Syracuse Leaves Houston on a High Note
By Sam Lebowitz
CitrusTV Softball Beat Reporter
HOUSTON, TX – Syracuse (5-7, 0-0 ACC) wrapped up its five-game weekend set at the Houston Challenge with an extra-inning 3-2 win against No. 20 Texas Tech (10-5, 0-0 Big 12) on a great hustle play from Gabby Teran.
Catie Dobbs started in the circle for Syracuse and pitched well over four-and-a-third innings. Though she walked three batters, she only allowed just two hits and no runs. She gave way to Alexa Romero with one out in the fifth after catching a line drive directly at her.
Romero ran into trouble immediately once she entered. In the previous half inning, the Orange pushed across the first run of the game. With two outs, Alex Acevedo and Toni Martin singled to put runners at the corners, and Paris Woods slapped an infield single toward the shortstop to drive home the initial tally.
When Romero came into pitch, she gave up three straight Red Raider singles to knot the game even at a run each. The runners then advanced to second and third on a passed ball by Jude Padilla. The next batter, centerfielder and clean-up hitter Karli Hamilton, dropped down a sacrifice squeeze bunt to score the go-ahead run.
That’s where it stood until the sixth inning when Shannon Doepking opted to use Lailoni Mayfield as a pinch hitter for AJ Kaiser. Mayfield ripped a 1-2 offering from starter Erin Edmonson down the right field line for a game-tying home run.
Alexa Romero pitched just two-thirds of an inning before being relieved by Kaia Oliver in the sixth. Oliver worked in and out of trouble in both the sixth and seventh innings, stranding five runners on between the two frames. Oliver has made a habit of pitching out of jams in her relief outings so far this season.
With the Orange going down quietly in the seventh, it would take extra frames to decide this ballgame. Texas Tech started with a free runner at second base in the eighth, but she was promptly picked off on a line drive to Paris Woods for a clutch double play. From there, all the Orange had to do was convert their free runner into a winning run.
Gabby Teran started at second for Syracuse in their half of the eighth. Neli Casares-Maher, after her huge offensive day yesterday, was held hitless against the Red Raiders today. She was unable to advance Teran, grounding out to third base. The next batter, Rebecca Clyde, bounced one to the first baseman. Teran shocked the Texas Tech defense, racing around to score on the grounder all the way from second base to give Syracuse a clutch, come-from-behind, walk-off win.
The Orange leave the Houston Challenge on a high note despite the 2-3 weekend. They head to Tampa for the USF Tournament next weekend before ACC play begins the following weekend on March 6th.
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