Rochard, Hokies complete weekend sweep against Syracuse softball, 8-1

Rochard, Hokies complete weekend sweep against SU softball

The Orange struggled to get on the board as the nation's strikeout leader stood strong.
Published: May 2, 2021
Syracuse Softball vs. Virginia Tech on May 2, 2021
Syracuse softball fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies 8-1 on Sunday, May 2, 2021.

The Syracuse Orange bats were once again silenced by Keely Rochard of Virginia Tech, the nation’s strikeout leader, in an 8-1 loss on Sunday. The visiting Hokies completed the series sweep behind their ace, as she completed her fourth win in as many games, and dominated the strike zone.

Syracuse lost the margin total of the series, 30-2, as Virginia Tech never trailed in any of the games. ‘Cuse surrendered five runs with two outs today, two of which were unearned. The Orange cleaned up the defensive woes for the most part, but were unable to muster anything at the plate.

Rochard tossed five scoreless frames today, but the Orange bats were unable to help themselves. Not until the fourth inning did a runner touch second base with nobody out, as Syracuse struggled to make solid contact. In both the first and second innings, the Orange went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

“We employed the small ball early and often because we needed another route to putting the ball in play,” said head coach Shannon Doepking.

Dopeking also noted the uphill battle the team faced as they fell behind 2-0 in the first frame.

“Playing from behind forces a team to relinquish some of the valuable plate appearances,” said Doepking. “Against a team with the firepower of Tech, and their flamethrower on the mound, we needed to resort to hitting extremes.”

Syracuse surrendered two home runs and four extra-base hits today, adding to the Virginia Tech rallies. The home runs, off the bats of Darby Trull and Cameron Fagan, were both hits to right field, and both came after Syracuse had mustered a minor momentum swing.

While the Orange could not find their rhythm all weekend, Doepking remains confident about her team’s ability to reset and come back strong against Clemson.

“Virginia Tech is near the top of the ACC standings for a reason,” said Doepking. “We have faced the best pitcher in the country and feel we can touch any pitcher now.”

Syracuse fell below .500 with the loss today, but closes out the season next weekend, May 7-9, with the same four-game schedule against Clemson. The ACC tournament is also right around the corner and the team looks to hit their stride at the right time.

Avatar for Micah Pruyn Goldstein

is a contributor to The NewsHouse.