SU Softball has strong showing in tournament at University of Florida

Orange win four out of five, improve to 16-3 after trip to the University of Florida Lipton Invitational.

Syracuse softball ventured to “The Swamp” of Gainesville, Fla. to take part in the University of Florida Lipton Invitational, and the only team gave the girls any trouble was the home team. SU had a successful trip in which it won four out of the five games.

The first game took place against the No. 2 team in the nation, the Florida Gators. The star pitcher for Syracuse, Jenna Caira, had a strong game in which she threw for five strikeouts in six innings, allowing only two runs. She wasn’t able to get the best of freshman phenom Hannah Rogers. Rogers pitched a shutout and threw for six strikeouts while limiting the Orange from stringing along consecutive hits. SU made a late push in the later innings but wasn’t able to push across runs, causing Syracuse to lose 2-0.

Later that day SU took on Pacific, and the Orange needed insurance runs to shut the door. Kelly Saco was an offensive power in this game as she notched her third home run and picked up two RBI’s. She was part of the three run sixth inning where she doubled in a run, and was brought in by a double by Kealy McMullen. The pitchers for Syracuse combined to allow only one hit the whole game. Stacy Kuwik put in four innings of work and allowed one hit with three strikeouts. Caira finished the game with three hitless innings of pitching.

The next day’s first game was against Gardner Webb and it ended quickly. SU was able to get an early lead and never looked back as it was powered by two home runs from second baseman Stephanie Watts, three hits from catcher Lacey Kohl and four RBI’s from designated hitter McMullen. It was too much for Gardner Webb to handle as it found itself on the wrong side of the mercy rule. Kuwik had her second straight one hit outing as she allowed zero runs in her five innings of work in a shutout effort.  

SU faced stiffer competition later in the day when it met up with North Dakota State. The Orange scored all of its runs in the first inning – on back-to-back home runs by Kohl and Hallie Gibbs – and it was all they needed in this game. Caira threw a shutout, allowing only two hits while striking out nine, and led Syracuse to a 3-0 win.

In Syracuse's final game of the tournament against Valparaiso, Caira paved the way for a win as she threw a shutout with 10 strikeouts. The offense was powered mainly by Gibbs who hit a solo home run and had three RBI’s on the day. The Orange went on to win 6-0.

Syracuse now has a 16-3 record and has its last tournament to play next weekend in Virginia.


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