Notre Dame Sweeps Syracuse in Weekend Series
By Sam Rothman
Heading into Sunday’s doubleheader, Syracuse softball (18-17, 4-10 Atlantic Coast) looked to bounce back after a tough 2-1 loss to Notre Dame (26-12, 10-4 Atlantic Coast). The Orange didn’t want a repeat of Saturday, where it left ten runners on base. However, SU’s hopes fell flat as Syracuse left thirteen on base Sunday. The Irish came away with the series sweep as the Orange was shutout 8-0 in game one and fell 5-1 in the final game of the weekend.
Gabby Teran secured Syracuse’s first hit of the game with a single and then stole second to get in scoring position early. But with two outs, the Orange couldn’t bring her home to take the lead in the first and that would continue to plague the Orange throughout the day.
SU had a chance to tie the game in the third with bases loaded and two outs. With Hannah Dossett and Bryce Holmgren on second and third, Rachel Burkhardt was hit by a pitch. All of a sudden it was deja vu for the Orange. On Saturday, SU loaded the bases in the third, but couldn’t bring runners home. On Sunday, Syracuse couldn’t get it done again to cut into Notre Dame’s lead.
The Fighting Irish found themselves in a similar situation. After Ali Wester recorded the leadoff base hit, she stole second. However, Notre Dame was able to take advantage unlike its ACC rival. With two runners on base and the chance to take the lead early again this weekend, Sara White struck first with her second home run of the series. The Irish quickly grabbed the 3-0 lead right out of the gate.
AnnaMarie Gatti replaced Romero in the circle after just one inning of work. But, Notre Dame kept firing for the rest of the matchup. Abby Sweet, who grabbed the game-winning run on Saturday, doubled and reached home on a fielding error for the fourth run. In the fifth, Katie Marino scored on a wild pitch, while Sara White crossed home on a Syracuse fielding error. Whereas the Orange struggled with missed opportunities, the Irish capitalized and scored a pair of unearned runs for the 6-0 advantage. Notre Dame added two more in the bottom of the sixth to end the game early and complete the shutout.
Coming into Sunday’s doubleheader, Sammy Fernandez was two hits away from becoming Syracuse’s all-time leader. The senior didn’t grab a hit in the first game, but singled in the second contest to tie Tanya Rose for a program leading 206 hits. Fernandez then ran home on Neli Cares-Maher’s sacrifice fly to give Syracuse its first lead of the weekend.
Syracuse held onto the 1-0 advantage in the second game until the bottom of the third. Katie Marino tied the game at one with an RBI double and then crossed home herself on Abby Sweet’s single for the 2-1 lead. From that point on, ND dominated.
Notre Dame tacked on three runs in the fifth to extend its lead to 5-1. Marino drove in another run with her second double of the day as Wester ran home on a pitching error by Miranda Hearn. Sweet followed with a two-run home run, the Irish’s third time hitting it out of the park this weekend. Marino and Sweet led the way for Notre Dame, combining for five RBI in the game.
Looking to make a comeback in its final three outs, the Orange made it interesting in the seventh. Notre Dame pitcher Alexis Holloway lost her composure, giving up two straight walks and a single. All of a sudden, it was bases loaded for Syracuse and a home-run could tie the game. SU has struggled with home runs all season, only recording three through 35 games. Syracuse needed someone to hit one out of the park, and if anyone could, it was Gabby Teran who was up to bat next. The freshman had recorded two of Syracuse’s three home runs, but she couldn’t get it done on Sunday and Notre Dame grabbed the series sweep.
The Orange has now lost eight straight ACC matchups. Syracuse looks to rebound in its doubleheader with Siena on Wednesday.
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