Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
The Michigan Softball team won the final game of the Houston Hilton Invitational Tourney today. They beat the Ohio Bobcats 16-3 in the 6 inning mercy rule game. Game time temperature was 72 F.
Stephanie Speierman was in the circle today and pitched 5 innings, allowed 5 hits and 2 earned runs. She struck out 5 and walked 2. JT came in the final inning in relief.
The offense scored 16 runs on 9 hits but took advantage of 17 Bobcat walks and had only 5 Ks. Dorian Shaw led the way going 2 for 3 with 2 BB and 4 RBIs and scoring both times she reached base. Ashley Lane went 1 for 2 with 3 BB and 2 RBIs while scoring 2 runs.
For the young, five game season, the Lady Wolverines have a batting average of .377, with an OBP of .643. They have 38 BB and have 23 Ks. They outscored their opponents 59-11, with 2 mercy rule wins.
The pitching has been dominating with Sophmore Stephanie Speierman doing a great job as JT's back up. SS has an ERA of 2.18, gave up 9 BB and has 16Ks in 17 innings of work. JT has an ERA of 1.23, gave up 2 BB and has 19Ks in 16 innings of work.
SS seems to be a slow starter due to 9 BB. Typically a great pitcher will have 1 BB to every 2 Ks or better. I think Carol is doing a great job with the pitching rotation. She is allowing SS enough innings to master her pitches, while saving JT.
Next up for the ladies is the FAU Kickoff Classic next weekend in Bocca Raton Florida.. They play #47 Long Island, #70 Florida Atlantic, #64 Tulsa and #26 UMass.
With all the MGoBoard softball love, a shout out to another of the minor sports seems in order. After stumbling a bit out of the gate to a 2-2 start (both losses coming to top 4 teams), Michigan has scorched the California earth, amassing a 10-2 record, while playing unranked opposition only twice.
Tonight was an historic occasion for the Wolverines, as two players put their names into the Michigan record books. Senior Alison Mantel set the all time UM assists record, with 3 against Marist and 1 against Long Beach State. Sophomore goalie Alex Adamson, meanwhile, became the first-ever Michigan goalkeeper to backstop a complete-game shutout, as Michigan rolled Long Beach State, 6-0 (the 4 previous shotouts in UM history were combined efforts).
Tough opposition looms, as tomorrow Michigan is guaranteed to face two more top-ten opponents, including a possible rematch with #3 UCLA, who handed UM a tough 6-5 loss earlier in the year.
Water polo is a lot like softball, being a sport where the balance of power tilts heavily to California/West Coast teams, but Michigan is intent on cracking into the nation's elite. We've made several nice tourney runs, and have dominated Eastern water polo for some time. A national title is the next step, and it is only a matter of time!
The Michigan Softball team looks like they are in mid-season form taking 2 more games today at the Houston Invitational. They beat the Ohio Bobcats in the first game 6 - 0. Senior Jordan Taylor was in the circle for the first game. She took a perfect game into the 6th inning before giving up a couple of singles. She finished up with a complete game shut out. It was the 31st of her career. She has 8 Ks and 0 BB. Going long was Junior Amanda Chidester and freshman Caitlin Blanchard
In the second game, Sophmore Stephanie Speierman pitched just as well as Jordan. She had 8 Ks, 2 BB and gave up 3 hits for an 8 to 1 win. Sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane punched out her second grand slam of the weekend in the 6th inning of the SFA game.
It looks like Stephanie is a great #2 to Jordan. We should be in great shape. Also it seems like the youngsters are hitting the ball well to help out Shaw. Wwe have power for both pitchers and great bats up and down the lineup.
The Michigan Women's Softball team had a wonderful opening day yesterday by claiming 2 wins. The Wolverines won the first game against Southern Illinois 19-5 in a 5 inning mercy rule victory. Senior Jordan Taylor was in the circle for the Wolverines for her first win of the season. She struck out six batters and allowing five hits -- all in the third inning -- and two earned runs. The Michigan offense exploded for 19 runs off of 19 hits led by sophomore second baseman Ashley Lane's three hits.
In the second game against host Houston, Sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman made just her fourth collegiate start, allowing three hits and striking out three through four innings of work.Senior firstbaseman Dorian Shaw hit a three run homer in the third inning to lead the #11 ranked Wolverines.
