SU Splits Doubleheader with Niagara
By James Groh
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse split Tuesday’s doubleheader with Niagara. It was the first time that the Purple Eagles softball team beat the Orange. After tonight, the record between these two teams is 16-1 in favor of Syracuse.
On the mound for the first game were Syracuse’s Alexa Romero and Niagara’s Sierra Bertrand.
‘Cuse got on the board first in the bottom of the 2nd inning after centerfielder Toni Martin hit an RBI single to right field. However, the Purple Eagles came soaring back. In the top of the third, Niagara scored three runs off back-to-back RBIs from designated hitter Jerri Lofrano and Maria Gabriele, respectively.
Then in the next inning, the Purple Eagles put together a four run, two-out rally. It started with an RBI triple and ending with a two run homerun to center. After the inning ended, Niagara was up 7-1.
O’Hara replaced Romero in the bottom of the fourth. Romero ended her night giving up six earned runs and striking out four batters.
The Orange would begin to claw its way back, scoring five runs in three consecutive innings including Martin’s first homerun of her Syracuse career. However, SU wasn’t able to complete the comeback and fell one run short of tying the game in the bottom of the seventh.
“The team was playing tense and tight,” said designated hitter and first baseman Faith Cain.
Syracuse dominated game two of the afternoon. AnnaMarie Gatti pitched a complete game and shutout the Purple Eagles 7-0.
“I thought Anna threw one of the better games she threw all year,” head coach Mike Bosch said.
She ended the day with six strikeouts and two walks, while giving up six hits.
“I’ve just really been working on my ball biting down a lot more, and today it was biting a lot,” said Gatti.
Once again, the Orange got on the board first. This time it was Cain, who hit her fifth home run of the season. This time it was a two run shot to center.
While up by three runs, Syracuse went through the order in the bottom of the sixth and tacked on four runs. The first two came from back-to-back RBI singles from leftfielder Alyssa Dewes and shortstop Sammy Fernandez, respectively.
The last two runs for ‘Cuse were walked in with the bases loaded. Offensive standouts for the Orange were Fernandez who went 3-4 with one RBI, and rightfielder Bryce Holmgren who had two hits and an RBI off three at bats and scored two runs.
After the game, Bosch said that his team performed well all around.
“We need offense. We need defense. We base running. We need pitching. We need all of it put together to win games, and I think that was evident today.”
After the two games, Syracuse improves to 25-16. The Orange have won five of its last six while Niagara drops to 12-18. The Purple Eagles have lost 11 of its past 13 games.
Syracuse’s next game is a doubleheader on Wednesday at Siena.