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April 11, 2011 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-11

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4B - April 11, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

This won't be Lion Kim's last Masters appearance

AUGUSTA, Ga. -
Tiger's roar was back in
Augusta this weekend,
but for the first time, the
heart of a -
Lion made an
appearance as
well.
And it
won't be the
last.:
Michigan
senior Lion KEVIN
Kim came RAFTERY
into Augusta
National last
Monday as an unknown college
student who somehow had qual-
ified for the Masters by winning
the U.S. Amateur Public Links
in July.
Most figured it was a fluke.
Whispers of "Who is that
guy?" and "What is he doing
here?" could be heard on the
sidelines of the revered fairways
and outside the flawless greens
during the practice rounds Mon-
day and Tuesday.
By Friday, the whispers had
changed. For those who had
seen Kim play throughout the
week, they no longer had ques-
tions. They had statements.
"That kid is gonna be good,"
"He has some real talent," and
"I wonder when he's gonna turn
pro," replaced the questions
from earlier in the week.

Kim will be back to Augusta.
But it won't be long drives or
flashy shots that will get him
there. It won't be a Phil Mick-
elson-esque trick shot between
two trees - it'll be what lies just
inches away from the 'M' embla-
zoned on his polo all week long.
It'll be Kim's heart.
"Lion works harder than any-
body I've coached," Michigan
coach Andrew Sapp said the
week before Kim left for the
Masters.
It seemed cliche at the time
- a line any sports reporter has
heard hundreds of times about
many different players. Every
coach says that about his or her
captain.
But then I spent a week cover-
ing Kim, seeing his worth ethic
first-hand for five days.
During the practice rounds
Monday and Tuesday, Kim stud-
ied every angle on each green,
every shot from each fairway,
every drive from each tee box.
He spent hours on the range
and the putting green with cad-
die Louis Laurence and instruc-
tor Brian Mogg, working on
every possible shot he might
encounter on the No.1 golf
course in the world.
He picked the brains of PGA
Tour Champions Zach Johnson
and K.J. Choi, asking for any
advice they might be able to give

him - anything that could help
him weave his way through the
hallowed grounds of Augusta
National.
And within the first three
days, it was clear that Kim had
the work ethic to become a pro-
fessional golfer - though I still
wasn't convinced he was good
enough to be one.
That thought began to change
as soon as I saw him stripe the
first drive of his Masters career
down the middle and birdie the
hole, as thousands of fans looked
on in awe.
By the time Friday's round
came to a close, there was no
doubt that it wouldn't be Kim's
last time in Augusta.
Of the five birdies Kim tallied
in his two rounds, three of them
came after a bogey - and one
came on the first hole Thursday.
He never looked rattled,
always fighting back when he
had a bad hole.
While playing-mates Davis
Love III and Jose Maria Olaza-
bal fell further and further
down the leader board - Olaza-
bal finished plus-6 and Love,
plus-8 - Kim played on, compet-
ing as though he would be play-
ing through the weekend.
While Love III continually
missed putts inside ten feet,
mumbling to himself in frustra-
tion and staring up to the sky

COURTESY OF KEVIN RAFTERY
Senior golfer Lion Kim was impressive at Augusta National Golf Club last week despite missing the cut.

in disbelief, Kim continually
drilled the putts to stay in con-
tention, never allowing the fal-
ters of his playing mates or the
pressure of the situation get the
best of him.
He didn't have the booming
drives of Love III or the perfect
swing of Olazabal - but Kim
had the heart and the will that

neither of the other two had
during the week. There was a
reason he finished first of the
three.
And when it was all but over
on Friday - when the cut line
hovered around plus-1 and Kim
ended the two days at plus-4 - I
talked to Kim's caddy, Louis
Laurence.

"I'll bet he goes back to the
range now anyway," Laurence
said with a smile.
And with the roar of a Tiger
in the background, the heart of a
Lion went back to work.
He knows he'll be back.
-Raftery can be reached
at kraftery@umich.edu.

Wolverines move into first as bats Chidester shines in
Pvnlcdle in wvPn of Rni1PrmkPrQ cleanup spot for 'M'

L1 1V %. LL 111 " v v \.. ~ ...11 N-FXX% /1 11 l .! 11.,.,1

r

By MATT RUDNITSKY
Daily Sports Writer
Purdue senior hurler Suzie Rze-
gocki - arguably the best pitcher
in program history - stood in the
pitcher's circle, hands on her hips,
left without an answer.
The No. 4 Michigan softball
team (5-1 Big Ten, 35-3 overall)
manhandled the Boilermakers
(2-2, 24-10-1) in this weekend's
two-game series, taking the first
contest 13-1 and the second 10-0,
both in five innings.
Rzegocki started both games,
allowing 11 earned runs in the
first and five in the second before
finally being put out of her misery
after 2.1 innings. Despite being
the unquestioned ace on a Purdue
squad that entered the weekend
atop the Big Ten standings, she
left with her confidence shattered.
"The wins do a lot (for our con-
fidence)," junior third baseman
Amanda Chidester said. "Espe-
cially because we haven't been
hitting really well and that's what
we did this weekend.
"We came out and just hit the
crap out of the ball."
Michigan came to the plate for
just eight innings in two games -
both ending after four and a half
innings due to the mercy rule -
and scored at least one run in all
eight innings.
Everyone joined the hit parade
for the Wolverines, who knocked
four home runs in the first game
and two in the second.
Purdue started the series
strong, getting three straight hits
off Wolverine senior Jordan Tay-
lor. But the former All-American
settled down, allowing just one
run to cross the plate.
After that, it was all Michigan,
all weekend.

