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March 29, 2013 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

April 1, 2013 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycomApril 1, 2013 - 3B

A glimpse of offense
between poor outings

PATRICK BARRON/Daily
Junior attacker Kelsey Nolan scored the game-tying goal with 1:40 left in regulation, one of Nolan's three goals Saturday.
In overtiame thrilleer,
outlasts rival Hoosiers

By LEV FACHER "I had a good feeling before the
Daily Sports Writer game," Nolan said. "I feel like I
can always step up in these situ-
The words "Release! Release!" ations."
shouted from coach to player Michigan's central theme for
across a frantic and noisy pool this season has been the integra-
usually don't translate to a game- tion of a large and talented fresh-
clinching steal. But it's different man class into its regular rotation.
when that player is Michigan Saturday, though, it was the
senior attacker Kiki Golden and upperclassmen that stepped up in
the coach is the Michigan water their last regular-season rivalry
polo team's Matt Anderson. clash with the 12th-ranked Hoo-
Golden heard the words loud siers.
and clear and, without hesitat- Senior goalkeeper Alex Adam-
ing, broke son had a fantastic day in front
away from MICHIGAN 8 of the net, coming up with a
the Indiana INDIANA 7 career-high 17 saves. She was
player she also credited with an assist on
was guarding, cutting in front of the game-winning goal, finding
an incoming Hoosier pass. Set- junior driver Audrey Pratt along
onds later, the ball was in her the left side of the pool to lead to
hands, and the Wolverines (2-0 her early overtime tally.
CWPA, 14-10 overall) killed the Michigan had to contend with
remaining 35 seconds of overtime easily the most hostile environ-
to come away with an 8-7winover ment it has seen this season.
rival Indiana in Bloomington. Clashes between the Wolverines
"It's because she's Kiki Gold- and Hoosiers always draw large
en that she was able to do that," and boisterous crowds, no matter
Anderson said. "I just told her, the venue.
'Do what you do,' which is domi- "(The atmosphere) is awe-
nate at both ends." some," Nolan said. "It really fuels
But Golden, No. 19 Michigan's us, I think."
leading scorer with 42 goals on Anderson said that he was
the season, was held scoreless for pleased with the ability of his
the first time since Feb. 23, leav- players to keep their emotions in
ing it to her teammates to pick up check despite the inherent inten-
the slack offensively. sity of the rivalry.
It ended up being junior attack- "Players do approach it dif-
er Kelsey Nolan who stole the ferently," Anderson said. "They
show offensively for the Wol- know we need to really focus on
verines, posting a hat trick that winning our league games."
included a game-tying goal with Michigan opened the scoring
1:40 remaining in the game. on sophomore attacker Lauren

Thatcher's goal with 4:37 remain-
ing in the first quarter.
Freshman two-meter Bryce
Beckwith, senior two-meter Lau-
ren Colton and Nolan all scored
once in the third quarter, leaving
the score tied at four at the end of
the period.
Michigan traded goals with
the Hoosiers in the fourth quar-
ter, with freshman driver Presley
Fender's penalty shot giving the
Wolverines the early advantage.
Indiana fought back with three
scores in the middle of the period,
but another Nolan goal kept the
game close.
Nolan tied the game with less
than two minutes remaining in
regulation, taking a pass from
Beckwith and burying a shot in
the back of the net.
In overtime, Pratt gave Michi-
gan a lead it wouldn't relinquish
just 52 seconds into the period,
getting the bounce on a laser shot
that struck the right goalpost
and caromed in. The Wolverines
closed out well defensively, too -
Adamson came up with the save
on the only Indiana shot Michi-
gan allowed in the second over-
time period, sending the rowdy
Hoosier crowd home disappoint-
ed.
With the victory, Michigan
finds itself in the driver's seat
in the CWPA Western Division,
needing just one win against
Hartwick next week in Provi-
dence, Rhode Island to wrap up a
top seed in the Western Division
Championship Tournament.

