Syracuse Orange: Jenna Caira is first softball player to have jersey retired

Jenna Caira, Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Network)
Jenna Caira, Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Network) /

On Saturday, April 29, the number 29 jersey will be retired by the Syracuse Orange softball team, and that jersey happens to belong to one of my all-time favorite ‘Cuse players, pitcher Jenna Caira.

For those who don’t follow the softball program, let me tell you that this is a well-deserved honor for a player who brought so much to the program. Nobody deserves it more than Caira.

Jenna Caira came to Syracuse from Toronto, Ontario. She was a 2009 Big East Conference Rookie of the Year, member of the 2009 Canadian National Team and the 2011 Big East Conference Pitcher of the Year.

Jenna Caira also holds several softball records for the Syracuse Orange and helped the team win back-to-back Big East Conference tournament titles in 2010 and 2011, as well as three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-2012.

As a guy would watch Syracuse table tennis to root on my Orange, I do my best to follow every sport I can and Jenna’s time on the mound was just as I was getting on social media and listening to any Syracuse Orange game I could on, and that included softball.

Former Syracuse Orange softball star Jenna Caira is having her jersey retired.

If you ask me to list my favorite ‘Cuse athletes to ever play any sport, she’s on my short list for sure right up there with Pearl Washington, Don McPherson, Katie Rowan, the Powell brothers and Justyn Knight.

Per SU Athletics, Jenna Caira is the first former softball player to have her jersey retired by the Syracuse Orange.

I have an immense amount of respect for Jenna and then-Syracuse Orange head coach Leigh Ross. They were building a winning program and when Jenna pitched, I listened to see how many strikeouts she was going to have that game because she was that good.

In fact, in 2010, I honestly remember her striking out like 14 batters in 7 innings against Tennessee, which I believe was ranked at the time. She left the Syracuse Orange with more than 1,000 career strikeouts.

Jenna Caira was the definition of an ace pitcher. She also went on to mentor former Syracuse Orange softball player and current assistant coach Sydney O’Hara, who also had a very stellar career for the ‘Cuse.

My congratulations to Jenna Caira and her family for this achievement from a Syracuse Orange fan who loved watching her play from afar and listened to games online or at least followed the best that I could via Twitter.

April 29 will officially be #29 day as Caira’s 29 jersey joins a list of other standout SU student-athletes who have been honored. Caira’s jersey retirement will take place when the Syracuse Orange hosts Virginia beginning at 1 pm from the Skytop Softball Complex.

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