Syracuse unravels in 5th inning during 9-1 loss to No. 5 Florida State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 4, 2019 at 6:41 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman On Saturday afternoon against the defending national champions, the moment was too big for Syracuse, senior outfielder Bryce Holmgren said.The moment was too big for Holmgren and the seniors, who combined to go 0-for-7 at the plate on Senior Day.But it wasn’t just the seniors. Syracuse’s whole lineup managed just three hits in total.Too big for junior ace Alexa Romero, who allowed eight earned runs and walked four in 4.2 innings.In the fifth inning, a seven-run barrage from No. 5 Florida State (47-8, 18-5 Atlantic Coast) was too much for Syracuse (21-30, 8-15 ACC). The six hits — two that left the ballpark — and one error in the top of the fifth snowballed the game out of reach, head coach Shannon Doepking said. A competitive 2-1 game turned into a 9-1 slaughter.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We gave them the opportunity to put up seven runs,” Doepking said. “Nothing good ever happens when you let a team like that open the door, and good God, did they kick the door in.”To lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, senior Alicia Hansen reached on an error, and later scored on sophomore Neli Casares-Maher single in the hole between shortstop and third. Hansen’s run cut Florida State’s lead in half, to 2-1. Syracuse’s dugout had hope; they realized they could score on Florida State, Hansen said.But the hope quickly vanished. FSU catcher Anna Shelnutt started the inning with a home run down the left field line. Romero held her head down as she walked back to the circle after the hit. The Seminoles entered the game with 81 home runs on the season, tied for fourth-most in the country, so Shelnutt’s rocket didn’t bother Doepking as much as the walk to the next two batters.“You put yourself in a situation where you have runners on first and second with one of the best hitters in the country,” Doepking said of Sydney Sherrill.Sherrill (.427 BA, 13 HR) lined a double off first baseman Alex Acevedo’s glove, which trickled down the right field line and scored one run. Sherrill’s hit gave FSU a 4-1 advantage with no outs in the inning.Romero got the next Seminole to pop out to shortstop on a riseball, but runners remained at second and third base with junior Dani Morgan coming up. Though Morgan flew out to shallow right field, the FSU runner on third tagged up and barely slid under catcher Gianna Carideo’s tag, despite a nearly perfect throw from Lailoni Mayfield.Romero, who was backing up Carideo on the throw, threw her hands behind her head in disbelief at the umpire’s call.“That was a really great throw from Lailoni,” Romero said. “I thought she was out, but he called her safe.”The run gave Syracuse the second out of the inning, but three runs had already crossed home to push FSU’s lead to 5-1. And the Seminoles weren’t finished.On Romero’s first pitch after the play at the plate, Cassidy Davis drove a poorly-located pitch over the fence in right-center field for the third FSU homer of the afternoon. After Davis rounded the bases, Florida State held a 7-1 lead.“The few pitches they hit home runs off of,” Romero said, “they were just bad pitches that they took advantage of.”A double and a single on consecutive at-bats ended Romero’s start. Those two hitters scored on a single and a throwing error.When reliever Sophie Dandola struck out Cali Harrod to finally end the inning, the Seminoles had already scored seven runs, all charged to Romero. The Orange retreated to the dugout with their heads down, facing an insurmountable 9-1 deficit.“We’re pretty much expecting Lex to be perfect to give us a chance,” Doepking said, “and I don’t think that’s fair.”Romero hasn’t been perfect, but the lack of hitting puts incredible pressure on the lefty and shrinks the room for error, Doepking said.With one game against FSU remaining before the ACC tournament, SU has lost five of its last six contests. Syracuse’s softball program is “nowhere close” to Florida State’s, Doepking said, but SU wants to rise to the occasion and compete against the defending champs, like it did until the top of the fifth inning.“We’re more than capable of beating this team,” Hansen said. “We proved that when we hung with them in the beginning.” Commentslast_img

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