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Last week, to conclude the Tarleton Softball Invitational, Syracuse hung five first-inning runs on Alabama State and didn’t look back en route to an 11-3 blowout win.
Friday played out similarly, except the Orange experienced it from the other side. Bradley (6-5) erupted out of the gate for five runs in the opening frame, ultimately handing Syracuse (8-3) a 6-2 loss in the first game of the Plainsman Invite in Auburn, Alabama.
After tossing four scoreless innings against Alabama State, Lindsey Hendrix got the start for the Orange, looking to replicate similar results. But a two-run homer by Grace French quickly spoiled those plans, and Syracuse faced a first-inning deficit for just the second time all season.
The Braves, playing their second game of the day after defeating Delaware State earlier in the afternoon, continued to pile on as the next two batters singled and doubled, respectively, giving freshman Katie Pederson an opportunity to add to Bradley’s lead. On a 2-2 count, Pederson launched Hendrix’s next pitch — her final one of the day — over the left field wall for her first collegiate home run, and Bradley led 5-0 before SU could even record an out.
Summer Clark came in to relieve Hendrix, retiring three consecutive batters after walking the first Brave she faced. Clark ended up as one of the Orange’s lone bright spots on the day, pitching six innings giving up just one run and striking out eight in the process.
Syracuse managed one base runner over the next two innings on a second-inning single by Angel Jasso, who moved into scoring position by swiping second base. But the threat was neutralized when she was caught stealing third just moments later. Jasso, who stole four bases as a freshman last year, leads the team with seven already in 2022.
The Orange finally got on the board in the fourth inning, which started with a throwing error by shortstop Addie Welsh. Three batters later, freshman Tessa Galipeau scored on a single by Jasso. Neli Casares-Maher then ripped a double into the right-center gap to score Jasso, cutting Bradley’s lead to 5-2.
After Taylor Posner was hit by a pitch and both runners advanced on a passed ball, catcher Jude Padilla had the opportunity to slice even further into the deficit. But with Posner and Casares-Maher in scoring position, Raegan Branon slipped the ball past the swinging bat of Padilla, ending the inning and keeping Syracuse three runs behind.
Syracuse was retired in order in the fifth inning, and threatened Bradley’s lead only once more afterwards in the sixth inning after Kelly Breen doubled with one out, leading head coach Shannon Doepking to put in freshman Angie Ramos to pinch run for Breen.
Jasso, already having recorded two hits, made solid contact on the second pitch she saw, but the ball traveled directly into the glove of Pederson for the second out of the inning. Casares-Maher worked the count full, but Branon ultimately forced her seventh groundout of the game to end the inning.
The Braves tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the frame, increasing their lead to four. Samantha Smith’s leadoff single was the only hit that Bradley managed off Clark over six innings.
The Orange, searching for an offensive spark, utilized two pinch hitters in the seventh inning. After Posner flew out, sophomore Makena Fidler entered for Padilla, but fouled out on a full count. With Syracuse down to its final out, junior Yamila Evans replaced Rebecca Clyde and flew out to end the game.
The loss dropped the Orange to 8-3 on the season with two games left in the Plainsman Invite — the final set of games before Atlantic Coast Conference play begins in March. Syracuse’s next game comes against Delaware State at 9 a.m. Saturday morning.
The post Syracuse falls to Bradley 6-2 in 1st Plainsman Invite game appeared first on The Daily Orange.