Syracuse Loses to No. 5 Florida State in Series Opener
By Tom Russo
CitrusTV Softball Beat Reporter
There were a few signs that things might not go the Orange’s way on Friday. First, the sunshine disappeared the second Miranda Hearn entered the circle. Then, Syracuse came up to the plate in the bottom half of the first frame, and the normally rambunctious Orange dugout had gone dead quiet.
“That first inning, there was a moment where it was absolutely silent. It was weird,” said Head Coach Shannon Doepking. “That’s how you know nothing good’s about to come out of it cause we are not a silent team. It was a very early feeling that you knew, this is off, there is something very, very off for this game.
The results were ugly for the Orange as Syracuse (21-29, 8-14 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 5 Florida State (46-8, 17-5 Atlantic Coast) 8-0 in six innings. SU simply lost the battle mentally, and the team recognized that after the game.
“I think we did lack a lot of energy today,” said Sophie Dandola.“I don’t think we played scared, but I think we didn’t play all out. So I think we need to come back tomorrow and be really ready.”
Senior outfielder Bryce Holmgren pointed to the team’s inexperience in big games like this as one of the reasons they may have lost their focus.
“We have a lot of young girls on our team, and there’s a big learning curve, and I think as time goes on we’ll learn how to be able to simplify it down to just being a softball game,” said Holmgren. “I think that there were just a couple of moments where we let the game get too big.”
A disastrous rundown in the fourth inning perfectly exemplifies Syracuse’s day.
The Seminoles had runners on second and third following a walk and a single two batter in. Carsyn Gordon then grounded a slow roller to Hannah Dossett at third, and Dossett fired home to Carideo as Leslie Farris broke for home.
The ball beat Farris home, so she turned to run back to third. But Cali Harrod now occupied the base, moving up on the play, and showed no indication of budging. Thus, all Carideo had to do was chase Farris down, and one of the two would have to be out.
Instead Carideo threw behind Farris to Neli Casares-Maher, creating a rundown. Casares-Maher threw home to Dandola, chasing Farris back to the bag, before erroneously throwing to Dossett, allowing Farris to again turn home.
This time, no one was covering home plate, so Dossett’s throw to the backstop allowed Farris and Harrod to score.
“Honestly, I haven’t done that in a really long time,” said Dandola of the rundown. “I think I was just really flustered, and I didn’t really think the whole thing through, so it’s just something that we need to work on.”
Doepking was less diplomatic in her gauging of the debacle.
“Everything. When you give them that many opportunities, nothing good will ever come from that,” said Doepking. “Some of those were very simple plays that we made look very, very difficult. When two people are going to the same base, one of them will be out, if you just keep going that way instead of throwing the ball.”
Heading into the rest of the series, Doepking needs to see more drive from her team.
“I think being competitive is everything that you do, it doesn’t just show up on gamedays,” said Doepking. “It’s something that we need to learn to live by on and off the field, it’s just who we are and I think we’re so inconsistent with that right now.”
Syracuse will look to bring the fight they lacked today when the series resumes tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.
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