In the postseason, all it takes is one run to define a game. That's exactly what happened during Syracuse's ACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup with the number two-seeded Louisville in Raleigh, NC.
For the first four innings, the teams left a combined six runners stranded on base, failing to push across a single runner. Starting pitchers AnnaMarie Gatti for the Orange and Megan Hensley for the Cardinals had three hits apiece and were dealing over that stretch.
Once the fifth inning rolled around, though, things began to shift. Gatti had just gotten out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth without allowing a run after putting the first two batters on base. Hensley got Sammy Fernandez to ground-out and Hannah Dossett to fly-out. Shen then got herself into a little bit of a jam when Olivia Martinez and Alyssa Dewes hit two-straight singles. With the game very much on the line, Louisville called in Maryssa Becker, who had been playing in the field, to get the last out. Becker got Corinne Ozanne to ground-out to second base to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, two singles by catcher Jenna Jordan and shortstop Sidney Melton to lead things off meant that Gatti would have her work cut out for her for the second straight period. Brittany Sims grounded out to second baseman Alicia Hansen, who flipped the ball to Fernandez for the force-out at second. Fernandez tried to turn the double-play but the ball sailed over Ozanne's head at first, letting the lead runner score.
That would be the difference in the game and the only true blemish on an otherwise stellar outing for Gatti and the Orange and all but ending their season.
Syracuse had a 27-26 (9-14 ACC) record, their first winning season in four years.