Michigan drops
two of three in
Big Ten opener
against Minnesota
By MAX COHEN
Daily Sports Writer
The first-base umpire sig-
naled sophomore left fielder
Zach Zott out after Minnesota
pitcher DJ Snelten barely beat
him to first base for the final out
of the Michigan baseball team's
Saturday doubleheader.
At that moment, everyone in
the Michigan dugout knew the
team had squandered an oppor-
tunity to make a statement in
the first series of conference
play.
Despite MINNESOTA 3
an offen- MICHIGAN 1
sive out-
burstinthe MINNESOTA 3
first game MICHIGAN 11
of Satur-
day's dou- MINNESOTA 2
bleheader MICHIGAN 1
that led to
an 11-3 victory over the Golden
Gophers (2-1 Big Ten, 17-12 over-
all), the Wolverines received lit-
tle offensive output in the other
two games of the series, losing
3-1 on Friday and 2-1 in the sec-
ond game Saturday.
"Hitting is contagious," said
Michigan coach Erik Bakich.
"Sometimes you string a bunch
of quality at-bats together, and
you get four or five hits in a row
and everything seems to fall
your way, and then other times
they don't."
On Friday, the latter hap-
pened as the Wolverines (1-2,
11-14) rarely got the ball in play
against Minnesota ace Tom
Windle. Windle recorded 13
strikeouts while allowing just
four hits and one run in his
fourth complete game of the
season.
Michigan's lone run of the
game came in the third inning
when freshman shortstop Tra-
vis Maezes's RBI groundout
scored freshman first baseman
Jack Sexton.
The lack of production in Sat-
urday's second game was even
more frustrating for the Wol-
verines because Minnesota's
starter Alec Crawford had a5.40
earned-run average entering the
game in his two starts on the
season. Crawford allowed one

PAUL SHEMAN/gaily
Sophomore left fielder Zach Zott was 6-for-10 with two runs on the weekend.

unearned run and just four hits
in 5.1 innings. Michigan's only
run came in the second inning
as Zott scored after a throw-
ing error on Minnesota catcher
Matt Halloran as Zott he stole
third.
But sophomore left-hander
Trent Szkutnik kept the Wol-
verines in the game, giving up
two earned runs in 6.2 innings.
The strong start capped off a
consistent weekend of starting
pitching for Michigan, with the
Wolverine starters allowing just
four earned runs on the week-
end.
"(They were) throwing
strikes," said Michigan junior
catcher Cole Martin, "pounding
the strike zone."
Szkutnik's start, followed by
shutdown relief pitching from
senior right-hander Kyle Clark
and freshman right-hander
Jacob Cronenworth gave the
Wolverines an opportunity
to tie the game in the ninth
inning. After Maezes started
off the inning by grounding out
to second, Cronenworth sin-
gled to right field. Bakich then
inserted senior center fielder
Patrick Biondi - who hasn't
started in three weeks with a
sprained thumb - to pinch run
for Cronenworth. After a wild

pitch and a sacrifice fly, Biondi
reached third with two outs. But
that was the farthest he would
get as Snelten barely beat Zott
to first after he hita short infield
chopper.
The first game on Saturday
was a completely different game
for the Wolverines, as seem-
ingly nothing could go wrong.
Freshman left-hander Evan Hill
pitched seven innings, allowing
only one earned run while strik-
ing out five.
The offense also played its
role, led by Martin from the bot-
tom of the lineup. Though he has
struggled at the plate for much
of the season, Martin had three
hits, including his first career
home run, a solo shot to right.
His three RBI led the team,
but he was far from the only
Michigan player to produce
with the team collecting 16 hits
in the rout.
"I've hit a lot of balls right at
people all year," Martin said.
"The baseball gods kind of
repaid me a little bit."
With the opportunity to win
its first series in the Big Ten
squandered, the Wolverines will
look ahead and hope that future
wins won't depend on a run-
ner beating out a ball hit in the
infield.

For pitching staff, discouraging
answers in disappointing weekend

Students offered
$40 Final Four tix

By JEREMY SUMMITT
Daily Sports Writer
Heading into this weekend's
series against Minnesota, the
Michigan baseball team had sev-
eral questions surrounding its
pitching staff.
The most basic of those ques-
tions was who would step up
alongside fresh-
man left-hander NOTEBOOK
Evan Hill in the
weekend rotation. Hill leads the
team in ERA (2.06), wins (four)
and innings pitched (43.2).
Fortunately for Michigan
coach Erik Bakich, he received
some much-needed answers
from junior left-hander Logan
McAnallen and sophomore left-
hander Trent Szkutnik, who both
earned the starting job for the
Minnesota series.
Bakich said he went with an all
left-handed rotation to counter
Minnesota's several left-handed
batters and in an attempt to con-
trol the Gophers' running game.
And it worked out in his favor,
as McAnallen allowed only one
earned run off four hits and
fanned six batters in 5.1 innings.
Szkutnik also flashed glimpses
of why he should stay in the rota-
tion, allowing just two earned
runs after scattering nine hits in
6.2 innings. Despite Szkutnik's
best start of the year, Bakich men-
tioned that only McAnallen will

