Syracuse Softball Comes Home: Sights & Sounds

© Syracuse Athletics. Photo taken by Michael J. Okoniewski.
Wednesday, Apr 07, 2021 at 11:31 pm by Sports Editor

By Spencer Pierce

CitrusTV’s Softball Beat Reporter

703 days ago, Syracuse Softball lost to the Florida State Seminoles in five innings. The Orange then traveled to Tallahassee to play in the ACC tournament, where they eventually lost to NC State 4-3. 

The 2019-2020 offseason came and went, and the Orange geared up to have a great 2020. Then, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world and everything was turning upside down, including the SU softball season being canceled. Syracuse players sat at home for over a year without walking across the infield dirt for an official game.

That changed on Tuesday, the long wait for softball in Syracuse ended. The Orange (13-9, 6-6 Atlantic Coast) returned home to take on Buffalo in a doubleheader.

The Orange took care of business, winning both games, including a mercy-rule win in the second game. Alexa Romero posted 13 strikeouts in a complete game, 6-2 victory in game one. Next, Kaia Oliver impressed yet again in a 9-1 win in the second game, striking out eight batters without allowing a walk while going the distance. 

With all of those achievements and stats, that wasn’t the most important part of the day. That would be finally coming home.

These articles are meant to tell a story about the team, whether those are stats, scores, or any other softball story imaginable. Those are all options to write about, but I wanted to focus on the palpable energy at Skytop Softball Stadium on Tuesday.

Sitting at the two games on Tuesday, I felt happier than I have in a while. Sure, I was stressed, as I didn’t want to mess up recording the game or miss a pitch. It’s been a long time for everyone. It felt odd watching a softball game in person with no fans. I felt lucky. 

Fan noise is a lost art at sports. Some fans sat in left field, but other than that, just some reporters watched the game behind the plate. With this, every word the Orange bench said, sang, or yelled could be heard all throughout South Campus. 

SU filled the stadium with energy. The players improvised a new chant or song for every player on the team and for every situation. It was a sing-song type of day. Rebecca Clyde took the lead as one of the most vocal at the hot corner. With every pitch, she yelled “good pitch,” “find the zone,” and more encouraging saying to her pitchers. 

The players looked happy to be home. That energy carried over onto the field, as players in orange jerseys flew all over the place. Right fielder Angel Jasso made an unbelievable catch that even got onto SportsCenter’s top 10.

The Orange sit at 5th in the ACC and will most likely rise in the rankings after they face Boston College (6-19, 2-1 ACC) this weekend. After that series, they take on three of the top four ACC teams; Florida State, Clemson, and Virginia Tech. Though those series will take place at home, the Orange will need to keep the same energy they had on Tuesday in order to put up a fight. 

The Orange will return to Skytop Softball Stadium on April 16th. 

@swlpierce |