Can the Orange still make the ACC tournament?

Photo Credit: Athletics
Monday, Apr 22, 2024 at 8:11 pm by Sports Editor

Nathaniel Cunningham | @n_cunning_0


After dropping a series to Pittsburgh, Syracuse Softball (21-20, 5-13 Atlantic Coast Conference) has fallen to tied 11th in the ACC. With 6 conference games left, can the Orange get back to the ACC tournament?


Upcoming Gauntlet


Syracuse can only affect the teams they play. The Orange have 2 non-conference matchups against Le Moyne and Cornell. While those can be confidence boosters, they have little impact on the ACC tournament. SU’s remaining schedule that does have an impact, #16 Virginia Tech and #18 Florida State. 


The Hokies have one of the best offenses in the nation. VT is 4th in the country in batting average while being second in home runs hitting over 2 a game. To add insult to injury, Syracuse hasn’t beaten Virginia Tech since 2018


The Seminoles on the other hand have a roster that is beyond deep. Of FSU’s nine qualified hitters, all but one are hitting above .300. Michaela Edenfield is top 10 in the ACC in almost every offensive category. Oh and if not beating a team since 2018 sounds bad, how about only beating a team once in 24 tries? That has been Syracuse’s result against Florida State. 


Cat Fight


Regardless of the outcome for the Orange, they will definitely be NC State fans in a week. The Wolfpack currently has the worst record in the conference and has to take on #3 Duke this weekend. The Blue Devils have been on a tear and should take care of NC State-handedly. However, from May 3rd-5th NC State takes on Pittsburgh. 


If the Wolfpack get swept by Duke and then sweep the Panthers they would finish with a 6-18 conference record. Pitt would also finish with a 6-18 record. The Orange wouldn’t have a series win over the Panthers but would have a run differential head over the Wolfpack. With the Orange sitting at 5-13 right now, just 2 wins in their last 6 games would put them above the Panthers and Wolfpack. 


Two Down, One to go


If all the information above occurred, Syracuse would be just one spot out of a tournament spot. However, a lot of issues occur from there. The teams above SU would be Notre Dame (8-13), Louisville (6-12), and Boston College (5-13). The remaining ACC schedules look like; 


Notre Dame


Vs. Boston College on April 26th-28th, 3-game series




Vs. Clemson on April 26th-28th, 3 game series

At Boston College on May 3rd-5th, 3 game series


Boston College


At Notre Dame on April 26th-28th, 3 game series

Vs. Louisville on May 3rd-5th, 3 game series


While the Orange could see themselves as high as the 8 seed, the Orange need Boston College to get swept by Notre Dame and Clemson to sweep Louisville. That would put the 8 seed out of reach but give SU a prime opportunity at a postseason spot. 


Assuming the Orange get at least one win from Virginia Tech, that would make Syracuse’s record 6-15, Louisville’s record 6-15, and Boston College’s record at 5-16. The Orange would propel into the 9 seed due to beating Louisville in run differential. 


That sets up Syracuse for the option of just matching Boston College’s record against Louisville or making sure that if BC does sweep the Cardinals and SU doesn’t sweep FSU, the Orange score some runs and keep the run differential in their favor. 


Either way, Syracuse’s path to an ACC tournament appearance got a lot harder because of a loss to Pittsburgh. Now the Orange must pick up some big wins against some top 20 teams.