We play again today at 10am EST against the Ohio Bobcats, and then against Stephen F. Austin in the second game at Noon EST in Houston.
We have a dominating team this year and should make it past the super regional this year. I think Hutch has the right mix again. So GO BLUE!!
Don't know if it's been on here, but I haven't seen it anywhere, and can't find it, but this was a pretty cool story from SI and the Super Bowl. We all know about Charles Woodson's halftime speech, but this is the first I've heard about his pregame speech:
It was a huge loss, not only because Capers had transformed Woodson from a Hall of Fame--caliber cover corner into a blitzing, run-support inside defender ("It's been refreshing for me," Woodson said in mid-January) but also because it's Woodson's voice that the Packers players hear. He was the last man to talk to the team before the Super Bowl, ditching a long-planned speech he'd written when Lloyd Carr, his coach at Michigan, texted him and said, "Remember, just win." That is what he told the Packers before the biggest game of their lives.Just win.
Pretty cool. The article and sidebars also cover his halftime breakdown telling the team "You know how much I want this", and all the changes to the defense Capers had to go through after Woodson and everyone went down.
Hey guys I’ve been meaning to write this since last weekend but I’ve been crushed by class work and an exam so here it is now, better late than never right? Also this time I had not one but two LSA students edit my work so if it still reads poorly it’s just the engineer in me shining through.
We had our third conference tournament of the year last Saturday at Warzone Paintgames in Sylvania Ohio. After our disappointing finish in tournament two we were pretty fired up for this one and had been practicing and prepping consistently since the second tournament.
That’s where it got a little hairy. Three weeks before the tournament, just when our practices were picking up in intensity, the Michigan Snake Player Hating God (the snake is the series of long low bunkers on one side of the field) struck Mark Leemon. It was our very first game of the practice and we were all fired up and excited. The referee started the game and we all snapped to and began laning (firing at a spot where the other team is likely to run through, hopefully hitting them and getting a quick elimination).
Just as I reached my bunker, I looked to my right thinking “good Mark got to the snake safely this should be an easy game.” Moments later, I look back and Mark hadn’t moved. He was lying still on the ground. I immediately ran over to see what happened, we yelled to stop the game and started trying to figure out what went wrong. As Mark lay writhing in pain some pretty bad thoughts ran through our heads “what happened?, did he break his arm or shoulder?” We got to work getting him up and heading out to the local hospital with another couple of our guys.
I really can’t say enough about how well the Warzone staff handled the situation. It certainly didn’t hurt that the owner, Jason, has been a firefighter and EMS member for years. News reached us later that he’d been diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder, and would be in a sling for a number of weeks. *cough* sissy *cough*
Needless to say, we lost our focus for that day and practice probably wasn’t as productive as it could have been. However, we got in some good drilling and started making adjustments to not having our normal snake player. Practice the next week was rather uneventful in comparison. Our team captain, Sean Thompson, decided that it would be best if he filled in for Mark in the snake, and he began working with his back player Jon Tillman to get adjusted. The rest of our line was pretty much set, and we had a good practice and began feeling more confident about the tournament.
The morning of the tournament everybody got up around 6:30 or so to get down to the field early, as the captains meeting was at 8:30 and games started at 9:00 sharp. Most of us got to the field and began setting up our gear for the day. It was getting close to 8:30, and we were getting anxious to check in, pick up our paint, and make final preparations.
But Taylor Rowell and his car hadn’t showed up yet. With only 20 minutes until the first match, they walked in the door, unfortunate victims of an Ann Arbor policeman’s speed trap. With everyone accounted for, and all lines checked in, we geared up for our first game against Ohio University.
The tournament layout
Tournament structure and scoring in the National Collegiate Paintball Association is pretty complicated but here is a rough rundown. The tournaments are setup so that there are preliminaries, semi-finals and finals. Seeding for semi-finals and finals is based on winning matches (a best of three series of 5 minute games). If you win 2 games against the same team you’ve won that match and get the point. The team with the most points is seeded first and so on.
For our tournament there were 8 teams so the top 4 teams from preliminaries go to Semi-finals and then the top 2 out of semis play for the championship. Individual game scoring doesn’t matter that much and, honestly, is pretty difficult to understand. So I’m not going to get into it here; suffice it to say, if you eliminate the other team and take the flag to their starting box you win. The only important rule is if you are found to have been hit in the game before you hang the flag it’s called a dirty hang and the point for that game goes to the opposing team.
