Four-run First Inning Propels Syracuse Past Binghamton
By Sam Rothman
Softball Beat Reporter
SYRACUSE, N.Y.— As Alexa Romero warmed up in the circle for Syracuse’s matchup against Binghamton (11-21, 4-7 America East) on Tuesday, it was announced that the sophomore was the ACC Softball Pitcher of the Week. Romero averaged 11 strikeouts per game and struck out 41 batters down the three-game stretch.
And on Tuesday, the pitcher started right where she left off, striking out the side in the top of the first. Her teammates carried the momentum and got off to a four-run lead in the bottom of the inning. The Orange (27-18, 8-11 Atlantic Coast) ended up coming away with a dominating 8-1 win.
“When our pitchers are focused and doing well, it just makes us want to do that much better for them,” said senior Sammy Fernandez. “So, it’s kind of just having each other’s backs.”
With a little help from Binghamton pitcher Rayn Gibson, the Orange loaded the bases early in the first. After walking both Alicia Hansen and Gabby Teran, the sophomore hit Bryce Holmgren with a pitch. Faith Cain got the scoring going with a two RBI-double to give Syracuse the 2-0 lead right out of the gate. After recording just five hits and three RBI in her first 18 appearances this season, the senior has grabbed nine hits and 3 RBI in just the past six games.
“I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with [Cain] and she simply said, ‘Coach, I’m going to finish strong,’” Head Coach Mike Bosch said. “And pretty much ever since then she has been really sharp at the plate, hitting pitches that are hittable, stepping up in situations and handling the moment. That’s certainly big.”
But with just one out in the first, the scoring did not stop there. Teran took advantage on a Binghamton fielding error and crossed home for Syracuse’s third run of the game. Michala Maciolek rounded out the four-run inning with an RBI-single, driving in Cain.
The Bearcats solved Romero in the third, and they made it count. Lauren Martinez was the first Binghamton player to reach base after she hit a double to left center. The freshman then ran home on Jessica Rutherford’s RBI single to pull within three. As the Bearcats tried to claw their way back into the game, Gabby Teran responded with an RBI single of her own and the Orange quickly regained the four run-advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, Syracuse found itself with bases loaded once again. With two outs in the inning, Bryce Holmgren got it done all by herself. The junior drove in all three runners with a shot right up center field. The outfielder’s 3-RBI double capped off the Orange’s 8-1 victory.
With two hits in the contest, senior Sammy Fernandez became the program’s all-time leader in multi-hit games. The shortstop also recorded her 50th career stolen base.
“She’s just had a very consistent career if you look at her freshman year to her senior year,” said Bosch. “She’s always been at the top of the order. She’s just been very consistent and that’s what you want from an offensive player. She’s had a very consistent, solid career.”
With the win, Syracuse has won seven straight games against in-state foes. The Orange looks to extend this streak as it takes on Colgate in a doubleheader on Wednesday.
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