Syracuse Completes Sweep of Virginia Tech on Senior Day
By James Groh
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse celebrated senior day by getting its 30th win of the season. The Orange swept the Virginia Tech Hokies three games to none to get the program its most wins since 2012.
Before the game started, left fielder Alyssa Dewes and utility player Sydney O’Hara were honored during a senior ceremony. They are the only two seniors on the team.
O’Hara is having a career year. She is up for National Player of the Year for her efforts as a pitcher and hitter. She has six saves, which is tied for the most in the nation. She is also ranked fourth in batting average at .470. She was named ESPN Athlete of the Week when she tied a NCAA record by hitting four home runs in one game.
When asked about how it felt to be the closer for one of her final games, her answer was all business.
“It was my job,” O’Hara said. “Obviously, I got a little emotional, but it’s awesome getting that last strike out…I actually kept it together pretty well to be honest with you.”
This season, Dewes is batting .200. She hit two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. She was a little more emotional during postgame than her teammate.
“I’m definitely going to miss it,” Dewes said. “It’s a huge part of your life. It’s the last home game. It’s overwhelming I guess.”
Today’s win featured both of these players on either side of the ball. Syracuse got on the board first when center fielder Jessica Heese hit a single up the middle to bring right fielder Bryce Holmgren home in the bottom of the second.
Then in the bottom of the third, O’Hara drove in shortstop Sammy Fernandez to go up 2-1. Back-to-back RBIs extended Syracuse’s lead. Designated hitter Faith Cain singled up the middle to drive in second baseman Alicia Hansen. Then third baseman Hannah Dossett hit a two-run homer to center to double Syracuse’s lead. Holmgren added the final run for the Orange in the bottom of the fifth to go up 6-1.
In the top of the sixth, Dewes had to run all the way to the warning track in order to make an overhead catch on a deep fly ball to left. She ended her day 0-3, but didn’t commit an error.
After the game, head coach Mike Bosch said that Dewes and O’Hara were key contributors in revitalizing the SU softball program.
“They definitely left our program better than when they came in,” Bosch said. “This was the first time in five years since we got 30 wins and .500 in the ACC now. So they have done something to help us get there, and I think that’s the big legacy they will leave.”
Syracuse is now 30-18 (10-10) on the year while Virginia Tech drops to 19-34 (5-19). The Orange’s last game before the ACC tournament is on Tuesday against Cornell at Skytop Softball Stadium.