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Tied at one run apiece in the bottom of the eighth inning, Angel Jasso stepped into the batter’s box. Neli Casares-Maher stood at second base, representing the winning run.
Samantha Rieb had already pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits, and was looking to notch another scoreless inning to keep Iona (5-10) in the game, as Ariana Adams had just done for SU in her eighth inning.
But Jasso had other plans. She ripped a walk-off double to left center, giving Syracuse (15-9, 1-5 Atlantic Coast) a 2-1 victory in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader in Hempstead, New York.
Adams and Lindsey Hendrix allowed just one total run between the two games — both wins. In the second game, Hendrix blanked Hofstra (4-14) en route to a complete-game shutout, allowing only two hits with five strikeouts.
To start the day, Adams shined in her complete-game win, striking out 11 Gaels by only allowing three hits and one run over eight innings. She improved her record to 3-6 on the year, and her 46 strikeouts are the most for the Orange. It was her best performance since Syracuse’s first game of the season, where she allowed zero hits over seven innings and struck out eight.
Jasso got on base three times between a walk, a hit by pitch and her walk-off double, but Kelly Breen was Syracuse’s only other player to reach base more than once. Prior to Jasso’s double, the Orange’s only other run came off the bat of Casares-Maher, who tied the game on a clutch double that scored Paris Woods in the sixth inning.
Iona’s lone run came on a solo homer by catcher Jamie Sheeran to lead off the second inning. But from that point on, the Gaels hardly even threatened Adams and the Orange, getting no runners past second base until extra innings where, by rule, each team starts with a runner on second.
The walk-off win seemed to ignite Syracuse’s offense heading into the second game of the doubleheader, which it won 6-0. Tessa Galipeau got the Orange on the board in the third inning with a two-out single to drive in Rebecca Clyde, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Galipeau tallied three walks against Hofstra in addition to her single, raising her season on-base percentage to .460 (with a minimum of 50 at bats) — second-best on the team behind Casares-Maher.
But it was Breen who emerged as the offensive star of the second game. After a Jasso double made the score 2-0 in the fifth inning, Breen accounted for four consecutive RBIs, the rest of Syracuse’s runs, with three RBIs coming on a home run to left-center field. Pitcher Julia Apsel was pulled from the game one batter later after allowing five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
In the top of the seventh, Breen ripped a double to right field that drove in Galipeau for the Orange’s sixth and final run of the game. With 20 RBIs on the season, she is now tied for second on the team with Galipeau, while Casares-Maher leads the Orange with 21.
The Orange will be off Saturday before taking on Iona and Hofstra again, in that order, in a Sunday doubleheader. Conference play will resume the following weekend when Syracuse travels to Atlanta for a series with Georgia Tech, who is currently 0-7 in conference play.
The post Strong pitching, timely hitting earn Syracuse doubleheader sweep appeared first on The Daily Orange.