Syracuse Orange softball is fresh off its first winning season since 2018. Last year’s squad had plenty of accomplishments, including winning five of their last six regular season games to make the ACC Softball Championship, and then earning the program’s first ever tournament win.
Now much of the same team returns for the 2023 campaign, joined by ten highly rated new recruits. With the start of the season just a few days away, will we see this group make some noise in May again?
Outfielder Angel Jasso took a major step forward during her sophomore season and is on track to potentially be a five-tool player. She was fourth in the ACC in stolen bases (21), eighth in doubles (15), finished just outside the top-10 in batting average (.374) and OPS (1.087), and had more walks (11) than strikeouts (10). Additionally, Jasso did not commit a single fielding error all season. The only thing truly stopping the Texas export from reaching elite status is her low HR total (5), but that was a team-wide issue here in Syracuse.
Neli Casares-Maher, the Orange’s primary RBI threat, concluded her five-year college career, leaving sophomore infielders Kelly Breen and Tessa Galipeau to pick up the slack in the heart of the lineup.
Lefty Lindsey Hendrix is back on the mound as the de-facto ace of the Syracuse staff. One of her biggest upsides is keeping the ball in the park - she only allowed 7 HRs in 98.2 innings pitched. The Orlando-born starter also had a team-best 2.63 ERA and 95 strikeouts. Senior Kaia Oliver returns to compete for the second spot along with two rookies. Speaking of which...
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Here’s a breakdown of all the freshmen:
- Kate Dorazio - Jamesville, New York
- Vanessa Flores - San Bernardino, California
- Madelyn Lopez - Montgomery, Texas
- Trinity Nichols - Winterville, North Carolina
- Peyton Schemmer - Morro Bay, California
- Ryan Starr - New York, New York
- Lauren Vaughn - Winfield, Illinois
- Gabby Lantier - Norwalk, Connecticut
- Madison Knight - Baltimore, Maryland; MaxPreps No. 1 Recruit from Maryland
- Jackie Pengel - Avon, Connecticut
As it normally does, Syracuse will begin the season with several tournaments. The year starts with five games in Jacksonville, four in Raleigh for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, and five more in Charleston. After that, it’s a three-game series at Clemson followed by an extended trip to the west coast.
The Orange won’t play in New York until March 22 - and that’s a doubleheader a few hours west at Canisius. The first home series is March 31 through April 2 against Louisville.
SU does play eight straight home games to finish the regular season, which could be a slight advantage if the Orange are still fighting for an ACC Championship spot.
Here’s a full look at the calendar:
Best of luck to Syracuse softball this season.