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After Angel Jasso launched Chandler Dennis’ pitch over the center field wall, the Orange trailed by one run in the top of the sixth inning with no outs. Blake Neleman replaced Dennis in the pitcher’s circle and Tessa Galipeau stepped into the batter’s box. After working the count full, she quickly landed in scoring position following a double to right center field.
But the Yellow Jackets were able to escape the inning without any further damage. Kelly Breen and Rebecca Clyde flew out and with the tying run on third base, Olivia Pess fouled out to end the inning.
The Orange went down in order in the top of the seventh, ending the game and securing a second straight 4-2 win for the Yellow Jackets (22-9, 4-7 Atlantic Coast) over Syracuse (17-11, 1-7 ACC).
Just like Friday’s contest between the two teams, Saturday afternoon’s game began with multiple scoreless innings. Kaia Oliver got the start and didn’t allow a hit until Sara Beth Allen punched a single through the left side to drive in Georgia Tech’s first run.
Oliver allowed a leadoff double to Bailee Zeitler to start the fourth inning and was soon replaced by Ariana Adams. Zeitler scored on a single by Ariella Jackson, who was then replaced by Auburn Dupree on the base paths. Dupree eventually stole home to put the Yellow Jackets up 3-0.
Oliver picked up the loss after pitching 3.1 innings and allowing two earned runs on only two hits. She also walked two batters and recorded three strikeouts. On the other side, Dennis earned the win for Georgia Tech after tossing five innings of two-run ball with three strikeouts of her own. Neleman also picked up the first save of her career, giving up only one hit over her two innings of work.
Georgia Tech entered the series with only two conference wins in nine tries, presenting an opportunity for the Orange, which entered on a seven-game winning streak, to continue their momentum. But while the pitching has been serviceable, the bats have gone quiet, producing only two runs per game in the series.
Each of Syracuse’s four runs over the past two games have come from home runs. Neli Casares-Maher drove in the team’s only two runs on Friday with a two-run shot to give the Orange a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning, which they were unable to hold onto. Then, Jasso and Laila Alves’ solo home runs on Saturday were the only sources of run production in the loss.
The Orange have left 10 runners on base throughout the first two games of the series, six of which were in scoring position. The lack of scoring can be largely attributed to the team’s struggles to drive in runners on second and third base, costing itself valuable opportunities to allow some cushioning for a pitching staff that hasn’t been able to meet the level of perfection the struggling offense requires from it in order for Syracuse to win conference games.
Syracuse will look to avoid the three-game sweep in the final game of the series on Sunday at 2 p.m. before it returns to Skytop for its first home series of the season against Pittsburgh on April 1. Both possess an ACC record of 1-7, tying the two teams for last place in the ACC. Last time they met was in 2021 when the Orange swept the four-game series with a run differential of almost six runs per game.
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