be a sure bet to stay alongside Hill
in the rotation next weekend.
But McAnallen securing that
second spot is a step forward in
solving Michigan's lasting pitch-
ing dilemma.
(ALMOST) SLIPPING OUT OF
A FUNK: Coming into the Min-
nesota series, the Wolverines
had scored a paltry 22 runs in
seven games. But in the opening
game of Saturday's doubleheader,
Michigan exploded for 11 runs to
seemingly mark the end of a two-
week-long offensive rut. Unfor-
tunately for the Wolverines, that
wasn't the case, as they managed
to touch home plate just once in
the latter half of the doublehead-
er.
Michigan's 11-run, 16-hit per-
formance matched a season high
in both offensive categories, and
showcased a preview of what the
offense is capable of when firing
on all cylinders. The Wolverines
scored in every inning from the
third on, mixing in an impressive
display of fighting off pitches for
opposite-field singles along with
plenty of extra-base hits.
Friday's game was reminiscent
of the previous seven games that
saw the offense struggle, but to
be fair not many teams could hit
the stuff that Minnesota's starter,
left-hander Tom Windle, was
featuring. He threw a complete
game, allowing just one earned
run off four hits as he struck out

13 Wolverines along the way.
On Saturday, the Wolverines
simply couldn't carry over the
offensive success from game one
to game two, as they failed to
advance runners in scoring posi-
tion several times. The last game
of this weekend's series ended
eerily similar to the previous
weekend's finale.
With a runner on third and
two outs, sophomore left-fielder
Zach Zott failed to get the tying
run across the plate, just as junior
right-fielder Michael O'Neill
wasn't able to do so last weekend
against Western Illinois.
A bit more consistency at the
plate, along with clutch hitting,
will be the recipe for finally dig-
ging out of the offensive slump
that has plagued the Wolverines
lately.
BIONDI'S IMPROVEMENT:
Senior center fielder Patrick Bion-
di has been out of the lineup with
a left thumb injury for the past
three weeks, but Bakich has used
him sparingly as a pinch-runner.
Against Minnesota, Biondi made
his first appearance on defense
since March 10 at San Diego, and
he failed to disappoint.
Just as he replaced sophomore
Kyle Jusick at center field in the
eighth inning, Biondi made a run-
ning catch to record the second
out. It's pretty routine for Biondi
to run down incoming fly balls,
but this time Biondi wasn't wear-

ing his glove on his left hand like
he usually does. Due to the inju-
ry, he wore his glove on his right
hand to avoid further harming
his left thumb, but that change
hardly affected Michigan's cap-
tain.
While the timetable is still
uncertain for Biondi's return to
the lineup, an outstanding catch
with his off-hand in his first
defensive appearance in weeks
has the Wolverines hopeful.
"As soon as the good Lord will
allow it to happen, he's gonna be
in there," Bakich said. "We cer-
tainly need him back in there,
that's for sure."

By LIZ VUKELICH
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan students who were
worried about the high cost of a
trip to Atlanta for the Michigan
men's basketball team's first
Final Four berth since 1993 can
now rest easy.
The NCAA has offered 700
$40 student tickets to each of
the schools participating in the
Final Four. On Sunday, Michi-
gan's Athletic Department
released information regarding
the purchase of the tickets.
Only Michigan student sea-
son-ticket holders will be able
to purchase the tickets with a
limit of one per student. If stu-

dent demand exceeds supply,
ticket holders with the highest
game attendance during the
season will be given priority.
Re-selling is prohibited, and the
NCAA will check identification
when students pick up their
tickets.
The Athletic Department
will send out further informa-
tion on Monday, with 5 p.m.
on Tuesday being the deadline
to purchase tickets. Students
will receive a confirmation or
denial of their ticket request on
Wednesday. If the Wolverines
advance to the National Cham-
pionship game, students will
receive a ticket for Monday's
game at no cost.

WANT TO CARPOOL TO ATLANTA?
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