Syracuse pitcher Jocelyn Cater keeps Boston College at bay in relief despite loss
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The Boston College dugout erupted after Jessie Daulton belted a two-run double off the “New York’s College Team” sign in center field. It was only the third inning, but the hit — already BC’s 10th — gave the Eagles a 5-0 lead.
But that would be the end of Boston College’s offensive threat. Syracuse’s Jocelyn Cater relieved AnnaMarie Gatti in the next inning and shut down the red hot Eagles. She came in with two runners on and just one out, but struck out back-to-back hitters to end the inning. Her second strikeout had Taylor Coroneos fishing for a ball in the dirt.
“You’re just trying to stop the bleeding at that point,” SU head coach Mike Bosch said. “To her credit, (Cater) was much more confident on the mound today.”
Despite Boston College’s (28-21, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) 6-0 win over Syracuse (27-24, 9-14) on Sunday at SU Softball Stadium, Cater silenced the Eagles’ offense. In 3 2/3 innings of work, she allowed two hits and one run to a team that had had back-to-back multi-run innings.
In the series opener on Saturday, Cater allowed seven runs on 11 hits across four innings. She left balls up in the zone, walked three batters and hit two en route to earning her ninth loss of the season. On Sunday, though, she had much better command of her pitches.
Cater worked inside and outside effectively, inducing soft grounders and fly balls. Regardless of the count, she went to her changeup much more than she did Saturday to keep BC hitters off balance.
“Generally I haven’t been comfortable with the change(up) on 3-2,” Cater said, “but that’s kind of what we had to do for them. We risked a couple walks just to mix it up because that’s how we got to them. They were hitting everything we had.”
She did walk three, but she located her fastball and changeup well. BC hitters were aggressive all game, not afraid to swing at pitches off the plate or early in the count. They were also anxious at times, rolling over grounders or leaning forward on swing-and-misses down in the zone.
In the seventh inning, Cater induced three consecutive fly outs against Annie Murphy, Tatiana Cortez and Chloe Sharabba — BC’s two, three and four hitters. The trio had a combined five hits on the day, but Cater sent them down in order.
Cortez, whose .374 batting average ranks second on the team, had hit Cater hard on Saturday. Whether Cater threw it inside, outside, high or low, Cortez “rocketed it.” So during one at-bat, Cater threw Cortez four consecutive changeups. It worked.
“I just thought that she had command of it and with their bigger hitter up, they had been sitting on the hard stuff all day,” said assistant coach Kristyn Sandberg, SU’s pitch caller. “The last thing you’re going to expect is four changeups in a row.”
While Cater didn’t get a decision, she relieved Gatti and kept BC at bay.
Published on May 1, 2016 at 9:07 pm