Softball

AnnaMarie Gatti tosses her first shutout of the year in 7-0 victory over Niagara

Jordan Phelps | Staff Photographer

Gatti improved to 7-5 and lowered her ERA to 3.25. It's her fourth complete game this season.

In the seventh inning, AnnaMarie Gatti slumped her shoulders as the Niagara runner trotted to first base. The next pitch, she threw a ball and quickly called time. Confused, redshirt junior catcher Olivia Martinez, ran up to meet her in the circle. Gatti stood with her for a second, took a breath and sent Martinez back to the plate.

Gatti took care of the rest.

“She came up to me and asked why I called time,” Gatti said. “I told her I just walked a batter and I wanted a break. I just picked up some dirt and tossed it and she said, ‘Alright, let’s just attack this next batter.’”

Gatti, a junior right-hander, shut out Niagara (12-18, 3-5 Metro Atlantic) Tuesday night at SU Softball Stadium. Syracuse’s (25-16, 6-9 Atlantic Coast) 7-0 victory marked Gatti’s first shutout of the year. She struck out seven — one short of her season high. Gatti improved to 7-5 and lowered her ERA to 3.25. It’s her fourth complete game this season.

“We needed this win, now more than ever,” Gatti said. “After the loss, I did everything in my power.”

Faith Cain homered in the second inning and that was all that the Orange needed to secure the victory.

Martinez mentioned that Gatti has been working on changing her windup as the season progressed. Gatti worked on perfecting the timing of her delivery. Her goal coming into the game was to make sure that she attacked batters and walked few.

Freshman left-hander Alexa Romero, who started the first game of the double header for the Orange, quietly played a role of her own in Gatti’s performance. Gatti acknowledged that Romero’s dominant play this season has motivated her to elevate her own game in moments like this.

“I was talking to her in the dugout, I told her this game is because (Romero) pushes me and makes me want to be better,” Gatti said.

Martinez has seen first-hand how Gatti has developed as the season has progressed.  Her style of catching plays into Gatti’s strengths as a down-ball pitcher. Gatti said her ball was biting a lot more on Tuesday than it has this season.

Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch saw a different player in Gatti. On Monday, Bosch told Gatti what pitches she’s thrown, her strike percentages for each and what pitches she need to work on. It worked.

“She took it to heart,” Bosch said. “That was her first shutout in a while. That’s something to look forward to.”

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