Senior Day Win Gives Orange Series Sweep
Published on April 30, 2017
Story and photos by Aubrie Tolliver
Video Report by Lauren Walsh
Syracuse, N.Y. — Hannah Dossett smashed her second homer of the season as part of a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, leading the Syracuse University softball team to a 6-1 victory over Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon at Skytop Softball Field. The win gave the Orange a sweep of the three-game weekend series over the Hokies.
Syracuse celebrated its Senior Day with a pregame ceremony. Seniors Sydney O’Hara and Alyssa Dewes were given framed jerseys and flowers as gifts for their four years of commitment to the program.
“Throughout their career, they have both been consistent and meant a lot to the Syracuse program,” head coach Mike Bosch said in a post-game interview.
Batting averages, earned runs averages and fielding percentages—softball is a sport that measures consistency more than almost any other. O’Hara has been a poster child for the term “consistent” throughout her four years.
She has missed just seven of the 200 games SU has played and has a .347 batting average over that span. This season, she leads the entire Atlantic Coast Conference with a .475 batting average, which is on track to set a program record.
What most Orange fans will have trouble forgetting, however, is her four-home run game against N.C. State back in March where she drove in eight runs.
In the matchup against Virginia Tech, O’Hara went 1-3 at the plate with two walks.
Although she went 0-for-3 in this one. Dewes possesses a batting average of .265 and has 14 homers, 16 doubles and 56 RBI to her name,
“On and off the field, day in and day out, they give their best,” Bosch said. “A lot of leading is leading by example and they do exactly that.”
The SU offense began its scoring in the bottom of the second. The leadoff batter, Bryce Holmgren reached base by way of a walk. Afterwards, two consecutive singles through the middle of the infield—first by Dossett, then by Jessica Heese—plated Holmgren and the team’s first run.
But, the Hokies responded the following inning with a run of their own off SU’s starting pitcher AnnaMarie Gatti, when leadoff batter Jessie Mehr reached base an error by Dossett at third base.
A walk and a fielder’s choice put Mehr at third and Hokie first baseman Vanessa Gonzalez singled to shortstop Sammy Fernandez, knocking in her team’s only run. It was unearned.
Third is the charm for Syracuse
The bottom of the third was the most damaging inning for Tech. The Syracuse offense led off with three consecutive singles. The third was O’Hara’s only hit of the game but it gave her team its second run as Sammy Fernandez crossed the plate.
The following batter, Faith Cain, grounded into a double play—the second one the Hokies defense had turned—but Alicia Hansen scored making it 3-1.
The Hokies changed their pitcher from Olivia Lattin to Elizabeth Birie following a Holmgren single. But next batter Dossett atoned for her error in the top of the inning, rocketing a no-doubter over the left-center fence, making it 5-1.
Holmgren knocked one more run in for good measure in the fifth inning with a single down the left field line. O’Hara stepped into the circle the next inning and shut down the VT offense, just as Gatti had done five innings prior.
With the win, Syracuse improved to 30-18 on the season and is an even 10-10 in the ACC. Virginia Tech finished off its season with a 19-34 overall record and a 5-19 conference record. The Hokies, who came in last in the ACC standings, will not be participating in post-season play.
The Orange, however, tab the seventh spot in the conference standings and will play in the ACC Championships starting Thursday, May 11.
But first, SU will end its regular season with a non-conference game against Cornell Tuesday at Skytop. First pitch is set for 3:15 p.m.