Freshman Miranda Hearn will contribute from both the circle and plate for Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 12, 2018 at 10:55 pm Contact David: UPDATED: Feb. 13, 2017 at 8:50 a.m.Three players on Syracuse’s roster are listed as just pitchers. Another 16 are listed as just hitters. Miranda Hearn, the 20th player on the roster, is the only one who does both.Since the fall season began in early September, head coach Mike Bosch needed to figure out the best way to account for voids in Syracuse’s batting order and pitching rotation. Hearn, a freshman, emerged as someone who could play an important role for SU’s pitching staff and contribute with her bat. The Sugar Land, Texas, native will mostly serve as a reliever this season, but Bosch intends to use her as a starting pitcher and an infielder, as well.“Our roster gives us some flexibility from a lineup standpoint, so there are a couple possibilities for her,” Bosch said. “She’s kind of a do-it-all.”In SU’s (2-1) first three games of the new season, Hearn has pitched 2.2 innings in relief, allowing one hit, striking out two and walking two. In Sunday’s game against Southern Mississippi, Hearn celebrated her birthday by recording her first career save for Syracuse. Twice she has pinch-hit for the designated hitter, but has yet to get on base.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt is not often the Orange have a player who can do damage both at the plate and in the circle. Over the past four seasons, just one SU player, Sydney O’Hara, recorded at least 15 hits and one pitching appearance in a season. While Hearn has two plate appearances and zero hits in Syracuse’s first three games, her past success as a batter suggests she will join the graduated All-American on that list.At Clements (Texas) High School, Hearn was a first-team all-district pitcher four times, but the circle was not the only place she thrived. She played multiple infield positions and catcher, and was named MVP of District 23-6A as a sophomore. As a senior, Hearn posted a .580 batting average along with 10 home runs, 47 RBI and a .644 on-base percentage.Despite Hearn’s dominance throughout high school, she knew it would take most of the fall to assimilate herself to the college game. In intrasquad scrimmages and exhibition games against Le Moyne and Onondaga Community College, Hearn quickly noticed a large gap in quality between high school and college.“You’re facing people that are 21 and 22 years old and been in a weight room for two or three years,” Bosch said about the differences between high school and college softball. “And they’ve seen pretty much every type of pitcher that you could see.”In the weeks prior to Syracuse’s season opener, Hearn made strides in her preparation. Her mechanics, mentality, ability to command the zone and general maturity grew rapidly as the season inched closer, Bosch said. Less than a week before the Orange’s first game against University of Texas at Arlington, Bosch said Hearn should play in every game.Fellow pitchers Alexa Romero and Baylee Douglass have each spoken highly of Hearn’s ability.Romero called Hearn a “standout” among the team’s freshman and noted her composure, something most pitchers do not have at the start of their freshman season. While Douglass complimented Hearn’s short memory in the circle as well, she also indicated similarities between herself and the freshman.“We’re both movement pitchers, I think we’ll be used mostly in a closing or relief sort of role,” Douglass said. “I see a little bit of myself in her.”Hearn will keep receiving opportunities to bolster her experience as a pitcher and hitter. Bosch and SU are excited about Hearn’s multidimensional talent and plan to vary her roles going forward to take advantage of her skill set.“I see myself as whatever the coaches want me to do, whenever they want me to go in pitching, whatever position they want me to play,” Hearn said. “I will be ready for whatever they have for me.” Commentslast_img