The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday; March 25, 2010- 7A
In home opener, Nemitz's
grand slam lifts Michigan
Freshman Devin Gardner, the Wolverines' most anticipated freshman, throws in Michigan's first spring practice last week.
* Rodriguez gives update
on quarterback situation
By ALEX HERMANN
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan softball team's
home opener quickly turned into a
yester- BOWLING GREEN 2
day when MICHIGAN 10
pitcher Nikki Nemitz blasted a
grand slam over the center field
wall as part of a seven-run fifth
The scoring surge ended the
Wolverines' 10-2 victory over Bowl-
ing Green in the fifth due to soft-
ball's eight-run mercy rule.
"I got my pitch, and it just felt
perfect off the bat," Nemitz said.
"I was just seeing it, and I just felt
After the next three batters were
walked, senior outfielder Angela
Findlay drove another run in with
a single, followed by yet another
walk to unceremoniously end the
game with three Michigan players.
remaining on base and only one out
in the inning.
Findlay spearheaded the Wol-
verines' offensive production for
most of the game. Batting second in
the lineup, the senior captain went
4-for-4 onthe day with one RBI.
"I always call her my blue-col-
lar player," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said of Findlay. "She just
comes to play everyday. She works
hard. Whether she has good at bats ment, as weird as that sounds."
or bad at bats, she just comes back Nemitz started the home open-
every time and digs in, does what- er on the mound and picked up
ever we ask her to do." the win, improving to 10-3 on the
Before the Wolverines (23-5) season. Nemitz struck out seven
blew the game wide open in the batters in the first three innings,
fifth, the Falcons were able to keep finished with nine total and gave up
the game in doubt early. just two earned runs.
After Michigan broke out to a 3-0 Even with the strong perfor-
lead after the third inning, Bowl- mance yesterday and a solid season
ing Green (4-10) started to mount a stat line to date, Nemitz certainly
comeback with a two-run home run still has higher expectations of her-
"I haven't had the strongest
gtjs. l senior year on the mound," Nemitz
said. "But I know my team's hitting
p t off the well, they're playing great defense
p erlee f e and all I need to do is keep people
off base. And if I'm having one bad
b * I 'was inning... I know that my teammates
just *eenare right there."
With the first month and a half
of the season spent traveling every
week, playing its first game at home
was certainly a boost for Michigan,
of its own in the fourth. especially with the Big Ten season
Following the victory, Hutchins opening this Saturday and Sunday
mentioned Michigan's normally at home against Illinois.
slow start in its home openers. The home opener also served as
"The first home game is always the unveiling of the softball facili-
kind of out of the ordinary," ties' finalized renovations, marked
Hutchins said. "You've been on the by the expansion of the right-field
road so long, it's so odd to walk on bleachers.
your own field and actually play a "I've been watching them build
game. I think it's hard to do. That's this stadium for two years now and
why I always schedule a nonconfer- it's finally done," Nemitz said. "It's
ence game prior to the conference just great to play on it and be back
opener. Because it's a huge adjust- with our fans."
By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Editor
Three days of practice - just
one in pads - have't made much
of a difference in the quarter-
back battle, but at least Michigan
Rich Rodriguez NOTEBOOK
has seen a bit
more of early-enrollee Devin
"He's a big, strong guy," Rodri-
guez told the media Tuesday
afternoon. "He's very, very - I've
used this word several times -
conscientious about wanting to
learn and knowing not just how,
but the whys, what you're doing.
And he's a talented guy."
Rodriguez mentioned seeing
Gardner play a few years ago at a
camp, specifically remembering
his thought that Gardner needed
to improve his throwing motion.
"He did a lot of work, and the
(Inkster High School) coach-
ing staff did a great job with
him getting him to improve his
fundamentals and his throw-
ing motion," Rodriguez said. "He
still obviously has to learn all the
offense and the techniques that
we do in our system, but he's got-
ten better in three days."
