Three homers power Syracuse over Niagara
'Cuse powers past Niagara
There was one out, and a runner on second as Tessa Galipeau stepped to the plate. She rolled over the sixth pitch of her at bat; it looked like an easy play for Niagara’s Maggie Vesneke, but she would be befallen with the curse of Bill Buckner and the ball rolled under her glove and into the outfield.
Paris Woods scored from second base and Galipeau would reach on the error. Just to pile on more pain to the Purple Eagles, Neli Casares-Maher smashed the second pitch after the error over the net in centerfield and onto the hood of one of the parked cars, giving the Orange a 5-1 lead.
Casares-Maher later tacked on another home run, a solo shot in the fifth, and the Purple Eagles added a run in the seventh for a final score of 6-2.
“We just swung it better,” Syracuse head coach Shannon Doepking said. “When balls were leaving the park like they did today, good things are happening. I think we were a lot more aggressive today.”
Doepking is right about the bats as the Orange were able to knock in six runs in this mid-week contest after just plating one in their three-game series with Duke last weekend. The Orange knocked six hits this game after having 10 in the whole series with Duke. One big difference between the weekend and today was the power. To go along with Casares-Maher’s two jacks, Olivia Pess gave the ball a ride over the fence as well.
The Orange also had a good day in the circle with Doepking’s pitcher-by-committee approach. Ariana Adams got the start and faced 12 batters, retiring 10 of them including four strikeouts.
In the fourth inning, Lindsey Hendrix came on in relief and allowed one hit in 2.2 innings of work. Junior Kaia Oliver closed the door on Niagara, allowing one hit and unearned run in the final inning.
“I think we had a lot of success with it (against) Duke,” Doepking said. “I think that reality is the expectations for our pitchers are asking them to go seven is a lot. So I think it is more realistic to say be great for us one time through the lineup. I think this kind of expectation is very easy for this group of pitchers to do. And we have enough pitchers to be able to do that.”
Though the Orange had a strong day at the plate, leadoff hitter Angel Jasso was only able to reach base once. After a walk to leadoff the game, she was caught stealing in the first inning.
“I think I was in my head about sliding,” Jasso said. “Earlier in the year, I slid and I sprained my ankle, so I decided I was going to slide again but I think I was just thinking about it too much and yeah it got the best of me.”
Currently sitting at 21 stolen bases, Jasso will need to steal four bases in the series against UNC if she would like to earn her pair of shoes in the regular season.
SU will have a full week to prepare for North Carolina, who they’ll play at home next weekend in their regular season finale. They’ll need at least two wins against the Tar Heels, and some help from ACC foes, to make the conference tournament.
“The good thing is we are going to be able to get outside,” said Doepking. “We have had three practices on this field so far this year, so we are very very excited to have the opportunity to get on the field and practice.”