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Syracuse (5-0) capped off their opening weekend sweep at the Best on the Bayou Classic after defeating Stephen F. Austin 5-3. It was the Orange’s closest game of the season-opening tournament, which was largely decided in the second inning. The teams combined for eight runs, and seven of those came in the second.
This victory comes on the heels of a successful weekend where Syracuse outscored its opponents on Friday and Saturday 55-15. Syracuse mercy ruled Morehead State and Southern and went the distance in wins against Mississippi Valley State and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Pitcher Ariana Adams made her second start on Sunday and struck out three of four batters in the first inning. Syracuse got on base in the first inning after Stephen F. Austin pitcher Sophie Hannabas walked two batters and gave up a single to Syracuse’s Kelly Breen. But the Orange couldn’t capitalize, and no runners scored.
In the second inning, Adams hit SFA’s Camryn Middlebrook with a pitch, and an Orange error led to runners on first and second. SFA’s Lexi Benson then poked a single past second base, and then the bases were loaded. On the next at bat, SFA freshman Kelby Robbins doubled down the left field line and two runs scored. SFA then hit a sacrifice bunt and scored again. The Orange were able to get out of the inning following a ground out and fly out.
But the Orange responded in the bottom of the second. With two walks and a single by Olivia Pess, Syracuse had the bases loaded. That’s when Neli Casares-Maher stepped up to the plate and batted in two runs with a single. Two consecutive Orange batters struck out before Angel Jasso came up to bat. With runners on second and third, Jasso hit the ball to second and caused an SFA error, allowing two more runs to score. The Orange were then up 4-3.
After a rough second inning, Adams hit another player with a pitch at the beginning of the third. Head coach Shannon Doepking decided to take her out of the game for Summer Clark, who retired the side after retiring the next two batters.
There were no hits in the third or fourth inning. While Clark threw three straight 1-2-3 innings, Syracuse was quiet at the plate as well. But in the bottom of the fourth, Jasso doubled to start the inning, stole third and then scored after running home on a Taylor Posner fly out to center field giving the Orange a 5-3 lead.
Clark threw a no-hitter after filling in during the third inning. Casares-Maher led the team with 3 RBIs and Jasso stole three bases, but Syracuse allowed three errors, which gave SFA opportunities throughout the game.
Syracuse heads to the Tarleton Softball Invitational next weekend in Texas. The Orange will begin the tournament against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Friday at 1 p.m.
The post Syracuse completes tournament sweep after an explosive second inning against SFA appeared first on The Daily Orange.