Syracuse Softball Breaks Even on Day One of the USF Tournament
By Sam Lebowitz
CitrusTV Softball Beat Reporter
Tampa, Fla. – Syracuse (6-8, 0-0 ACC) split its first-day doubleheader to open the USF Tournament. The Orange took on Rutgers (6-9, 0-0 Big Ten) in the opening matchup, looking for revenge against a Scarlet Knights team that beat them on consecutive days of Big Ten/ACC Challenge two weeks ago.
Gabby Teran took things into her own hands in this matchup. Teran went 2-for-3 against Rutgers after going just 3-for-16 in Houston last weekend. As the second batter of the game, she ripped her third home run of the season to begin the scoring. She also reached base three times in the contest and paced the Orange offense.
In the third, Neli Casares-Maher plated the second SU score with a single after Teran walked and stole second with two outs. Rutgers chased home their lone run of the game against Catie Dobbs in the bottom half, but that was all they could muster against her.
Dobbs proved stingy again for Syracuse after a pair of strong starting efforts last weekend. The freshman struck out six in a complete victory, allowing five hits, three walks, and just the one unearned run. It lowered her earned run average to a team-best 1.94 mark.
Syracuse scored three times in the fourth inning to push the game out of reach. Mia Cunnings doubled to start the frame, as part of a two-hit day for the freshman infielder. Toni Martin scored her with another double before Paris Woods added a double of her own to score Martin. Teran later drove home Woods with a single for her second RBI of the day and team-leading ninth.
The Orange tacked on an insurance run in the fifth inning and skated to a 6-1 victory over Rutgers.
In the second game, Syracuse tasked Kaia Oliver in taking down Texas A&M Corpus Christi (5-9, 0-0 Southland), but she did not last long.
The freshman right-hander tossed just two innings before being pulled. She walked four batters and gave up three hits, totally four runs against her ledger. A Sydney Hoyt two-run homer in the third was the final straw as Oliver could not retire a batter in that third before Alexa Romero replaced her.
Romero struggled in pitching the remainder of the game for Syracuse. The senior ace was inconsistent around the zone with five walks, striking out a season-high ten batters while also giving up five hits and three runs.
Syracuse cut the Islanders’ early 4-0 lead to just a skinny run with a three-run third. Jamie Gregg and Casares-Maher drove home the runs for the Orange. The RBI for Casares-Maher was her eighth of the year, trailing Teran by just one in that category.
However, the Orange bats were stumped against sophomore Jenika Lombrana. She allowed just two hits in a complete-game win. SU did not score again and barely threatened after putting up that crooked number in the third.
Syracuse will look to rebound tomorrow against the tournament-hosting USF Bulls. Action starts at 11:30 a.m.
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