Teran Leads SU Softball to First ACC Win
By Sam Lebowitz
CitrusTV Softball Beat Reporter
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The most important at bat of the Syracuse softball season so far happened in the fifth inning of today’s matchup against North Carolina. Syracuse was trailing by a score of 5-3 but had runners at the corners with two out. The Orange lineup had put runners in scoring position in every inning of the game to that point yet had not been able to properly capitalize. However, Gabby Teran flipped the game on its head by turning the deficit into a one-run lead with a long three-run homer over the scoreboard in left field.
The home run, her team-leading fourth of the season, was the deciding blow in Syracuse’s (9-10, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) 9-5 win over UNC (9-12, 3-2 Atlantic Coast). The comeback win is an important first conference victory of the year for a Syracuse team fighting hard to get back to .500. It did not look good at first, as the Orange saw an early 2-0 lead disintegrate when the Tar Heels pushed five runs across the plate in the bottom of the second. Syracuse committed two key errors in the frame on top of UNC’s five hits. The punctuating hit was a two-run single by Tar Heel first baseman Campbell Hutcherson that knocked starting pitcher Kaia Oliver out of the game.
Oliver’s replacement was Syracuse’s saving grace in this game. Catie Dobbs came in and slammed the door on the UNC lineup. She finished the game, tossing 5-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits and three walks with four strike outs. She lowered her team-best earned run average to 2.33 while notching her second win.
The Syracuse offense pounded 13 hits after mustering just two last night. Rebecca Clyde led the team with three hits including a double, breaking out of a 2-for-31 funk. Teran reached base four times in the leadoff spot. She was hit by pitch twice for the second consecutive game before homering and walking. Neli Casares-Maher blasted her second home run of the season in the sixth inning, giving the Orange some insurance. The game was put out of reach on a two-run single by Jamie Gregg. In addition to Clyde, Casares-Maher, and Gregg, Lailoni Mayfield also recorded multiple hits for Syracuse.
AJ Kaiser committed two errors behind the plate in this game as her defensive struggles as a catcher continue. She was replaced by Jude Padilla when Catie Dobbs entered the game in the second inning and did not return.
Syracuse will look to keep the bats hot in the rubber match tomorrow in Chapel Hill. First pitch is at 12 p.m.
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