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Sunday, Apr 22, 2018 at 5:53 pm

Syracuse Grabs First ACC Series Sweep with NC State Shutout

By Sam Rothman

Softball Beat Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— On Saturday, Syracuse grabbed two wins against NC State in close two-run contests.

Sunday, SU came away with another victory, but in different fashion. The Orange shutout the Wolfpack 7-0 for its first ACC series sweep of the season.

“Getting those two wins yesterday just made us have that extra push,” Alicia Hansen said. “We want to sweep. We had an opportunity to sweep, so we were going to take that opportunity.”

After Alexa Romero’s career-high strikeout performance on Saturday, the sophomore picked up right where she left off. Romero struck out the first three batters she faced.

With Romero getting it done in the circle, her teammates rallied behind her with four runs in the bottom of the first. On Syracuse’s first at-bat of the day, Alicia Hansen set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. The junior hit one out of the park to get the Orange on the board. After Bryce Holmgren was hit by a pitch and Gabby Teran reached on a walk, Rachel Burkardt drove them home on an RBI single. Burkhardt then crossed home on Michala Maciolek’s single to round out the four-run inning.

“With than run support, it helps you be a little more comfortable and get more of a groove into the game,” said Romero.

Romero kept her groove for the rest of the matchup, and so did Alicia Hansen. The outfielder hit another bomb in the fourth for her second solo home run of the day. The junior now leads the Orange with four home runs. And they have all come in the past seven contests.

“I think everyone has just come together,” said Andrea Bombace. “We are all playing together and that’s the best feeling. When we are a unit as one and not separated, I think that’s the best feeling.”

On Wednesday against Niagara, Bombace pinch hit for Hannah Dossett and hit one out of the park for the first time this season. And on Sunday, the junior did it again against the Wolfpack. In the fifth, Bombace cranked one over the fence for the 7-0 advantage, which would be the final score.

“Honestly, it felt great,” said Bombace. “It feels great every time with my teammates cheering for me in the dugout. Every single time I go out there I fight for them. Just having fun with the team and seeing them run out, it’s just a great feeling. And it will always be a great feeling.”

With the series finale victory, the Orange also clinched a spot in the ACC Tournament.

“I think that we had a little extra push knowing that NC State was kind of in the same boat as us when it comes to the ACC tournament,” said Hansen. “And we were told before we had to get at least two wins to secure a spot in the ACC tournament. But, two wasn’t going to be enough for us. We came in wanting to sweep them.”

Syracuse looks to carry this momentum into its matchup with Binghamton on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

@samrothman_ | sbrothma@syr.edu