March 18, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – One day after winning an 11-inning marathon, Virginia (9-19, 1-5 ACC) experienced the other side of extra innings, falling 9-6 to Syracuse (15-8, 4-2 ACC) in nine innings at The Park.
The Orange scored three runs in the top of the ninth on two hits and a pair of walks. Virginia also fell victim to a tough break in the frame, as a fly ball lost in the sun helped Syracuse hang the three runs.
Much as the day before, the series finale featured back-and-forth action with four lead changes.
Syracuse opened the scoring with a single run in the first, making the most of a leadoff walk. Free passes would once again prove a detriment for Virginia as five of Syracuse’s nine runs reached via the walk. Two runs were also forced in on hit-by-pitches in the fourth.
Syracuse retook the lead the next half inning on a single, two walks and the two bases-loaded hit batters. The lead swung back to Virginia in the bottom half as a pair of singles combined with a hit batter and an error to make it 4-3 Hoos.
The big inning came in the fifth as the Orange tacked up three runs on three singles. Virginia looked poised to escaped the inning in a tie game, but an error extended the frame and allowed two unearned runs to cross.
Lacy Smith (Lancaster, Pa.) brought the Cavaliers back within a single run with her fifth home run of the season. The junior lifted a solo shot to open the bottom of the fifth and cut the deficit to 6-5. Virginia would tie the game an inning later as Smith drove in Allison Davis (Oak Hill, Va.), who singled to open the sixth.
Virginia would leave the potential go-ahead or winning run at third in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Syracuse once again capitalized on a leadoff walk to start the ninth, bringing home the go-ahead run on a double to left center. Another walk and a fly ball lost in the sun helped the Orange build a 9-6 lead.
The Cavaliers managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom half, but a caught stealing hampered the effort. Allison Davis‘ line drive with two outs was knocked down by the pitcher for the final out.
IN THE CIRCLE
Erika Osherow (Darien, Conn.) took the loss in relief. The junior worked 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on just two hits. Osherow (4-9) struck out three, but walked five and hit a pair of batters.
AnnaMarie Gatti (4-3) picked up the win for Syracuse, working six innings out of the bullpen. She allowed four runs, two earned on seven hits.
Smith made the start for Virginia and worked 4 1/3 innings, scattered throughout the game. She allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits. Janelle Zellars (Forest, Va.) worked 1/3 inning and was charged with three runs, just one of which was earned.
Virginia returns to the road as the Cavaliers head to Towson on Wednesday (March 21) night before continuing ACC play at Boston College on Friday (March 23).