The Wolverines went on a tear
in the bottom of the first, scor-
ing six runs in the frame. The
explosion was highlighted by
Chidester's grand slam to deep
left field, a mammoth blast that
sent riled-up young fans deep into
the Schembechler Hall parking
lot to retrieve the ball.
Rzegocki pitched around
senior first baseman Dorian Shaw,
walking her to bring up Chidester
- a common theme this season -
and yet again, Chidester made the
opposing pitcher pay. It was her
seventh homer of the season and
her second grand slam.
Michigan added two runs in
the second, four in the third and
one in the fourth. Chidester hom-
ered again in the third and sopho-
mores second baseman Ashley
Lane and shortstop Amy Knapp
added blasts of their own.
Taylor went five strong, allow-
ing just four hits and one run and
striking out eight. Despite the
first-game rout, the Wolverines
had to return to the field less than
24 hours later to avoid a letdown.
"We played Purdue in 2006, I
believe, and we beat them 15-0.
We just killed them," Michigan
coach Carol Hutchins said. "And
the next day, we lost. Every day
is different so you've got to stay
even-keeled and we work really
hard for that."
And in a strange occur-
rence, the thermometer topped
80-degrees for Sunday's game,
though Michigan'sbats were even
hotter than the 1,361 sweating
fans that packed Alumni Field.
"It's softball season at its best,"
Hutchins said.
Shaw got the Wolverines start-
ed with an RBI-double in the first,
and that was all they needed.
Michigan ended the first inning

AAKE FROMM/Dly
Junior third baseman Amanda Chidester hit her seoenth home run on Saturday.

up 2-0, adding three more runs in
the second and a towering shot to
left-center by senior designated
hitter Alycia Ryan, which gave the
team a 6-0 lead.
A three-run shotby Lane - her
team-leading 13th - capped off
the scoring with Michigan lead-
ing 10-0.
Sophomore right-hander
Stephanie Speierman started
strong, but after running into
trouble in the fourth inning, she
was pulled for Taylor. As usual,
Taylor got the team out of trou-
ble with two on and one out, not
allowing the Boilermakers to tack
on a run.
Speierman finished her day
allowing just one hit, but her four
walks didn't please Hutchins.
"I pulled (Speierman) out
because she wasn't finding the
strike zone and I went out and
chatted with her and I didn't see
any change," Hutchins said. "You
know, three walks in a row is not

acceptable.
"She had only given up one
hit, but they're getting free bases
and a wild pitch ... and you know
what, at some point we determine
whether or not we think she has it
left, and we didn't think she had it
left, so I pulled her."
Still, Speierman got the win
and improved to a perfect 16-0 on
the season.
Taylor pitched 1.2 innings of
one-hit ball to finish the game, as
the Wolverines moved into a first-
place tie with Illinois in the Big
Ten standings.
"Well, first place is only at the
end of the season," Hutchins said.
"During the course of the season,
that's a bunch of garbage. They're
a good team and we certainly
didn't help their confidence.
"ButI tell my kids, you don't get
too high and you don't get too low.
You get too high on yourselves and
somebody will bust your bubble.
We're workingtowards May."

