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

first_img Published on April 18, 2017 at 11:43 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary 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.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFaith 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.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Joy Sports EPL preview: Same top four expected to dominate 2015-16 charge

first_imgThe Joy Sports team continues its previews of the Barclays Premier League season with its series of features. In this edition, Kuuku Gyan expects little to change at the top end of the table come May.–The Community Shield is rarely a reliable gauge to anything–as Arsenal proved last season by cruising to a 3-0 win over Manchester City then winning only two of its opening eight games of the season–but what was apparent on Sunday was how many of the doubts that have been expressed about Chelsea’s capacity to retain its title were played out.Jose Mourinho’s side looked sluggish–perhaps simply behind Arsenal in terms of physical preparation, with a view to peaking later in the season and so heading off the spring fatigue it suffered last season–raising key questions about the depth of the squad.Arsenal, meanwhile, was sharp and eager, having apparently carried over the form of the end of last season into the beginning of this (but then again we’ve said that before).Manchester United has been the most active of the top clubs in the transfer market, but, while there’s little doubting the logic of most of its dealings–bolstering a troublesome midfield area and offloading a number of players who were of questionable value to the club–there have to be doubts as to whether after such upheaval it can find form quickly. Manchester City, meanwhile, appears to be playing a waiting game, treading water for a season before the long-anticipated revolution and blood-letting begins.There is a clear top six in English football, but it subdivides into those with genuine title aspirations and those who are merely looking to qualify for the Champions League. Last season the subdivision was rapid, and, once Manchester United had got its act together, there were three clear groups: the two title contenders (although City’s challenge disappeared in the new year after an excellent December), the two other Champions League qualifiers and the other two.This season, it looks as though the split may be two-way: A clutch of four with genuine title aspirations, then Liverpool and Tottenham hoping one of the big four slips up so it can grab the final Champions League qualifying slot.There has been a divide further down the league as well. It used to be the case that 13 of the 20 clubs went into each season looking to do little more than avoid relegation, but that has perhaps now changed, with a fairly evident bottom six. That means the emergence of a middle-class–the likes of Southampton, Swansea and Stoke–who, hopefully, will be emboldened to take the domestic cups seriously and, perhaps, mount a real challenge for Europa League qualification.Three major questionsIs Chelsea’s squad deep enough?If Diego Costa’s hamstrings are as fragile as they still appear to be, can Chelsea cope with just Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao as back-up? Neither convinced in the Community Shield: Remy had 10 touches in the first half and was offside four times, while Falcao gave no indication of having rediscovered the acceleration he lost when he injured his knee in January last year. And given how exhausted Chelsea looked towards the end of last season, might it not need an additional midfielder to ease the burden on Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas?What is Liverpool’s approach?Out, for the second season running, goes a major attacking player, Raheem Sterling following Luis Suarez from Anfield to a much wealthier club.And so, for a second season running, there has to be a recalculation and, after numerous transfer failings, another wave of new players to fit in. The biggest summer signing has been Christian Benteke, signed from Aston Villa for £32 million. He has a fine goal-scoring record, but his aerial ability suggests Brendan Rodgers may be plotting another change of style. City last season looked jaded, lacking the hunger (again) to defend its title. When that happened in 2012-13, it led to the departure of Roberto Mancini as coach and there was a widespread expectation that this summer would see similar renewal, either by axing Manuel Pellegrini or with a major overhaul of the playing staff.As it is, Pellegrini remains in his post and the only two major new arrivals have been Sterling and Fabian Delph. Rumors continue to circulate that Pep Guardiola will be appointed the club’s manager next summer.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more