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April 04, 2014 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-04

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6 - Friday, April 4, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Fifth-year senior right-hander Ben Ballantine has a 3.00 earned-run average heading into this we
Baseball looks for fo

A 4
is me

By ZACH SHAW road trip, Michigan coach Erik
Daily Sports Writer Bakich made sure his team was
prepared for Big Ten play.
-1 record in five games "For the rest of the year we're
ire like the Michigan not going to see anything we
all team haven't seen already," Bakich
ned. Minnesota said. "We've had a ton of top-25
the competition already, and all that
rines, at Michigan competition has gotten us really
current Matchup: battle-tested
tand is Minnesota and confident
much 15-9; Michigan and ready to «
than its 13-15-1 compete with Botto
eason When: Friday anyone the
trip. 4 P.M., second half of w e've
going Saturday 2 the season."
on the P.M., Sunday In ofwort
to start 1 P.M. Minnesota,
season, Where: Ray the battles
gan has Fisher Stadium aren't likely

Michigan, tie
the year. Mic
do so withou
starters. Fr
Ramsey Rom
at least six w
hand, and se
Martin is que
m line,
got a lot
kto do."
relaxation on
deadly in the
"Bottom l
lot of work to
"Even if we
still have thin
about stickin
getting bette
going to keel
and work o
pitches and
at-bats togeth
With both

ekend's series against Minnesota at Ray Fisher Stadium.
urth straight
against Central fourth in the conference
d for their worst of standings, the Wolverines are
higan may have to well aware of the significance
t two of its infield of each game. With both
eshman infielder teams strongest in pitching,
ano is sidelined for the games will likely be close
eeks with a broken and low-scoring, which is fine
enior catcher Cole by Bakich. After leading the
stionable for Friday nation with 20 of 29 games this
after leaving season decided by two runs or
Wednesday's fewer, the Wolverines thrive
game early in the tight games, evidenced
with a sore by the final two contests of the
arm. Iowa series, in which freshman
While infielder Trey Miller and junior
keeping errors outfielder Jackson Glines each
down is a came up with clutch hits late in
key concern, the games.
Bakich is well But the easiest way to beat
aware that a team is to be aggressive
a any front can be early on. With senior ace Ben .
Big Ten season. Ballantine on the mound Friday,
ine, we've got a Bakich stresses the importance
o do," Bakich said. of winning the first game.
were 29-0, we'd "Friday night games
ngs to work on and are always competitive
s to make. It's just environments," Bakich said.
g to the process of "So we're going to look to set
r, and we're just the tone early on. Hitting is
p grinding on that contagious, both positive and
o making quality negative, so it's important to
stringing quality get going early and keep having
er." these guys taste the thrill of
h teams tied for victory."
Call: #734-418-4115
Email: dailydisplay@gmail.com

Daily Sports Writer
The No. 5 Michigan softball
team has played 32 games in
five states, lost just six times,
beat current No. 1 UCLA, lost to
former No. 1 Florida and taken
the inside track for yet another
Big Ten Championship. But the
Wolverines haven't yet played
Ohio State.
"I don't get caught up in that,"
said Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins Wednesday. "That's
all emotional

Softball hosts rivalry
clashvs. Ohio State

stuff for the
fans. We have
a job to do: play
softball, play
So maybe
this weekend's
series against
the Buckeyes
isn't such a big
deal. After all,
Ohio State (5-1
Big Ten, 17-15
overall) hasn't
made it much

Ohio State
at Michigan
Matchup: Ohio
State 17-15;
Michigan 26-6
When: Friday
6 P.M.,
Saturday 2
P.M., Sunday
1 P.M.
Alumni Field

and even had freshman righty
Megan Betsa turn in a complete
game Wednesday.
Betsa was dealing with
confidence issues, but showed
the movement on her pitches
that Hutchins has raved about
earlier this season when she
tossed a no-hitter and struck out
eight against Detroit Mercy.
The Buckeyes should give
Michigan more trouble at the
plate than it has had recently,
though, as sophomore pitcher
Olivia O'Reilly has held
opposing hitters to a.236 batting
average. Two recent stompings
of Indiana, by scores of 12-2 and
10-2, are also a good indication
that this series won't be a
cakewalk for the Wolverines.
Ohio State figures to struggle
against Michigan's pitching
core. First baseman Evelyn
Carrillo leads the Buckeyes with
a strong .380 batting average,
but that would be good enough
for just sixth on the Wolverines'
roster. The Michigan pitching
staff has been excellent against
top competition all year, and
Ohio State doesn't have the
depth to counter.
Junior lefty Haylie Wagner
has emerged as the best of the
bunch for the Wolverines, but
fellow junior Sara Driesenga and
Betsa have both made significant
strides after

returned to
Ann Arbor, having taken two of
three from a tough Iowa squad
in that 4-1 stretch.
As Minnesota comes to
town, the Wolverines (3-3 Big
Ten, 13-15-1 overall) will look
to continue their hot streak at
home against one of the Big
Ten's weaker offenses.
Michigan didn't get off to the
start it wanted, but by playing
twogames againstrankedteams
during its 24-game opening

to come from the batter's box.
With a .239 batting average,
the Golden Gophers (3-3, 15-9)
boast the conference's ninth-
ranked offense, something
that the Wolverine starters -
who posted a 1.08 earned-run
average and 13 strikeouts while
giving up just nine hits last
weekend against Iowa - hope
to capitalize on.
In the field, the Wolverines
hope to bounce back from
Wednesday's three-error

of a rivalry, with
against Michigan
Hutchins has said
the Wolverines ar
game of softball,t
nent, whether tha
Detroit or the Buc
But sopho-
more shortstop
Sierra Romero
is excited.
"Oh my gosh,
(last year) was
so fun," Romero
said. "When
you first come
here, you hear
so much about
Ohio State, Michi,
Michigan, and pl
day, there's just a
ent kind of tensio
are so loud."
Amid the Io
stretch of the seas
gan (6-0, 26-6), th
series against Ohi
highlight before
against No. 14 Min
The WolverinesI
a close game sin
Big Ten play, and I
their last seven ga
the eight-run me
goes into effect afti
The team has bee:
cylinders at the pla
40 runs in a thre
against Penn State

a 1-18 record
since 2004.
1 and will say
e playing the
not the oppo-
it opponent is

being pushed
"There's just a in(The.
whole different are working
. ,, really hard,"
kind of tension., Romero said.
"As soon
as practice
starts, they're
gan State and gone with (assistant coach Jen
aying on that Brundage) and they're doing
whole differ- their thing in the cages. They're
n. The stands very fierce. When they're
pitching against us in practice,
ingest home I'm not going to lie, I'm scared.
;on for Michi- I feel like I'm in a game situation
e three-game because they're coming right at
o State is the me."
a homestand When Michigan takes the
nesota. field Friday, it will approach it
haven't played like any other game - as it has
ace beginning all season - but it won't be.
have cut six of Alumni Field will be packed, the
ames short by first truly dangerous opponent
rcy rule that of the Big Ten season will be
er five innings. in the opposing dugout and the
n firing on all Wolverines might have just a
ite, pouring on little more bounce in their step.
e-game series After all, it is Ohio State, and
last weekend, it is a rivalry game.
V i,

RELEASE DATE- Friday, April 4, 2014 .j,,E
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Sophomore Sierra Romero is especially excited for this weekend's matchup
against Ohio State, which Michigan has defeated 18 of the last 19 meetings.
Or are you still waiting for spring?


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