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Jocelyn Cater struggles in circle after strong start, takes loss in 3-run defeat to Pittsburgh

first_imgOne-hundred and fifty two pitches and 23 hours later, Leigh Ross called on her ace to start one more time.After throwing a complete game in the front end of Saturday’s doubleheader, Jocelyn Cater took the mound again for Syracuse. She had a no-hitter through three innings, but then things started to unravel when Pittsburgh tacked on three runs in the fourth.“Generally, that happens when you’re tired,” Cater said. “I don’t know how else to answer that. I did throw a lot of pitches this weekend and that’s the best I can do and that’s all you can ask for.”Despite a strong start, Cater fell apart in the later innings as Syracuse (15-22, 1-10 Atlantic Coast) came up short against Pittsburgh (29-14, 9-9), 10-7, on Sunday at SU Softball Stadium. The Panthers scored in each of the last four innings to cement their lead and sweep the three-game weekend series.Syracuse continued to rely on Cater to pitch the majority of the innings, as she has all season long. The lefty was finally relieved with one away in the seventh inning, but only after throwing 130 pitches on the day and allowing eight runs on eight hits while recording four strikeouts.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“… (Pittsburgh) got the big hit when they needed it,” said Ross, SU’s head coach. “They got the runners into position and got the big hit.”Cater set down Pitt in order in the first two innings and the third would have been the same if not for a dropped fly ball by left fielder Alyssa Dewes.After walking Jenna Modic in the fourth, Cater surrendered a double off the center-field wall to Carly Thea with one out. After falling behind 1-0 to the next batter, McKayla Taylor, pitching coach Mike Bosch visited the mound to calm his ace down.The visit didn’t work. On the 1-2 pitch, Taylor blasted a three-run home run down the right-field line to give Pitt a 3-1 lead.Cater returned to the mound in the top of the fifth, but Pitt continued to give her trouble when Shelby Pickett hit a solo shot beyond the wall in left-center and into the trees to make the score 4-2.“I think (the coaches are) trying to see whatever works,” Cater said. “For as long as I could go and for as long as I could hold them, that was going to be beneficial.”SU took the lead in the bottom of the fifth and Cater returned once more to the mound.Pittsburgh didn’t wait long to attack Cater, when Taylor hit a solo home run to knot the game at five. The homer marked Taylor’s second of the day and her fourth of the series.Visibly tired at this point, Cater gave up three more runs before the sixth inning finished.“She was going on fumes and she had thrown a lot of pitches this weekend so we knew we needed to make a change, but you ride your ace,” Ross said.The head coach said that if Sydney O’Hara had been at full strength, she wouldn’t have left Cater in the game as long as she had. But with O’Hara still recovering, Cater trotted back out of the dugout to pitch in the top of the seventh.And after the first two batters reached base, Ross turned to freshman AnnaMarie Gatti to close out the game.She allowed three runs to score, one she had inherited from Cater and two of her own, to round out Pittsburgh’s scoring on a day when the opponents had the Syracuse pitching staff figured out. Comments Published on April 12, 2015 at 5:16 pm Contact Liam: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more