We won our first game of the day, but it wasn’t exactly in the most convincing fashion. We were all eliminated, but we won the point because Ohio University had a dirty flag hang. Our second game was against Northern Illinois University; we found our stride and ended up winning the point quickly, only losing two players to eliminations.
Our third game against Indiana University-Purdue University (We're from University!) at Indianapolis (by the way who in the hell came up with that name? I-Whip-Ee anyone?). The game ended up in a draw due to the Charles Woodsonesque skill from Jon having to face 3 guys by himself. He ended up shooting out 2 and was gunfighting with the third as time expired.
I believe it was in that game when the Michigan Snake Player Hating God struck again. Our Captain and fill-in snake player, Sean, got injured sliding into the snake. This resulted in a massive change to our overall strategy, forcing Taylor and Sean to switch roles. We lost our next game to Western Michigan in a bad way, losing three guys off break and only eliminating one of their players. This point ended the first round of preliminaries.
Next we defeated Ohio University again, ending that series with a victory for us giving us 1 match point so far. We then played NIU again and lost. Now we would go to a third game tie-break for the point.
Our second game against I-Whip-Ee was an outstanding success with only Sean getting shot out. We then lost to Western Michigan giving them the win in that match. So went the second round.
The tournament was getting tight at this point as we needed to win the next two matches to ensure we would advance to semi-finals. We faced NIU first and soundly beat them and then came the critical match against I-Whip-Ee. If we won we were in and the same for them. A solid performance gave us the win moving us into the semi-finals.
Winning the two matches against NIU and I-Whip-Ee put us tied with 3 other teams for first place going into semi-finals but we were the lowest seeded of the three based on the tiebreaking system. The four teams that advanced to semi-finals were Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Ohio University and us.
We played Ohio University in the semis and lost our first match convincingly, losing players off break and failing to deal with it effectively. After seeing their breakout plan, we made adjustments to our plan. We switched where people were shooting off the break, giving us the key kill we needed to break the game open early. The resulting win forced a Game 3 to decide who would advance to play for first.
The game started well with all of us making it to our bunkers alive and getting a quick kill. As the game progressed it eventually got down to Jon and myself against their last guy in the snake. This should have been an easy win, but I failed to swing wide around the field and run him down and he eventually shot out Jon. I eventually lost the one-on-one, meaning we would play for fourth place.
The terrible part is that one of our other players was filming and got video of the OU player getting hit in the leg by Jon and not calling himself out. Now he may not have realized he was hit, and the referees didn’t either. The referees considered the hit old when he was checked for hits as he was hanging the flag. I don’t put any of the blame on the referees or the player for losing that game, it was my fault for not acting aggressively enough to finish the game and knowing that I could have had us playing for first place hurt bad.
We played Central Michigan for third place in the finals and didn’t play focused or as a team. They defeated us in consecutive games and I don’t think they even lost a player. Western then defeated Ohio University for first place so at least the trophy stayed in the State of Michigan. We failed to get hardware for the second straight tournament and were pretty disappointed with ourselves.
Overall though it was a great day of play and the competition was fierce all day, there was also great camaraderie between all the college teams and even though we lost it was still great to play. I’d like to thank Warzone again for running such a great tournament for us; everything was run quick and efficiently with no major issues.
Our second line started strong, winning two of their first three games, but then managed to win only 2 more of their following 9 games. Overall they had a good performance with big improvements coming from many of the players. They won one point and dropped three, giving them a sixth place finish, quite good considering they hadn’t practiced with their entire line ever.
In other news we have decided to play a national-level paintball tournament as our big end of the year trip. We’re going to California to play in the National Professional Paintball League’s Huntington Beach event on April 1-3. We’re sending one line to compete in the Division-4 5 man bracket, which is for teams like us that don’t compete in anything but lower level tournaments.
Seven guys will be flying out on March 31, and we got lucky enough that one of the guys has family out there so we can forgo staying in a hotel. We’re beginning training for HB both physically and mentally, and we’re practicing with other teams going to HB so that we are as ready as we can be. I’ll be posting updates on how our practices are going for the next 9 weeks until HB.
The layout from Huntington Beach last year
If you read it all I applaud you I'll try to keep it shorter in the future.