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June 05, 2006 - Image 14

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2006-06-05

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14 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 5, 2006

* BASEBALL/SOFTBALL
Facility upgrades
upcoming for Blue

-SPORTS-

By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan Stadium isn't the only
venue on campus that will look
unfamiliar in the next decade.
Upgrades to two other sporting
venues were also approved at the
May 19 Board of Regents meeting.
Though likely lost in the hysteria
that came along with the approval of
the football stadium renovation plans,
two of the University's more outdated
acilities, Ray Fisher Stadium and
Alumni Field, can also be expecting
a facelift after the regents approved
$14.5 million for facility upgrades.
"We are looking forward to having
a first-class facility for our softball
program here at Michigan," Michi-
gan softball coach Carol Hutchins
said through the athletic department.
"The new stadium will offer a better
experience for our players, spectators
and the media."
Five and a half million dollars
will be spent on Alumni Field,
home of the Michigan women's
softball team. Due to the ever-grow-
ing popularity and following of the
team - which won the program's
first national championship in 2005
- the field's capacity will double to
a total of 3,150 people. A new 1,800-
person grandstand will be erected
once construction begins, along with
outfield bleachers that are expected
to hold 1,350 fans.
Other changes include new public
restrooms, new concession areas and
a new media facility.
"Improved seating and fan-friend-

ly amenities will make the softball
experience that much better for our
fans, while the atmosphere in the new
stadium will be on par with the best
facilities in the country," Hutchins
said through the athletic department.
"New press facilities will also make
it easier to host nationally televised
events, while an indoor hitting facil-
ity and renovated dugouts will give
our athletes a stadium worthy of
national champions."
The 80-year-old- seating bowl at
Ray Fisher Stadium - the home of
the 2006 Big Ten Champion Michi-
gan baseball team - is also going
to receive a massive upgrade. A two-
story addition of barrier-free seating
is also planned, as well as new rest-
rooms and concession areas for the
fans. A new clubhouse and hitting
facility will also be erected during
the construction process.
"This will help us continue the
great tradition that was established
for this institution's oldest sport,"
Michigan baseball coach Rich Malo-
ney said through the athletic depart-
ment. "It will also provide us with
one of the better facilities in college
baseball."
One of the more interesting plans
is to bring in the rightfield fence
and erect a Blue Monster, a home-
run-friendly structure similar to the
Green Monster at Fenway Park for
the Major League's Boston Red Sox.
Both projects are expected to be
completed within two years. The
construction will take place in phases
that will not interfere with the com-
petitive seasons of either team.

0

0

AMY DRUMM/Daily

Freshman Doug Pickens' two-run blast in the sixth wasn't enough to secure a win for Michigan on Sunday.

VANDY
Continued from Page 13
away attempting to complete a 5-4-
3 double play.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth
inning, Recknagel doubled over
the centerfielder's head and repre-
sented the tying run on second with
just one out. But the final two Wol-
verines popped out to end the game
and the season.
Michigan fell into the loser's
bracket when it lost to Vanderbilt
5-2 Friday afternoon. Freshman
Zach Putnam - reliable all season
long - battled through one and 1/3
innings before being taken out of
the game due to injury. But by then
the damage had already been done
- the Commodores notched three
earned runs off of two hits while
drawing four walks.
The Wolverines were able to
pull themselves within one run
after senior A.J. Scheidt doubled
in freshman Adam Abraham from

first base with two outs in the
fourth, but failed to drive in anyone
else for the remainder of the game.
"It was frustrating," Michigan
coach Rich Maloney said after
Friday's game. "I really felt there
was an opportunity for us to score
some runs. We just were not able
to get it done."
Michigan staved off elimina-
tion once on Saturday when it
defeated Stetson, 11-1. Senior Paul
Hammond shined in his final per-
formance as a Wolverine. In nine
innings, he scattered six hits and
struck out six while allowing only
one earned run.
"Paul pitched an outstanding
game (Saturday)," Maloney said
after the Stetson win. "It gave us
a huge lift to keep us in this tour-
nament. He showed why he is one
of the best pitchers in our league
today."
Maloney was also impressed with
the resiliency of the team after the
tough loss on Friday.

"The kids bounced back like
they have all year," Maloney said.
"We have had a couple situations
this championship season that the
boys had to respond and perform
not to their liking. Our team has
responded well each time."
Notes: Putnam's injury in the
second inning of Friday's game was
unknown at the time, but according
to Maloney, the Ann Arbor native
felt a pop while he was pitching.
"He will probably need an MRI,"
Maloney said on Friday. "We are
obviously concerned and hope it's not
bad for his sake and the program's."
Michigan ends the season with
a total of 43 wins - the most since
the team won 49 games in 1989. ...
Even though the Wolverines never
faced regional host Georgia Tech,
the Yellow Jackets' head coach
does have a Michigan connection.
Danny Hall worked as an assis-
tant coach for the Wolverines from
1980-87 under then-coach Bud
Middaugh.

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