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By MATT SLOVIN Dorian Shaw.
Daily Sports Writer Batting Chidester in the
cleanup spot, right behind Shaw,
wn a run after the top of the presents quite the dilemma for
nning, the Michigan soft- opposing pitchers. The allure of
eam needed a big bat in the letting Shaw take first base for
way. free can be strong. But Chidester
tior third baseman Amanda is slowly catching up to Shaw's
ster was the perfect cul- season home run total and
o ignite a Wolverine rally already leads Shaw in RBI.
a disappointing loss to Indi- "All year, I hit behind one of
ittle did anyone know, she the best hitters in the country (in
I set the visiting Boilermak- Shaw) and I know that she's going
to flames in the first game of to be getting walked because she
eekend series. is so well-respected," Chidester
Saturday's 13-1 thrashing of said. "In the beginning of the
te, Michigan (5-1 Big Ten, year, I struggled a little bit with
overall), and particularly that coming up when she gets
ster, gave the Boilermakers walked so it was something that *
ey could handle. Her seven I had to get better at. I've just got
propelled the Wolverines, to keep it going and have fun and
nocked off Purdue - the relax."
indefeated team in Big Ten Meanwhile, Michigan coach
rior to the weekend. Carol Hutchins enjoys the situa-
e performance by Chidester tions whenthere is noemptybase
ccentuated by a first-inning for the batter, no matter whom it
slam -- her second in five may be.
s - seizing the lead back "I just like the fact that we
ichigan as quickly as it had get the bases loaded," Hutchins
aken. And the lead was not said. "We put (Chidester) behind
hat would be relinquished, (Shaw) because we feel that if
e offensive explosion con- they pitch around (Shaw) then
d before the mercy rule they've got to pitch to Chidester.
ht an end to the game in the It doesn't always work, but she's
nning. doing a good job for us."
dester, however, doesn't What No. 4 Michigan has in
ach her chances with the Chidester is a slugger who can
loaded any different than a change the game with a single
al opportunity. swing.
s just like any other at-bat," It remains to be seen if any
ster said. conference pitching staffs will
fortunately for Boilermaker be able to retire Chidester on a
ng pitcher Suzie Rzegocki, consistent basis, but it's entirely
ster was far from satis- possible that preventing games
When she came up to bat like Saturday's will be the top
wo runners on in the third priority.
g, she dialed inon a 1-1 pitch The way Chidester is currently
anded in the Purdue bull- seeing the ball, she has the poten-
Rzegocki's pitches looked tial to contend with Shaw for
ially fat to Chidester, who is Michigan's Offensive MVP and,
ng this season at a rate only with any luck, the conference
d by senior first-baseman batting crown as well.

MEN'S TENNIS
Jung impressive in final regular-season match against Buckeyes

By ALEX STEINHOFF
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - Sunday was not
a daymany Michigan men's tennis
players would like to remember.
But senior captain Jason Jung is
an exception.
After making the short bus trip
to Columbus, the No. 23 Michigan
men's tennis team lost to No. 3
Ohio State, 6-1. But that one Wol-
verine victory was a meaningful
upset by Jung of the No. 3 ranked
player in the country, freshman
Blaz Rola.
As the match got underway,
nobody expected Jung to pull off
the improbable victory. Though
Jung was the more experienced
college player, his opponentboast-

ed a ranking 54 spots ahead of
Jung.
Rola, the Slovenia native, had
tremendous success playing inter-
national junior tennis, including
several wins on the pro-circuit.
Rola's success has translated to
the college game, where he's lost
just two singles matches this sea-
son - unheard of for a freshman
in college tennis.
Yet none of that mattered. It
wasn't a junior tennis match, nor
was it a match on the pro-circuit.
It was a No. 2 singles college ten-
nis match that featured a fresh-
man with 19 career college singles
wins with a senior who had won
79.
Jung was one of five Wolverine
singles players who had a slow

start. He lost the first set, 6-3.
"Although the start wasn't real-
ly how I expected it, I think I did
really well," Jung said after the
match Sunday.
But once the second set start-
ed, Jung turned on the jets. He
stormed ahead of Rola 4-0 before
closing out the set, 6-1. Jung
played a flawless set, filled with
winner after winner. During the
set, Rola became flustered, as he
was unable to get anything going.
Jung put him on his heels, forcing
Rola to play defense the entire set.
The older Jung gave Rola a les-
son on how to play college singles.
Jung carried his stellar play
early into the third set and went
up an early break, 2-0. But as the
set continued, the wind picked up,

making it harder for both players
to execute their game plans.
"I think conditions were a lit-
tle tougher, which made it more
uneasy for both players, but I
have played in the wind enough to
know how to handle it," Jung said.
Not only did Jung know how to
handle the wind, but he also knew
how to handle Rola. After going
up early, Jung and Rola played on
serve for the remainder of the set.
At 5-4, Jung was serving for the
match. Jung quickly took a 40-0
lead in the game, leaving him
with three match points. On the
first point, Rola hit a solid return,
which Jung missed. The second
match point had a similar feel, as
Jung hit another unforced-error.
But Jung rebounded. He boomed

a serve that clipped the line before
jumping to Rola's backhand. Rola
couldn't handle the serve and he
blocked it back into the net.
"It just came down to a couple
points in the third set, and I took
advantage of it," Jung said.
The win was Jung's first over a
top-10 opponent all season and the
third loss of the season for Rola.
"(Beating No. 3) is definitely
a boost," Jung said. "I haven't
played too many guys ranked
ahead of me this year, but it's not a
surprise and Ithink it willbe good
for me for future matches."
Entering the match, Jung was
one win short of 80 career singles
wins, after beating Penn State in
another three set match on Fri-
day. But on Sunday, the senior

captain's upset over Rola gave him
that 80th victory, one that he will
remember.
"It was a really good win for
Jason," Michigan coach Bruce
Berque said. "I'm sure it makes
him feel really good to beat Ohio
State in his last regular season
match against them."
With 80 singles wins, Jung
inserted himself in the record
books once again as one of only a
few players to hold both 80 sin-
gles and doubles victories for the*
Maize and Blue.
"It's great that I have done
something good for my school, but
team-wise (the accomplishment)
has meant a lot more for me this
year than in previous years," Jung
said.

'p

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