Syracuse Softball Off To Rocky Start
By Spencer Pierce
CitrusTV’s Softball Beat Reporter
It was an eventful week for the Syracuse Orange softball team to say the least.
The Orange were faced with adversity as their first two games of the season against Notre Dame were canceled due to weather. The irony is that the series was taking place in North Carolina to get away from the Syracuse weather.
All but one of the Orange bats were still asleep from last March when the season ended. That bat belongs to Toni Martin. Martin currently leads the team in batting average, OPS, hits, RBI, and total bases.
She got off to a hot start against Notre Dame, smashing a 3-run home run, which would account for all of the Orange runs that game. The next game against North Carolina, she hit a solo home run and had a sacrifice fly.
Martin accounted for the first five runs of the season. The Orange have only accumulated eight runs all season. Let that sink in.
The Orange are evidently struggling at the plate. They’ve won two games, and they’ve lost two. That may not sound too bad, but there is a concerning trend with the Orange. This team rarely gets insurance runs.
There are two instances this season where insurance runs would have helped the team out.
The first took place in the first game of a doubleheader vs UNC. Toni Martin got the Orange off on the right foot, putting the team up 1-0 in the 1st inning. Martin then added on in the 6th inning with a solo home run. That wasn’t enough. UNC scored in the bottom of the 7th inning and tied the game. The Orange ultimately won that game, but one extra run earlier in the game could have made that situation avoidable.
The second time the Orange could have desperately used some insurance was also against UNC. The Orange scored two runs in the top of the second, then didn’t get on the board for the rest of the game, losing 4-2. They had two hits that entire game.
This team already has games with 8, 10, and 12 strikeouts. It is nearly impossible to win games with that type of (or lack of) production.
As for the defensive side of the ball, the Orange have not looked terrible, however, star pitcher Alexa Romero has not looked like herself. The senior, who ranks 6th among Division 1 seniors with 661 strikeouts, only has two all season. She has a 3.65 ERA and has allowed seven walks. It’s still early, but for the Orange to turn their season around, they need Romero to produce like her normal self.
Kaia Oliver has shined in the opportunities that she’s been given. She has struck out 11 batters in 13 innings pitched. Her ERA is near Romero’s though, sitting at 3.46. Her batting average against is .182, a solid mark for the freshman.
The Orange look ahead to the Winthrop Garnet/Gold Classic this weekend, starting with a game against Saint Francis on Friday at 11 a.m.
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