Home Sweet Home: Syracuse softball sweeps doubleheader in home opener

Softball sweeps doubleheader in home-opener

Timely baserunning helped the Orange steal a pair of wins over Pittsburgh.
Published: April 2, 2022 | Updated: April 4th, 2022 at 10:04 am
Neli Casares-Maher at the plate in SU's doubleheader sweep over Pittsburgh.
Neli Casares-Maher tallied two hits on the afternoon, and scored the game-winning run the second game of the doubleheader.

Syracuse’s Angel Jasso stepped to the plate with runners on the corners and one out. With the score even 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the sophomore outfielder looked to drive in the game-winning run.

But Jasso would not need her bat — Pittsburgh’s Dani Drogemuller bounced her pitch in the dirt. As the ball rolled to the backstop, Paris Woods ran home to secure win in the Orange’s first home game of the season.

The Orange returned home today for the first time in 328 days, and grabbed two ACC wins over their rivals to the south.

“You would never expect me to say I am so excited to be here at Skytop, but I am so excited to be here at Skytop,” said head coach Shannon Doepking. “It has been grueling. It is really really tough for these kids to be on the road as much as we are.”

The first game of the doubleheader got off to a slow start for Syracuse. Though the Orange were able to work many two- and three-ball counts, they struck out nine times and failed to get a hit through five innings.

“That is a great pitcher out there,” said Doepking of Pittsburgh’s Dani Drogemuller. “We knew she was going to be a tough pitcher, you just tip your cap where it is due. She threw a gem, it was great of us to be able to just compete and stay in it.”

Neli Casares-Maher’s double in the sixth inning opened up the floodgates. Jasso reached on an error, then stole second base which allowed Casares-Maher to score. After Tessa Galipeau drew a hit-by-pitch, freshman Kelly Breen’s double drove in a pair to tie the game.

“That is something we talked about a lot this week,” said Doepking. “One thing we struggled with this season has been finishing games.”

The Panthers reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh. Syracuse responded well, as Woods’ triple tied the game before she scored on a passed ball to secure the win.

“At the end of the day, all that we care about is that we win,” said Doepking. “What we ask of our pitchers is that they hold us in ball games and give us a chance to win and that is exactly what they did.”

In the latter half of the double header, sophomore Lindsey Hendrix pitched a complete game two hit shutout. She allowed just two hits and five Panthers to reach base, and struck out 12.

Pittsburgh’s Ally Muraskin kept the Panthers in the game; she allowed just five hits and one run across six innings of work. But another passed ball ended up being the difference, as Casares-Maher trotted home in the third inning to score the lone run of the game.

Syracuse’s 5-4 and 1-0 victories moved the Orange to 19-12 on the season, though just 3-8 in ACC play. They’ll look for a series sweep tomorrow at noon at Skytop Softball Stadium.