Syracuse Wins Two-of-Three in Weekend Series
By Sam Rothman
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse softball (12-7) opened up ACC play this weekend against Virginia Tech (11-12) and picked up two wins in the three-game series. Alexa Romero’s second no-hitter of the season led the Orange to a 2-0 win in the first matchup, while a solid offensive effort in an 8-1 victory capped off the Friday sweep. However, Syracuse could not maintain the momentum in its 2-1 loss on Saturday, finishing 2-1 on the weekend.
Coming off her 29-strikeout performance last weekend, Alexa Romero picked up right where she left off and recorded five straight strikeouts through the first two innings. Her strong play on the mound allowed Syracuse to get on the board first in the third. Sophomore Gianna Corideo started the inning with a walk and advanced to second on Sammy Fernandez’s single. On a fielder’s choice, Alicia Hansen took over second while Carideo advanced to third. Holmgren drove in both runners on a two-run double, bringing her to a team high 19 RBI so far this season.
Virginia Tech reached base in the seventh on a walk, but that would be it for the Hokies. Romero came away with her second no-hitter of the season and the ninth no-hitter in program history. The sophomore ace is now the second Orange pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters, joining Jenna Caira who recorded four in her time at Syracuse.
The Orange tallied just two runs in one inning of play, but in its second contest of the day, the offense heated up. Sammy Fernandez wasted no time and started the scoring early for Syracuse. On the first at-bat of the game, Fernandez singled and then stole second on the following play. Fernandez eventually scored off of Alicia Hansen’s single and SU took the 1-0 lead right out of the gate. After driving home Fernandez, Hansen ran home off Gabby Teran’s sac fly for the 2-0 advantage.
Syracuse found success in the next inning as well, as Miranda Hearn crossed home off of a Fernandez single for the third run of the game.
Virginia Tech crawled its way back into the contest in the fourth. Emma Strouth capitalized on two Syracuse throwing errors to cut into Syracuse’s lead. However, that’s all senior pitcher AnnaMarie Gatti would allow, and the Orange continued to build a lead off of her strong play on the mound.
With one run and RBI already in the matchup, Alicia Hansen added another run in the fifth. She started the inning off with a double and crossed home off Gabby Teran’s RBI groundout to extend Syracuse’s lead to 4-1.
It was a game of firsts for Faith Cain. The senior recorded her first run of the season after hitting her first double of the year in the sixth. Toni Martin’s 2-RBI single drove in both Cain and Miranda Hearn, who had walked to start off the inning. However, with no outs, Syracuse was not done yet. Hansen led the charge the rest of the way with a triple, allowing Toni Martin to score. The junior then ran home off of Bryce Holmgren’s RBI single to round out the 8-1 win for the Orange. Hansen finished the contest 3-for-4 with a double, triple, two RBI, and three runs. She now leads the Orange in scoring with 21 runs.
Syracuse started out 2-0 in ACC play for the first time, but it could not finish the series sweep in a close duel on Saturday.
Alexa Romero was back in the circle after her no-hitter, but the sophomore allowed two runs on two hits in the final matchup. Romero started the game strong and struck out the first batter she faced. However, she would not strike out another batter until the fourth inning and was replaced by freshman Miranda Hearn in the fifth.
The Orange scored the first run in the previous games, but this time it was the Hokies who struck first. Emma Strouth scored the lone run for Virginia Tech on Friday, and the junior would be a factor in the final game of the weekend. Strouth hit her second home-run of the season to give the Hokies the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Virginia Tech held onto the one-run advantage until Alicia Hansen crossed home for the Orange in the fifth. With two outs, Hansen singled up the middle, stole second and scored off of Gabby Teran’s RBI single to tie the game at one.
The Hokies responded right away in the bottom of the inning. Romero threw a wild pitch and Kinsey Johnson took advantage to retake the lead. Syracuse couldn’t register another hit in the final two innings and Virginia Tech came away with the 2-1 win.
SU returns to action on Wednesday with a non-conference matchup against Elon set for 6 p.m.