Softball

Syracuse squanders its few chances in 5-0 loss to Boston College

Logan Reidsma | Senior Staff Photographer

Syracuse struggled at the plate, accumulating just three hits and striking out seven times in a 5-0 loss to Boston College on Saturday.

Kelsey Johnson slashed a grounder just foul down the left field line for what may have scored two. Instead, it made the count 1-2. Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch clenched his fists in frustration. With the bases loaded and two runs down, this was Syracuse’s chance.

“Good battle. Come on Kels! Come on!” Bosch pleaded.

But Johnson struck out looking. The slap hitter’s scurry out of the box turned still when she heard the strikeout call. She looked behind her and began a slow gait back to the dugout.

“If (we) take advantage of that opportunity,” Bosch said, “it might be a little bit different.”

But the Orange didn’t and Boston College’s (27-21, 9-8 Atlantic Coast) Allyson Frei held Syracuse (27-23, 9-13) scoreless in game two on Saturday afternoon at SU Softball Stadium. In the occasional times it got runners on base, the Orange could not capitalize against the sophomore right-hander, losing 5-0. In the first game, the Eagles banged out 12 runs on 18 hits to win, 12-2, in five innings.

SU came out flat on senior day, managing just three hits in the second game. Only twice did a leadoff batter reach base. It was the first time this year SU has lost both games of a doubleheader at home.

With Saturday’s losses, Syracuse has dropped four of its last five conference games and fallen to the No. 7 spot in the conference. The top eight teams advance to the ACC tournament.

“(Today was) kind of uncharacteristic for our team,” Bosch said. “That’s kind of disheartening getting toward the end of the season.”

After a 13-0 win over North Carolina State two weeks ago, the Orange had won its last five series and was seeded No. 6, within striking distance of getting into the ACC’s top four. But dropping two of three at Louisville last weekend and both games on Saturday makes it likely SU will play either No. 1 seed Florida State (41-5, 18-1) or No. 2 seed Louisville (32-11, 13-5) in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Orange is 1-5 against those teams this year.

In the second game on Saturday, sloppy base running took the Orange out of a big-inning opportunity. At-bats were weak, as the Orange tallied just three hits — the first of which didn’t come until the fifth inning — and struck out seven times.

“It’s something we need to cut down on moving forward,” assistant coach Kristyn Sandberg said of the team’s strikeouts.

Andrea Bombace led off the second inning with a routine fly ball to right. With the sun in the eyes of BC’s Loren DiEmmanuele, she dropped it, allowing Bombace to coast into second. Bombace then stole third giving Hannah Dossett, one of SU’s hottest hitters, a chance to put the Orange on the board.

Dossett hit a grounder to third, but Bombace drifted too far off the bag and was tagged out. It killed any hope the Orange may have in its first of just a few chances on the day.

“She took a bad lead and got caught off the bag,” Bosch said. “(She) didn’t take a walk-off lead, got too far off the base.”

Meanwhile, SU starter AnnaMarie Gatti left pitches over the middle of the plate for BC hitters to drive. A Severini homer to left put BC up 1-0 in the third. A Tatiana Cortez sixth-inning double to left made it 3-0. BC would tack on two more.

Syracuse’s only other chance came in the fifth when Bombace turned a 2-2 count into a leadoff walk. After Alicia Hansen walked, Rachel Burkhardt smacked a liner up the middle, giving Danille Chitkowski a chance with the bases loaded.

When Frei threw a hard fastball up and away for strike two, Chitkowski looked back at the umpire as if to say, “Really?” She laid off the next pitch in the dirt, but struck out swinging.

Syracuse’s seventh and final inning epitomized its day, lasting just a few minutes and a handful pitches: A lazy fly to center field, a weak grounder to second, then a first-pitch pop-up to first base marked the end of a lackluster day at the plate.

“Sometimes things just fall into place and things happen,” Syracuse infielder Corinne Ozanne said, “but today they didn’t.”

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