Softball

Strong pitching keeps SU in the game in late 3-2 victory over Virginia Tech

Codie Yan | Staff Photographer

Alexa Romero held Virginia Tech to just two hits on the day, and kept the Orange in the game when the offense struggled early.

Sydney O’Hara had not been pitching much lately. In her first trip to the circle on Friday, she got off to a quick start. After facing a few batters, O’Hara stopped, hopped and grimaced following a pitch. Staff from Syracuse met the NCAA leader in saves in the circle carrying medical tape. They proceeded to tape her finger and watch her take a few practice throws.

What started as a scary moment for one of the Orange’s most reliable pitchers ended in glory as she retired the next four batters in order.

“She’s been dealing with that for a couple of weeks, it’s been bothering her” SU head coach Mike Bosch said of the injury which is a jammed finger, according to O’Hara. “True to her season and true to what she is, she got the outs and got the big hits.”

Syracuse (28-18, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) defeated Virginia Tech (19-32, 5-17) 3-2 with the help of strong pitching throughout the entirety of the game. Alexa Romero, who started the game for SU, and O’Hara combined to only allow two runs on two hits.

“My mechanics were there, it felt good to just go out and throw today,” Romero said. “I just was attacking the zone, everything felt good today.”

Romero went 2.2 innings perfect before she surrendered a walk with two outs in the top of the third. While she escaped the inning, the error by SU on the following play foreshadowed the events ahead.

After Romero got the first out on a groundout straight back to her, she dialed the next pitch low and the Hokie’s hitter crushed it off the scoreboard in left field. The very next pitch, the left-hander surrendered another hit, this time a double to right center field. The home run broke up the no hitter. The double put the tying run on base.

“The pitch just got away,” said Romero. “Hits happen, buckle down and get the next out.”

After getting the first out of the sixth inning, allowing only two hits to that point, Romero was pulled for O’Hara. Bosch told his closer that she was a better matchup for the two hitters that SU would face in the inning.

O’Hara did reference that her finger was bothering her as she was pitching and that she needed a couple of practice throws to make sure she was in a good position to throw. She says that she was trying to spin the ball more than she should, which caused discomfort. It is a worry of hers that is evident even at the plate, after fouling two balls off in a row, she had to step away from the box and shake her hand out to relieve some pain. She only threw against two batters against Colgate and it’s been a while since she has thrown extended time.

Her concerns ended up being a non-factor in the final moments of the game.

“It’s nice to come back out and pitch,” said O’Hara. “I’m just focusing on hitting my spots and doing whatever I can do to help the team.

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