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Syracuse Softball: Orange Open ACC Play Losing Two of Three to North Carolina

The Orange played their first ACC series of the season this weekend when took on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange softball team has been up and down all season, and this weekend they looked to turn things around in a three-game series against ACC foe North Carolina.

In game one of the series, the Orange sent Jocelyn Cater (5-3) to the mound in hopes of evening up their record. The Tar Heels struck first, as Tracy Chandless took Cater deep to give UNC the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. After getting out of the inning Cater was replaced by Sydney O'Hara (1-0) in the start of the next inning. O'Hara shut down the Tar Heels in the fifth inning, then SU answered back to tie the game in the top of the sixth. In the top of the eighth, Syracuse had an offensive explosion. O'Hara hit a three-run home run to start the scoring. And the Orange continued their scoring outburst when Alicia Hansen reached base on an error and scored Danielle Chitkowski, Alyssa Dewes then hit a sacrifice fly to give the Orange the 7-2 lead and then Maddi Doane drove in Hansen to give Syracuse the 8-2 lead they'd end the game with.

In the second game of the doubleheader, SU sent AnnaMarie Gatti (3-7) out to handle pitching duties in hopes of sweeping Carolina for the day. Once again the Tar Heels struck first. This time, it happened in the third inning when Aquilla Mateen scored on a wild pitch, then Kristen Brown scored on a sacrifice fly from to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead.

Berlynne Delamora hit an RBI single in the fourth to give UNC a 3-0 lead. SU would do its best to climb back in when Danielle Chitkowski hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, cutting the deficit to two runs. But that's as close as the Orange would get

In the last game of the three-game series, Gatti (3-7) was once again the pitcher for the Orange. Gatti allowed her first run of the game in the fourth, and UNC took a 1-0 lead. The Orange responded in the top of the seventh, when Corinne Ozanne hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1.

O'Hara tried to continue her pitching dominance through the seventh, but struggled. After striking out the first batter, she walked two straight batters and was then replaced by Jocelyn Cater. Cater got the first batter to line out. But then the next batter was intentionally walked to load the bases. This was very questionable, with two outs it is understandable to try and get the more favorable matchup for your pitcher to end the inning. But with the bases loaded you know are asking your pitcher to pitch a perfect at bat. Unfortunately that didn't happen as. Cater walked the next better, allowing North Carolina to bring in the winning run. The Orange fell to 1-2 in ACC play and 9-11 overall.

Syracuse will look to get back to .500 when they take on Savannah State in a doubleheader on Tuesday.