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April 17, 2012 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-04-17

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. .. 2_._

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 5A

Wolverines look to win
fourth straight at CMU

Second-year Michigan
squad making strides

Daily Sports Writer
After a pleasant weekend
against Michigan State, the No.
20 Michigan softball team will
travel to Mount Pleasant, Mich.
today to take on Central Michi-
gan (5-6 Mid-
Conference, an
20-18 overall). at Central
This game igan
will be the Wol- a
verines' (11-1 Matchup:
Big Ten, 30-11) Michigan
fourth against 30-11; Central
MAC teams 20-ian
this season
and first since When: Tues-
Michigan's day 3 P.M.
loss to Western Where:
Michigan, 1-0, Margo Jonker
last Wednes- Stadium
After that
game, Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins was very adamant
about her disappointment with
her team. But after her team
posted 19 shutout innings against
Michigan State, Hutchins was
quick to praise the performance.
"Holding (Michigan State) to
zero was the name of the week-
end," Hutchins said. "It gives me
more confidence."
The two players responsible
for restoring Hutchins' confi-
dence were freshmen pitchers
Haylie Wagner and Sara Dries-
Due to Wagner's weekend per-
formance, which was highlight-
ed by a complete-game shutout
on Sunday, she was given the Big
Ten Pitcher of the Week award
for the fourth time this season.
"All my mechanics are work-
ing," Wagner said. "I'm just back
in my zone."
Wagner pitched 13.2 shutout
innings, earned two wins and
picked up her second save. She
also struck out eight Spartan
batters in the series and surren-
deredno walks over the week-
In addition, Driesenga was
named Big Ten Freshman of the
Week for the second time as a
result of her all-around perfor-
mance at both the plate and in
the circle.
In the series, Driesenga batted
.600 with a home run and two
RBIs against the Spartans, and
she threw 5.1 scoreless innings
while striking out two.
Driesenga also played small
ball for the Wolverines, laying
two sacrifice bunts in the series
Hutchins, who does not like to
classify her players by the year
they are in school, had a lot to say

Daily Sports Writer
When junior Alec Stirton was
cut from Michigan's club lacrosse
team his freshman year, he was
devastated. But he didn't sit and
sulk. Stirton knew plenty of other
lacrosse players in the same posi-
tion, so he decided to start ateam
of his own.
Stirton's dream began when
four players showed up for a try-
out on a middle-school field with-
out lines or nets. Practices were
held in the gymnasium of Ann
Arbor's Angell Middle School.
In that first year, it was mostly
a ragtag bunch of misfits who
played pick-up lacrosse without
scheduled practices or a set place
to play.
Even though expectations
were bleak, Stirton - the captain,
founder and coach - knew there
was nowhere to gobut up.
"I reached out to the head
coach of the (former) Michigan
club team, John Paul, and met
with him to gain some insight as
to how to run a team and recruit
players," Stirton said. "He was
extremely helpful in giving me
a contact list of players that had
tried out for the team and were
cut, just like me."
In its first season, the club

team carried just a handful of
substitutes and remained com-
pletely self coached. Regardless,
it finished the 2011 season with
an improbable record of 8-5 in
the Great Lakes Lacrosse League,
playing against teams from Wis-
consin, Michigan State, Ohio
State, Holy Cross and Northwest-
The team emerged victorious
over the Spartans twice and took
fifth place ina league comprising
more than 30teams, playingtheir
home games on different local
high-school fields, depending on
This year, the program has
grown considerably in size, with
the roster filled with more than
50 players.
And this past Saturday night,
the team played under the lights
at Elbel Field in front of a crowd
of enthusiastic fans that packed
the bleachers. Even though
Michigan lost to Hope College,
the team saw the game as a vic-
tory in itself and a huge leap for-
"(That) night was the biggest
game our team has ever played,"
Stirton said. "Hope College is
an extremely talented squad, as
they compete in the Men's Colle-
giate Lacrosse Association."
In its first true home game,

Michigan brought the score to
within one goal with only a min-
ute left to play. In exciting fash-
ion, the Wolverines made it a far
closer game than anyone could
have predicted.
On Sunday, Michigan lost to
a tough Holy Cross squad - the
top team in the division - by a
score of 7-3. However, the Wol-
verines followed up their poor
performance with a clean rout of
Loyola, 10-0.
Now sitting at second in their
division, their final division
games will be decided next week-
"The first home game was
awesome. Having people to play
for and having them encourage
the team throughout was great,"
said junior midfielder Jonathan
Sherman. "This game is very
useful going forward."
The league championship
will take place in Madison,
Wisc. The team's goal for the
season is to win that champion-
One onlooker, LSA junior
Holden Warriner, found the
team's progress remarkable.
"It is really awesome to see
people doing what they love to
do most and taking it as far as
they can," Warriner said. "That
is the true meaning of effort."

Freshman Sara Driesenga won her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week award.

about h
their I
enced a
Ten in
big rea
In he
out 13b
At t
gan ha
in juni
senior t
is seen
On t

er two young hurlers. is the speedster of the team, with
y've got 41 games under 44 of her team-leading 48 hits
belt," Hutchins said. "I being singles and nine stolen
think they're inexperi- bases.
nymore." Overall, the Chippewas have
le Michigan leads the Big 48 stolen bases for the season -
ERA with a 1.82, Central 15 more than Michigan.
an boasts a 2.64 ERA. A Though the Wolverines
son for this is sophomore seemed to bounce back this past
Chelsea Sundberg, who weekend against Michigan State,
up three wins for the their hitting is not at the level
was last week against of consistency that Hutchins
d, Toledo and Bowling expects.
An example of this was Satur-
day in Michigan's mercy-rule-
shortened 8-0 victory against
Michigan State, capped by fresh-
"I don't man catcher Lauren Sweet's
three-run home run in the fifth
link they're inning.
While the eight runs were the
experienced most the Wolverines scored in
any game in the weekend series,
anymore. they all came in one inning -
something that Hutchins was
not the biggest fan of.
"We scored eight runs (Sat-
er three games, she struck urday) in one inning. We really
atters and recorded a 2.19 struggled the other innings,"
Hutchins said.
he plate, Central Michi- Earlier in the season, Michi-
s two .300-plus hitters gan beat MAC opponents East-
or Macy Merchant and ern Michigan and Bowling
Molly Coldren. Merchant Green, 10-2 and 12-2, in short-
as the power hitter for ened affairs.
1 Michigan because of her The Wolverines will attempt
ading seven home runs. to win a third in this style at 3
he other hand, Merchant p.m. today.






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