Rodriguez said that he and
his staff haven't really had an
opportunity to evaluate the three
quarterbacks against one another
because they haven't been in live
scrimmage situations yet.
With the coaches standing
mere feet away from Gardner
and sophomores Tate Forcier and
Denard Robinson, it's difficult to
assess areas like knowledge of the
playbook and decision-making
ability. He said after the team
starts truly scrimmaging (with
the first scrimmage potentially
this Saturday), he will have a bet-
ter idea of the Wolverines' quar-
Still, Rodriguez expects
growth in all three quarterbacks
this spring, and he hopes to have
them in positions where they can
help the team at different points
"I'll be shocked, if all three of
those (guys), in particular Denard
and Tate, don't get tremendously
better in their fundamentals this
spring," he said.
SPRING "GAME": Due to cur-
rent injuries and rehabilitation
processes, the spring game on
April 17 might look more like last
year's offense vs. defense scrim-
mage than two full teams squar-
ing off at Michigan Stadium, as
Rodriguez would prefer.
"What I would like to do, and
I'm sure the players and fans
would like to do, is have a full two
teams that go after each other and
keep score and all that," Rodri-
guez said. "I don't think we were
going to be able to do that anyway,
simply because of a lack of num-
bers at certain positions.
"I do think we'll be able to do
that in the future. We only have
12 seniors on this year's team, so
we'll have a lot more bodies next
Rodriguez also announced
Tuesday that the football program
would partner with C.S. Mott's
Children's Hospital for a fund-
raiser during the spring game on
Admission to the game is free,
but fans will have an opportunity
to donate to the hospital upon
entering the gates of Michigan
Stadium, with a chance to win dif-
"It's a win-win situation for us
to have an atmosphere similar to
what we did last year, which was
tremendous, especially for our
young players, and a chance to be
able to help the hospital, which
is very dear to many of us in the
'community," Rodriguez said.
INJURY UPDATES: Rodriguez
said two safeties, Vladimir Emil-
ien and Jared Van Slyke, suffered
knee sprains this past week. He
said neither injury would require
surgery, but Emilien might not
return until the last week of the
Since safety is a position of con-
cern this spring, Rodriguez was
disappointed that these injuries
would keep the safeties off the
Rodriguez added wide receiver
Je'Ron Stokes injured his ankle
and defensive end Anthony LaLo-
ta injured his elbow. Both Stokes
and LaLota could return within a
Rodriguez said that the other
players - center David Molk,
defensive tackle Mike Martin,
wide receiver Junior Hemingway
and running back Vincent Smith
- that are out for the spring
are "on schedule and probably
ahead of schedule as far as their
Molk, who tore his ACL dur-
ing last season, was able to jog
and take snaps during no-contact
drills in practice.
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THE 2010 CANCER RESEARCH
SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
As pact of is Cancer Biology Training
Program, the University of Michigan
-Comprehensive Cancer Center, in part
with funding from the National Insli-
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The program will ran for ten weeks,
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Students selected who do not currently
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Your application must be uploaded by
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Blue to face Wildcats for fourth
For Friday, March 26, 2010
(March 21 to April 19)
All occasions are favored today. Enjoy
romance and flirtations with others.
Sports, playful activities with children,
movies and entertaining diversions will
delight you. Have a party!
(April 20 to May 20)
Entertain at home today. Invite the
gang over for pizza and beer. This is a
good day to buy beautiful things for your
home or a loved one. Enjoy your day!
(This is also a good day for real estate
(May 21 to June 20)
You feel unusually friendly toward
everyone today. Conversations with rel-
atives and siblings will be warm. It's a
good day for partnerships, negotiations
and signing contracts.
(June 21 toJuly 22)
You have good moneymaking ideas
today! (You might be able to boost your
income.) You also will want to spend
money on beautiful things for yourself
and your sweetie. Purchases of art could
be profitable in the future.
