Ross explains departure of 4 members from softball program

first_img Published on September 4, 2014 at 3:19 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+ Four members of the Syracuse softball program have left the school, head coach Leigh Ross confirmed Thursday afternoon.Sophomore catchers Nicole Lundstrom and Ellie Forkin and sophomore pitcher Christina Clermont have all transferred, while pitching coach Jenna Caira has returned home to school in Canada to study corporate communications, Ross said.Lundstrom transferred to Providence and Clermont to Long Beach State, while Ross was unaware of where Forkin chose to go and if she’s going to continue playing softball. Lundstrom and Clermont are both from around the areas where they chose to transfer, and Ross said Forkin was getting “homesick.”“It’s hard in college athletics anymore. Kids, you kind of expect that someone’s going to leave,” Ross said. “You never know, and kids are committing to schools so early without really knowing how they’ll feel once they get there on campus, being away from home.”Lundstrom was the Orange’s starting catcher in her freshman season, ranking first on the team in at-bats (154), second in runs batted in (32), third in runs scored (29) and home runs (6) and fourth in batting average (.312). But Ross said she developed a medical condition called the “yips,” which not many people were aware of. It caused her to jerk her arm back and forth multiple times before throwing the ball back to the pitcher after catching it.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRoss said that hypnosis and sports psychology techniques were used to try and fix the issue, but since they didn’t work, Lundstrom wouldn’t have been able to catch even if she did return.Clermont was the team’s No. 2 pitcher, posting a 5-6 record and 67 strikeouts in 97 innings. Forkin went 7-for-27 with three RBIs in 20 games played while serving as the backup catcher, but Ross said Forkin wasn’t considered as a catcher who’d take over.Caira served as an assistant coach specializing in pitching from 2012-14 after an illustrious playing career with SU. This past season, Caira worked with pitcher Sydney O’Hara, Syracuse’s first freshman to earn first-team all-conference honors since 2005. Ross added that Caira wasn’t totally sure if her heart was in coaching.With the loss of the team’s only two catchers from last season, Ross is forced to choose from several position players from 2014 to fill the spot behind the plate.The head coach said she’ll go with sophomore Alyssa Dewes or senior Julie Wambold, both of whom have had prior experience behind the plate. Dewes was recruited as a catcher before she had to have shoulder surgery, which restricted her to the outfield, and Wambold is just an “all-around” athlete, Ross said.The Orange has an incoming class of six, which includes three outfielders, a shortstop, a second baseman and a pitcher. Combine those with the eligibility of Washington transfer and pitcher Jocelyn Cater, and Ross says the Orange should be good to go in terms of numbers despite losing three from the same class.Said Ross: “We’re at 18, which is perfect.” Commentslast_img

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