STAFF : Syracuse softball opens season with 3 straight wins before falling twice to top competition
Syracuse won its first three games at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend before losing to No. 8 Arizona in five innings, 11-1, and No. 3 California, 6-3.
The Orange (3-2) got off to a strong start behind its potent lineup, sweeping Friday’s action with a shutout win over Texas State and a 10-2 win over Cal State Northridge.
SU continued to impress offensively Saturday morning with an 11-2 win against McNeese State. But against tougher Pac-10 opponents in Arizona and California, SU could muster only a combined four runs.
Syracuse only managed one run against Wildcats pitcher Jessica Spigner in its first loss of the season Saturday night. In five innings, Spigner surrendered only three hits. The opposing pitcher also hit a three-run home run off SU starter Stacy Kuwik in the bottom of the first inning to get the Arizona offense going.
On Sunday, SU kept it close against No. 3 California until the top of the fifth inning. Despite Jasmine Watson’s two home runs, the Orange was three-hit again in another losing effort.
Stephanie Watts scored on a base hit by Shirley Daniels against Arizona to become SU’s all-time leader in runs scored.
SU’s upcoming schedule features more ranked opponents from the West Coast. The team will face Arizona again, as well as No. 13 UCLA when it travels to Palm Springs, Calif., for the Cathedral Classic in two weeks.
The Syracuse women’s tennis team defeated its first two nationally ranked opponents this season with 4-3 wins against No. 55 Boston College and No. 60 Harvard this past weekend.
The Orange (5-3) lost all three doubles matches against the Eagles on Saturday afternoon, but rallied to take 4-of-6 singles matches for the victory.
Senior Emily Harman extended her singles winning streak, defeating No. 108 Jessica Wacnik in three sets, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4. Breanna Bachini, Alessondra Parra and Amanda Rodgers also registered singles victories for the Orange.
Against Harvard on Sunday, the Crimson held a 1-0 advantage by capturing the doubles point. Parra and Rodgers registered SU’s only doubles victory of the day with a 9-7 win.
But the Orange rebounded in the singles competition, winning 4-of-6 matches again to seal the victory.
Harman won her seventh straight singles match with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Hideko Tachibana. Freshmen Bachini and Rodgers continued to surprise, each winning their respective matches, and Parra defeated Samantha Gridley 6-2, 5-7, 7-6.
The Orange begins a four-match home stand starting Saturday when SU hosts Temple at Drumlins Tennis Courts.
Despite a strong performance by sophomore goaltender Kallie Billadeau, the SU women’s ice hockey team (9-20-3, 0-7-3 College Hockey America)could not muster enough offense to keep up with conference rival Mercyhurst (21-6-2, 7-1-2)this weekend. The Lakers skated to an easy 6-2 win Friday night and completed the sweep Saturday with a 3-1 win at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Mercyhurst scored the first four goals of the game Friday afternoon to build a comfortable lead on the Orange. Molly Byrne began the scoring with her sixth goal of the season to make it 1-0 midway through the first period.
The onslaught continued for Mercyhurst in the second period, as the Lakers scored two goals in less than a minute to pull away from SU. Bailey Bram scored her 25th goal of the season, and Christine Bestland made the score 4-0 on an unassisted effort shortly after.
SU forward Brittney Krebs scored her first collegiate goal, and Billadeau made 37 saves, but the Orange was unable to keep up with the potent Mercyhurst offense.
On Saturday, Syracuse struggled to put points on the board again. Holly Carrie-Mattimoe scored her team-leading 13th goal of the season, but that was the extent of the scoring for the Orange.
The Lakers jumped out to another early lead, scoring just 1:03 into the game to put pressure on Billadeau, who made 44 saves. Mercyhurst added two more goals in the third and handed SU another conference loss in the 3-1 defeat.
Syracuse will have a week off before traveling to Niagara to wrap up the regular season Feb. 24-25.
At the Kane Invitational in Ithaca, junior Joseph Whelan took first place in the mile run and qualified for next week’s Big East championships with a time of 4:17.34. On Friday and Saturday, Syracuse had 12 athletes finish in the top 10 of their respective events.
Junior Jonathan Aziz finished fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a final time of 15:17.11.
Senior Matthew Callanan finished in 8.30 seconds in the final round of the 60-meter hurdles, in which he took fifth place. Junior Colin Reno finished seventh in the 60-meter dash with a 7.12.
In the 800-meter run, Justin Murray narrowly beat teammate Sean Carney by .3 seconds, and they finished ninth and 10th, respectively.
In the women’s 800-meter run, three Orange runners finished in the top 10. Senior Kelly Anne McCarthy’s time of 2:22.53 was good for third place. Freshmen Julissa Wilson and Nancie Sophias earned seventh and 10th place, respectively.
The highly anticipated Big East Indoor Championships will begin Saturday at the Armory in New York City.
—Compiled by The Daily Orange Sports staff
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