Andrea Bombace thrives as role player in freshman season at Syracuse

first_imgJohanna Grauer’s barrage of fastballs held Syracuse scoreless through five and a third innings on Saturday. Sometimes, as in the UCLA game, these matchups only arise once, so the coaching staff has to recognize them and make the necessary adjustments. That said, Bosch knows that Bombace can hit in almost any situation and usually make something happen. Before her plate appearance against UCLA, junior Sydney O’Hara told the freshman not to swing for the fences or try to do too much. Instead, Bombace said, she told her to relax and be herself. “Before I get up, I ask teammates, ‘What pitches have you been seeing, and where in the count?’” Bombace said. As singular as pinch hitting may seem, Bombace relies heavily on her teammates for support and guidance at the plate. That was, until Orange slugger Corinne Ozanne took one deep with two outs in the sixth. The home run cut No. 13 UCLA’s lead to one and the SU coaching staff knew the Bruins hurler would vary her pitches. “Just like every player, we find roles that they are going to be successful in,” Bosch said. Bombace said that when she’s called on to pinch hit, she has to prepare by inserting herself in her teammates’ positions. In the first month of this season, Bombace has strived as a pinch hitter. She has pinch hit in six of the Orange’s 12 games this season, and has become one of the Orange’s go-to hitters off the bench. In one-at-bat situations, the freshman is hitting .333. In games where she gets two or more at-bats, she is hitting just .188. “A lot of times, with the freshmen, we match them up against pitchers that they’re going to be successful against,” Goler said, “You don’t want them to be in a situation where they’re overmatched.” “We figured (Grauer) was going to a curveball at some point,” hitting coach Alisa Goler said, “She had to make a change.”To start the seventh inning, Syracuse called on freshman Andrea Bombace to pinch hit for left fielder Alyssa Dewes. An exceptional curveball hitter according to Goler, Bombace belted a 2-0 curveball over the center-field wall to tie the game at two. Published on March 8, 2016 at 11:41 pm Contact Matt: mjfel100@syr.edu “I love that I have my teammates there to keep me humble, and keep me ready for any situation,” Bombace said, “It’s not like it’s just me up there hitting, it’s like it’s the whole team.” Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+ “(UCLA) hadn’t seen (Bombace) in the game before,” Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch said, “They didn’t know how to throw to her, so we took a shot.”“Yay for us, for guessing that one,” Goler joked.In her first year with the Orange (8-9), Bombace is tied with Ozanne for the most home runs on the team with three, and has the second highest slugging percentage at .727. As what Goler calls the “epitome” of a role player, Bombace has to be versatile enough for a multitude of roles at any time. Often, she’s called on to pinch hit in tough situations or to fill a spot as a designated hitter for a game.last_img read more