Syracuse softball splits Wednesday afternoon doubleheader with Canisius
SU softball splits Wednesday doubleheader with Canisius
It was the bottom of the first and the Orange were in a tough position. They dropped the first game of their Wednesday doubleheader with Canisius 4-3, and momentum did not seem to be on their side.
“We have gone through the ups and the downs, it is kind of beating a dead horse right now,” said Syracuse head coach Shannon Doepking said. “We go through the lows and we struggle a little bit. It is (about) being able to make plays.”
But Neli Casares-Maher was having none of it — she launched her second home run of the day into the scoreboard to plate three runs and give the Orange their first lead of the day.
In the first game, the Orange got off to a rough start when freshman pitcher Summer Clark gave up four runs on just six batters of work. Graduate student Ariana Adams followed Clark up with a gem, throwing 6.2 scoreless innings while striking out five.
“I think Ari is just an experienced pitcher,” Doepking said. “We needed Ari to just come in and show a different look. Ari is a little more east to west, Summer is a lot more up and down. We needed her to stop the bleeding and I think she did that. I think she came in and shut it down quickly.”
After the Golden Griffins plated four in the top of the first, the Orange responded as three hitters reached base. But only sophomore outfielder Angel Jasso came around to score.
Casares-Maher brought the Orange closer in the third inning, when she smashed a ball over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run to bring SU within a run. But that was all Orange could muster on offense, and Canisius defeated a Power Five opponent for the first time this season.
“We were missing the timely hitting,” Doepking said. “I thought we hit some bombs at them in the first game. This game is funny, we put up a ton of runs but we also hit a lot of dinky hits just into the outfield.”
The Orange turned it around in the second game. Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Hendrix threw a complete game, allowing one run on three hits and striking out 10 Golden Griffins.
The offense got off to a flying start as well with Casares-Maher going yard for a three-run shot in the bottom of the first. The Orange tacked on nine more runs in the bottom of the fourth, including three on a bases-clearing triple by Jasso.
“The first foul ball that I had, I knew I was just going to hit it because I was on time with the changeup so I knew she was going to come hard,” Jasso said. “Then I was gonna have it and I wanted to hit it hard too.”
The run rule took effect after the fifth inning as the Orange led 12-1.
The Orange will travel to Louisville this weekend for a three-game series against the Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m.