Syracuse Splits Day One of Southeastern Louisiana Classic

Saturday, Feb 17, 2024 at 9:33 am by Sports Editor

Nathaniel Cunningham | @n_cunning_0

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Game 1 vs Maryland 

HAMMOND, LA – The Orange started game number 1 against Maryland very similar to how they have started most of their games this year, scoreless. SU had one player reach base in the first 4 innings which was immediately negated by a double play. However in the 5th and 6th, Syracuse Softballs (4-2, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) offense came alive taking down Maryland (3-4, 0-0 Big Ten Conference) 6-3. 


After the first 2 and a half innings, all signs pointed to this being another pitcher’s duel. But in the bottom of the 3rd, the Terrapins opened the scoring. A leadoff walk followed by back-to-back singles loaded the bases with no outs. Jaeda McFarland doubled to left scoring 2 but Caitlyn Cornwall was tagged out trying to advance to third. With runners on first and second with just one out, a big inning was brewing for UMD. The issue was that SU’s best pitcher, Kindsey Hendrix, was in the circle. Despite giving up 8 hits on the day, the senior struck out 9 and wouldn’t give up another run until 6th. 


While Hendrix was dealing in the circle, she allowed her offense to unload. They did just that. Despite not having a hit until the 5th the Orange saw an opening and took it. Madelyn Lopez walked to lead off the inning, Kelly Breen then doubled to left, and Laila Morales-Alves walked to load the bases with no outs. Tessa Gaipeau grounded to shortstop and reached via a fielder’s choice as Maryland took the out at home. Oliva Pess did the same thing but a throwing error from the UMD shortstop scored one. Rebecca Clyde also grounded to shortstop but with no play available another run scored and SU tied the game. 


Hendrix continued to deal in the bottom of the 6th and with SU’s offense alive, they secured some insurance. Angel Jasso led off with a walk followed by a couple of errors and a Rebecca Clyde single, the Orange took the lead. A couple more singles later and SU had a 5 to advantage in the 5th. 


Maryland responded with a solo homer in the bottom of the 6th but that wouldn’t be enough as SU added another for themselves thanks to a Kelly Breen single in the Top of the 7th. Syracuse tied the all-time series matchup with Maryland at 3 games a piece. 


Game 2 vs Southeastern Louisiana 

HAMMOND, LA – Just a 30-minute turnaround saw Syracuse (4-3, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) face off against the hosting Southeastern Louisiana(6-1, 0-0 The Southland Conference). It was a back-and-forth matchup between the Orange and the Lions all game until the bottom of 6th when SLU would tally on 2 runs to secure an 8-6 victory. 


Syracuse started sophomore Madison Knight who last weekend at the Kickin’ Chicken Classic struggled in 3 outings finishing with a 1-2 record, 7 innings pitched, 10 hits, and 5 runs. Against SLU it was not any prettier. It started with a leadoff walk followed by an error. Then 2 back to back singles saw the Lions take an early 3-0 lead. 


Syracuse’s offense did well to bounce back though. In the top of the third, 3 errors topped with a single and a double scored 4 runs giving SU a one-run lead. A scoreless bottom of the third and fourth saw SU gaining momentum with just a couple of innings to go but the home team wanted to flip the script. 


In the bottom of the 5th, Knight got the first batter out but then gave up a single. Lions Lexi Johnson took advantage and blasted a home run to straightaway center to give SLU the advantage once again. It didn’t stop there though because 2 batters later Audrey Greely hit a solo shot to left field. The Lions had a 6-4 run lead with 2 innings to go. 


The Orange were running out of time but as they’ve shown all season, they don’t go away. Despite SU’s first 2 batters recording the first 2 outs, back-to-back singles and a walk set up Taylor Posner to hit a 2 RBI single and score the game again. 


However, the Lions did what they were doing the whole game, respond. An error, a hit-by-pitch, a wild pitch, and then a triple scored two more runs for SLU. Syracuse couldn’t do anything about it and in the top of the 7th went 1-2-3. Southeastern Louisiana took down Syracuse 8-6 and got its first home victory. 


While it wasn’t the best day at the office for SU, they return tomorrow to play 2 more games. The first is against Maryland at noon and the second is at 4 against Southeast Missouri State.