Syracuse Splits Double-Header Against Army
By Sam Rothman
After being swept by Florida State last weekend, Syracuse (16-12, 4-5 Atlantic Coast) looked to right the ship in a doubleheader against Army West Point (11-17, 2-1 Patriot League) on Wednesday.
The Orange opened strong and cruised to a 4-1 victory in game one.
The Orange failed to get on the board first in its last three games, but that changed when Syracuse jumped out to a 4-0 lead in its first contest. Gabby Teran got it started in the second with a walk, and Toni Martin followed with a single. After Martin stole second, Lailoni Mayfield hit an RBI single to drive in Teran. With Martin and Mayfield both in scoring position, Michala Maciolek’s 2-RBI single cleared the bases and gave the Orange a 3-0 advantage. Rachel Burkhardt capped off the inning with a single, and Maciolek crossed home for the fourth run of the game.
After Syracuse established a dominating lead early, Army looked to respond right away. The Black Knights’ push in the third proved successful as they grabbed their first hit of the game. With two outs, Taylor Livingston solved Romero for a single, but that’s all she would allow. Romero struck out the final batter and Livingston was left stranded.
Looking to make a comeback as the game winded down, it didn’t look too good for the Black Knights. Romero started off the bottom of the sixth by retiring the first two batters. However, with two outs, Amelia Trotter provided a spark to the Army offense with a solo homerun to cut into Syracuse’s lead. But, that would be it for Army as Romero forced a groundout to escape any further damage.
Sammy Fernandez reached scoring position to start off the seventh, but Syracuse couldn’t capitalize to extend its lead. Army looked to take advantage and get something going in its final three outs. However, Romero had other plans. Romero retired all three batters and recorded her 14th strikeout of the day, a new career high, to end the inning and secure the 4-1 win.
However, the momentum shifted as Army took advantage on Syracuse errors, scoring four unearned runs in the second matchup as SU fell 5-1.
Heading into the second contest, Syracuse began the game right where it left off. The Orange struck first again and grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first. Sammy Fernandez started things off with a single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Toni Martin drove Fernandez home with a two-out RBI single.
But Syracuse would not hold onto the lead for long as the Black Knights quickly responded in the second inning. After Lacey Swafford reached on a fielder’s choice, the sophomore ran home off of Kristen McPeek’s RBI double to tie the game at one.
The Orange grabbed a four-run advantage early in the first matchup, and the Black Knights would do the same in the second game. With bases loaded in the third, Army drove home two runners on a Syracuse throwing error. And as the Syracuse mistakes continued, so did the runs for the Black Knights. AnnaMarie Gatti recorded another error for Syracuse, and Army capitalized by adding two more runs. At this point in the game, both teams had three hits each, but Army held the advantage. The Black Knights scored five runs while the Orange crossed home just once.
Syracuse tried to get back into the game, but Army pitcher Courtney Springman wouldn’t allow it. After her team took control in the third, the freshman did not give up a single hit. Syracuse’s comeback in the seventh fell short thanks to Springman, who recorded her ninth strikeout to round out the victory for the Black Knights.
Syracuse Head Coach Mike Bosch grabbed his 599th win in the first game, but he couldn’t reach 600 victories after the Orange’s loss in the second matchup. Bosch and company look to bounce back as Syracuse plays its first home game on Saturday against Boston College.
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