first_imgMuch of the afternoon belonged to the stellar play of junior right fielder Shirley Daniels but reminders that it was Senior Day at Syracuse University softball field abounded.Orange and blue streamers were wound around the bleacher railings, as color-coordinated balloons whipped in the wind. A white banner carrying the image of a softball diamond and the jersey numbers — 33, 7, 21, 16, 5 and 4 — of each graduating player superimposed onto their corresponding positions on the field, was draped along the left field fence.Sunday’s 9-4 win against Providence was captain Morgan Nandin’s last-ever game at Syracuse Softball Stadium. The win inched Syracuse into the Big East tournament and gave Syracuse the win it needed to claim the three-game weekend series against Providence.It was a bittersweet adieu for a player who has become a defensive stalwart and fixture of consistency at shortstop over four seasons.“I wish there was like eight years of eligibility,” Nandin said after the game. “I want to keep playing but we ended on a great note.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I’m really happy with the way I’m playing and it took like four years for me, mentally, to figure out this game. I’ve only figured out 20 percent of it but there’s no way you can figure out this whole game, Nandin said. “It’s tough that it’s coming to an end.”A pre-game ceremony honored each of the graduating players — Emily Thompson, Gabby Torzili, Stacy Kuwik, Ashley Dimon, Ronnie Grant and Nandin, who generated one of the crowd’s loudest responses. Over the press-box intercom, an announcer blared the impressive line of records Nandin accumulated during her time donning a Syracuse jersey — first all-time in games started, second all-time in double plays turned, among them.At the top of the third inning with one out, Nandin provided the home crowd one parting glimpse of the stealth acrobatics that’s become routine over the years. A Providence batter hit the ball between third baseman Corinne Ozanne and Nandin. Nandin dove to the left, ending up on her stomach and containing the ball from traveling any further. Nandin caught a glimpse of the batter, who was half-way to first and made a spot-on throw to first baseman Jasmine Watson for the out.Nandin picked herself up and dusted her dirt-covered knees, remaining straight faced as she resumed her post between second and third. In the rafters, the awestruck crowd wavered between silence and hushed murmurs, unsure of how to respond to the unlikely play.On the field, Nandin didn’t crack a smile — like all the times that came before it, she didn’t let on.“I try and pretend I do those plays all the time. On the inside, I’m like jumping up and down,” she said.Syracuse closed out Senior Day and the season on a high-note but the team knows there’s still work left unfinished. In a season that’s marked by growing pains and adjusting to the departure of key players from last season’s team, Syracuse looks to use the momentum they’ve generated in the last stretch of the season in post-season play.Center fielder Grant said, compared to the start of the regular season, the team’s managed to come together. Grant closed out the game by sliding to snag a fly ball for the Providence’s final seventh inning out — a fitting end for her final game at Syracuse’s softball stadium.“I wanted it … I knew that was a big hitter. I really wanted the ball,” she said, as a smile broke across her face. Comments Published on May 5, 2013 at 6:35 pm Contact Debbie: dbtruong@syr.edu | @debbietruong Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Related Stories Daniels carries Syracuse into Big East tournament with standout Senior Day performancelast_img

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