Syracuse Softball Comes Out On Top In Season Opener
By Spencer Pierce
CitrusTV’s Softball Beat Reporter
After a 20 game season last year, the Syracuse Softball team is back in business after defeating Notre Dame on Friday night, 3-2. It was nowhere near a perfect game for the Orange, however there was plenty of rust to shake off for Shannon Doepking’s squad.
That was apparent in the first play of the game, as a throwing error from shortstop Neli Casares-Maher immediately put a runner on. Geana Torres, catcher, had other plans, though, as she threw that same runner out while attempting to steal 2nd base. The rest of the 1st inning would go on with no further problems for the Orange.
Another area that provided difficulty for the Orange was their bats. Senior Lailoni Mayfield notched the first hit of the young season in the bottom of the 4th inning, lining one to the left side. This is where the game changed for the Orange. With two runners on (Mayfield and Jamie Gregg), Toni Martin blasted one out of the stadium to give the Orange a 3-0 lead. The Orange, after going hitless for 3 innings, went into the 5th inning with all the momentum.
The 5th inning was a quiet one for both teams, but the 6th is where the game changed its course. The Fighting Irish started to rally with two outs against Syracuse’s ace, Alexa Romero. With two runners on, Leea Hanks of Notre Dame mashed a ball for a two run double. That would be the end of Romero’s night, as Kaia Oliver would come in to relieve her and eventually get SU out of the inning.
In the top of the 7th, Notre Dame had no answers for Oliver, going down in order and ending the game. Though it wasn’t pretty, the Orange showed their grit and were able to muscle out a win to start off their season 1-0.
Alexa Romero, who at this point is just adding on to a historic career, held the Fighting Irish to a .130 batting average. She finished with 5.2 innings pitched, three hits allowed, two earned runs, 4 walks, no strikeouts and a win. As for Oliver, she grabs the first save of the season after allowing no hits and just one walk.
Weather permitting, the Orange will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in a double header tomorrow, starting at 11 a.m.
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