Night and Day Lead to Very Different Games for Syracuse Softball
By Tom Russo
CitrusTV Softball Reporter
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Syracuse (1-3, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) started the day with a beatdown at the hands of No. 4 Oklahoma (4-0, 0-0 Big XII), falling 9-1 in a run-rule shortened game. The nightcap, however, brought a change of fortune, as SU defeated Grand Canyon University (2-3, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference) 3-2 in extra innings.
The day was not kind to the Orange as the second meeting of the weekend between Syracuse and Oklahoma ended much like the first, except it only took five innings to get there.
Alexa Romero, the ace of the Syracuse pitching staff, walked the first batter she faced for a second consecutive start, and Oklahoma scored an unearned run three batters into the game. It was the eighth unearned run of the weekend given up by Syracuse.
For the second consecutive game, Romero failed to record an out in the third inning, as she was pulled after two. The junior gave up a moonshot of a home run to Raegan Rogers.
Only down 2-1 entering the bottom of the fourth, it would have seemed unbelievable the NCAA’s mercy rule would be invoked. But the fourth inning proved to be a nightmare for the Orange.
It started with a leadoff walk issued to Caleigh Clifton. The next seven Sooners picked up base hits, and Oklahoma scored six runs. Just when it looked as though Peyton Schnackenberg would finally end the inning, Jocelyn Alo delivered her third hit of the game, driving in the seventh OU run of the inning.
All in all, 12 Sooners went to the plate, picking up eight hits, seven runs, and the 9-1 lead proved final as the Orange went 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth.
However, Romero looked like a completely different pitcher in the nightcap against GCU, allowing only two runs in eight strong innings. The result was equally different for SU.
Alexis Kaiser got the scoring started for the Orange with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. The long ball was the first hit of Kaiser’s collegiate career.
Lilly Bishop provided the answer for GCU in the top of the second with a two-run single. The score would remained 2-2 for the rest of the contest, as Romero and Alexa Coons traded scoreless innings all the way into extras.
In the bottom of the eighth, Lailoni Mayfield laid down a sacrifice bunt, and Gabby Teran delivered the walk-off single up the middle to secure Syracuse’s first victory of the season.
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