Florida State’s home runs plague Syracuse in 6-5 series finale loss

first_imgAlexa Romero nibbled. Her first three pitches of the at-bat sailed low and away for balls. Down 3-0, the left-hander threw the next pitch closer to the zone. Jessica Warren took advantage. The Seminoles clean-up hitter reached down to drive the ball straight over the center field fence.For the third time in as many games, Syracuse exited the top half of the first inning trailing. Twice due to the long ball.“(Warren) hurt us all weekend,” Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch said. “We tried this and we tried that. If you look at those pitches from the center field view, some of them are literally off the plate and she still took them out.”The home run was the Seminoles’ ninth in the last 13 innings. No. 2 Florida State (38-1-1, 18-0 Atlantic Coast) hit two more balls out of SU Softball Stadium on Sunday to sweep the three-game series with a 6-5 victory over Syracuse (19-15, 3-9) . After allowing eight hits and 12 runs in the first game of the weekend, Romero responded in the series finale. The freshman held Florida State, the nation’s top hitting team with a .367 overall team average, to just five hits.Three of them left the stadium.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe top of the third inning began well. In just eight pitches, Romero forced two easy outs, the latter of which came on a high fly ball to center field.As Jessica Warren struck an outside pitch to right field on the ensuing at-bat, Kelsey Johnson tracked the ball. She floated back as the ball carried. Appearing to be underneath the ball, the right fielder ran out of real estate. She stopped against the fence and turned and watched the ball travel over the protective netting. It was Warren’s fourth home run of the series, bumping the Florida State lead to 4-0.“That was just unbelievable,” Romero said. “That was a way outside pitch. I don’t know how she hit it. Just good hitting on her part.”Romero recovered. She enticed Sydney Broderick with a high fastball for strike three. In the fourth, she worked the corners. She beat Alex Powers with an outside curve, then caught Cali Harrod looking on the same pitch for another strikeout. Romero finished off the side with a tight inside pitch. As the umpire signaled the third strikeout of the inning, Romero let loose an emphatic fist pump and sprinted to the dugout for high-fives from her teammates.Just when Syracuse pushed the nation’s second ranked team back on its heels, the ball left the park again. At the start of the sixth inning, Syracuse didn’t pitch to Jessica Warren. The Seminoles’ home run leader walked freely to first base.Even still, the end result was the same. Romero attempted to pitch outside to Harrod, but the righty attacked the ball. Romero turned and followed the ball with her eyes. As the ball carried over the right field fence, the pitcher’s head sank, she kicked the dirt around with her feet, and Syracuse trailed once again.The final home run on Sunday was the 13th allowed by Romero in her last nine appearances, all in ACC play. The rest of the SU pitching staff has allowed only nine all season.“I’m guessing Florida State is happy to hit in this ballpark,” Bosch said. “Balls were going out like the air was thin or something.” Comments Published on April 9, 2017 at 6:17 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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