined up and faced the glass in Munn "Once we got that tying goal, I
Ice Arena. As they raised their sticks really liked our team," Michigan
in salute, the large concentration of coach Red Berenson said. "From
maize-clad fans overtook the build- then on, we played well. We played
ing with Michigan cheers. a lot in their zone and this team
The only thing the Spartan play- played hard."
ers - lined up around center ice The goal started a second period
circle - could do was hang their that ended with a 16-1 shot advan-
heads as they waited to salute their tage for the Wolverines.
half-empty arena. As the Spartans headed into the
It was a fitting end to a weekend third with an air of desperation, the
in which Michigan upstaged Michi- Wolverines held a death-grip on
gan State twice in two days, 5-1 on the game's tempo. Freshman Chris
and Friday 5-3 and on Saturday. Brown hacked at the puck until it
On Saturday, the Spartans (14- went behind Spartan backup goal-
8-6 CCHA, 19-13-6 overall) scored tender Bobby Jarosz for what ended

up being the deciding goal of the
series.
"Me and (senior Brian Lebler)
were just hacking and whacking
away," Brown said. "Fortunately, I
hit it good enough and it went in."
In a rare occurrence this season,
the Wolverines got the timely goals
they needed all weekend.
Even with a three-goal lead Fri-
day, Michigan got the clutch goal.
The Wolverines did not want a
repeat of the teams' Jan. 30 match-
up at Joe Louis Arena, when they
scored three first period goals only
to have the Spartans come back
with four consecutive tallies.
.So senior Steve Kampfer made
sure history didn't repeat itself,
scoring just 21 seconds into the sec-
ond period to put the Wolverines up
four and in cruise control, for the
rest of the game.
"We talked about the fact that

we know a three-goal lead against
this team is not necessarily safe,"
Berenson said after Friday night's
game. "So we have to play better
and harder as the game goes on and
not let themget a life. We've been in
this building, the momentum can
change dramatically."
The Wolverines scored 10 goals
in the series and are averaging
more than five goals per game in
the CCHA playoffs. Whether it is
the team playing harder because
junior Shawn Hunwick is in goal,
or because of Michigan's big guns,
junior Louie Caporusso and sopho-
more David Wohlberg, have finally
gotten back to their play of the pre-
vious season, the Wolverines will
gladly take the extra goals.
They will need similar firepow-
er if they want to be saluting the
Maize invasion of Joe Louis Arena
at the end of next weekend.

'M' top guns struggle in Austin

Texas sweeps doubles
matches in 6-1 victory
over Wolverines
By EMILY BONCHI
For the Daily
The No. 25 Michigan men's ten-
nis team went to Austin this week-
end knowing it would have to play
f its best game in order to beat No.
5 Texas. After all, the Longhorns
led the Wolverines 12-3 all-time in
duel matches.
But the Wolverines were unable
to capitalize on important plays,
falling to the Longhorns, 6-1.
"We had some matches where
we were close on first sets, so we
definitely had some opportuni-
ties to be hitting a little bit better,"
Michigan coach Bruce Berque said.
"Texas is a very good team, so we
had to play the bigger points a little
bit better than we did."
In singles play, first set matches
at No. 3, 4 and 5 all went into a tie-
breaking seventh game, resulting in
only one victory for the Wolverines.
Texas (15-2) swept all three
doubles matches to take the early
1-0 lead, forcing Michigan (4-6) to
lose just its second doubles point
all season. It was also the second
loss for No. 2 doubles pair seniors
George Navas and Mike Sroczyn-

