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A ground ball rolled past a diving Neli Casares-Maher and trickled into the outfield to Paris Woods, but she couldn’t field it cleanly. This broke the 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with Syracuse in need of one more out to retire the Georgia Tech batters.
Then, Mallorie Black hit a choppy grounder on an 0-2 pitch that skipped past Tessa Galipeau at first base and Angel Jasso fumbled the ball as it rolled to her in right field, which allowed another runner to score. On two consecutive plays, Syracuse’s fielding errors had turned a tie game into a comfortable Yellow Jackets lead.
Syracuse (17-10, 1-6 Atlantic Coast) fell to Georgia Tech (21-9, 3-7 ACC) 4-2 in a back-and-forth defensive game in Atlanta. The Orange’s seven-game win streak came to an end as the Yellow Jackets defeated them in the teams’ first meeting since the Yellow Jackets no-hit Syracuse in last year’s ACC Tournament.
Both teams struggled to get going offensively, only combining for four hits through four innings. Syracuse pitcher Ariana Adams put out the first seven batters she faced and both teams left runners on base through the first few innings. But when Adams approached the bottom of the fourth inning, her accuracy started to falter.
In four batters, she hit one with a pitch, walked another and allowed a single on a bunt to third base. This prompted head coach Shannon Doepking to put in Lindsey Hendrix, who secured the last out of the inning by striking out Georgia Tech’s Jin Sileo on three pitches.
Although Laila Alves and Woods were put out at the beginning of the fifth, Olivia Pess got to first after singling up the middle. She then stole second, which set up Casares-Maher at the plate with a runner in scoring position. With an even count, Casares-Maher hit a two-run home run over the right field fence and Syracuse was on the board first. The Orange kept hitting that inning but left two runners on base.
The Yellow Jackets responded in the bottom of the inning. Auburn Dupree hit one to the pitcher’s circle and got to second after Hendrix made an errant throw to first base. Then, she advanced to third on an Ella Edgmon bunt to first base that set up runners on the corners. Edgmon stole second during a long at-bat by Black. With a 3-2 count, Black hit a line drive down the left field line for a double, sending both runners home and tying the game at 2. But, Hendrix held the line and got three of the next four batters out to close out the inning.
Georgia Tech brought in pitcher Chandler Dennis to kick off the sixth, who quickly secured the 1-2-3 inning on just eight pitches. The Yellow Jackets went on to rally in the bottom of the inning, hitting Hendrix three times. Georgia Tech separated from Syracuse after two straight singles made it past the infield and the outfielders couldn’t get a quick throw off. This sloppy play in the field let the two runs score.
The Orange now had to make up two runs in the top of the seventh. But Dennis threw another perfect inning that included two strikeouts, and her team won the game 4-2.
Syracuse only recorded two fewer hits than Georgia Tech but stalled as soon as Dennis came into the game in the sixth. Adams gave up no runs and just two hits before she was taken out at the end of the fourth inning. The Orange continue their series against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.