WEEK END THOUGHTS

     Michigan's softball team might have been watching the Big Ten Network Friday afternoon-- and seething inside.  The nationally ranked Wolverines lost 2-1 to Michigan State on Thursday in Evanston, Illinois, in the Big Ten Tournament.  It was a monumental upset.  In Friday's semi-finals, the Spartans were clobbered by Iowa, ending their season with a 27-29 record.  The Spartans had two lopsided losses to the Wolverines in the regular season, but had what it took in the Big Ten Tournament.  Michigan will make the NCAA tournament but the loss to the Spartans had to be a bitter moment in an otherwise terrific season.

     Keith Nichol was supposed to be Michigan State's quarterback of the future.  He'd verbally committed to the Spartans his junior year at Lowell.  Then John L. Smith got fired and Nichol got confused.  At the last moment he decided to visit Oklahoma and eventually signed with coach Bob Stoops over then new MSU coach Mark Dantonio.  At Oklahoma, Sam Bradford was entering his redshirt freshman year and he was sensational.  He led Oklahoma to the Fiesta Bowl last season.  Nichol barely played.  Everyone figured he'd transfer.  Friday he finally announced he would leave Oklahoma after going through spring practice.  He does not know where he'll end up but his days as a Sooner are over.  He likely will not end up at Michigan State.

     Baseball players can only wish they had a day Thursday like Grand Ledge High School junior centerfielder Tony Wieber had in a doubleheader against East Lansing.  Wieber went four for four in the first game with two singles, a three run homer and a grand slam home run-- 9 RBI's in his team's 14-0 win.  In game two he slacked off-- two for three with a double and another grand slam-- six more RBI's in his team's 8-1 win.  Wieber had 15 of his team's 22 RBI's.  Grand Ledge's two wins improved the Comets' record to 21-1.

     Pick up a copy of USA Week end in Sunday's Lansing State Journal.  There is a story about the ten most caring coaches in the country.  Kristin Stahley, a 27-year old Lansing swim coach who is battling cancer, is featured.

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