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Thursday, May 03, 2018 at 12:14 am

Syracuse Shuts Out Colgate 2-0 in Home Finale

By Sam Rothman

Softball Beat Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse (30-19, 9-12 ACC) grabbed its fourth shutout in the past seven games with a 2-0 victory against Colgate (11-29, 6-9 Patriot) on Wednesday. The Orange has dominated non-conference play all season long and picked up its ninth straight win against a New York State rival.

It hasn’t been just one player stepping up for Syracuse down the home-stretch. Against North Carolina, Rachel Burkhardt hit the walk-off home run for the 1-0 win. In its matchup with Cornell on Monday, Sammy Fernandez led Syracuse to a 4-2 victory, crossing home three times along the way.

And on Wednesday, it was Alicia Hansen’s time. The junior outfielder tallied both RBI in the 2-0 shutout.

“Softball is just one of those things that you just can’t dictate who’s going to have the opportunity when the game is on the line,” Head Coach Mike Bosch said. “We need to have batters one through nine having that mindset that it’s going to be my opportunity, it’s going to be my time to get it done. You’ve seen various people in the lineup do that, and we are going to need that.”

The Orange wasted no time to get on the board yet again. In four of its last six matchups, Syracuse has grabbed at least one run in the first inning. Coming off her three-hit performance on Monday, Sammy Fernandez started things off with the 12th triple of her career. With the hit, the senior is now tied for the most triples in program history. Alicia Hansen drove the shortstop home with an RBI single for the first run of the game.

In the following inning, three straight walks from Colgate pitcher Kyle Griswold led to bases loaded for the Orange. Hansen, once again, took advantage and hit a sac-fly allowing Neli Casares-Maher to score. In just two innings of work, Syracuse crossed home twice thanks to Hansen.

“I think it’s kind of a mindset when there are runners on base to get the job done,” said Hansen. “I always go up there confident and looking to get a hit, but there’s just that extra motivation and extra push when people are on base.”

Syracuse didn’t advance past second base in the final four innings. With an offensive standstill, it was all up to AnnaMarie Gatti in the circle. The senior ended the day retiring the leadoff batter in all seven innings and has now pitched three straight complete game shutouts.

“It’s been the arms right now,” said Bosch. “Whoever has been on the mound has been really good. It kind of helps as far as you don’t have to score ten runs. But, you would like to have all facets rolling pretty well, just having the offense, the defense and the pitching working at the same time. But, right now the pitchers are doing the job”

Ending the regular season at 30-19, Syracuse recorded back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since 2011 and 2012. The victory also marked the Orange’s seventh time reaching 30 wins in program history.

“We are having really great success, but we are just skimming the surface,” said Gatti. “I think in the ACC tournament we could really show what we actually can do and maybe do some damage in the postseason, which we have never done.”

Syracuse has not been able to pull out a win in the ACC tournament thus far. The Orange heads to Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, May 9 looking for its first victory at the event.

@samrothman_ | sbrothma@syr.edu