#34 Syracuse Softball 2014 Preview

Syracuse Orange

Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
#34 Syracuse Softball 2014 Preview
Syracuse Team Page


Unfamiliarity can be a double-edged sword. Syracuse joins the Atlantic Coast Conference this year, leaving the Big East behind. New ACC foes will be unaccustomed to The Orange style of play, but SU will have to hustle to catch up with the new environment of which they are now a part. Posting a sub-.500 record both overall and in conference play in 2013, the Orange will have an uphill battle early trying to keep pace, as multiple ACC teams were invited or earned their way into the NCAA post-season last year.   

2013: 23-29, 10-12
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Leigh Ross

Field Players:
Syracuse returns senior sure-handed first baseman Jasmine Watson (.983 field %), who led the team in hits (47), doubles (11) and shared the lead in home runs (11). Fellow Senior Shirley Daniels posted a .287 batting average and swiped 35 bases (37 attempts) with nine doubles and seven round-trippers. Sophomore third baseman Corrine Ozanne posted 42 runs batted in and also went yard 11 times in a stellar freshman season. The SU roster lists three freshman catchers who will vie to replace departed graduate Ashly Dimon.

Count the Orange among the orchard-full of teams relying on offensive output to support an unproven pitching corps in 2014. Junior Lindsay Taylor has the most experience, but has logged less than 160 innings in her two years. She was 4-12 with a 2.56 ERA last year, but with a paltry combined 39 innings thrown by other returning arms, the Orange lack experience. Two freshmen-Carlsbad, California native Christina Clermont, a three time ESPN Cal-High All Pitcher, along with Jordyn White (Freehold, NY) will need to contribute, and soon. Fellow frosh Sydney O’Hara, the New York State Gatorade Player of the Year, may turn out to be the solution to the pitching puzzle. Pitching coach and former SU star Jenny Caira (97 career wins) will mentor the young staff.

Who to Watch:
Everybody. Syracuse will need plenty of offense to support the pitching, which will need to rely on the defense. The Orange hit just .228, scored 3.9 runs a game and struck out 400 times in 2013. On the mound, they lost pitcher Stacy Kuwik (204 innings pitched) to graduation. Freshman pitching will be relied upon and the defense (.955 field %) will need to be solid behind them. Navigating an ACC schedule is arguably a lot more difficult than what the Orange have been subjected to in the past.

Final Projection:
Syracuse returns zero .300 hitters, has questions in the circle, and joins an established softball conference that includes North Carolina, fellow Big East alum Notre Dame (43 wins,)  and Super Regional qualifier Florida State. SU will need a hot start and a consistent season after that to earn a bid to the tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Jasmine Watson, 1B, 159
Hits: Jasmine Watson, 1B, 47
Home Runs: Jasmine Watson, 1B, and Corrine Ozanne, 3B, 11 each
RBIs: Corrine Ozanne, 3B, 42
Runs: Shirley Daniels, OF, 41
Stolen Bases: Shirley Daniels, OF, 35

Wins: Lindsay Taylor, P, 4
Innings Pitched: Lindsay Taylor, P, 104
Strikeouts: Lindsay Taylor, P, 84
Saves: Lindsay Taylor, P, 2

Madness 2014 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#31 Sydney O'Hara


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