first_img Published on March 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nicktoneytweets Comments Kelly Saco heard the snap of the ball in her glove and unwillingly exhaled. The Carrier Dome turf wasn’t friendly to Morgan Nandin’s throw from shortstop, and as the ball skipped into first base, Saco caught the ball awkwardly with her glove up against her stomach.‘It came right up to my gut,’ said Saco. ‘I literally caught it with my stomach. It would normally hug the ground, but it didn’t.’Syracuse wasn’t playing softball in a normal place, though. Saco and her teammates had to adjust to their new indoor surroundings on the fly during this past weekend’s Duel at the Dome tournament – the first two Carrier Dome games in SU softball history.That grounder taught Saco the way the ball bounces on an indoor field normally used for football and lacrosse. The senior said players noted how the turf affected the ball during practice in Manley Field House this week, but the nuances of the Dome caught a few players off guard at first.Third baseman Carey-Leigh Thomas said that adjusting to the lights inside was an issue, too.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It took some time to figure out,’ said Thomas, who was 2-for-3 with a home run against Colgate on Friday. ‘We made an adjustment, and I think it worked.’Jenna Caira, SU’s starting pitcher for both indoor games last weekend, said it took some time to adjust her team’s new home field, too. The senior surrendered only one hit against Colgate on Friday, but a tournament of local softball teams left SU pitchers with a worn-out mound for Saturday.But Caira, who gave up four runs on Saturday, said Canisius hitters were able to acclimate quickly to indoor play and didn’t mention the mound conditions.Other parts of the game had to be changed to accommodate indoor play. A field that was 10 feet shorter down the left field line than at SU Softball Stadium didn’t aid Caira and the SU pitching staff.Canisius’ Lizzy Gatto’s three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning might have been caught if SU held this game outdoors. Gatto hit a line drive that wrapped itself around the foul pole set up by the SU football locker room, and the ball sneaked over the wall and into the bleachers.Caira credited Gatto’s patience at the plate for that home run and didn’t blame the field dimensions. But other kinks need to be ironed out before another indoor game. Outfielder Shirley Daniels said she ‘tweaked’ her neck sliding into second base after Friday’s game. Canisius second baseman Katie Medina was also hurt sliding into second base Sunday and was taken out of the game.‘It felt different sliding inside,’ Daniels said. ‘I eventually got the hang of it.’Limited space for the players created additional issues. The first few rows of bleachers were used as one bench for both teams, and SU players had to share a single staircase with opposing players to reach the field. Once there, SU coach Leigh Ross said it was a ‘tight squeeze’ for players who had less foul territory for an on-deck circle than normal.The field only utilized 50 yards of turf, though. A blue curtain split the Dome field in half, but the other half was only used as a bullpen for relief pitchers.Ross said future indoor softball tournaments would build upon what SU and the Carrier Dome staff learned by playing this weekend.‘We’ll change a few things for next time,’ Ross said. ‘The crew put a double-base at first that we needed to cut off. And we’ve had discussions about the bench and the field space. But overall, in such a short amount of time, they did a great job.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img