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March 21, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 21, 2014 -- 7

Michigan coach Red Berenson's team's NCAA Tournament chances may have ended Thursday with the team's 2-1 double-overtime loss to Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament
PSU eliminates'M' from BIG Tourney

Penn State nets
20T winner, beats
Wolverines for
third time in 2014
By DAILY WRITER
who has this position
ST. PAUL, Minn. - One inch.
Andrew Copp's shot spun like
a coin on the goal line, teasing to
fall across and give the Michigan
hockey team a crucial overtime
winner against Penn State (3-16-
1-0 Big Ten, 8-25-2 overall) in the
first round of the Big Ten Tourna-
ment.
One more inch and the Wol-
verines would have almost cer-

tainly earned an at-large bid to the
NCAA Tournament.
But the puck was kicked out,
and No. 3 seed Michigan was elim-
inated by No. 6 seed Penn State,
2-1, Thursday afternoon, putting
an NCAA Tournament berth in
serious jeopardy.
Forward Zach Saar scored on
a wrist shot at 12:47 of the second
overtime to end nearly 100 min-
utes of hockey and advance the
Nittany Lions to the second round
of the conference tournament.
Michigan (10-8-2-1, 18-13-4)
entered the Big Ten Tournament
No. 11 in the PairWise Rankings.
The Wolverines dropped to 16th
in the PairWise with the loss
and could miss out entirely on
the 16-team tournament if lower
teams earn automatic berths by

winning their respective confer-
ence tournaments.
Michigan coach Red Berenson
said he doesn't think his team will
be called on Selection Sunday.
"We'll wait and see on Sunday
where everything ends up," he
said. "When you lose a game like
this, you can'texpect to move up."
Thursday's game remained
scoreless until late in the second
period, when a last-minute offen-
sive possession quickly turned
into a disaster for the Wolverines.
Freshman defenseman Michael
Downing pinched, leaving Penn
State's Taylor Holstrom alone at
center ice. Following a turnover,
the Nittany Lion forward received
an outlet pass and slotted a wrist
shot over freshman goaltender
Zach Nagelvoort's stick side with

just 22.8 seconds remaining until
intermission.
At 11:06 of the third period,
the Wolverines finally responded.
Sophomore forward Boo Nieves
won the puck behind Penn State's
net and slid a pass to junior for-
ward Phil Di Giuseppe, who one-
timed it past goaltender Matthew
Skoff.
"When they got the firstgoal, it
took us quite a while to answer,"
Berenson said. "To get that goal
back was huge. I thought we got
the momentum off that goal."
The game then remained knot-
ted at one until Saar's winner in
the second overtime.
"It was good faceoff play on
their part," Nagelvoort said. "I
went down to cover, and the next
thing I knew, it was in the

net."
Penn State's offensive formula
is relatively simple: Forecheck
relentlessly, throw pucks at the
net and force opponents into had
turnovers. They succeeded in
all of those, resulting in a wide-
open game that featured 118 shots
between the two teams.
Nagelvoort was up to the chal-
lenge for most of the afternoon,
finishing with 63 saves, but the
magic ran out on Holstrom's rush
and Saar's wrister.
"He kept the game close when
we were at our worst and gave us
a chance," Berenson said.
Michigan has played to the
level of its competition .1tl year. It
opened the regular season with a
commanding 3-1 win over No. 3
Boston College and ended it with

a rout of No. i Minnesota. But
sandwiched between those results
came a 5-4 record against Michi-
gan State and Penn State, the Big
Ten's worst teams.
That ineptitude reared its head
again Thursday. The first period
ended without much offensive
firepower from Michigan, which
failed to take control despite a pair
of power plays and a crowd par-
tial in its favor. The Wolverines
ranmped up the intensity in the sec-
ond frame, but they couldn't find
twine and conceded late.
When the exhaustion of two
mnertines had isnkin, the Nittany
Lions final n' elivered the dag-
get. s'initg M i-nigain home early
from the conference tournament
and potentially ending the Wol-
ve-ines' season.

Baseball opens Big Ten Michigan starts Alumni
play vs. conference power Field slate vs. Indiana

By BEN FIDELMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Though its record may not
show it, the Michigan baseball
team has improved this season.
But this weekend, the upward-
trending Wolverines (8-12-1) will
face a major test
in Blooming- Michigan
ton, where they at Indiana
will open Big
Ten play against Matchup:
projected con- Michigan 8-12-
ference cham- 1; indiana 10-8
pion Indiana When: Friday
(10-8). 4:05 P.M.
The Hoosiers Where: Bart
are captained Kaufman Field
by an experi- TV/Radio:
enced pitching MGoBlue.com
staff that has
posted a 2.68
earned-run average, which leads
the Big Ten by nearly three quar-
ters of a run.
Senior Joey DeNato is 3-1 on
the year and is the ace of the
rotation. His 1.95 ERA is good
for seventh in the Big Ten, and
opponents are mustering just a
.241 batting average against him
through five starts. Much like the
Michigan pitchers, he goes after
hitters with a power-pitching
attitude, and his strikeout num-
bers reflect that.
The second noteworthy starter
is sophomore Christian Morris,
who is pumping through his out-
ings with a2.75 ERA.
"He's going to mix a fastball,
breaking ball and change-up,"
said Michigan coach Erik Bakich.
"He just knows how to pitch. He's
not out there throwing - he's
pitching. He has a plan, and he's
had a lot of quality starts."
Indiana will send DeNato to
the mound Friday, followed by
Morris and junior Kyle Hart on
Saturday and Sunday, respective-
ly. The Wolverines aren't looking
to do anything differently against

