Monday, May 7, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, May 7, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page IA
Biondi and O'Neill. The two out-
fielders each had three hits and
two RBIs. The duo played a pivotal
role in the six-run inning, as they
each knocked in runs. Biondi also
recorded three stolen bases in the
Sophomore right-hander Alex
Lakatos pitched well in his first
start of the season. In six innings of
work, Lakatos allowed four hits and
two earned runs while fanning four
OnFriday night, senior right-
hander Brandon Sinnery turned in
a dominating performance, throw-
ing a complete-game shutout - his
first of the season and second of his
career. Mixing his pitches, he kept
the Hawkeyes (7-11, 19-24) off-bal-
ance all game, limiting them to six
hits. He retired nine straight bat-
ters between the fourth and sixth
innings. The only moment when
Sinnery's shutout appeared to be
in jeopardy was near the end of the
game. Iowa's shortstop Kasey Car-
liog led off the ninth inning with
a walk, which was followed by left
fielder Phil Keppler's lone single of
the contest. After retiring the next
two batters, he allowed another
Hawkeye to reach base on a fielder's
choice, loading the bases. Display-
ing a calm demeanor on the mound,
Sinnery struck out catcher Dan
Sheppard to end the game. He fin-
ished with eight strikeouts, while
walking just one batter.
"Brandon Sinnery was outstand-
ing," Maloney said. "That game was
just one of those games where just
On offense, O'Neill and senior
catcher Coley Crank led the Wol-
verines. O'Neill, who missed the
last15games due to aleft-hand inju-
ry, seemed to be the spark plug that
Michigan hadbeen missing overthe
past month. He singled in his first
at-bat, stole second base and gave
the Wolverines their first run when
he scored on first baseman Brett
"The first at-bat was the biggest
at-bat for me," O'Neill said. "I told
everyone that I talked to that the
first at-bat - it felt like it was open-
ing night again. I had some jitters
and I just wanted to get that hit out
of the way."
In his first game in a month, the
right-fielder went 3-for-5, scoring
three runs and driving in another.
Crank, who has been ripping the
cover off the ball, went 3-for-3 with
two home runs and five RBIs.
"We didn't get the sweep that
we were hoping for, but it took a lot
of pressure off of us and we played
really well," O'Neill said.
Wolverines rebound in sweep of Wisconsin
By COLLEEN THOMAS
Daily Sports Writer
Just like Journey, the Michigan
softball team won't stop believing.
"To be our best, we need to
believe," said Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins. "If you always believe
you can win
the game, you MICHIGAN 5
got to always WISCONSIN 1
yourself and MICHIGAN 7
your team- WISCONSIN 5
mates, (and) I
thought this weekend we made a lot
of great strides in believing in each
other. I thought it was a great week-
end for us."
Despite Sunday's game cancella-
tion due to rain, that great weekend
for Hutchins included a sweep of
Wisconsin (12-8 BigTen, 33-17over-
all) - winning the doubleheader,
5-1, 7-5 - a grand slam, and a 4-for-
5 performance from her senior star
The 23rd-ranked Wolverines
(15-5, 36-15) certainly needed the
wins to stay atop the Big Ten stand-
ings after they dropped four of the
past six games to mediocre confer-
ence opponents. With the two wins,
Michigan now owns a two-and-
a-half game lead on Iowa heading
into the final Big Ten series against
A lack of offensive production
had plagued the Wolverines in their
past series, but the squad had little
trouble at the plate this weekend.
Michigan tallied just five hits in the
first contest, but bounced back the
second game and put the ball in play
The one hit that stood out for
the Wolverines, though, came from
junior second baseman Ashley Lane
in the firstgame.
With an early 1-0 lead stemming
from an RBI single from Chidester,
Michigan loaded the bases with one
out. Lane stepped up to the plate,
prepared to work her at-bat and
knock in a run or two. Recognizing
the difference between Wiscon-
sin sophomore pitcher Cassandra
Darrah's fastballs and change-ups,
Lane patiently waited for the right
Then she ripped one out of the
Lane's grand slam was the third
of the season for the Wolverines,
and the five-run third inningproved
to be the game-winner for the team.
Though Hutchins was certainly
pleased with Lane's headlining
effort, she knows it takes more than
one player to produce results.
"We kept getting on base,"
Hutchins said. "We put pressure on
their pitching and pressure defen-
sively and, of course, Ashley got the
big hit by putting it over the fence.
"Our kids have been working
hard and I give them credit for that.
They had some ups and downs, but
bottom line is hitting is a tough
thing to do so you just got to work
through the mental game with it
and tryto stay positive."
Saturday's second game featured
much more offense, as Michigan
connected bat with ball 14 times
while its first three batters - senior
center fielder Bree Evans, sopho-
more left-fielder Nicole Sapping-
field and Chidester - contributed
10 of the 14 hits in the game.
