Syracuse struggles on the mound, drops doubleheader to Boston College

Eddie Natal | Staff Photographer

AnnaMarie Gatti and Syracuse struggled on the mound against Boston College on Saturday. Relief pitcher Sydney O'Hara missed the game and is "day to day."

Late in Saturday’s doubleheader against Boston College, Syracuse freshman Mariko Kondo picked up her equipment and started to warm up. The utility player hadn’t pitched since high school according to Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch, but the Orange had nobody else to go to.

“(Late in the game) we were down,” Bosch said. “(With O’Hara out), we had nobody to go to.”

Syracuse (27-23, 9-13 Atlantic Coast) lost both games of its doubleheader Saturday against Boston College (27-21, 9-8 ACC) at SU Softball Stadium Saturday, dropping the first 12-2 in five innings, and the second 5-0. Most of the Orange’s struggles came from a lack of consistent pitching.

After Thursday’s doubleheader against Siena, Bosch said its matchup Saturday against Boston College would be a pitcher’s duel. The only problem was that Syracuse was missing a pitcher.

After suffering an injury in the second Siena game, Syracuse pitcher Sydney O’Hara was on crutches for Saturday’s game. The relief pitcher is “day to day” according to Bosch.

“Jocelyn (Cater) and I knew going in that we would be each other’s relief pitchers (with O’Hara out),” AnnaMarie Gatti said, “and weren’t really afraid of that.”

Cater struggled in game one for Syracuse, getting pulled after allowing six runs in three innings. She was replaced by Lindsay Larkin, but Larkin had the same troubles, surrendering five runs in just one inning. Cater returned but couldn’t help, as the Orange fell 12-2.

After Cater and Larkin both saw a high pitch count in the first game, Bosch said that his plan of Cater relieving Gatti in the second game fell through.

“We weren’t coming back with Jocelyn, she had thrown twice in the first game,” Bosch said. “We weren’t coming back with (Larkin), so it was basically (Gatti’s) game.”

Gatti started the first game strong, giving up just one run in the first four innings. But her troubles started in the fifth, when BC put a runner on second base on an error, eventually scoring her on a fielder’s choice.

In the sixth, after Gatti gave up three straight hits to the first three BC hitters, she threw her right hand to her side and grabbed a handful of dirt, letting it drop to her side. It seemed time for Syracuse to bring in a relief pitcher.

However, with no O’Hara in the lineup for the Orange, Coach Bosch had nobody to go to. He motioned for Cater to go warm up, but he was only planning on using her if he absolutely had to.

“The plan is generally for a rotation, but with O’Hara out, we had to try every combination we could think of,” Cater said. Cater added she was ready to go in the game if Bosch needed her to in the sixth.

As BC added two more runs, Bosch watched from the dugout, clutching his yellow scorecard, but he refused to make a pitching change.

When the Orange hit the field for the seventh inning, Bosch opted to keep Gatti in the game. After she walked Annie Murphy and gave up a single to Tatiana Cortez with only one out on the board, Bosch visited the mound, but there wasn’t much he could do.

“That was the most challenging game this season,” Gatti said. “We’re used to being down early, but not down late. We’re a good team, and we just didn’t do it today.”


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