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May 22, 1996 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1996-05-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

16 - fhe Michigan Daily - Wednesda
SERIES
Continued from Page 13
two at a time.
. The barrage of doubles began with
Conrad's rocket inside the left field
foul line and continued with shots by
senior Tracy Carr and junior Jessica
Lang.
When the Michigan hitters had
returned to the dugout, the Gamecocks
were down four runs and only had two
more times at bat against Griffin to
make up the deficit.
Although South Carolina pushed a
run across the plate in its half of the
sixth, the Wolverines rendered it mean-
ingless with their next at-bat.
The Wolverines scored six runs on
six hits, chasing Johnson from the
mound and turning a 4-1, tightly con-
tested battle into a Michigan rout.
The 10-1 final was the largest mar-
gin of defeat for the Gamecocks this
season.
When Johnson was asked if the
game was the hardest she had been hit
all year, she was quick to answer in the
affirmative. Despite entering the week-
end with the third-lowest earned-run
-4 average in the nation, both Johnson and
Sky Brown allowed four earned runs in
the blowout.
It was Michigan's Griffin who
looked like the All-American on the
mound this weekend.
In her three outings, Griffin pitched
three complete games, allowed only
one earned run and struck out 19 bat-
ters.
The Big Ten Player of the Year
defeated the No. 8 team in the nation
twice, chalking up her national-best
35th victory in Sunday's championship
game.
As amazing as Griffin was under the
sweltering heat in the championship
game, it was her effort the day before
that caught the attention of everyone in
the stands.
While her opposite number Johnson
was throwing a no-hitter through five
innings, Griffin showed just as much
poise in keeping South Carolina off the
scoreboard.
"Sara did a great job," Hutchins said.
"She kept her composure the whole
weekend"
Is was not the actual championship
game that caused Wolverine hearts to
skip a beat, but the contest that preced-
ed it.
The 1-0 Michigan victory over South
Carolina on Saturday was a game for
the ages with each pitcher hurling a
gem. The win put the Wolverines in the
enviable position of going into the
championship game the following day
needing only one victory in two games.
The double-elimination tournament
gave Michigan a cushion for Sunday's
contest and the chance to be more
aggressive than normal.
"(Michigan) had nothing to lose (in
the championship game,)" Compton
said. "They outright beat us."
Michigan opened the tournament at
Alumni Field with a 3-2 victory over
Central Michigan.
The tournament title allowed the
Wolverines to return to the Women's
College World Series after tying for
seventh last season.
Michigan, the No. 6 seed, will play
defending champion UCLA at 6 p.m.
tomorrow.

3y, May 22, 1996

SPORTS

cCrowd
!yBy Richard Shi
lDaily SpotX Wrte
Last weekend the crowd atA
Field must Iave been listening to
Me Out to the Ballgame"
6 Roca, root, rooter the home team..
For that matter, the Michigan softba
team must have been also.
Ifthey don't nin its a shame...
The Wolverines, playing on the
home field, braved the heat and ente
tained the mostly-Michigan crowd e
route to capturing the NCAA Region
Championship.
The 977 spectators who watcheda
title game on Sunday were the sec
largest softball crowd in Michigan his
tory. And the crowd was in full voi
roaring during Wolverine rallies,
Not to disappoint the home crow
Michigan was victorious in all three
the games it played in the tournament
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins sai
she believed that the crowd played
~si(sii.~i's -y~~r150~>huge part in the tournament.
I can't tell youiow exciting it&
be on the field when something ai
pens and you hear the roar" Hutchir
"Ithink it gives us a total advantage
The heat was on the Gamecocks o
Sunday, from Mother Nature as well a
from the Wolverines.
On the hottest day of the season s
far, Michigan star Sara Griffin shi
down South Carolina, allowing onl
five hits while fanning four. The ba e
were on fire as they torched Job i
who suffered her worst loss of the se
son. Every starter had a hit for th
Wolverines.
MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily "I think seeing her (Saturday) total
helped us," Michigan first basema
Michigan shortstop Kathryn Gleason and the Wolverines came out of the NCAA regional as victors. Michigan will be making Traci Conrad said. "We knew what si
its second consecutive appearance in the Women's College World Series. had and were prepared for her."
Blue softball out for redemption at World SeriAw
Wolverines break records in NCAA regionals; Carr becomes Michigan two-bag lady

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan is on a mission.
Last season left the Wolverines unsatisfied on
their first trip to the Women's College World Series.
A loss to Southwestern
Louisiana put the Wolverines
in the loser's bracket and led to
a showdown with Iowa. So
The Hawkeyes squeezed out
a 14-inning, 9-7 victory to Notebook
bounce Michigan from the
tournament, an early exit that
fueled the fire for this year's,
squad.
But that was last year.
Michigan is looking for redemption and coach
Carol Hutchins remains excited at the prospects.
"It's unbelievable (to return). I know it's been (the
team's) goal all along to go back because it left a lot
of people unsatisfied last year.
"They're going back and I think you're going to
see Michigan play (well) out there," Hutchins said.

Freshman first baseman Traci Conrad was in Ann
Arbor last season when Michigan won the regional
title, and said she was drawn to the Wolverines pri-
marily because of the chance that this past weekend
presented.
"I chose to come here because it's a top-notch pro-
gram," she said. "I wanted to go to the College World
Series, and now, knowing that we're going (to
Columbus, Ga.) is just a great experience."
This year, the Wolverines may get their revenge.
Iowa joins Michigan in the WCWS, as the Big Ten
once again has two teams among the final eight com-
petitors.
The Wolverines play defending champion UCLA
at 6 p.m. tomorrow. If they win, they will face the
winner of tomorrow's Iowa-Arizona contest.
REWRITING HIsToRY: This Michigan team contin-
ued its assault on the record books this weekend by
breaking a few marks.
The win in Sunday's regional championship game
was the Wolverines' 51st victory, surpassing last sea-
son's mark by one.
Individual players got into the act as well,

Senior third baseman Tracy Carr reclaimed sol
possession of the Michigan career doubles recort
with her two-bagger in the sixth inning of Sunday
contest. Carr is also the career leader in at-bats a
well as runs batted in.
Sophomore pitcher Sara Griffin set season mark
last weekend. Griffin extended her victory total t
35, while becoming the single season leadvi
strikeouts and innings pitched.
SHARING THE WEALTH: The Wolverines' 14-h
attack in the championship game was truly a tear
effort.
Every starter had at least one hit, and eight differ
ent runners crossed the plate for Michigan in the run
away victory.
"One person gets a hit and everyone else just fol
lows,' said Conrad. "As a team, just to keep gettin
base hits in the (seventh) inning was unbelievable.
Hutchins did her best to get as many players
the fray as possible. Juniors Tracy Taylor and Mar
Adams and freshman Tammy Mika entered th
game as pinch-runners, scoring two runs amon
them.

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