Just how big was Syracuse’s win over #15 Virginia Tech?

Photo credit: Cuse.com/SU Athletics
Monday, Apr 29, 2024 at 5:58 pm by Sports Editor

By: Nathaniel Cunningham


Syracuse Softball’s (25-21, 7-14 Atlantic Coast Conference) win over #15 Virginia Tech this past weekend was more than just historic. You can talk about the fact it was the program’s first top-15 series win, The first ranked series win under Shannon Doepking and the first ranked series win for the Orange since 2016. But what does this mean for Syracuse going forward?


Morale Boost


It may seem like an obvious thing, but this win was a huge morale booster. Syracuse has had an up-and-down season, to say the least. The Orange would win 5 or 6 games early in the year, then drop 5 or 6 after. Going into April, SU’s chances at the postseason were all but gone. However, Head Coach Shannon Doepking said they had to change their mindset.


“It’s just about the fact that we want to extend our season,” Doepking said. “That’s all we have our eyes set on right now and it’s not about the rankings and none of that stuff.”


Full team effort


This season, the offense has been led by the top of SU’s lineup. Angel Jasso, Madelyn Lopez and Taylor Posner have been the keys to Syracuse picking up big-time wins. However, in big situations against VT, they didn’t show up. So the rest of the Orange lineup picked them up and got the job done. 


Olivia Pess was a huge piece hitting 7th or 8th to drive in runs for SU, Madison Knight slugged her way back into the top four of the lineup, and Vanessa Flores off the bench has provided clutch hit after clutch hit to drive in runs. 


It wasn’t just on the offensive side. Defense is a stat that’s hard to calculate but Syracuse’s defense against Virginia Tech was the best defense they have played all season. The outfielders were directing players, The infield was diving after every ball, and the Orange’s secondary throws were on point. 


ACC Standings


This win though goes beyond just personal impact but the impact it has on the ACC standings. Syracuse now holds 10th place in the ACC and would make a postseason berth. SU is currently tied with Boston College and Louisville.  However, BC is above SU due to the series win earlier in the year And the Orange are above the Cardinals due to a better run differential. 


This sets Syracuse up extremely well to hold on to the spot with just a week left to go. However, there is a chance that SU doesn’t get a postseason appearance. The Orange can only affect the games they play and SU has a tough task ahead of them. Syracuse takes on #18 Florida State this weekend. The Orange has only beaten the Seminoles once back in 2009 so to win one of those games is going to be tough, but that was also said about Virginia Tech. 


Boston College takes on Louisville. With the Orange and Eagles ACC record equal but BC has the series advantage, SU would need to win one more game than BC to jump them in the standings. 


12th-seeded Pittsburgh takes on 13th-seeded NC State this weekend as well. If the Wolfpack sweeps the Panthers, SU would be ahead of both teams and because Syracuse has the run differential advantage over Louisville, they just need to match what the Cardinals do. However, The Orange needs to also match what the Panthers do to stay on top of them. 


It still does put a crazy spot on Syracuse to make a postseason berth, however, the Orange have given themselves the best shot at making the playoffs.