"Jim's a tough guy and you can see his personality is all over this football team," Fitzgerald said.
Michigan softball concluded fall exhibition play last night with a trip to East Lansing. In their first fall match-up, MSU scored the only 2 runs Michigan had given up in fall play, and the Wolverines' defense was not about to let that happen again, especially with recently-graduate star pticher Haylie Wagner watching from the stands! All three pitchers (Blanco, Driesenga, and Betsa) saw action, and they combined for a complete-game shut-out.
On offense, today was a chance for the young guns to try their hand at college ball. Freshmen Sobczak, Alexander, Peters, and Canfield all got starts, and the inclusion of Falk & Blanco as well made it a majority-underclassmen line-up. Birthday-girl Kelsey Susalla was the lone senior in the order, and she was without doubt the star of the day. She hit an RBI single in the 1st, a solo HR in the 3rd, and another RBI single in the 7th, going 3-3 with 3 RBI on the day.
The offense as a whole did not completely break out until the 7th, when Michigan plated 4 runs to open up and 8-0 lead, but with the quality of Michigan's pitching, the outcome was never in doubt. It appears from the twitter feed that a few substitutions were made along the way, not all of which were necessarily mentioned (Swearingen got in the action somewhere along the line).
One item of interest is Abby Ramirez playing the lead-off role. Bonnie Tholl talked about this as a possibility on WTKA recently, and it's definitely something the coaches are going to play around with. Last season, Ramirez hit in the 9-spot and did an excellent job turning over the line-up with a .446 OBP on the strength of slap-hitting and speed. The coaches seem to think she's ready to shoulder a little more of the load & a little more of the spotlight this season. At the end of the day her role will be similar to last year - setting the table for the murderers' row of power hitters Michigan can send to the plate.
The only sad news on the night is the fact that we have no new softball content coming until 2016! Thankfully, Harbaugh has our full attention at the moment, and the winter sports are just about to get underway, so we should be able to make it to spring. Even a snow-lover like myself, however, will be eagerly awaiting the warming temperatures that signal a new season of Michigan softball!
Any other MGoBloggers here who were in Prof. Buning's Aerospace Engineering Senior Space Design in 1986? Because I want someone else to confirm I'm not insane: the interplanetary spacecraft in "The Martian" sure looked a LOT like the craft we designed in that class.
In that class, UM had a $25K grant from NASA to design a "castle" -- a ship in a long (26 month) solar orbit that regularly passes Earth and Mars. The idea is, if you want to go from Mars to Earth, or Earth to Mars, on a regular basis, you don't need to build a separate ship for each trip. You build this one ship (the castle), that orbits the sun and regularly intersects the two planets. Then you only need to build "taxis" that hop from the planet onto the castle, travels through space, and hops off at the other planet. So as the castle orbits the sun for 10 to 20 years, it can support multiple E:M or M:E trips (the "up/down" or "down/up" voyages).
Our ship, called Project CAMELOT* (dang my memory is good on this), had a particular layout. We even built a 10-foot model of it. Had an rotating ring for "artificial gravity," a non-rotating boom, etc. We did a written report on it and I assume it's been collecting dust in NASA archives since then.
(* CAMELOT stood for "Circulating Autonomous Mars-Earth Luxury Orbital Transport." Yes, we came up with the acrynym first and then filled in the words afterwards ,just like Marvel did with S.H.I.E.L.D. And we debated the "L" for a while before settling on Luxury, because nothing else seemed appropriate.)
Fast forward to 2015. Matt Damon's movie "The Martian" comes out. Highly recommend you see it, way way better than "Interstellar." Anyway, it involves the "Hermes," a spacecraft going between Earth and Mars. And wow... the layout of the Hermes looks an awful lot like our UM project design. Certainly not identical but 80% overlap, at least.
Now, it could be, form follows function, so two groups independently thinking of this would come up with the same design. But there have been plenty of other interplanetary spacecraft in movies, and none look much like Project CAMELOT or Hermes. (The ship in "2010" comes to mind as involving a rotating section.) The producers of the movies were said to have had lots of help from NASA in the film; that's pretty obvious as you watch it.
One wonders if they found the UM report from 1986 and thought, hmm, there's the general idea for what this kind of ship would look like. And the creative movieminds took it from there....
And one more connection. HARBAUGH was our starting quarterback that year. HMMM. Coincidence?
Jason Whitlock has been canned by ESPN for a second (and supposedly final) time. The thinking is that he'll land soon at Fox Sports 1.
People forget that he got his start at the Ann Arbor News. I'm not a fan of Whitlock, and it mostly has to do with the fact that I partially blame him for bringing us Hoke. Back when we got rid of RichRod and were looking for a new coach, Whitlock wrote a column touting the merits of his fellow Ball State alum Hoke, telling us he was going to be the greatest thing since Bear Bryant.
I think Whitlock's shilling for Hoke gave Brandon an extra layer of protection from the people who were saying it was a bad hire.
Site: College Park, Md. (Ludwig Field)
Score: Michigan 1, Maryland 0
Records: U-M (8-4, 3-1 Big Ten), UMD (5-7, 0-4 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Oct. 4 -- at Rutgers (Piscataway, N.J.), 1 p.m.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Freshman Abby Kastroll scored the game's only goal in the 36th minute, and the Wolverine defense held their fifth opponent scoreless, as the University of Michigan women's soccer team earned a 1-0 shutout victory over Maryland on Thursday (Oct. 1) at Ludwig Field. Behind Hinz's second shutout of the season, the Maize and Blue improved to 8-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten action.
Source: Mgoblue.com, 10/1/2015, Whitney Dixon
Michigan is the greatest school, and it is in the greatest state. Besides our beloved football team there is so much to do during the fall. For the hunters on mgoblog, today was the bow opener for deer. Up north it is absolutely crystal clear, 33 degrees. No deer for me this morning, though the coyotes were nearby and a squirrel nearly sat on my head as I sat in my tree stand. It is also grouse, goose and duck season.
For those who prefer beauty without weapons, salmon season is here, fall colors soon, and apple cider all on our door step.
Rejoice because it is football season and our team is on a powerful ascendency, but rejoice too because fall in Michigan is unmatched anywhere. Share your fall traditions, and Go blue!
Reminder: FREE Michigan softball game tonight (WED) at 6PM against MSU. Also, I made a website previewing next season's team.
The game is at Alumni Field and admission is free.
Link to the website is below. I wanted to post it before the game tonight with enough notice that people could get there on time, so it's a bit rushed, but should work fine and hopefully you'll get the gist (if it doesn't, try Chrome/Chromium). Works better on a desktop monitor.