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Syracuse Softball: Orange Pick Up Series Win Against Virginia

The Orange were in Charlottesville taking on The Cavaliers this weekend and they were able to pick up two wins in three tries.

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

This weekend the Syracuse Orange traveled to Charlottesvilla to take on the Virginia Cavaliers in a three game series. Games one and two were parts of a doubleheader that took place on Saturday.

In game one of the doubleheader Syracuse opened up the scoring early. After a Sammy Fernandez leadoff single and a walk for Corinne Ozanne a few batters later, SU was threatening with one out and runners on the corners. Sydney O'Hara then singled to load the bases for Syracuse. After O'Hara's single, Andrea Bombace would bat for the Orange and she grounded into a fielder's choice but was able to drive in Sammy Fernandez to give the Orange a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

In the second inning the Orange would once again get their leadoff hitter on base. This time it was Alicia Hansen who singled in a bunt and managed to reach second thanks to a fielding error. Later in that inning Hansen advanced to third base and Alyssa Dewes singled to centerfield to drive in Hansen and give SU a 2-0 lead.

In the third inning Virginia got two quick outs, but then Hannah Dossett singled through the left side of the infield. After Dossett's single, Hansen reached first base on a fielding error. In the next at bat there was a wild pitch that allowed for the runners to advance. While Dossett was heading to third, the catcher committed an error on the throw, allowing Dossett to score and put the Orange ahead 3-0.

In the bottom of the third inning things started to unravel for Syracuse. After not allowing a run the first two innings, things changed for Jocelyn Cater (8-6). After loading the bases, Virginia managed to score three runs thanks to consecutive errors from SU. At the end of the third inning the game was tied at 3-3.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Cater surrendered a home run which allowed for Virginia to take a 4-3 lead. The fifth inning was more of the same as the Cavaliers once again scored to increase the lead to 5-3. That would prove to be enough as Syracuse did not score again, taking the loss and dropping to 17-17 on the season,

In the next game, both offenses exploded and it started right form the beginning. After a leadoff single from Fernandez and a walk to Maddi Doane the Orange were in good position to get on the board. After O'Hara fouled out, Bombace took advantage of the opportunity and hit a three-run home run to give SU an early 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning Virginia would respond though. AnnaMarie Gatti (7-9) was on the mound for the Orange and started a bit shaky. Gatti was able to strike out the first batter, but then Virginia scored four runs before Syracuse would escape on a double play.

In the second inning, Syracuse was once again threatening with runners on the corners and two outs. O'Hara was able to ground into a fielder's choice to drive in the runner from third and tie the game at 4-4. In the bottom of the inning Virginia scored a run to reclaim the lead with a score of 5-4. In the bottom of the third the Cavaliers added to their lead after two RBI doubles pushing the lead to 7-4.

SU would strike back thanks to RBIs from O'Hara and Rachel Burkhardt that cut the lead to one. After O'Hara (3-2) held Virginia scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, Syracuse took control. In the top of the fifth Fernandez kicked off the scoring frenzy with a RBI double to tie the game at 7-7. Doane then followed that up by driving in two runs, followed by O'Hara driving in a run to give SU a 10-7 lead. The Cavaliers would try to make up the deficit but only managed to put up one more run to cut the lead to 10-8. Cater came on to pitch 1.2 innings and pick up the save and preserve Syracuse's 18th victory.

In the rubber match of the series the Orange sent Cater (9-6) out to handle pitching duties. In the second inning of this one the Syracuse offense was on full display. Alicia Hansen drove in Dossett and Ozanne to grab an early 2-0 lead. Danielle Chitkowski and Sammy Fernandez then added two more runs on back to back RBI singles, that was followed by O'Hara reaching base on an error that brought in two runs to cap SU's six run inning. After taking a 6-0 lead the Orange added to that lead in the fifth inning with a home run from O'Hara and a RBI double from Hansen to give Syracuse a lead of 8-0.

In the bottom of the fifth Virginia would do their best to climb back into this one after scoring on a bunt and then a three-run home run to cut the lead to 8-4. That marked the end for Cater as O'Hara came in for relief. O'Hara closed the door for any chance at a shutout as she picked up her second save of the season after pitching three scoreless innings. The Orange went on to win this one 8-4 and move to 19-17 on the season.

Syracuse will be in action next in a double header against Canisius on Wednesday at Skytop Field. First pitch for game one is at 4:00 pm and the second game is expected to start at around 6:00 pm.