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Syracuse softball season update through March

How’s the Orange softball team doing with about a month of games left?

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The Syracuse Orange softball team has been off and running since early February, but unfortunately we don’t have a beat writer to cover it consistently. With that in mind, however, we figured the end of March could be a good time to check in.

Syracuse is 14-19 on the year so far, but 4-5 in ACC play — which actually ties them for second in the Atlantic Division with Louisville and Notre Dame.

As is customary for the Orange given CNY’s typical temperatures early in the year, Syracuse spent most of the first two months of the season on the road. SU’s first home game was last Wednesday, when they took both games of a double-header against Niagara. They played three more over the weekend as well, taking two of three from Notre Dame between Friday and Saturday.

Senior Alicia Hansen’s led the way for the Orange so far, batting .326 in 95 plate appearances, with 17 runs, 21 RBIs and a home run. She’s first on the team in average, fourth in runs, first in hits, tied for fifth in homers and is second in RBIs. Hansen’s also far from the only contributor, however. Junior outfielder Toni Maritn leads the team in RBIs (23) and home runs (four), while Gabby Teran and Bryce Holmgren are tied for first on the squad with 21 runs apiece. Neli Casares-Maher leads the team in doubles with eight, and is batting .278 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

Pitching-wise, it’s largely been Alexa Romero’s show. The junior’s 9-5 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP so far, plus 99 stirkeouts. She’s pitched 10 complete games already, and has also registered a save. Sophie Dandola is the only other Orange pitcher to notch a win so far this season. She’s 5-7 with a 4.85 ERA and 37 strikeouts.

SU has an uphill battle ahead if they want any chance to make the NCAA Tournament, but can help themselves out a lot with conference play. As mentioned, they’re tied for second in the Atlantic and would be the sixth seed in the ACC Tournament if it started today. That would mean a bye into the quarterfinals, but also a tough matchup with a 3-seed (currently either North Carolina or Duke).

The Orange’s schedule for the rest of the year will obviously go a long way toward figuring out that seeding. Following one game at Canisius this Wednesday, they’ll play three down at NC State (currently 2-7 in league play) over the weekend to try and take sole possession of second in the Atlantic. SU then hosts four games next week vs. Siena (one game) and Duke (three), then heads on the road to face Colgate before returning back home for a three-game series against Pitt.

Syracuse’s season closes out with non-conference games against Binghamton (on the road) and Cornell (home), plus a three-game series at Georgia Tech and three games at home against Florida State to close out the regular season.

After last season ended at 30-20 with a first round ACC Tournament loss to Louisville in the 8/9 game, the hope is that the Orange can build on that progress. A first round bye would be a good start if they can achieve it (since that’ll certainly come with a lot of wins in the process).