Syracuse Softball Loses a Heartbreaker to Rutgers in Extra Innings
By Sam Lebowitz
CitrusTV Softball Beat Reporter
DURHAM, N.C. – Syracuse (2-2, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) and Rutgers (4-2, 0-0 Big Ten) opened their weekends in Durham at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge with an extra-inning score more befitting to a football game than a softball game.
There were a combined 28 hits between both teams in the 11-10 Rutgers victory. This included the deciding double that allowed the Scarlet Knights’ third baseman Payton Lincavage to score the winning run in the top of the ninth inning.
Neither Alexa Romero nor Kaia Oliver were particularly effective in the pitching circle for SU. Romero lasted just two-and-a-third innings, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks. She gave up a first-inning homer to catcher Katie Wingert, who would also homer against Oliver in the sixth to bump the Rutgers’ lead at that moment to 10-6. Oliver tossed the final six-and-two-thirds innings of the game, showing sharp command despite a cluttered stat line. Her one walk in this outing is her first free pass of the season.
Syracuse entered the bottom of that sixth inning needing to cut down a four-run deficit. Jamie Gregg’s two-run double, one of four hits for the centerfielder, preceded an RBI single for Neli Casares-Maher to make it 10-9. Casares-Maher was thrown out on the play advancing to second base, one of multiple examples of poor base-running for the Orange.
In the seventh, freshman Rebecca Clyde laced a line drive over Rutger’s right fielder’s head to score Toni Martin. But, just like in the previous inning, Syracuse ran themselves out of further scoring chances with the Scarlet Knights throwing out Clyde vying for a triple.
Clyde was fired up the entire game for Syracuse. She was constantly jumping around and screaming at her teammates during big moments. Plus, the New Jersey native was a source of energy with three hits including that tying tally.
Clyde once again came up to the plate in the ninth inning, this time as the potential winning run with pinch runner Miranda Hearn on first base in an 11-10 game. Clyde would rip a line drive right at shortstop Kiana Workman, who caught it and threw to first to double off a frozen Hearn. Gregg would follow by grounding out to end the game.
Syracuse plays a pair of games on Saturday, with a 10 a.m. matchup against Indiana followed by Rutgers again at 3 p.m.
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