The Wolverines got an early 2-0
lead in the first inning on an error
and an RBI single from freshman
designated player Haylie Wagner.
The Badgers responded with a four-
run third inning, but Michigan tal-
lied a single run in both the fourth
and fifth innings, and two more in
the seventh to give the Wolverines
the permanent lead.
And it's not just Michigan's
offense that's carrying the team.
In the circle, Wagner picked
up her 26th and 27th wins of the
season, completing the full seven
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innings in game one and pitching
4.2 innings in relief in the second
Wagner has been the ace for
Michigan all season and currently
leads the Big Ten in wins, ERA and
runs allowed. Her stellar perfor-
mance this weekend comes at no
surprise, but Hutchins believes she
can still improve.
"Haley has done a fantastic job
for us and more than anything we
want her to trust (pitching coach
Jennifer Brundadge) and the pitch
calls," Hutchins said. "Trust her-
self, do the best she can (and)
not put more on herself than she
With both the offense and pitch-
ing finally in sync, the Wolverines
will head into the final week of the
regular season on a high.
"For us to have success we
need everybody to do their part,"
Hutchins said. "We need the
offense to produce some runs, we
need our defense to pick the ball up
and if we can get people doing their
part like you saw yesterday, we can
see good results."
But for now, Hutchins just wants
the team to believe.
Syque Caesar heads to Summer Olympics
By LIZ NAGLE you find out you received an invita-
Daily Sports Writer tion to represent Bangladesh in the
Michigan men's gymnast Syque Syque Caesar: Well, I received
Caesar, preparing for the 2012 Lon- confirmation via e-mail that I got
don Summer Olympic Games, will from the Bangladesh Olympic Asso-
represent Bangladesh on an invi- ciation basically confirming that
tation after winning the country's I've been selected by the Interna-
first gold medal in international tional Olympic Committee in Lon-
history. don to represent Bangladesh in the
At the fourth Central South Olympics. Before that, there had
Asian Artistic Gymnastics Champi- been a lot of positive signs that I
onships, Caesar stood on the podi- was going to go, like there was lots
um for three events - he took the of paperwork, and I also had to fill
parallel bars crown with a score of out an eligibility conditions form.
14.60, claimed silver on vault (14.25) So there were a bunch of positive
and bronze on floor (13.525) - earn- signs that hadn't been confirmed
ing him the bronze medal in the all- until I received that e-mail.
around competition. TMD: Now that you've begun
Before heading to London, Cae- preparing for the biggest meet of
sar talked to The Michigan Daily your career, what is your training
about his Olympic berth. regiment like?
The Michigan Daily: How did SC: It's pretty intense right now.
I'm coming off a (bicep) injury and
it's just pretty hectic. As of right
now, Mondays and Wednesdays we
have two-a-days practices, so we
work out in the morning from 9:00
to 10:00. Then I alsogoto the weight
room Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays from 10:00 to 11:00. Then
right after that, Monday through
Friday, I have to go to the training
room and do rehab and therapy on
my arm, my bicep and shoulder, and
so that usually takes an hour or an
hour and a half. Basically by the
time I'm done with that, I have to
go straight back to the gym at 1:00
p.m. and do an afternoon workout,
which takes anywhere from two to
four hours. So it's basically about
nonstop from 9:00 a.m. to4:00 p.m.
TMD: Were you or your parents
born or raised in Bangladesh? What
kind of personal connection do you
have to the country?
SC: Both my parents and my
older sister were born in Bangla-
desh, and Iand my younger brother
were born in Florida. My dad, he is
a permanent citizen of the United
States on a green card and my mom
has a U.S. citizenship. So through
my father, I was able to get dual
citizenship, being a U.S. citizen and
a Bangladesh citizen. So through
him, I was able to get the ball roll-
ing, and that took around a year and
a half to two year process just to get
dual citizenship, and I started doing
that back in 2010.
TMD: You didn't get the chance
to compete much this season due to
your recent injury, (so) do you feel
prepared for something as big as the
SC: I think the biggest boost of
confidence and the best thing that
made my gymnastics even better
was competing at the World Cham-
pionships and competing at the
South Central Asian Gymnastics
Championships back in December
- those two meets alone definitely
changed my attitude and behavior
in how I compete and how I train.
(In December), I found some suc-
cess and won some medals and it's
definitely helped me become a bet-
ter gymnast and I became more
confident. ... I'm hoping to build off
of that in a lot of mock meet prepa-
ration - we'll put it ina competition
format and competition setting and
try to emulate as much as you can.
But the biggest thing in my mind is
(that) I'm going to go compete out
there like it's just another meet. If
I compete out there and think, "oh
man, it's the Olympics," then the
nerves will probably get to me.