SB : Kohl’s home run, Caira’s pitching give SU first-ever NCAA tournament win

first_imgLacey Kohl gripped her bat tightly as she waited in the on-deck circle. Kohl was fired up as she watched teammate Lisaira Daniels receive an intentional walk.The junior right fielder wanted to make Louisiana State regret its decision to pitch around Daniels to get to her. After striking out in her previous four at-bats, Kohl was determined to come through for her team.And she did. Kohl bombed a three-run home run to left-center field to break a scoreless tie in the 11th inning.‘Sai (Daniels) was on the ball all day today,’ Kohl said in a phone interview. ‘So it was a good decision by them, but then it was a bad decision because it gave me a little bit of fire and a little bit more spark.‘And the production of it was obviously very good.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKohl’s three-run shot was the difference in a game dominated by pitching. SU ace Jenna Caira outdid LSU’s Rachele Fico to lead Syracuse (45-11) to a 3-0 win over the Tigers (38-17) in the opening game of the College Station Regional. Both pitchers went the distance, but Fico blinked first when she gave up the home run to Kohl.The Orange advance to the winner’s bracket to face the host, No. 16 Texas A&M, who defeated Sacred Heart. SU and the Aggies play at 2 p.m. Saturday.For SU, the win is the program’s first in NCAA tournament history. But after the hard-fought game, head coach Leigh Ross said the historic achievement hadn’t dawned on her yet.After a quick exit following two losses at the tournament last year, Ross was just proud of how her team played.‘It’s unbelievable,’ Ross said. ‘When we’re out on that field, we look like we belong here. We look like we belong at this level of play.’The Orange rose to the occasion behind Caira, who picked up the slack for her struggling lineup. Caira gave up just five hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters in the circle to get the win.Caira worked out of some tough situations and kept the opposing hitters off balance throughout the game to hold LSU scoreless. In the fifth inning — with runners on second and third and one out — Caira struck out two straight batters to end the inning.But she also got some from her defense. With a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth, LSU just needed one hit to end the game. Slap hitter Tiffany Shaw hit a slow roller to second base, but SU second baseman Stephanie Watts scooped the ground ball and dove headfirst to beat Shaw to first base and end the inning.Caira said the whole team never gave up and seeing those hustle plays motivated her to work harder in the circle. Caira’s adrenaline was flowing the whole game, and she was excited to throw each inning.‘After we would get three outs or something, we were like, ‘OK, here we go again, let’s do it again. Come on, let’s stay with it,” Caira said. ‘So everybody had that positive mentality. No one was giving up.’SU could have lost that mentality in the ninth inning after wasting its best opportunity to score all game. Daniels singled and went all the way to third base after an error by the left fielder. But Kohl and Hallie Gibbs both struck out swinging to strand Daniels on third.Kohl ran out to right field and threw a handful of dirt to release her frustration.‘I was pissed for a second, and then I got over it,’ Kohl said. ‘So just making sure I got over it and knew I was going to get another chance to come through.’Her next chance came in the 11th inning after Daniels was granted a free pass. And as Fico and the LSU infield met in the circle, Ross and Kohl talked. Ross simply reminded Kohl she was a good hitter.Ross said she and associate head coach Wally King had a feeling Kohl would breakout with the big hit. Ross thought about putting on a squeeze bunt play to score Daniels in the ninth, but trusted Kohl to hit a fly ball to get the run.Kohl didn’t get the job done then. But Ross could tell Kohl was due when she returned to the plate in that 11th inning.‘The next time up to bat, you’re still thinking, ‘Lacey’s going to hit it out any second,” Ross said. ‘I mean it’s inevitable.’ Comments Published on May 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Disgraced US Olympics doctor Larry Nassar jailed for 175 years

first_imgFormer US Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years following testimony from over 150 women who accuse him of abuse.”I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days,” Nassar turned and told his victims in the courtroom.Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sexual assault against girls and young women, including Olympians.Judge Rosemarie Aqualina told Nassar during the sentencing he will “be in darkness the rest of his life”.”As much as it was my honour and privilege to hear the sister survivors, it was my honour and privilege to sentence you. Because, sir, you do not deserve to walk outside of a prison ever again,” she said.She added that she would not send her dogs to the former sports doctor, adding: “I’ve just signed your death warrant”. Following seven days of emotional testimony from Nassar’s alleged victims, he was given an opportunity to address his accusers in court.”What I am feeling pales in comparison to the pain, trauma, and emotional destruction that all of you are feeling,” he told the packed courtroom.”There are no words to describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred,” he added.A story of survivalRajini Vaidyanathan, BBC News, Lansing, MichiganSitting in court throughout seven day hearing, the stories have been strikingly similar – the former USA gymnastics team doctor would call the women in for treatment, but instead of taking away their pain, he stole their innocence. Some were so young they didn’t realise until years later that they had been sexually abused. As Larry Nassar sat in his prison overalls, just metres away from them survivor after survivor looked him in the eye and reminded him of what he’d done to them. And that’s been the most extraordinary thing about this hearing. While the content of their testimony has been harrowing, it’s also been inspiring.  For survivors of sexual abuse it’s hard to relive the experience, let alone do so in front of yourlast_img read more