The softball team will look to end its streak of series splits when it faces Syracuse today in a doubleheader at 3 p.m. The Red is currently 22-18 (6-6 Ivy) and will be playing its fourth of seven straight home doubleheaders at Niemand-Robison Field.
The Orangewomen are currently 19-15 (7-3 Big East) and are lead by a duo of strong hitters. Freshman Tanya Rose is hitting a team best .365 on the year including a stellar .426 average in the last 14 games for S.U. Rose already holds the single season record for doubles with nine and is just three hits away from owning the single season record for hits with 41 as well.
Sophomore Cheryl Julicher wields, quite possibly, the most productive bat in Syracuse history, owning nearly every other single season record not held by Rose. Julicher currently boasts the highest single campaign marks in home runs (8), walks (17), RBI (23), runs scored (20) and is on the verge of breaking S.U.’s slugging percentage (.563) and total bases (60) records as well.
On the mound, Syracuse is led by the strong arm of senior Heather Brown, who won both games in Saturday’s twinbill with B.C. Brown is currently 7-7 and struck out 14 batters in 15 innings of work in Saturday’s impressive performance.
Having watched Princeton clinched the Ivy title last weekend, the Red has set some new goals for itself which include today’s contest.
“We’re still thinking about this season,” said sophomore pitcher Sarah Sterman, “we’re [in] a great time right now, we get along great right now, and we want to play the way we know we can play right now.”
In a somewhat disappointing title defense season, the consistency of Sterman on the mound has been one of the high points for head coach Dick Blood this season.
Sterman was most recently named Ivy League Pitcher of the Week for her three complete game victories last week against St. Bonaventure, Dartmouth, and Harvard. Sterman only allowed one run in her three starts, recording a 0.37 ERA over the stretch. For the season she is 14-7 with a 1.41 ERA. Her 115 strikeouts also place her just 24 short of the single season mark.
At the plate, the Red will look to combine the hot bats of senior co-captains Annette Sheppard and Christina Trout with the constant power of freshman Lauren May and sophomore Kate Varde. May tied the single season team RBI mark of 44 over the weekend while Sheppard cashed in a pair of home runs and a triple against Harvard on Sunday.
While the Red has seen a plethora of outstanding individual efforts throughout the year, its difficulty in getting all of its parts moving together is evident in the team’s struggle to sweep a single series.
The problem is at the forefront of the team’s psyche and certainly one of the biggest changes the Red will look to make in its remaining games in 2002.
“It’s always been something different with these splits,” said Sterman, “Coach has never even given us the same speech after any single series.”
Coach Blood will have a more positive and unique speech to give his team today if the Red can handle the Syracuse combo at the plate and fight off Heather Brown’s pitches for fourteen consistent innings. It would be a huge boost for the Red as it heads into Saturday’s league twin bill against Columbia, its last of the season.
Archived article by Scott Jones