O’Hara wins game 1, closes out game 2 in sweep of Binghamton

first_img Published on April 10, 2014 at 1:45 am Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+ Bases loaded, two outs.Runners on first and third, no outs.Twice freshman pitcher Sydney O’Hara found herself in a jam during Syracuse’s doubleheader against Binghamton on Wednesday, and twice O’Hara escaped.She threw a complete-game shutout in game one as Syracuse (15-18, 6-7 Atlantic Coast) beat Binghamton (12-14, 3-2 America East) 8-0 in a five-inning game, shortened due to the mercy rule. Then the Orange ace threw three frames of relief to help SU hang on for a 9-6 win in game two. The Syracuse offense provided plenty of run support, and on both occasions it was O’Hara’s pitching that protected its leads.O’Hara threw a total of eight innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight on the day. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Syd did great,” SU head coach Leigh Ross. “She threw well first game and then to have her, knowing that we have her kind of waiting.”O’Hara cruised through the first four innings of game one as Binghamton was only able to get one hit. In the fifth, she ran into self-inflicted trouble by walking the leadoff batter, allowing a single and hitting a batter to load the bases with two outs. But O’Hara stayed composed and was able to get the final out of the inning by inducing a pop fly. Catcher Nicole Lundstrom said O’Hara’s ability to keep her concentration helped her get out of the inning.“She did a good job hitting her spots,” Lundstrom said. “She wasn’t getting frazzled by anything. She just stayed focused on the game which is really important.”In game two, Syracuse was clinging to a 7-6 lead. Binghamton was threatening to score again with runners on the corners and no outs.In came O’Hara. And her form was just as sharp as it had been a few hours prior.After catcher Jasmine Watson caught the Bearcats’ Jessica Bump sleeping at third base, O’Hara picked up a strikeout and flyout to end the frame.Ross said she decided to go to O’Hara in part because she performed well earlier in the day.“Syd had held them the first game and she had command the first game. So we knew we got in quite a jam,” Ross said. “The momentum was shifting.“We just wanted to stop it, so we wanted to change it up right away.”This was the eighth time that O’Hara came on in relief, so she said she understood her role and it was not new to her. After going through the Binghamton lineup more than once, O’Hara was able to learn how she should pitch to each batter.Not only did O’Hara have to battle through the Binghamton lineup, but she also had to deal with the elements. The temperature was in the mid-40s throughout the afternoon, adding another challenge for the pitcher.“My hand was so cold,” O’Hara said. “I was trying to get it warm in the fourth inning of the first game. It’s tough being a pitcher when you can’t feel your hand, but you just have to make adjustments.”Regardless of the conditions, O’Hara dictated the game with her accurate pitching. She threw a total of 131 pitches — 87 for strikes — and fulfilled her role as ace of the staff. Having a dominant pitcher available at any moment is an important asset for the Orange. Ross said that it’s nice to have someone to rely on in key spots.When O’Hara was asked how she handles the responsibility of being the go-to player, she took a deep breath and smiled.“It’s tough, it’s tough,” O’Hara said. “But I’m mentally tough and whatever happens, I’m prepared for it and just go out there and pitch good.” Commentslast_img

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