Syracuse Softball Buried in Series Finale
By Anthony Vasquez | @Ant_Vasquez3
Citrus TV Softball Beat Reporter
BLACKSBURG, V.A. – Syracuse Softball was thrashed and tossed around throughout an ugly 6-1 loss in the finale of a three game set in Blacksburg.
Virginia Tech’s all-american pitcher Keely Rochard punished the Orange once again enroute to a dominant complete game that saw her strike out 17 of the 26 hitters she faced.
Meanwhile inside Syracuse’s circle, the results were more of the same. Ariana Adams was tabbed as the starter and pitched well early but it was clear the Hokies were starting to make adjustments on her.
A rough fourth inning proved just that as she was slammed for a solo homer to the power alley in left. Catcher Mackenzie Lawler tacked on another homer in the fourth forcing Shannon Deopking to yank her struggling hurler.
Lindsey Hendrix managed to finish the fourth and pitch a clean fifth before she surrendered a three-run homer by Bre Peck that essentially sealed Syracuse’s fate.
For the third time this weekend, the lineup was rendered useless by a Hokie hurler. Rochard shut down ‘Cuse Friday night and was on her game yet again Sunday. The 17 batters she sent back to the dugout were outmatched while the hitters who managed to put balls in play weren’t very effective.
Kelly Breen was the only bright spot today with her seventh inning solo shot but she also struck out in her other two at-bats.
Jasso and catcher Laila Alves were the only other players to get on base. Rochard didn’t give up any walks of extra base hits.
There’s really not much to say outside of the fact that this was likely going to be a rough series to start. The Hokies came into this game ranked sixth in the country and boy did they look like it this weekend.
Virginia Tech improves to 6-0 in the ACC while S.U. falls to 1-5. If it wasn’t for some easy non-conference games, this squad would be treading water as an under .500 team.
Thankfully, the Orange get time off from the relentless travel south by heading north to Maryland where a doubleheader against Maryland Eastern Shore awaits Tuesday afternoon.
That game plus another twin billing against Coppin State represent winnable games on the ‘Cuse’s slate before ACC play resumes with March 25th against Georgia Tech.
Until then, Syracuse is going to have to gather themselves fast or this season is going to tumble out of control as even tougher opponents wait in the shadows.
19 games into the season, it looks like the book is out on Dopeking’s squad. The hitting is going to remain an issue while the pitching staff struggles to make it through the opposing order twice.
If S.U. isn’t able to win at least three of the midweek games, it may be time to push the panic button.