The Orange (7-8, 0-0) played in their third-straight tournament this weekend. The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic consisted of 35 teams, in which Syracuse faced five of them. They squared off with the likes of Loyola Marymount, Northwestern, Long Beach State, No. 23 Texas A&M, and Nevada in competition.
Here's a more in-depth look at how Syracuse fared:
Loyola Marymount 3, Syracuse 4
Syracuse took no time in jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on consecutive singles bringing Maddi Doane and Sammy Fernandez home.
It wouldn't be until the top of the third on a few "small ball" plays. Third baseman Alicia Brown started it off with a walk. First baseman Alex Finie reached on fielder's choice, but Brown was safe due to an error. Stephanie Marciel, the shortstop, grounded out, advancing the runners into scoring position.
The Lions got on the board on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Amanda Dirks. Second baseman Nicole Kaiser hit a solo home run to tie the game at two in the top of the sixth inning. A Dirks two-out double brought Marciel home and put the Lions ahead 3-2.
The Orange found some magic in the bottom of the seventh and used a two-out rally to walk-off with the win. Doane started things off with a single, followed by one from Fernandez. Corinne Ozanne singled in Doane, and Julie Wambold followed by singling in Fernandez, the walk-off winning hit.
Dirks led LMU with two RBIs on one hit. Rachel Farrington pitched to 31 batters over 6.2 innings, giving up seven hits, four runs and three walks wile striking out four. Most of her mistakes came in the seventh inning, leading to Syracuse's two-out rally.
For the Orange, pitchers Sidney O'Hara and Jocelyn Cater made sure that only five hits were all that the Lions would get. O'Hara pitch to all but one batter, surrendering all five of the hits, three runs, five walks, while striking out four. On the offensive end, three players ended up with two-hit games: Doane, Ozanne, and Wambold, with Ozanne and Wambold each contributing two RBIs.
Syracuse 2, Northwestern 1
In Game 2 of the evening, Mary Dombrowski got things going for Syracuse in the top of the second, with a two-out solo shot. The Orange scored their second run of the game in the top of the fourth. The inning began with a walk issued to Cater and a sac bunt by Danielle Chitkowski advancing her to 2nd base. Dombrowski and Rachel Buckhardt each walked, followed by a swinging strikeout from Doane. The next batter, Fernandez, walked in Cater to put the team up 2-0.
Northwestern finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning. After the first three batters reached base, shortstop Andrea Filler hit a sacrifice fly to score the lead runner, catcher Caylor Arnold. Cater got the last batter to hit a fly-out to end the game.
It was a true "pitcher's duel," as both teams were only able to squander five hits total. For the Wildcats, Amy Letourneau lasted four innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks, while striking out five. In relief, Kristen Wood pitched three innings and issued one walk and struck out eight batters.
Cater and Dombrowski were the lone Orange to get hits during the entirety of the game. In the circle, Cater pitched a full game giving up one run on three hits and seven walks, while striking out nine. It was her third win of the season.
Syracuse 2, Long Beach State 4
Long Beach State was the first to cross the plate off of a two-out triple from designated hitter Lauren MacLeod in the bottom of the second inning. MacLeod then scored on a wild pitch to put the 49ers ahead 2-0.
Syracuse answered back in the top of the fourth with a two out two-run homer by O'Hara to knot the game at two.
The 49ers went ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Darian Tautalafua. Julia Lombardi, the next batter up, tripled to score another run.
Julia Lombardi led the way for the 9ers with two hits in three at-bats. She was one of three players with one RBI. Pitcher Christian Carbajal pitched a complete game giving up two runs on six hits and one walk, striking out five. She faced 27 total batters during the course of the game.
For the Orange, Fernandez had two of the team's six hits in her three at-bats. O'Hara hit in the only runs of the game for Syracuse, thus having both RBI's as well. Cater pitched to all but two batters and gave up four runs on three hits and four walks while getting five 9ers to strike out. O'Hara faced two batters and gave up one hit.
Syracuse 1, Texas A&M 9 (6 innings)
The Orange faced their first ranked opponent of the season when they faced the Aggies in the first game of the final day of the tournament. Ozanne got things going with a two-out solo shot to put Syracuse up 1-0. That would be the only inning that the team would score in, as Texas A&M hunkered down on defense.
Center fielder Alex Masek hit a one-out single, and advanced to second on the throw, putting herself in scoring position for the next batter. It paid off immediately, as third baseman Tori Vidales singled and scored Masek. The Orange escaped, only giving up one run in the inning. They wouldn't be as fortunate in the following one. Shortstop Kristen Cuyos hit a solo home run to put the Aggies up 2-1. The next two batters got on base with a walk and a single. Following a fly out, Vidales hit a three-run home run, extending the lead to 5-1. Later in the inning, right fielder Cali Lanphear scored, after reaching base and advancing to third on an error. The team then proceeded to score one run and two runs in the fifth and sixth to end the game.
Texas A&M pitcher Katie Marks kept the Orange at bay over her six innings of work. She only gave up one run on two hits and six strikeouts on her way to earning her fourth win of the season. Vidales, Cuyos, and designated hitter Abby Donnell all had nice days at the plate. Vidales went 3-for-3 with four RBI's and one walk. Cuyos had a 2-for-3 game with three RBI's. Donnell batted 2-for-2, scoring two runs to lead the Aggies to victory.
At the plate, Ozanne and Alyssa Dewes had the lone hits for Syracuse. Ozanne also had the only RBI. O'Hara and Larkin kept the Orange in the game, for the most part, until the last two innings. They gave up six and three runs, respectively, on a total of 11 hits and three walks.
Syracuse 6, Nevada 0
Game 5 for Syracuse was painted very Orange. The team scored six runs and allowed none from Nevada to cross home plate. The offensive party began in the top of the first, and never looked back. Doane led off with a walk and advanced to second on a ground out by Fernandez. Ozanne then walked, followed by a single by Wambold that scored Doane. O'Hara followed with a single of her own, scoring Ozanne, a 2-0 lead for the Orange. They wouldn't score again until the fifth inning, when Fernandez scored on a one-out double by O'Hara. Ozanne, who had singled earlier in the inning, scored on a wild pitch to add another run. The team scored one run in both the sixth and the seventh to finish things off.
The Wolfpack threatened, but never was able to capitalize. Despite this, center fielder Danielle Wiltz had a 2-for-2 day with one walk. Three players garnered one hit off of the Syracuse pitching tandem, but that was all. Megan Dortch, McKenna Isenberg, and Chase Redington split time in the circle, each letting up two runs.
Wambold and O'Hara each had two hits as well as 2 RBI's each. Doane, Fernandez, Ozanne, Cater and Dewes all had a hit, with Doane accounting for the other RBI. It was all Syracuse the whole game.
The Orange were slated to play the NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh, NC, but it got cancelled yesterday because of inclement weather. Their next series will be against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg for their first conference matchup of the season. They will play a double-header next Saturday and finish the series with one more game on Sunday against the Hokies.