Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Findlay 's single salvages split
By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Writer
The afternoon had been as dead-
locked as Friday traffic on State
Entering Sunday's double-head-
er tied for first place in the Big Ten,
the No. 6 Michigan softball team
and visiting No. 12 Northwestern
gave the sellout crowd at Alumni
Field two tight battles.
Both games were pitch-for-
pitch, throw-for-throw and hit-
for-hit, and it was clear each team
was just one hit away from the win.
In game one, the Wolverines fell
short, leaving the bases loaded in
the bottom of the seventh. In game
two, they delivered, with a walk-off
single from senior second baseman
By splitting, the Wolverines (16-2
Big Ten, 44-5 overall) and Wildcats
(16-2, 32-11) remain tied for first
place in the Big Ten. In the event
that both squads perform equally
in their final series next weekend,
they will share the Big Ten regu-
lar-season title and a coin-flip will
determine the Big Ten Tournament
"I think that each team taking
one really shows what this confer-
ence is about," freshman first base-
man Dorian Shaw said. "Anyone
can beat anyone on any given day."
After leaving 10 runners on base
in their first-game 2-1 loss, the Wol-
verines looked to relax at the plate
and choose their pitches wisely.
"It seemed like all day we were
just one hit away from the big hit
or from getting runs," Findlay said.
"We loaded the bases plenty of
times and didn't capitalize."
But the Wolverines made it count
when it mattered most.
In the second game, Michigan
found itself trailing 2-1 in the bot-
tom of the seventh. Findlay stepped
up to the plate with one out and the
See SOFTBALL, Page 11
The Michigan softball team celebrates senior Samantha Findlay's walk-off single to beat No. 12 Northwestern 3-2 on Sunday.
Rising from the East
By RYAN KARTJE Michigan fans filled Canham
Daily Sports Writer Natatorium to watch the Wolver-
ioes beat Hartwick (28-11) for the
Despite a 24-0 record against third time this season, continue
teams east of the Mississippi River, their 27-game winning streak and
there was still a lingering doubt. earn their first Eastern Champion-
Was the No. 11 Michigan water ship since 2005.
polo team truly the best in the East? Michigan (33-9) scored first
A 10-7 win over rival No. 14 Hart- when Collegiate Water Polo Associ-
wick in the Eastern Championship ation Player of the Year Julie Hyrne
on Sunday silenced the few remain- scored her first of four goals.
ing critics. The Wolverines rode their
Followingthe final buzzer, Mich- momentum to a 5-1 lead, but the
igan coach Matt Anderson dove into Hawks clawed their way back as the
the pool for a rendition of "Hail to two-time defending Eastern Cham-
the Victors" with his players. pions started to penetrate the Mich-
"I've been telling them all year igan defense that had been playing
that we deserve to be the best in the so well of late.
East," Anderson said. "It was just a Michigan's lead was trimmed to
matter of them overcoming ques- one before Anderson called a time-
tion marks this season to live up to out, hoping to rally his team.
their potential." "I told them, 'We don't need
The championship punched the another goal to win this game,' "
Wolverines' ticket to a rematch in Anderson said. "'We don't need a
the NCAAs against some of the hero. We just need to play defense."
West Coast teams that gave them so That was all the Wolverines
much trouble earlier this season. needed to hear.
"This team believes they deserve Michigan held the Hawks to just
to be (at the NCAAs)," Anderson one goal in the next 12 minutes, get-
said. "And we're going there with ting back to the hard-nosed defen-
the belief that we're one of the top sive style that has been key in the
eight teams in the nation, so the Wolverines' winning streak.
world is their oyster." "We just had to get our head back
in the game," Hyrne said, "We got
away from our gameplan, and we
knew that good defense was how we
were going to win."
After the timeout, Michigan was
forced into a five-on-six. Hartwick
found an open shot and fired it at
the Wolverine goal, but junior goalie
Brittany May made an acrobatic div-
ing stop, one of her eight of the day.
"With our team, what's great is
that if we're tied or down, we know
that someone is going to step up,"
May said. "Whether it's me or some-
one else stepping up, we know how
badly the team wants to win, so we
do it for the team."
On the ensuing possession, soph-
omore Leah Robertson, now Mich-
igan's all-time steals leader (214),
scored to give the Wolverines a lead
they wouldn't surrender.
"All it took was for us to realize
how much we love to play defense,"
Anderson said. "There was no one in
this tournament that loved to play
defense as much as we did."
The game was senior Michelle
Keeley's final match in Canham
Natatorium. She called lifting the
Eastern Championship plaque "the
greatest moment of her water polo
Dolphins go Long:
'M' tackle goes first
By IAN KAY him to spend the weekend in New
Daily Sports Writer York relaxing with friends and
NEW YORK - For former But the reality of being the No.
Michigan offensive tackle Jake 1 pick didn't set in until Roger
Long, Saturday's NFL draft held Goodell actually strutted to the
little suspense. podium and uttered one life-
But that certainly didn't leave changing sentence:
the day void of excitement. "With the first pick in the 2008
Fromthe momentNFL commis- NFL draft, the Miami Dolphins
sioner Roger Goodell introduced select Jake Long, senior, Michi-
him as the draft's first pick, Long gan."
sported a beaming smile beneath Long emerged from behind the
his aqua and coral Dolphins cap. curtain wearing a tan suit and
A business-like tone and mea- clutching an aqua No. 1 Miami
sured answers during his press jersey that appeared far too small
conference at Radio City Music for his 6-foot-7, 313-pound frame.
Hall couldn't hide Long's elation After shaking hands with the com-
for actually living out every college missioner, he moved to the front of
football star's greatest fantasy. the stage, proudly posing as thou-
"Even though I knew where I sands of flashbulbs erupted.
was going, I had my friends and At that moment - after a deco-
family in the back room with me," rated Michigan career that includ-
Long said. "It was emotional." ed two consensus All-America
His contract agreement with honors and the 2006 and 2007 Big
the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday Ten lineman-of-the-year awards
- which makes Long the highest - Long had finally made it.
paid offensive lineman in the NFL He is just the second Wolverine
and could yield as much as $57.75 to be selected first overall,
million over five years - allowed See DRAFT, Page 11