Softball

Syracuse limits Cornell bats in 6-2 victory

Jordan Phelps | Staff Photographer

Alexa Romero tosses the ball over to Sydney O'Hara in SU's win over Virginia Tech on Sunday.

As rain poured down in the fifth inning, Cornell’s hitter popped the ball up in the vicinity of shortstop Sammy Fernandez. She moved both left then right and guided the ball into her glove. Syracuse had already allowed two runs with two outs. This inning provided a scare for SU.

Syracuse (31-18, 10-10 Atlantic Coast) wrapped up its regular season Tuesday afternoon at SU Softball Stadium with a 6-2 win over Cornell (13-28-1, 6-14 Ivy League), thanks to strong defense. SU allowed the Big Red to put only six runners on base all game, and gave up only three hits and three walks.

“Three outs (is) three outs,” freshman left-hander Alexa Romero said. “We just needed to get in there and get it done, just get outs.”

Romero’s outing is her 12th win of the season. She finished her freshman regular season campaign 12-7.  Her 12 wins has her hovering around Syracuse’s greats, as she is only five wins short of Syracuse’s rookie record for wins in a season.

Romero did not receive the start in the game. Head coach Mike Bosch sent Sydney O’Hara out to start and she allowed zero runs, one hit and one walk.

“I told her, ‘It’s your ball, you could go as long as you’d like to,’” Bosch said.  “She’s earned it. She deserved it.”

Even though she lasted only one inning, she proved to be one of the more dominant pitchers on the Orange. She fought through a jammed finger to pitch her last inning and put Romero in a position to end the game cleanly.

O’Hara finishes the year with a 1.81 earned run average in 69.2 innings pitched, her most since her freshman year.  It was only her second game started, as 29 of her 31 appearances on the year were exclusively in the relief role.

Syracuse was not affected by the wet conditions much at all in the game, as they committed no errors. The strong defensive play can be credited to SU’s preparation.  The Orange ran an all-defensive practice on Monday in which they focused on fundamentals and making plays in game situations.  Fernandez said the practice gave Syracuse, fifth in the conference with a .963 fielding percentage, the guidance it needed to play.

“Games we don’t walk (batters) and we don’t make errors, we can stay ahead,” Fernandez said. “We have to make team plays.  They have to earn their runs.”

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