one of the conference's best arms
in DeNato. Theybelieve offensive
success is going to come from
being disciplined and aggressive
at the plate, and that formula will
work against any pitcher in the
country.
Compared to his usual statline,
DeNato struggled in his most
recent outing against Long Beach
State, and Michigan will be look-
ing to capitalize on a rare chink in
his armor.
The Wolverines will counter
with an ace of their own Fri-
day with fifth-year senior right-
hander Ben Ballantine. The team
will look to Ballantine and fel-
low fifth-year senior left-hander
Logan McAnallen to come out
and utilize their veteran presence
to set the tone for the series.
Another high point of the
Hoosiers team is the shutdown
bullpen duo of junior Luke Harri-
son and sophomore Scott Effross.
The pair has given up just six
earned runs through 35 innings
- impressive considering that all
of their appearances have come
in relief.
Though the Indiana pitching
staff stands out with its low ERA,
Michigan is confident rolling into
the weekend with hot bats.
It seems that someone new
steps up inthe Wolverines' lineup
every weekend - last weekend,
that was sophomore shortstop
Travis Maezes. He carried a .500
batting average on the weekend,
popping two home runs and driv-
ing in four.
The Hoosiers carry four hit-
ters who bat above .300. Indiana
is led by juniors Kyle Schwarber
and Sam Travis, who are hit-
ting .352 and .320, respectively.
Schwarber also packs some
power, racking up three home
runs and five doubles.
One area in which the Hoo-
siers struggle is stolen bases.
Junior Casey Rodriguez has six

steals on the season, but no other
player has more than three. In
comparison, Michigan has four
players with at least three steals.
Indiana is a particularly tough
opponent with which to start
Big Ten play. Coming off a sea-
son that saw it reach the College
World Series, it wasn't surprising
when the preseason poll project-
ed Indiana to win the Big Ten in
2014.
"They have the bullseye on
their back in this conference,"
Bakich said. "They're not going
to sneak up on people anymore.
They have a lot of their key play-
ers back from last year, and
they're a team that everyone
knows a lot about, because every-
one in the region followed their
great success story."
Indiana has been in the top
25 for most of the season. It fell
off the list after dropping two of
three to Long Beach State last
weekend. The team rebounded
this week, picking up a midweek
win against-No. 14 Louisville.
But Michigan will do its best
to ensure the Hoosiers don't turn
the lone triumph into a streak.

By MAX BULTMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Carol Hutchins' favorite thing
to do is throw batting practice
with her team. That is, as long as
they're hittingthe ball.
With the Big Ten season start-
ing Friday, the Wolverines' bats
are hitting and the Michigan
softball coach is smiling wide.
The Wolverines (19-6) will see
Indiana in their first conference
series- of the season, and while
the Hoosiers' strength is their
pitching staff, Michigan is now
hitting its stride at the plate.
Senior infielder Taylor Has-
selbach was named Big Ten
player of the week after hitting
.667 with six RBI last weekend
in Louisville, Ky. Though most
of her career has been defined by
timely pinch-hitting and leader-
ship, Hasselbach made the most
of her chance in the lineup and
will look for more opportunities
this weekend.
"Once 1 got into the lineup, the
main thing was just trusting my
preparation," she said. "I just got
into the box and did what I knew

how to do."
Hasselbach's offensive erup-
tion came at just the right time.
The Wolverines struggled to
hit the ball
the previous Indiana at
weekend but, Mich
behind the igan
senior infield- Matchup:
er, Michigan Indiana 17-7;
posted 27 runs Michigan 19-6
in three games When: Satur-
in Louisville. day 2:30 P.M.
Friday's Where:
doubleheader Alumni Field
at Alumni Field TV/Radio:
will give the MGoBlue.con
Wolverines
a chance to

showcase their talent for a home
crAvd for the first time this sea-
son after Tuesday's non-confer
ence contest with Bowling Green
was postponedi ne week.
'Our klci- antastic job
transitioning from indoors to
outdoors," I Hutchins said. "But
to ine, the biggest distraction ie
have is be ing at home now."
In every pr 'g' mthis sea
son, Mic!rgan has been on the
road and in a hotel on game day.
In those games, the Wolverines
were monitored by Hiutchins and
the staff where they helped the
team stay focused.
Now tha tihe players are on
Sece SFTRALL. Poe R

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