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May 07, 2007 - Image 13

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-05-07

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


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Win sends Blue in
positive direction

ManagingSports Editor
EAST LANSING - The eighth-
ranked Michigan softball team is
heading south.
But the Wolverines' hitting
appears to be going north.
Michigan heads to Big Ten Tour-
nament in Columbus next weekend
as the third seed, its worst finish in
the conference in a dozen years.
The Wolverines will play No. 6
seed Illinois Friday. Michigan (12-4
Big Ten, 42-10 overall) split a two-
game set with the Fighting Illini in
Champaign three weeks ago, blow-
ing a three-run lead in the bottom
of the seventh inning of the second
Although the Wolverines lost out
on hosting honors, Michigan will
at least enter the postseason with

some momentum.
The Wolverines shook off a 7-
0 loss at Michigan State Saturday
- their worst loss in more than four
years - with a 9-1 run-rule thump-
ing of the Spartans (7-9, 33-25) in
five innings.
"I think we showed a lot of heart
today with the way we bounced
back," said senior leftfielder
Rebekah Milian, who went 3-for-4
with three RBI yesterday, through
the athletic department. "I think
that was the best we've played all
year. We came back full force and
played with a lot more passion than
we've previously shown this year,"
All nine players in Michigan's
batting order reached base yester-
day, ending their ice cold offensive
streak. The Wolverines scored just
11 runs in their previous six games.
"I just think that the one thing I

want to say is that clearly my team
needs to know that I'm support-
ing them," Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins said. "I'm their leader.
And I'm with them. I'm on their
side. And that's really the only
thing that matters to me from here
on out, is that we're just one team
Hutchins moved freshman Molly
Bausher back into the lineup at sec-
ond base after benching her last
weekend and dropped sophomore
shortstop Teddi Ewing down to
the ninth spot in the order yester-
day. The duo rewarded Hutchins
with back-to-back doubles - two
of Michigan's five extra-base hits
- and scored both runs in the sec-
ond inning.
Junior centerfielder Alessandra
Giampaolo, Milian and Ewing all
had multiple hits yesterday.

Freshman pitcher Nikki Nemitz allowed just one run against Michigan State
yesterday after Michigan allowed the Spartans to explode for seven runs Saturday.

Doubleheader proves deadly for 'M'-Nine

By ANDY REID series, sweeping the day's two seven-
Daily Sports Writer inning games, 7-4 and 6-3.
In the opening game, junior Nate
The Michigan baseball team had Recknagel blasted a two-run homer
a rude awakeninglast weekend. over the batter's eye in centerfield
In the rigors of conference play, in the bottom of the seventh to send
you can't _________ the game into extra innings.
win them ILLINOIS S After the shot, the Wolverines
all. MICHIGAN 10 grabbed all of the momentum going
The into the eighth inning. Michigan
Wolverines won all of their Big coach Rich Maloney sent pitcher
Ten series, including three sweeps, Michael Powers in to close out the
before Illinois stole two games from game, but he was unable to seal the
Michigan to split the series in a four- deal.
game split this weekend. Illini pinch runner Nick Stockwell
Neither Michigan nor Illinois has advanced to second on Michigan's
swept the other in 16 years. sixth wild pitch of the game. Short-
The Fighting Illini used the dou- stop Shawn Roof's deep single drove
bleheader on Saturday to even the Stockwell in, sparking a three-run

inning that put Illinois up for good.
Although the bats saved the Illini
(11-11 Big Ten, 24-22 overall) in the
first game of the doubleheader, Illi-
nois coach Dan Hartleb credits his
pitching staff for the day's success.
"(Sophomores Scott) Shaw and
(Mike) Stankiewicz had some tre-
mendous adversity over the past two
weeks, and to step up against thebest
lineup in the conference and control
their offense like they did today is
an outstanding job," Hartleb said
through the Illinois athletic depart-
ment. "They made quality pitches
that Michigan was only able to hit
off the end or the handle of their bats
and that allowed us to make a lot of
plays in the field."

The two losses snappeda10-game
winning streak, part of a stretch in
which the Wolverines won 27 out of
29 games.
Maloney was not upset about
the winning streak being snapped,
admitting that baseball is not a game
er that many straight wins.
"It was unfortunate," Maloney
said. "But that's baseball.We've been
playing at such a high rate and win-
ning at such a high rate, but baseball
is bound to catch up with you even-
On Sunday, Michigan (17-3, 34-
10) used RBI triples from senior Eric
Rose and junior Derek VanBuskirk
to spark four-run innings in the

third and fifth to get back to its win-
ning ways. The Wolverines doubled
up the Illini, 10-5.
The Illinois pitching staff held the
explosive Michigan offense in check
throughout most of the weekend,
but by Sunday the Illini bullpen was
too tired to silence the Wolverine
bats any longer.
The win salvaged the weekend
for Michigan, which retained a two-
and-a-half game lead atop the Big
Ten standings.
"You're boundtolose some games,
but whenyoulose two in a row, that's
a lot of adversity," Maloney said. "In
a 32-game conference season, every
game counts,and you can't get that
one back."

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