ski all season.'
Singles play did not get much
better for the Wolverines, as Sroc-
zynski notched the team's only
win, defeating No. 95 Kellen Dami-
co in a tense match at No. 3, 7-6,x
7-fl.
At No. 1 singles, it seemed to be
a case of d6ja vu for 46th-ranked
junior and Jason Jung, who lost
to No. 7 Dimitar Kutrovsky for the;
second time this season. The two'
met at the ITA National Indoors
Tournament last November, where
Kutrovsky defeated Jung 6-2, 6-4,
the same score as their match on
Saturday.
Five of Texas's six singles play-
ers are ranked in the top 100 and
the Longhorns are Michigan's
highest-ranked opponent of the
season thus far.
One of the improvements coach
Berque is looking to focus on before
the start of Big Ten play next week-
end is the team's competitive edge.
"I think the competitive aspect
of having the discipline to play
aggressively and play the right way
under pressure when it matters the Senior Mike Sroczynski, pictured here, alor
most is what we're trying to get their second doubles match of the season o
better with," Berque said. "I think After three consecutive road
that we did much better with that games, the Wolverines return to
last weekend (against then-No 10 the Varsity Tennis Center for their
California), so we're making prog- next five matches. Despite having
ress, but we have tobe able to play home-court advantage, the team is
tough and stay on our toes when going to have to step up its game at
playing under pressure." singles as it heads into conference

BURNS
From Page 4B
allowed Michigan State to gain
any momentum for the rest of the
weekend. It forechecked the hell
out of the Spartans, puttingthem
on their heels and forcingturnover
after turnover.
Aside from the final five minutes
of play in Saturday's first period,
during which the Spartans tallied
three power play goals, the Wol-
verines played as close to mistake-
free hockey as possible, something
Michigan coach Red Berenson said
would put the Wolverines in pretty
good shape.
Michigan received contribu-
tions from its top performers
in juniors Carl Hagelin, Louie
Caporusso, and Matt Rust - the
trio totaled seven points in the
weekend series. The Wolverines
also got secondary scoring from
sophomore David Wohlberg and
freshman Chris Brown, who com-
bined to net three goals.
And although you may think the
5-3 win on Saturday was a close
game, it really wasn't - it was
Michigan's game to lose. At the
STATE
From Page 4B
defense at the turn of the calendar
year, well before Hogan got hurt.
In his mind, if the Wolverines
can play good defense and keep
the puck out of the net, they'll
win. It just so happened that
Michigan was able to score 10
goals this weekend and have both
the offense and defense rolling.
On Friday, the Wolverines
jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.
The Michigan defense was sure
to clear loose pucks away from
Hunwick and limit the Spartans
chances to get back in the game.
Michigan State (14-8-6-2,19-13-6)
just couldn't get anything going in
the Wolverines' zone.
The defense was challenged a
bit more Saturday. Though Michi-
gan scored two quick goals in
the middle of the first period, the
Spartans scored three power play
goals to lead after 20 minutes of
play.
That's when the Wolverines'
defense turned in one of its best
periods of the season. Michigan
carried the play on offense, but
clamped down on defense and
outshot Michigan State 16-1 in the
second period. But the Wolver-
ines managed just one goal to tie
the game at 3-3.
And after Michigan took the
lead early in the third period, the
defense stepped up once again.
Eleven minutes into the third,
sophomore forward Luke Glen-
dening took a holding penalty -to
that point the Spartans were a per-
fect three-for-three on the power
play. This time, Michigan with-
stood Michigan State's attack and
Hunwick stopped all five of the
Spartans' shots. All of Michigan
State's four goals on the weekend
had come on the power play.
"It was a good team effort, and
that's really what it's all about
this time of year," Berenson said.
Hunwick finished the week-

