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Rocking the Spring Sports

Most Michigan fans follow football in the fall and ice hockey (if you like watching a good team) or basketball (if you're a masochist) in the winter. Many spring sports don't seem to get the same attention that the other seasons do. It could be because there's no revenue sport or, more likely, a large part of their seasons are played after students leave campus for the summer.

Well, I've been in Ann Arbor the past two summers and have noticed that the spring sports have been ridiculously good the past two years. Women's track and field finished with a share of the Big Ten title last year and was runner up this year. The male runners won the title outright this year.

This year, women's tennis made it to the second round NCAA tournament, while the men made it to the Sweet Sixteen. Both teams improved upon somewhat breakout seasons the year before.

Then there is baseball and softball. Both teams last year made it to the super regionals and gave the teams they played hell. I remember watching baseball's first game against Oregon State in the Super Regional. Zach Putnam pitched a ridiculously good game. He only gave up one hit, but unfortunately that one hit brought in a run which was enough to earn Putnam the loss. It was one of the best baseball games I had seen.

As well as those teams did last year, the prospects are looking even better this year. One of the biggest reasons is the new Wilpon Baseball and Softball Palace Complex. Last year both teams played on the road in the Super Regional round. Michigan did not even put in a bid for either sport as the stands and press boxes were torn apart for the new construction. This year is different. Now Michigan has one of the nicer facilities, especially in the Midwest. Softball hosted and won its regional and will hope to do the same when it hopes the Super Regional this weekend. Baseball also has a very good chance of hosting it's Super Regional series if it made it out of the regional round.

The new Ray Fisher Stadium will be getting it's first test of a large baseball event when it hosts the Big Ten Tournament this weekend. In an e-mail from the media contact for baseball he said "With the new Press Box there is ample room, but I need to know who is coming so I can have Press Credentials waiting in your name." which is a drastic change from last year when the media room was a tent behind Yost.

If you are in the area, check out baseball and softball this weekend. The schedule for the Big Ten tournament isn't posted yet, but softball is set to play Virginia Tech at Noon this Saturday. Even if you're not in town, you can catch the softball team on ESPN and I assume BTN will cover the tournament.

It could be a special year for both of these teams. They deserve all the support they can get.

UPDATE: Details about ticket prices and availability for baseball are here. Similar details for the softball super regional tickets are here. Take-home points: Baseball is $7 per game. Softball is $5 for general admission bleachers or $7-$8 for the nice, new grandstand.

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“Rocking the Spring Sports”

  1. Anonymous a2matt Says:

    How much would tickets be for this weekend? I may be in Ann Arbor Friday and Saturday.

  2. Anonymous formerlyanonymous Says:

    actually the baseball tourney schedule was posted over the weekend.

    http://www.ncaa-baseball.com/tournies2008.htm

    I've seen a prettier pdf copy and will look for it. There's a couple previews for potential Michigan opponents on maizenbrew. We get the lowest seed to win on Wednesday

  3. Anonymous formerlyanonymous Says:

    http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/big10/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/bsb-51708.pdf