C OACH ARRESTED
Michigan assistant men's gymnastics
coach Tim O'Connel was arrested in
Tulsa, Ok., last week on several
charges, including drunken driving,
according to staff and wire reports.
May 15, 1996 13
'M' softball captures
Big,, Tea touarament
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan pitcher Sara Griffin -the Big Ten softbaii Player of the Year - won two games as the Wolverines claimed their
second consecutive conference tournament title. They next host the NCAA regionals-.
By Jam.. Goldstein out and coming back and just winning walked and Jason Alcaraz was hit by
Daily Sports Editor the last game to get in the playoffs - Michigan State's Bernie Gibbons.
that's all we wanted to do. We came out Kelly Dransfeldt smacked a hard liner
Cameras flashed, players hugged, here needing to win all four games this to left field, moving Beermann to
parents rejoiced. weekend and we did it.'' third.
After the Michigan baseball team Without Besco, the Wolverines Besco wasted no time as he
came back to beat Michigan State 13- would still be clawing to get in the stepped to the plate with the bases
10 Sunday to complete a four-game playoffs. The sophomore right-fielder loaded and one out. He almost took off
sweep (2-1, 4-1, 10-3, 13-10) of the belted two home runs and had seven Gibbons' head with a liner up the mid-
*me-and-home doubleheaders ending RBI in Sunday's games. dIe that scored Beermann and Alcaraz
at Fisher Stadium, the public announc- But his biggest hit couldn't have to tie the game at 10.
er got on the microphone. come at a better time. Michigan "There's been a couple of situa-
The Wolverines grew silent. They opened the bottom of the sixth inning tions this year where I could have (got-
heard that Penn State had just beat down 10-7. Then, the Wolverines ten the clutch hit) before and I didn't
Ohio State for the second time that day roughed up four Spartan pitchers for come through," Besco said. "I'm just
and lows had fallen to Minnesota. six runs on five hits in the sixth. glad this was the time I got the clutch
Then a roar went up from the crowd Michigan's Mike Muir lead off the hit."
as the PA declared that Michigan inning with a double, but was tagged Michigan's catcher Mike Haskell
eamned a berth in the playoffs. Players out at third trying to stretch it into a broke the tie with a bases-loaded walk
streamed out onto the field and triple. But the Wolverines' next seven that plated home Dransfeldt. Mike
snapped pictures of each other to cap- batters reached base. Mike Cervenak Muir, who began the inning, smoked a
ethe moment, started the rally with a solo-home run
The Wolverines (17-11 Big Ten, 24- to deep center field. Kirk Beermann See PLAYOFFS, Page 14
28 overall) will head to State College as
the fourth seed in the Big Ten
Chminhp. Miciga wilfc
host P State tomorrow at 3il 30 n p m
in the first round of the double-ebimi-
the playoffs came two years agotwhen EYE EXAMVS & EYE GLASSES
the Wolverines were runner-up to Ohio b APHAUE GOGIARA
ate, and its conference record is its-
st since 1989.CAVN KEN
Michigan will remember how it got eyewear
to thia tourament for a long time
"That's all you can ask for," *STU DE NT DISCQL N TS.
Michigan's Derek Besco said: Going
The same thing that got Michigan
into the title game nearly spelled its
At this weekend's Big Ten Softball
Tournament, played at Alumni Field,
the top-seeded Wolverines came home
with the championship. They defeated
No. 2 seed Minnesota, 6-4, in the title
game, but not before they made the
Michigan was plagued by booted
balls, miscues and bobbles - unusual
occurrences for the conference's top
Saturday's championship pitted the
Gophers against the Wolverines for the
second time in two days. The teams had
met just a day earlier in the winner's-
bracket game late Friday afternoon.
Michigan had a distinct advantage
entering the contest because it had not
yet lost in the tournament. The double-
elimination format gave the Wolverines
a cushion, as they could lose the game
and come back in the next contest to
have another shot at the championship.
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
was aggressive from the outset, calling
for a squeeze play in the first inning.
Hutchins sent Kellyn Tate barreling
home on Tracy Carr's squeeze bunt to
put the Wolverines on the board first
with a 1-0 lead.
"I was trying to be aggressive;'
Hutchins said. "I thought we'd take
them by surprise and ... Carr's one of
our best bunters."
Michigan dominated the early
innings, taking a 5-1 lead after the third
frame behind the pitching of sopho-
more Sara Griffin.
Griffin, the Big Ten's Player of the
Year, had been trouble for most oppo-
nents this season, but especially
Minnesota. With Griffin on the mound,
the Wolverines took two of three games
in Minneapolis - including a no-hitter
in the finale - to clinch the regular-
At the Big Ten Tournament, Griffin
entered the Minnesota game Friday in
relief of Kelly Holmes and shut the
Gophers down once again, holding
them to only three hits and no runs in
four innings of work.
With its back, against the wall
Saturday, Minnesota was on the brink
But then Wolverine errors let the
Gophers back into the game, as Carr
booted a Laura Peters grounder at third
to start the fifth inning.
Michigan thought it would escape
unharmed after shortstop Kathryn
Gleason doubled Peters off at second
on an Amy Hegland line drive, leaving
only one runner on base with two outs.
But the third out didn't come until
six batters and three runs later, follow-
ing a Gleason miscue.
The Wolverines walked off the field
leading by only one run and in search
of a spark.
See SOFTBALL, Page 16
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