end of the second period on Satur-
day night, Michigan had outshot
Michigan State 16-1 in the frame,
possessing the puck in the Spartan
end for most of the period.
I could go and on about why this
was the Wolverines' most complete
effort of the season, but I think you
get the picture. Michigan laid the
hammer to Michigan State, and
if the Wolverines can play next
weekend at Joe Louis Arena like
they played at Munn Ice Arena this
weekend, there's no telling the lim-
its of this team.
At the end of the game, the Com-
cast camera crew zoomed in on
Spartan junior captain Jeff Petry.
The disgusted look on his face as he
went down the line to shake hands
with the Wolverines summed up
the series for Michigan State.
Was he disappointed with how
the Spartans played? I'm guessing,
yeah. Was he worried his season
could be over so soon? Maybe.
Should he be surprised his team
was dominated up and down the
ice all weekend by the Wolverines?
Not one bit.
Burns can be reached at
burnmark@umich.edu
end with 15 saves on Friday and
18 saves on Saturday. It seems the
team's confidence in the walk-on
goaltender is growing more with
each passing game.
"I think our team is coming
together," Berenson said. "And
when you come together it's not
just the offense, it's not just the
scorers. It's not just the power
play. It's not just the goalie, it's
everybody. And whether it's a
commitment to backcheck, or a
commitment to play in your own
zone without the puck, then we're
doing a better job of it now than
we were before Christmas. Our
team has bought into what we
have to do to win."
Michigan is now heading back
to Joe Louis Arena this Friday,
where the Wolverines will take on
the No. 1 seed, Miami (OH)
"We're on a roll right now,"
Brown said. "This is the best
hockey we've played all year. And
going into the Joe, this is what
we have to do. We have to be on
a roll."
When Michigan went into the
locker room after Saturday's win,
the maize and blue mountain lay
against the white board looking
on as the seniors led the team in
"The Victors."
"We don't get to sing this song
very often in this locker room,
and you guys earned it," Berenson
told his team.
The Wolverines were 10 wins
away from the peak of the moun-
tain when the CCHA tournament
started. Now, it has been four
games, and four wins. Michigan
has reached a ledge, and the Wol-
verines are on their way up.
"Four games ago when we
started the playoffs, we knew
we needed 10 (wins) to win the
National Championship," Hun-
wick said. "We're obviously wor-
ried about the first six to get there
in the NCAA Tournament. But
game by game, period by period,
that's all you can hope for. And
hopefully at the end of the moun-
tain, we're on top."

ng with senior George Navas drepped
n Saturday against Texas.
play, starting with in-state rival
Michigan State next weekend.
"We definitely prefer to play at
home, and that will help a little
bit," Berque said. "But the bottom
line is that we have to play well
enough."

Wolverines sweep Hofstra, Louisville

By CASANDRA PAGNI
Daily Sports Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ken. - After
sweeping all four games in Ala-
bamalast weekend, the No.5 Mich-
igan softball team looked to keep
its offense rolling in Louisville this
past weekend. Michigan (16-4)
showed it was up for the challenge,
as the Wolverines beat No. 18 Lou-
isville 9-5 and Hofstra 4-3 in extra
innings on Saturday.
Michigan extended its winning
streak to 10 games on Sunday with
a 3-1 win against Hofstra and a
7-3 win against Louisville in eight
innings.
The pitchers have been the Wol-
verines' most consistent unit this
season - both on the mound and in
the batter's box. And at the Red and
Black Tournament, it was senior
pitcher Nikki Nemitz that gave the
offense a lift. Nemitz combined to
go 4-for-5 in both games on Satur-
day at the plate.
Against Hofstra, Nemitz drilled
a two-run home run in the top of
the second inning, giving the Wol-

verines a 2-1 lead.
"I love being a hitting pitcher,"
Nemitz said. "I get to help myself
and contribute to the team on both
ends of the game. It felt good. It
feels good to finally be back where
I'm at and help my team out."
In both of Saturday's games, the
Wolverines trailed early and had to
mount comebacks to get the wins.
Against Louisville, Michigan
quickly found itself down 5-0 after
the second inning, but the Wol-
verines rallied back in the top of
the third on a Cardinals error and
a three-RBI double from Nemitz.
Junior pitcher Jordan Taylor
settled down in the bottom of the
third and kept the Cardinals score-
less for the rest of the game.
"We have a lot of people return-
ing from last year," Nemitz said.
"Last year, we went on losing
streaks or had a lot of tough games
where we were down and had to
fight back. This team knows how
to win. The game's not over until
the seventh inning and third out.
We're used to fighting back. I think
it's just something we're good at."

Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
stressed the importance of
Nemitz's role as the seventh hitter
in the lineup, as Nemitz continues
to bat behind junior slugger Dorian
Shaw.
"We're starting to see teams
pitch around (Shaw)," Hutchins
said. "She's doing a good job of
managing the zone and taking
walks. We'll take her on base. Any-
thing they give us, we'll take. So,
we're pleased with that in the mid-
dle of the lineup, especially when
we've got someone like (Nemitz)
hot behind her. That's a good com-
bination to have."
Saturday's second game against
Hofstra went into extra innings,
and this time, it was senior catcher
Roya St. Clair's plate discipline that
helped the team score first in extra
innings.
St. Clair came up to bat with
runners on first and third base
with one out. After fouling off mul-
tiple pitches, St. Clair reached on
a fielding error, scoring both run-
ners to give Michigan a 4-2 edge.
Although Hofstra came back to

score one run in the bottom of that
frame, the Wolverines held on to
get their second win on Saturday.
"During an at-bat, no matter
what happened in the previous
pitches, it's only about one pitch
to make something good happen,"
Hutchins said. "(St. Clair) has done
a really good job of trying to do
what she's capable of doing. We
needed her to put the ball 'in play
and put it down. Fortunately, it
worked out that we got two runs. I
give Roya a lot of credit for battling
through that at bat. She was down
and behind, but she found a way to
make it go our way."
After a two-hour rain delay on
Sunday, the Michigan offense was
quiet in its second game of the
weekend against Hofstra. The Wol-
verines put up a three-spot in the
bottom of the second inning, but
had difficulty converting hits into
runs for much of the game.
But even though Hofstra slowed
the Wolverines' offense, Taylor's
solid seven innings and Michigan's
three runs were enough to get the
win.

Michigan takes disappointing weekend split

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By CAITLIN SMITH
Daily Sports Writer
A disappointing series split at the
Caravelle Resort Classic in South
Carolina may bring consistency
issues up to the plate once again for
the Michigan baseball team.
The Wolverines (6-9 overall) had a
promising start to the weekend, with
wins over Ball State and Lipscomb,
but then suffered back-to-back losses
to No.10 Coastal Carolina.
"Any time we split a series we are
obviously falling short of our goal,"
Michigan coach Rich Maloney said.
The Wolverines began strong
Friday when the team jumped out
to an early 8-0 lead over Ball State.
Redshirt junior second baseman
Anthony Toth led Michigan with
four hits, while senior first baseman
Mike Dufek and sophomore catcher
Coley Crank each tallied three.

The Cardinals fought back in the
fifth inning and scored six runs on
six hits. The game was tied up in the
top of the sixth, but the Wolverines
answered with four straight singles
to win the game, 12-8.
The Wolverines carried their
momentum over to Saturday morn-
ing as they quickly built a 15-0 lead
in the first three innings against
Lipscomb. This was the first time
Michigan scored 10 or more runs in
the first inning since 1996. It would
be enough for a 17-4 win.
During Saturday's games, fresh-
man shortstop Derek Dennis hit the
first two home runs of his career
as a Wolverine and now has four
multi-hitgames this season.
"It was great to see Dennis play-
ing well and hitting home runs,"
Maloney said. "He has a chance to
be a star for us."
But the bats did not continue to

swing in Michigan's favor for the
remainder of the series. Coastal
Carolina defeated the Wolverines
13-4 on Saturday afternoon as the
Wolverines had to use five different
pitchers to get through the long day.
"Five. consecutive weekends of
travel down south can become tir-
ing and stressful," Dufek said. "It is
more comfortable to play at home
and your sleeping hours aren't as
extreme as ... on the road."
On Sunday, senior pitcher Alan
Oaks gave up only two earned runs
and matched his season high with
seven strikeouts. But the Wolverines
were unable to bring in any runs and
fell 3-0 to the Chanticleers.
Going cold on the mound and
at the plate in the same game has
been a prominent issue since the
preseason for Michigan. The incon-
sistency on offense and defense
plagued the team last year and is

a problem the Wolverines hoped
to address during the early-season
stretch.
Michigan has only demonstrat-
ed a healthy combination of pitch-
ing and hitting arguably once this
year against Jacksonville State. In
the 14-2 win, senior pitcher Alan
Oaks gave up only two runs on four
hits and two walks with two strike-
outs over six innings. Meanwhile,
Dufek, Toth and sophomore third
baseman John Lorenz all tallied
three hits.
And since then, the Wolverines
have not seen such consistency in
any of their games.
"If we can get a combination
of the two together, working at
the same time, we can be a good
team," Maloney said. "I believe
it's in there, I believe it's attain-
able. Unfortunately, it hasn't come
together yet."

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