Orange Splits Opening Day
By Sam Rothman
Syracuse Softball opened its 2018 season Friday at the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana taking on UT Arlington and UMass. The Orange had won seven straight season openers before its matchup against the Mavericks, but its streak was snapped as Syracuse failed to score a run in a 1-0 shutout loss to UT Arlington in the first game.
Senior Sammy Fernandez opened the game with a single to left field. After attempting to steal third base, she was caught stealing for the third out of the inning. And Syracuse remained unable to score.
In the second inning, Laura Curry scored the first and only run of the game to get the Mavericks on the board. After stealing second base, she ran home off of Cy’Andria Newton’s RBI double to give her team the 1-0 advantage.
Syracuse’s best chance in the game came in the third inning after Lailoni Mayfield, Sammy Hernandez and Bryce Holmgren all recorded singles. However with bases loaded, the Orange could not convert.
Senior AnnaMarie Gatti started in the circle for the Orange and earned five strikeouts in the contest before freshman Miranda Hearn took the mound. Hearn had a solid performance in her collegiate season debut, striking out the first batter she faced while wearing the Orange uniform for the first time.
Despite outhitting the Mavericks 9-4, the Orange could not get on the board and UT Arlington came away with the shutout.
After struggling offensively in the first matchup, Syracuse came out in its second contest against UMass as a completely different team. Sophomore pitcher Alexa Romero led the charge for the Orange and recorded 11 strikeouts in her first shutout of the season.
Syracuse didn’t score a run through seven innings against UT Arlington, but recorded a run right out of the gate against UMass. Sammy Fernandez scored off of Neli Casares-Maher’s RBI to give her team the 1-0 advantage in the first inning. The Orange added to its lead in the second inning as Alicia Hansen hit an RBI single and Hannah Dossett scored.
The Orange offense heated up in the sixth inning as Jessica Heese ran home off of Sammy Fernandez’s RBI double. Fernandez continued her strong performance and scored her second run of the game on the following play to close the inning and gave Syracuse the 4-0 lead, which would be the final.
Syracuse continues its play in the Tiger Classic tomorrow against Southern Mississippi and No. 8 ranked LSU.