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With the game tied 2-2 in the fifth inning, Ariana Adams came in to relieve Lindsey Hendrix with two outs and runners on the corners. Jane Kronenberger took off stealing from first, and instead of letting her go, Laila Alves fired the ball to second.
This allowed Emily Tran to sprint toward home, reaching safely and giving Notre Dame a lead that wouldn’t falter for the rest of the game. Kronenberger was eventually caught in a rundown between first and second, but she wasn’t tagged out until Tran had already scored.
While Syracuse (19-13, 3-9 Atlantic Coast) was able to keep the game close, it couldn’t produce the offense needed to overcome the Fighting Irish (29-7, 8-3 ACC), who defeated the Orange 5-2 behind a mix of both strong hitting and pitching. Angel Jasso was Syracuse’s only player with multiple hits — two doubles — and worked a walk as well.
Notre Dame got on the board early with an RBI single by Karina Gaskins in the top of the first inning, but the Orange responded on a line drive by Tessa Galipeau that hit off Miranda Johnson’s glove and carried into right field. Jasso, who got on base with a double to left center, scored and the game was tied at 1-1.
The two teams continued to go back-and-forth in the third inning after Gaskins homered to dead center to put Notre Dame back up by one. After Jasso reached base on an error, Galipeau walked and the two advanced to second and third, respectively, when a pitch was mishandled.
With two outs, Taylor Posner hit a dribbler back to the pitcher’s mound, but Payton Tidd couldn’t field the ball and Jasso scored safely to tie the game once again. But this turned out to be as close as the Orange would get before Tran stole home for the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
Hendrix picked up her fourth loss of the season, giving up three runs and eight hits in 4.2 innings. Adams allowed two runs of her own over 2.1 innings. The two only combined for two strikeouts, Syracuse’s second-lowest total of the season behind when it failed to strike out one batter against Auburn.
Hendrix has not allowed more than three earned runs since March 11 against Virginia Tech, though the eight hits she gave up today marked a season-high. She leads the Orange with an ERA of 3.03 to go along with a team-high 69 strikeouts.
Tidd earned her 12th win of the season for Notre Dame, allowing just one earned run on four hits across six innings while striking out five. She made noise with her bat as well, launching a home run into the left field trees in the sixth inning to increase Notre Dame’s lead to 4-2.
Jasso served as the biggest bright spot of the game for the Orange, making an impact at the plate, in the field and on the basepaths. In the fourth inning, she chased down a deep fly ball to right field for an out.
The Orange’s leader in stolen bases so far this season, Jasso added three more to bring her total to 16 steals on 18 attempts. She stole second twice — both times on the second pitch of Galipeau’s at-bat — and swiped third in the bottom of the seventh as well.
“Stealing on different pitches and keeping the catcher on her toes is one of the biggest things that I’m (trying to do),” Jasso said.
Nobody else on the team has more than seven stolen bases, while Carli Campbell, Neli Casares-Maher and Posner are the only other players with at least five. Last year, Paris Woods’ nine total stolen bases led the team, and Jasso’s ability to take over on the basepaths has turned into a major component of Syracuse’s offense.
After Tidd’s home run, Leea Hanks tripled to drive in Joley Mitchell and extend the Fighting Irish’s lead to 5-2. The Orange attempted to put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh, with Jasso stealing third base after she doubled over the head of Notre Dame’s left fielder, but nobody else was able to contribute to the comeback attempt.