Syracuse Softball Splits Saturday Games
By Sam Rothman
Syracuse Softball (7-5) split its games on day two of the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational on Saturday. In its matchup against UTSA (7-4), the Orange shutout the Roadrunners 8-0, scoring eight runs for the second time in the tournament. However, Syracuse could not hold onto the offensive firepower in its 2-1 loss to Houston (6-4) later that night.
The Orange wasted no time to get on the board, jumping to an early 4-0 lead right out of the gate. Sammy Fernandez started the first inning with a single, and then Alicia Hansen’s double led to runners on second and third. Freshman Gabby Teran tripled, bringing home Fernandez and Hansen for the 2-0 advantage. Bryce Holmgren continued the Orange’s strong play with an RBI double driving in Teran, and then scored off of Toni Martin’s sacrifice fly to cap off the four-run inning.
Syracuse wasn’t done yet. The Orange added two more runs in the fifth off of two errors made by the Roadrunners. Alicia Hansen scored off of a UTSA throwing error, while Teran ran home on a fielding error to extend Syracuse’s lead to 6-0.
In the sixth, Lailoni Mayfield tripled and drove in Rachel Burkhardt after she reached second on a wild pitch. Mayfield then crossed home off of Fernandez’s RBI single to round out the 8-0 win for the Orange.
Alexa Romero pitched the UTSA shutout and only let up one hit in the bottom of the fifth inning. The ACC Co-Pitcher of the week struck out two batters in the sixth to tie her career-high strikeout total (12).
In Syracuse’s first contest, it only needed one inning to build a dominating lead. However in its matchup against Houston, the Orange would need extra innings to score the first run of the game.
Due to the International Tiebreaker rule, Fernandez started on second base at the top of the eighth. In softball, a runner is placed on second to increase scoring opportunities if the game goes into extra innings. The effort proved successful as Fernandez ran home off of Teran’s single to get on the board.
However, Syracuse’s lead would not last long. In the bottom of the eighth, Houston had runners on first and second with no outs. Mariah Garcia tied the game at one after Arielle James hit a double for the Cougars. Freshman Caela Kincade came in as a pinch hitter and doubled to right field for the game-winning run.
Romero fell to 5-2 on the season after giving up two runs on two straight hits. Senior AnnaMarie Gatti started on the mound and pitched five scoreless innings before being replaced by Romero in the sixth.
Syracuse finishes its play at the Houston Hilton Plaza Invitational with a rematch against Yale set for Sunday at 10 a.m.