Syracuse Softball’s Boom or Bust Offense Falls Just Short Twice in Durham
By Tom Russo
CitrusTV Softball Beat Reporter
DURHAM, N.C. – Syracuse (1-5, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) left the tying run on second base twice as they dropped a pair of one-run games to start the ACC/Big 10 Challenge today. First Syracuse fell 3-2 to Penn State (2-4, 0-0 Big 10), then the Orange came up short against No. 24 Indiana (7-0, 0-0 Big 10).
The problem for SU was an offense that simply became all or nothing in both contests.
Against the Nittany Lions the Orange mustered only three hits. Of the three, two were the booming RBI doubles off the bats of Alexis Kaiser and Alex Acevedo that accounted for both of the Syracuse runs that were scored in the contest.
In fact, Syracuse only had four baserunners the entire game off of Penn State, the two doubles, and a single and walk by Bryce Holmgren.
On the flip side, Syracuse struck out 13 times against Penn State freshman Bailey Parshall, who was perfect through three and two-third innings for PSU, while tossing a complete game.
None of the 13 were bigger than the two that came in the bottom of the seventh. With Acevedo standing on second representing the tying run, Anya Gonzalez went down looking, and Toni Martin struck out swinging, stranding the tying run in scoring position and costing the Orange the game.
The offense did boom in the nightcap against No. 24 Indiana, as Kaiser and Martin teed off for a pair of home runs, a three-run bomb and a solo shot, respectively. The offense actually generated eight hits on the night, and Holmgren reached base on all four of her trips to the plate, finishing with two singles and two walks.
However, the SU pitchers could not find the strike zone, walking seven Hoosiers, and also add in a hit batter by Alexa Romero, who had to exit after just one and a third innings with an apparent injury and did not return. Indiana also capitalized on two more Syracuse errors, bringing the team total to eight on the young season.
A sixth inning rally started by three consecutive walks put the Orange in a 6-4 hole going into the seventh and final frame, but a leadoff single by Lailoni Mayfield appeared to open the door.
Syracuse would load the bases, putting the go-ahead run on first, following an Alicia Hansen single and Holmgren’s second walk.
Kaiser delivered the sacrifice fly to pick up her fourth RBI of the night, and for a second consecutive game, the tying run stood on second base, only this time with two outs.
But the result was the same, as this time it was Acevedo who waved at the final pitch of the night.
Between the two games, Syracuse picked up 11 hits. Meanwhile, they struck out 20 times in those two games.
The Orange offense did boom at some points today, but when it came time to step up, all that was felt was a breeze.
Syracuse tries to get the ball rolling again tomorrow against Penn State at 3.
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