Softball Sweeps Doubleheader to Extend Winning Streak
By Anthony Vasquez | @Ant_Vasquez3
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Syracuse notched a couple more wins today against Iona and Hofstra for its sixth and seventh straight wins.
The first matchup against Iona’s Gaels was a carbon copy of Friday’s extra inning thriller where excellent pitching and timely hitting proved key. Down 2-1 in the sixth, Taylor Posner stepped up to the plate and continued her torrid streak with a ringing double to center to tie the game.
After a scoreless seventh, the Orange were once again staring down the barrel of another extra inning game against Iona, this time as the designated road team. After a clean 8th by each team, the ‘Cuse broke through on a two run homer smashed by Olivia Pess. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Ariana Adams shut the door by striking out Morgan Ritchey with the tying run on second.
Adams ended up pitching the final four innings limiting Iona to three hits across those frames. Kaia Oliver got the start and was taken out after just 1.1 innings because of her command issues. Thankfully, Lindsey Hendrix didn’t have any problems in her 3.1 innings of relief behind Oliver.
On the offensive side, the story was somewhat different. Iona starter Kara Zazzaro walked nobody and struck out 10 hitters enroute to a nine inning complete game. If it wasn’t for the timely hits by Posner and Pess, the game would’ve surely gone the way of the Gaels. Instead, it was a 4-3 win for Syracuse.
S.U. amassed 10 hits against Zazzaro, including a first inning RBI single by a white hot Kelly Breen. After another extra innings win, the Orange stood in its dugout because a rematch vs Hofstra’s Pride awaited.
Summer Clark got the starting nod from Doepking and didn’t give up her spot in the circle at all. The freshman wowed as she tossed yet another complete game to improve her record to 7-1 and her team’s record to 17-9.
S.U. got on opposing starter Annabella Pisapia early by manufacturing three runs thanks to a Pride error, a sacrifice fly by Rebecca Clyde, and an RBI single by Pess.
Clark’s roughest inning ended up being her first as she surrendered three walks and a hit batter to bring in Hofstra’s only run. After five more innings of scoreless ball, Kelly Breen smashed her seventh homer of the year over the left center field fence.
The insurance ended up not being needed as Clark struck out two in the bottom half of the seventh. It was a combined offensive effort as six different players recorded hits with Breen and Posner netting the only multi-hit performances.
This week’s seven wins notched by the Orange welcome some needed momentum as Georgia Tech looms next weekend. Even though opponents like Coppin St. and Maryland Eastern Shore aren’t close to ACC matchups, it still provides a confidence boost for a team that just was embarrassed by Virginia Tech.
All that’s left is the weekend three-game set against Georgia Tech before the long awaited first homer series against Pittsburgh. As the snow starts to melt and the extra layers are shed, Syracuse Softball is one step closer to coming home.