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May 29, 2001 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2001-05-29

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Online Poll
Which women's team will be the first to win a championship?
A) Crew B) Softball
C) Gymnastics D) Field Hockey
E) other
michigandaily.com/sports

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TUESDAY
MAY 29, 2001

B'lue drops two
By Jeff Phiips
Daily Spors Writer
Oklahoma City, Okla. - In Michigan's first game of the
Women's College World Series, it was its offense that failed as
it was unable to score one run in its 2-0 loss to Oklahoma. In
the second game, it was its defense - the strength of the team
- that failed. A season-high four errors led to four unearned
California runs in the 5-2 loss which eliminated the Wolver-
ines from the WCWS.
"Defense has been our forte all year, we've been stellar at it
and we didn't have it today," second-team All-American Melis-
sa Taylor said.
Michigan committed just four errors one other time during
the season, a 5-2 loss to DePaul on March 30.
"It is hard to go out like that in your last game. It wasn't the
greatest game we've played," senior Chrissy Garza said.
The game began well for the Wolverines as Stefanie Volpe
hit a two-run homerun to give Michigan a 2-0 lead after three
scoreless innings. Volpe attempted two bunts before sending
the ball over the right field fence.
"It was and up pitch and it wasn't a perfect strike. I just got
on top of it and got it out,"Volpe said.
With her fourth homerun of the season, Volpe became the
second player in Michigan history to hit a homerun in the
WCWS.
California loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth on
two walks and a single off senior Marie Barda. Marissa Young
came on in relief of Barda and struck out the first batter she
faced.
An inside pitch by Young caught California's Amber
- Phillips, which brought home the Golden Bears' first run.
Young nearly hit the next batter, Mikella Pedretti, who thought
she had been hit in the wrist but was overruled by the home
plate umpire. Young then struck out Pedretti and forced a
ground out to end the inning.
Young's second strikeout of the game gave her 185 for the

Crew loses final race,
falls to second place,

Rebecca Tune makes the throw to first attempting to com-
plete a double play In Saturday's 5-2 loss to California.
season, breaking the previous best of 184 by Sara Griffin.
California got its first lead of the game in the next inning as
an error by catcher Kim Bugel led to two runs for the Golden
Bears.
The flood gates opened in the sixth inning as the Golden
Bears scored two more runs off errors by the Volpe, Garza and
Taylor.
"We were in the game and the wheels kind of came off"
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins said.
The three-run deficit was too much to overcome for Michi-
gan as it couldn't manage a hit in its final at-bat.
Michigan pitched away from California power-hitter, Veron-
ica Nelson, which paid off as the firstbaseman failed to score
or drive in a run.
"The game plan going in was not to pitch to Veronica Nel-
son," Hutchins said.
Michigan finishes with a record of 43-17-1 and as the regu-
lar season Big Ten champions. The Wolverines lost just six of
their last 36 games to earn the No. 4 seed at the WCWS.
"We have to be proud of what we accomplished this year,"
Garza said.
This past season marked the fourth appearance for
Michigan at the WCWS. The Wolverines have a combined
record of 2-10.

By Jim Weber
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's crew team
came within four-and-a-half seconds
of winning the first women's team
national title in school history in just
its fifth year as a varsity sport.
Going into the final race, No. 2
Michigan was in first place by one
point over No. 3 Washington and led
No. 1 Brown by seven points in the
team competition. But in the first var-
sity eight race, Washington finished
first with a time of 7:04.03, Brown
placed second and Michigan third
with a time of 7:08.45, giving the
schools 30, 27 and 24 points, respec-
tively.
As a result, Washington passed
Michigan and won the team competi-
tion with a total of 58 points, Michi-
gan placed second with 53 points and
Brown took third with 49 points.
The Wolverines had finished fifth
as a team the past three years but the
team's vast improvement was tainted
by their failure to win a national title.
"Certainly it's tough to come so
close and not win," head coach Mark
Rothstein said.
Senior Kate Johnson felt the same
way, calling the second-place finish
"bittersweet."
Just as the team was reluctant to
take second place, the first varsity
eight was especially dissatisfied with
its third place finish.
"We were disappointed in our
race," said Johnson, who was stroke
seat in the boat. "We had a national
championship race in us" she added.
They just didn't have that race in
them on Saturday, she said. "Their
effort was great. It just didn't click at
the end," Rothstein said.
In the race, Michigan fell behind
early and was in fourth place at the
750-meter mark of the 2,000-meter
race. During the next 500 meters,
Michigan moved into third and chal-
lenged Washington for second place
while Brown led.
But, in the last 500 meters, Wash-
ington pulled away from Michigan
and past Brown. Michigan was
unable to catch up to Brown by the

finish line.
Earlier in the day, the second varsi-
ty eight boat claimed Michigan's firs
rowing national title by finishing firs
with a time of 6:43.34 and winnini
by open water over second-plact
Washington. The win completed at
undefeated season for the boat.
Although it started off in fourth
place, the second varsity eight fough
Brown for the lead midway thror-
the race. Michigan broke from
pack and ended up winning by at
impressive five seconds. The boa
won 20 points for the team and pu
Michigan into the lead going into thi
first varsity eight Grande Final.
Michigan's first boat to race, thi
varsity four, earned nine points fo
the Wolverines with a second-placi
finish behind Washington in a timed
7:35.31.
Although this was the first loss o
the year for the varsity four, the row
ers were not upset with their perform
ance.
"I think we had the best race of ou
season," stroke seat Liz Glenn salt
afterwards.
While she didn't win a nationa
championship at Michigan; Kati
Johnson believes she accomplishe<
her goal of the progress the progran
made in her presence culminatin
the runner-up performance at th
NCAA Championships.
"My goal coming to Michigan wa
to set a tradition. I feel comfortabl
leaving now because I feel we hav
arrived."
Title none
Since Michigan started competing in v
sity sports in 1866 it has won 50 men'
national titles, but has failed to win a
women's team national title. Here are
some of the recent finishes that have
come close to finishing first:
Cross Country 1994 Runner-up
Field Hockey 1999 Runner-up
Rowing 2001 Runner-up
Gymnastics 2001 3rd place
Swimming 1996 3rd place
Softball 1998 Quarterfinals
Tennis 1997 Quarterfin
Water Polo 2001 Quarterfin

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