Syracuse Fails To Rally In Raleigh; Falls 12-8 to Purdue
By: Jish Sokolsky | @SokolskyJish
RALEIGH, NC – What once was a lopsided contest through four and a half innings became an offensive slugout late. While Syracuse lost the opening of ACC/Big 10 Challenge, they walk away with a bevy of positives.
First pitch was pushed back three hours, and it was the Boilermakers who took the advantage first. Sophomore Tyrina Jones put the Boilermakers on top early with her first of five RBIs on the day.
After a rain delay and a 1-2-3 inning for the Orange at the bottom of the 1st, the Boilermakers kept the offense churning. Doubles for Kiersen George and Kyndall Bailey put Purdue up 3-0 in the second. At this point, coach Shannon Doepking had seen enough from starting pitcher Lindsey Hendrix who had 3 ER, 4 H and a concerning 3 HB for the Orange. In her stead came freshman utility player Madison Knight.
While Knight initially seemed to be an upgrade after striking out her second batter, a monstrous 4th and 5th inning put SU in trouble. The Purdue bats lit up the scoreboard, scoring 6 runs in 2 innings. Jones popped a 3 run homer in the 4th while Freshman Jordyn Ramos went long for a solo shot on her first career hit in the 5th.
But then, Syracuse stole the show. A 2 run homer from Senior Rebecca Clyde in the bottom of the 5th not only saved SU from the mercy rule, but lit a fire in her team. Leadoff hitter Taylor Posner and star outfielder Angel Jasso kept the party going with RBIs of their own to make it 4-9. Then, sophomore Kelly Breen sent one to the stratosphere to bring in two and make it a 9-6 ballgame.
After an inning where neither team scored, Purdue took momentum back in the top of the 7th off of another Jones RBI and a 2-run double from Senior Becca Edwards. Syracuse would have one last breath of hope when Madison Knight sent a 2 run homer into the stands, but ultimately would run out of steam.
Syracuse struggled in the circle today: 12 earned runs on 13 hits with 6 walks and 6 total hit batters. Today’s pitching staff of Lindsey Hendrix (who picks up the loss), Madison Knight and Kaia Oliver had no answer for Purdue’s freight train of an offense.
Tomorrow’s forecast in Raleigh calls for nothing but sunny skies. Perhaps that can play all the difference as SU plays Iowa and Purdue again to continue the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. Make sure to follow @adam_gotkin on Twitter for all the coverage this weekend.