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Syracuse Softball: Orange Sweep Niagara in Home Opener to Even up Their Record

The Orange opened up play at home against Niagara and swept the Purple Eagles.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping three-game series to Florida State over the weekend, the Orange played their first games in Syracuse when they played the Niagara Purple Eagles in a double-header.

In game one, Jocelyn Cater (7-4) handled the pitching duties for SU. Cater had a solid day on the mound picking up the win and only allowing one run while striking out four over four innings.

It was also a good day on the offensive side for Syracuse. In the third inning Andrea Bombace opened up the scoring when she hit a grand slam to give the Orange a 4-0 lead. In the fourth inning Niagara would respond by posting one run, but the Orange came up big in the fifth inning when Olivia Hansen brought in Bombace, then Hannah Dossett scored on an error and Sammy Fernandez scored Martinez. This would give SU the 7-1 lead and they never looked back from there.

In relief of Cater was Sydney O'Hara who picked up her second save of the year. O'Hara pitched three scoreless innings while only allowing one run and one hit and striking out six. O'Hara helped seal the Orange's 13th win on the year by holding SU's 7-1 lead.

In the second game of the day the Orange started their scoring early. Sammy Fernandez led off the bottom of the first inning with a single followed by Maddi Doane and Corinne Ozanne drawing walks. The next batter was Andrea Bombace who scored Fernandez on a sacrifice fly to center field to give Syracuse the 1-0 lead. Doane would try to score on the next play but ended up being thrown out at home.

There was no scoring after that until the bottom of the fourth inning when Alyssa Dewes scored Alicia Hansen on a sac fly push the Orange lead to 2-0. The next batter, who was Fernandez hit a RBI single that brought in Hannah Dossett. Next up was Doane who reached on an error which allowed for Fernandez and Danielle Chitkowski to score to give Syracuse a 5-0 lead.

With AnnaMarie Gatti pitching that lead would be enough. Gatti registered her third complete game shutout of the year. More impressively, Gattie had a no-hitter going for 5.1 innings. She finished the day allowing only one hit and striking out eight. The Orange went on to win this one easily and improve to 14-14 on the year.

The Orange will stay in Syracuse this weekend as they take on Notre Dame Friday and Saturday for their first home ACC games of the season.