vs. Central Michigan
Today, 3 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
vs. Iowa (DH)
Friday, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10, 1991
.. _ . . . . . .y .. .
, Seniors provide
_.....___ the winning edge
by Ryan Herrington
Daily Sports Writer
As the innings rolled on Sunday
afternoon, there was always a sense
that the situation was under con-
It was only a matter of time be-
fore the Michigan softball team
would take command of its destiny.
The Wolverines were just waiting
for the right moment to strike.
What brought about this confi-
dence? Why wasn't this team ner-
vous in the championship game of
its own tournament, where anything
but first place would be considered
a poor performance?
The answer: senior presence.
Michigan is blessed with four
seniors who share the responsibility
of leadership and the experience of
college play. Last weekend, all four
helped propel the Wolverines to
first place in the NSK/Wolverine
Invitational. Their presence on the
field and in the dugout gave
Michigan the winning edge.
When asked about her seniors,
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
broke from her game face and
"The seniors are just outstand-
ing," Hutchins said. "They are one
of the finest classes in Michigan
history. I don't mean just in soft-
ball; I'm talking all sports. They
are one of the finest classes in all
Starter Andrea Nelson was hit
hard in Saturday's game, allowing
five runs in less than three innings
of work. Yet, Nelson brushed this
poor outing aside and took the
mound with confidence on Sunday.
She pitched five scoreless innings in
the victory which enabled the
Wolverines to advance to the cham-
No nerves. Just strikes. Nelson
was a presence on the mound.
Maria Heck is a reserve at first
base. While she does not always see
action in the field, she can always be
heard cheering from the dugout.
This type of contribution doesn't
show up in the boxscore, but is es-
sential to a team's success.
No regrets. Just enthusiasm.
Heck was a presence in the dugout.
Bonnie Tholl is a three-time All-
Big Ten shortstop. Her defense
alone provides stability to the in-
field. Yet, Tholl also bats in the
leadoff position and is responsible
for being Michigan's offensive cata-
Not to be outdono by her fellow
seniors, Tholl proceeded to go 7-for-
13 this weekend. None of her hits
were more important than the one in
the sixth inning of the champi-
onship game. With Michigan sorely
in need of a baserunner in a scoreless
ballgame, Tholl rose to the occasion
and looped a pitch for a base hit.
No excuses. Just results. Tholl
was a presence at shortstop.
Julie Cooper, second-team All
Big-Ten catcher in 1990, is probably
the Wolverines' best all-around
Cooper can also come through in
the clutch. She drove in a run with
two outs to send a game into extra-
innings on Saturday, and scored the
winning run in the championship
game. She threw out two runners in
the finale, hit three extra-base hits
over the weekend, and stole two
No doubts. Just confidence.
Cooper was a presence behind the
Without the presence of these
four seniors, who knows where the
Wolverines might be at this point in
the season. With this presence, who
knows where they might end up at
the end of the season.
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Mary Campana, who plays second base, covers first during a team
practice. The Wolverine hitters take on Western Michigan today.
Basketball signing day
leaves many questions
Spring signing day has arrived. Today, Detroit superpreps Chris Webber
and Jalen Rose will sign letters of intent to play basketball at Michigan.
A signature turns speculation into fact, but plenty of rumors still sur-
round the Wolverine program. While the recruiting of Webber, Rose,
Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, and Ray Jackson is official, Howard's aca-
demic status remains nebulous.
Howard has yet to earn an 18 on the ACT, one of
Jeff NCAA Proposition 48's requirements. The 6-foot-10
forward will reportedly take his third test Saturday in
However, if Howard fails to qualify in his remain-
ing attempts, he will be subject to Proposition 42,
which disallows him from receiving a scholarship for
the year Prop 48 would force him to sit out.
Michigan coach Steve Fisher could award this po-
tential scholarship to several players: to point guard
Corey Alexander upon his possible commitment to the
Wolverines; to UNLV guard Anderson Hunt, who has
considered transferring to Michigan; to junior Freddie
Hunter, who started at forward for the Wolverines
this past season; but not to Detroit-Southwestern
guard Voshon Lenard, who will commit to Minnesota
Alexander, who has met Prop 48 requirements, will announce his inten-
tions April 20. He remains interested in Virginia, Arizona, and Michigan.
Michigan's recruiting class, which most label the best ever, has report-
edly helped and hurt its chances of landing Alexander. The 6-foot-2
Virginia native allegedly favors the incoming Wolverine talent, but wants
to start as a rookie. However, sophomore Michael Talley will retain the
point guard spot for the Wolverines.
And because Hunt played prep ball at Southwestern, rumors that he
would transfer to Michigan have surfaced, based on Southwestern coach
Perry Watson's probable hiring as a Wolverine assistant.
However, Hunt has told reporters he would not leave UNLV as long as
Runnin' Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian remained in Las Vegas. In the un-
likely event that Tarkanian does leave, Hunt said he did not know whether
he would transfer or enter the NBA draft.
Other sources of scholarship funds include the possible departures of
forward Chris Seter and guard Tony Tolbert. Tolbert has denied leaving
Michigan, but many sources close to the team believe he may transfer to
Seter plans to remain with the Wolverines, unless his application to the
University's graduate business administration program is denied. He will
graduate in May, but possesses one more year of eligibility.
by Ken Davidoff
Daily Sports Writer
One of the most dangerous ten-
dencies a team can have is looking
too far ahead and not concentrating
on a matter at hand. It will be the
responsibility of Michigan softball
coach Carol Hutchins to make sur
her squad avoids that habit in to
day's doubleheader against Western
The Broncos (7-3 in the MAC,
14-4 overall) certainly merit the
Wolverines' respect, but they are a
non-conference opponent. This
weekend, Michigan (2-2 in the Big
Ten, 18-10 overall) hosts conference
favorite Iowa in an important
matchup. Hutchins stressed that tho
team will not be thinking of the
Hawkeyes while playing in
"We're a focused team, and it
won't be a problem focusing against
Western Michigan," she said. "We
can't worry about Iowa until we
Offense is the Broncos' forte.
The squad possesses a battin
average of .288. Senior outfield
Diane Branch holds a team-leading
..449 average, while senior Julie
Liljeberg, who patrols first base,
has driven in 12 runs. Junior Julie
Mix, a transfer from Lake Michigan
Community College, has chipped in
at an extraordinary .388 clip.
Heather Crowl, another Lake
Michigan CC transfer, anchors the
pitching staff with an 8-1 record an
a 0.93 earned run average. She was
recently named pitcher of the week
by the MAC, allowing only one
earned run in 21 innings.
The Wolverines are coming off a
successful weekend in which they
won their own tournament. Their
scheduled matchup Monday against
Eastern Michigan was postponed
due to rain. It will be made up on
April 24. Although the team is do*
ing well, Hutchins does not think
the rainout will kill any momen-
"We've been playing a lot lately,
so the rainout won't kill us. We
wanted to fill that date (April 24)
anyway," she said.
All of Michigan's three primary
pitchers - Julie Clarkson, Kelly
Forbis, and Andrea Nelson - ar'&
expected to see action. Clarkson'sW
team-leading ERA is down to 0.76,
and all three players are now tied
with six victories.
Catcher Julie Cooper's average is
up to .345, and she is tied with
shortstop Bonnie Tholl for the team
scoring lead with 17 runs.
Outfielder Patti Benedict has 12
runs batted in to pace the squad,
while Heather Lyke has notchec
nine stolen bases.
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