Syracuse makes strides at Mary Nutter Classic, struggles in late innings against top-flight teams

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first_img Published on February 24, 2014 at 12:48 am Syracuse was unable to clinch a winning trip to Cathedral City, Calif., despite winning the first two of its five games in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic softball tournament. SU (4-6) opened up tournament play with a 7-5 victory over University of California Davis (5-13). Senior outfielder Shirley Daniels hit her first home run of the season and junior second baseman Julie Wambold hit a go-ahead two-run home run in sixth inning to give SU a lead it wouldn’t give up. Freshman pitcher Sydney O’Hara collected the win, pitching two and two-thirds innings of relief and struck out six of the 11 hitters she faced. In the nightcap of the doubleheader, the Orange staved off a late comeback attempt by California Polytech (7-9) in a 3-2 win. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWambold hit her second home run of the day, this one a solo shot, to put her team up 3-0 in the fifth inning.Freshman pitcher Christina Clermont notched her first collegiate victory, with her only blemish in six innings of work a two-run home run by Mustang freshman pitcher Sierra Hyland. Clermont’s freshman pitcher counterpart, O’Hara, pitched a perfect seventh inning to close out a perfect 2-0 start to the tournament for the Orange.Syracuse looked to carry its momentum into its third game of the tournament against defending-champion No. 13 Oklahoma.One out away from getting through the first inning unscathed, a two-run double and a wild pitch set the Orange back 3-0. The Sooners wouldn’t relinquish the lead, winning 6-2.Sophomore outfielder Riley Johnson provided all the offense for SU on the day, smashing her first home run of the season and providing an RBI single into right field to keep a seventh-inning rally alive that ultimately fell short in the losing effort. In last season’s Mary Nutter Classic, SU lost to then-No.17 Stanford in a close 2-1 battle. But on the third day of tournament play, Syracuse came within two outs of beating No. 11 Stanford.An error on junior pitcher Lindsay Taylor in the seventh inning allowed the tying run to come across and score, and the Cardinal scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning to beat Syracuse 11-5.In the last game of the tournament, SU was one out away from victory. Three consecutive hits with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning brought across two runs to score and secured a 7-6 victory for Long Beach State (9-5). Five different Syracuse players collected an RBI, with Daniels, Watson and freshman catcher Nicole Lundstrom each collecting two hits.Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Larkin was tacked with the loss, yielding two runs in three and one-third innings.Syracuse travels to Kissimmee, Fla. for the Citrus Classic-ESPN Rise tournament for five games next weekend.compiled by Connor Grossman, staff writer, [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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