This weekend's NCAA Regional marks
the last time the No. 2 softball team Mnd
plays at home. Catch them while you Monday
'M' dance card
Michigan to host Ball State,
DePaul and Illinois-Chicago
By Rick Reeman
Daily Sports Editor
The Alumni Field stands will be filled with flat vowels and
fans drinking 'pop' this weekend. Michigan will host three
other teams from the midwest in the NCAA Regional tourna-
The Wolverines (52-5) will host DePaul, Illinois-Chicago
and Ball State in the double-elimination tournament. The tenta-
tive schedule has the first game Friday at 1 p.m. Illinois-
Chicago and DePaul will play in the first game, followed by the
Michigan-Ball State game at 3.
To the winner? A trip to Oklahoma City, Okla., and the third
seed in the Women's College
Summer Wind World Series. Top-ranked
Two teams from the Windy Arizona will host the top-
City will come blowin' into seed regional, and No. 7
town this weekend, along Nebraska will host the sec-
with one from Muncie,Ind. ond-seed regional.
Muncie has wind, too. Michigan is ranked sec-
The pairings at a glance. ond in the nation, but was
1. No. 2 Michigan (52-5) vs. given the third-sd region-
alFour teams from the Big
12- Nebraska's conference
2. No. 11 DePaul (45-6) vs. - made the field of 32,
3. lIlinois-Chicago (55-19) while only three Big Ten
teams made the cut.
Despite hosting three schools not known as athletics
machines, Hutchins isn't falling into the bigger-is-better trap.
The 1998 Big Ten coach of the year warned that DePaul was
"clearly a cut above" the rest of the teams in its conference.
But her warning wasn't directed at Michigan rightfielder
Kellyn Tate. She clutched her crisp new 'Big Ten Champs' hat
in her lap and explained that "it's easy to get up for this."
Hutchins mentioned that the field of 32 was the toughest
she's ever seen, but wasn't as open about her own regional.
"We'll play it, ... I'll tell you afterwards," she said.
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Ta k t h
Iowa twice t
By Uma Subramanan
Daily Sports Writer
As the lone tuba played "The Victors"
at Alumni Field on Saturday evening,
history repeated itself. For the fourth
straight year, the Michigan softball te
took the Big Ten Tournament crown.
The Wolverines (52-5) took a unique
path to the championship this time,
becoming the first team to come out of
the loser's bracket to win the champi-
onship. Michigan completed its come-
back with 5-1 and 6-1 victories over No.
19 Iowa (37-18).
Not only did the Wolverines accom-
plish their championship in a way that
they weren't used to, they also got
great pitching performance from a di -
ferent source than usual - sophomore
Gillies had the most impressive per-
formance of her career Saturday, pitch-
ing eight consecutive perfect innings in
two games and only giving up one run.
"We needed Jamie to go in that first
game," Hutchins said. "She pitched
some great ball."
While the pitching was consistently
good over the weekend, the major diff
ence between Friday - when they feW
to the Hawkeyes - and Saturday came
at the plate.
See CHAMPS, Page 15
Catcher Melissa Gentile led the Michigan charge out of the loser's bracket in last weekend's
Tournament. The Wolverines beat Iowa twice Saturday to claim the title.
By Jon Zemke
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's golf team over-
came Michigan State's hard course and
unfriendly weather for a fifth-place fin-
ish at the Big Ten Tournament on
Michigan was one of only five
teams to finish with less than 1,200
strokes, scoring an 1,194, only six
strokes from a three-way-tie with
Minnesota and Northwestern.
"I can't tell you how delighted I am
with how we came out," Michigan
coach Jim Carras said.
He has every right to be delighted
with the performance his team put in,
with All-Big Ten selection Michael
See FIFTH, Page 18
'M' downs Hoosiers' hopes
By Jacob Wheeler The renewed confidence that yesterday's victo-
Daily Sports Writer ries gave Michigan was important. But the day
Cellars are cold, dark places that most sane was absolutely devastating for the Hoosiers, who
people try to avoid. were battling Penn State in the standings for the
Michigan first baseman Bryan Besco isn't a fourth and final playoff spot. Indiana's season
big fan of cellars. He found his team stuck in a also ends tomorrow because the Nittany Lions
deep one entering this weekend, the final series took two of three from Purdue this weekend.
of the season at Indiana. Resurged by a healthy Besco at first base,
But Besco's hitting yesterday and strong pitch- Michigan took a commanding lead early in the
ing performances from Brian Berryman and J.J. first game. With one out and the bases loaded,
Putz may be enough to pull the Wolverines out of Besco singled to center, bringing in two runs.
the dreaded Big Ten cellar. The Wolverines held on to a slim 4-3 lee
Michigan (8-15 Big Ten, 20-27 overall) swept behind a strong pitching performance from
the Hoosiers convincingly in both ends of a dou- Berryman. But Besco proved his importance to
bleheader yesterday, 6-3 and 6-1. Indiana (14-13, Michigan again with a two-run homer in the sev-
29-26) won the series opener Saturday, 11-8. enth, giving his team a three-run cushion.
"We were much more relaxed," said Besco, Michigan's reliable closer Tyler Steketee came in
who sat out the last six games because of an and slammed the door on Indiana, striking out
ulcer. "Our goal was just to get out of the cellar. two of the three batters he faced.
We were having much more fun out there " yes- "We've played a whole lot better this week,"
terday. Michigan coach Geoff Zahn said. His club also
The victories ended a six-game conference beat Eastern Michigan last Wednesday, 8-5.
drought during which the Wolverines let any "You're team looks a whole lot better when y4e
hopes of a Big Ten playoff berth slip away. get good pitching out of them."
Michigan concludes its disappointing season The Wolverines fared a whole lot better than
with one game today against Indiana. See BASEBALL, Page 17