SB : SU defeats Long Beach State in 1st game of regional round, prepares for tough matchup with ASU

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] After Syracuse defeated Long Beach State on Friday, head coach Leigh Ross relived the Orange’s previous two trips to the NCAA tournament with her team.She told her players they were just happy to be in the tournament in 2010. And Ross said one win in the regionals last year was enough to satisfy them.But on Friday, she addressed a different Syracuse team.‘This year we’ve had the different mentality from the get-go,’ Ross said in a phone interview. ‘Our mentality is that we want to be playing on May 31. We want to be in the College World Series and sometimes it takes a little luck but I’ll tell you what, any single day, you never know what can happen.’With the experience of its last two NCAA tournament appearances, Syracuse (41-14) came away with a 4-2 win over Long Beach State (28-24) in the opening game of the Tempe regional in Arizona on Friday. The Orange advanced to the winner’s bracket behind a two-run, inside-the-park home run from Lisaira Daniels.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse will play Saturday at 4 p.m. against No. 3 Arizona State (47-7), who defeated Long Island Brooklyn (25-34) 9-0 in five innings in the second game on Friday.Ross knew coming into the regional that her team would need to get past the host Sun Devils to move one step closer to the College World Series.‘I think we came in here thinking if we can get by Long Beach State then we have a good shot at ASU that next day,’ Ross said, ‘get a good rest and then have a good shot at them that next day and see what happens from there.’Before Ross and the Orange could turn their focus to the possibility of a matchup with ASU, though, they had to beat the 49ers.Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first two innings and held that advantage through three frames as starting pitcher Stacy Kuwik shut down the LBSU lineup. But Kuwik ran into trouble in the fourth inning and the 49ers evened the score 2-2 on a double down the right-field line by Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi.That’s when Ross noticed the transformation in her program from a year ago to Friday.The Orange didn’t panic and quickly retook control of the game on Daniels two-out home run to the right-center field gap. The LBSU outfield struggled to get the ball back to the infield and Daniels cruised around the bases and dove for home plate to give the Orange a 4-2 lead heading into the final three innings.From there, SU ace Jenna Caira pitched three scoreless innings and Syracuse moved on to the winner’s bracket.Ross said her team just has to take the same approach it did Friday to pick up another win against the Sun Devils.‘It’s a matter of just being patient and playing your game, not panicking and just being patient throughout the game and hope you get that lucky hit, that big hit when we need it,’ Ross [email protected]center_img Commentslast_img

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