All-around effort propels Syracuse 7-0 against North Carolina State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm Contact David: [email protected] When Syracuse plays left-handed hitters with a tendency to hit to the opposite field, it rotates its outfielders to account for Bryce Holmgren’s lack of speed. The switch puts Alicia Hansen in left field, who is quicker and better suited to run down balls down the line or in the gap, head coach Mike Bosch said last week.In the top of the sixth inning on Sunday, Holmgren proved the swap may not be necessary. When North Carolina State’s Jade Caraway lined the ball down the left field line in foul territory, it looked as if Holmgren had no chance to reach it. Rather, the junior sprinted from her spot and past the foul line before laying out, her body parallel to the ground, to make an unbelievable diving catch. Hansen, who was in center, ran over to Holmgren as she got up to congratulate her.“I was smiling when the ball was hit,” Hansen said. “I knew it was foul, and no harm could come from it. I was like ‘lay out! lay out!’ And she did.”Holmgren’s diving effort topped off an all-around day for the Orange, led by another dominant performance from Alexa Romero in the circle. Romero’s one-hit, 11-strikeout day helped Syracuse (26-18, 8-11 Atlantic Coast) complete the three-game sweep over North Carolina State (22-25, 5-15 ACC), 7-0, on Sunday afternoon at Skytop Softball Stadium. The win marks six-straight for SU, which officially clinched its spot in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, starting May 9.After scoring five runs combined in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Wolfpack, SU’s offense came out scorching hot. Hansen led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to right center field. With two outs and runners on first and second, Rachel Burkhardt singled to drive in Holmgren, and, after a throwing error by right fielder Angie Rizzi, Gabby Teran came home. A batter later, Michala Maciolek drove in Burkhardt to give the Orange a four-run lead.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We looked at a little bit of film last night, things we could do a little better, some counts we could be more aggressive in,” Bosch said about SU’s big day at the plate. “When you see a pitching staff a second or third day, you’re going to have some better swings. That’s what you saw.”The Orange’s strong hitting performance was equaled by Romero’s pitching. Coming off a career-high 16 strikeouts in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Romero struck out five of her first six batters. The only hit the sophomore allowed came in the top of the third, when N.C. State’s Cheyenne Balzer drilled the ball into Romero’s thigh before it traveled into the outfield. After a brief stoppage, Romero continued. Her thigh “didn’t hurt at all,” she said after the game.Immediately after the incident, Romero threw two wild pitches, allowing Balzer to advance to third with two outs. A batter later, she returned to her usual self with an inning-ending strikeout. From innings four to six, Romero retired nine straight, including four strikeouts. She narrowly missed her third consecutive complete game, as Miranda Hearn relieved Romero in the seventh inning.“I struggled a little bit in the Notre Dame series, I had to turn myself around,” Romero said about her recent stretch of dominance. “This past week and weekend was a good turnaround for me. I feel better about everything mentally, emotionally and physically.”Sunday marked Romero’s third consecutive and 11th overall game with double-digit strikeouts, as well as her fifth start with no walks this season. Romero’s 246 strikeouts on the year are 63 more than any other ACC pitcher, while she sits a thousandth of a point behind Florida State’s Kylee Hanson for the conference’s lowest opponent batting average (.142).In the fifth, Andrea Bombace came off the bench and cranked a solo home run, Syracuse’s third of the game, to give the home team its seventh and final run of the game. After hitting just two home runs in its first 30 games this season, SU has exploded for 10 in its last 14 games. Much of the team’s recent power surge comes from playing at home, Bosch said.“Whether it was the catch in left field, Alexa striking people out or pinch-hit home runs, everybody did what they could,” Bosch said. “When you put those things together, you get team victories.” Commentslast_img

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm Contact David: [email protected] When Syracuse plays left-handed hitters with a tendency to hit to the opposite field, it rotates its outfielders to account for Bryce Holmgren’s lack of speed. The switch puts Alicia Hansen in left field, who is quicker and better suited to run down balls down the line or in the gap, head coach Mike Bosch said last week.In the top of the sixth inning on Sunday, Holmgren proved the swap may not be necessary. When North Carolina State’s Jade Caraway lined the ball down the left field line in foul territory, it looked as if Holmgren had no chance to reach it. Rather, the junior sprinted from her spot and past the foul line before laying out, her body parallel to the ground, to make an unbelievable diving catch. Hansen, who was in center, ran over to Holmgren as she got up to congratulate her.“I was smiling when the ball was hit,” Hansen said. “I knew it was foul, and no harm could come from it. I was like ‘lay out! lay out!’ And she did.”Holmgren’s diving effort topped off an all-around day for the Orange, led by another dominant performance from Alexa Romero in the circle. Romero’s one-hit, 11-strikeout day helped Syracuse (26-18, 8-11 Atlantic Coast) complete the three-game sweep over North Carolina State (22-25, 5-15 ACC), 7-0, on Sunday afternoon at Skytop Softball Stadium. The win marks six-straight for SU, which officially clinched its spot in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, starting May 9.After scoring five runs combined in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Wolfpack, SU’s offense came out scorching hot. Hansen led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to right center field. With two outs and runners on first and second, Rachel Burkhardt singled to drive in Holmgren, and, after a throwing error by right fielder Angie Rizzi, Gabby Teran came home. A batter later, Michala Maciolek drove in Burkhardt to give the Orange a four-run lead.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We looked at a little bit of film last night, things we could do a little better, some counts we could be more aggressive in,” Bosch said about SU’s big day at the plate. “When you see a pitching staff a second or third day, you’re going to have some better swings. That’s what you saw.”The Orange’s strong hitting performance was equaled by Romero’s pitching. Coming off a career-high 16 strikeouts in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Romero struck out five of her first six batters. The only hit the sophomore allowed came in the top of the third, when N.C. State’s Cheyenne Balzer drilled the ball into Romero’s thigh before it traveled into the outfield. After a brief stoppage, Romero continued. Her thigh “didn’t hurt at all,” she said after the game.Immediately after the incident, Romero threw two wild pitches, allowing Balzer to advance to third with two outs. A batter later, she returned to her usual self with an inning-ending strikeout. From innings four to six, Romero retired nine straight, including four strikeouts. She narrowly missed her third consecutive complete game, as Miranda Hearn relieved Romero in the seventh inning.“I struggled a little bit in the Notre Dame series, I had to turn myself around,” Romero said about her recent stretch of dominance. “This past week and weekend was a good turnaround for me. I feel better about everything mentally, emotionally and physically.”Sunday marked Romero’s third consecutive and 11th overall game with double-digit strikeouts, as well as her fifth start with no walks this season. Romero’s 246 strikeouts on the year are 63 more than any other ACC pitcher, while she sits a thousandth of a point behind Florida State’s Kylee Hanson for the conference’s lowest opponent batting average (.142).In the fifth, Andrea Bombace came off the bench and cranked a solo home run, Syracuse’s third of the game, to give the home team its seventh and final run of the game. After hitting just two home runs in its first 30 games this season, SU has exploded for 10 in its last 14 games. Much of the team’s recent power surge comes from playing at home, Bosch said.“Whether it was the catch in left field, Alexa striking people out or pinch-hit home runs, everybody did what they could,” Bosch said. “When you put those things together, you get team victories.” Commentslast_img

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