(July 23 to Aug. 22)
This is a feel-good day. The Moon is
in your sign, making a lovely aspect to
three other planets, especially Venus.
You feel sociable, friendly toward every-
one and up for a good time. It's a great
day to schmooze with others!
(Aug. 23 to Sept. 22)
Solitude in beautiful surroundings will
delight you today. You feel quietly
pleased with yourself for some reason.
Someone might show you an act of gen-
(Sept. 23 to Oct. 22)
All group activities are blessed today.
Enjoy the company of others, especially
females. Talk to others about your long-
(Oct. 23 to Nov. 21)
Some aspect of your private life might
be suddenly made public today.
Important people will notice you.
Fortunately, it's all good.
(Nov. 22 to Dec. 21)
Try to do something different today.
Vary your routine. Go someplace you've
never been before. Shake it up a little to
stimulate your world!
(Dec. 22 to Jan. 19)
This is an excellent day to discuss how
to share something or to discuss with
others how to spend an allotted amount
of money on something. People are
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It's easy to get agreement with others
today. Who knew? Choose today to
mend broken fences with partners and
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This is an excellent day for business
and commerce. It's also a good day at
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YOU BORN TODAY You can be both
a sprightly comic and a serious philoso-
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energetic, competitive and yet very sen-
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Your personal self-discipline is the key,
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Birthdate of: Leonard Nimoy,
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By AMY SCARANO
Daily Sports Writer
Tonight, for the first time since
losing to Michigan State in the Big
ment on March
5, the Michi- Northwestern
gan women's a Michigan
team will face Matchup: North-
the fast, physi- western 18-14;
cal brand of Michigan 19-13
basketball that When: Tonight
gave them fits at 7 p.m.
throughout Where: Crisler
their season. Arena
After crush- Live Blog:
ing MAC michigandaily.com
Kent State and
Toledo by double digits, the Wol-
verines face Northwestern (7-11
Big Ten, 18-14 overall), the only
other Big Ten team remaining in
the Women's National Invitational
Tournament (WNIT), for the right
to advance to the elite eight.
"It's nice to see somebody else
in your schedule rather than your
conference teams because you bat-
tle each other so much," Michigan
coach Kevin Borseth said after a
35-point win over Kent State in the
first round of the WNIT. "It's still
nerve-racking, but it's someone
new so, in some respects, it's fresh."
Never in program history have
the Wolverines faced an opponent
four times in one season. If the
previous three games are any indi-
cation, Thursday's game won't be
easy. Especially with both teams
fighting for their seasons.
When the Wildcats came to Ann
Arbor at the end of December, they
took the lead going into halftime
and held on tight the rest of the
way, beating Michigan by four.
And it was 6-foot-5-inch junior
center Amy Jaeschke who led
Northwestern in points and blocks.
Michigan (8-10, 19-13) didn't
fare much better in Evanston at the
beginning of February. After trail-
ing for most of the second half, the
Wolverines took a one-point lead
with two minutes left. But the lead
quickly vanished, and Michigan
lost by four, again.
"We didn't look even like we play
organized basketball," Borseth said
after the loss. "We really never had
rhythm the entire game. It was the
second game we played them and
never had rhythm. We did shoot 43
percent, but it didn't feel good. Just
didn't feel good."
Jaeschke, again, did plenty of
damage, scoring 15 points.
When the Big Ten Tournament
rolled around, the Wolverines
knew it was crunch time, but so
did Jaeschke. If the team didn't
make it past the first round of the
tournament, there was no guar-
antee they would see postseason
action. But Michigan took an early
lead despite Jaeschke's impres-
sive offensive performance and
five blocks, and the Wolverines
never relinquished it, winning by
13. Five Wolverines scored double
digits to win.
If Michigan can muster a repeat
performance of that March 5 game,
offsetting Jaeschke's impact with
another impressive offensive cam-
paign, it could get even with the
Wildcats en route to a 20-win sea-
son, the first in 10 years for the
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