Softball

Syracuse blows 2-run lead in the 4th inning of loss to Colgate

Zach Barlow | Asst. Photo Editor

Colgate tripped up Syracuse on Wednesday in the second game of the teams' doubleheader. The Raiders beat the Orange, 3-2.

After a seven-run Syracuse win over Colgate in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, and a two-run first inning for the Orange in the second game, Syracuse was looking great.

That was until the fourth inning, when disaster struck for the Orange in its 3-2 loss to the Raiders. Syracuse (24-19, 8-9 Atlantic Coast) gave up all three runs on one hit in the fourth inning to Colgate (8-22, 3-5 Patriot). As Brigit Ieuter’s screwball toyed with the Orange, Katie Bushee’s fourth-inning, bases-loaded hit buried the Orange.

“We thought we could just roll over this team,” Corinne Ozanne said, “and obviously we couldn’t.”

After throwing three scoreless innings for the Orange to start the second game, starting pitcher AnnaMarie Gatti walked into the circle and eyed Colgate leadoff hitter Tara Grennan to start the fourth inning.

As Grennan dug in, Gatti went into her windup. Ball one. The right-hander followed with four more pitches, three of them balls, walking Grennan on just five pitches total.

Gatti admitted after the game that in the fourth inning, she wasn’t as consistent as she usually is. At times she felt like herself, but she wasn’t 100% there.

Meghan Romero followed Grennan with a single down the third base line. The single put runners on first and second. Gatti then got the next two batters out, bringing up nine-hole hitter and Colgate starting pitcher Ieuter.

As Ieuter walked to plate, a wave of uneasiness came over the crowd. Gatti had already gotten the Orange out of two jams earlier in the game, stranding a runner on base in both the second and third innings, but she wasn’t looking like herself on the mound.

“I tried to be tougher and carry over the innings before,” Gatti said. “… But I just didn’t feel like myself.”

Ieuter steadied herself at the plate and Gatti came at her with everything she had, but nothing seemed to hit the strike zone. After a high pitch out of the zone landed in catcher Olivia Martinez’s glove, home plate umpire Danny Everson called ball four.

A hush fell over the crowd as Ieuter jogged to first base, flipping her bat towards the cheering Raider dugout as she went past. A few Syracuse players shouted words of encouragement to Gatti, who was beginning to look flustered on the mound.

As Colgate leadoff hitter Bushee stepped into the right handed batter’s box with the bases loaded, Gatti looked down at the rubber and took a deep breath. Bushee was already 3-of-5 on the day, with a run scored in the first game.

“You walk the nine-hole hitter to get to the girl on top who had the best day (of any Colgate player),” Bosch said. “So with the bases loaded, you’re going after their best hitter.”

Early in the at bat, Gatti made a mistake.

She floated a changeup high in the zone and Bushee made her pay for it. The junior pounded a two-out double to deep left field that rolled under the glove of Alyssa Dewes and all the way to the fence.

“(Bushee’s RBI double) was kind of a gut shot, because that inning led off with a walk,” Ozanne said. ”Things just kind of trickled into play — it’s tough to come back from that.”

Grennan scored. Romero scored. Ieuter scored.

Just like that, the Orange was down, 3-2, a score it wouldn’t come back from the rest of the game.

As the Orange filed off the field after the game, the scoreboard in left field showed a line of zeroes in the Colgate row, flanked by one three in the fourth inning. It was the only inning the Raiders scored in all game.

Gatti finished with three runs allowed on four hits, five strikeouts and one misplaced changeup, a changeup that ended up costing the Orange the game.

“I hung the changeup. If I would have left it a little bit lower, (the three run double) probably wouldn’t have happened, but I hung it,” Gatti said. “Stupid me.”

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