The Orange Drop the First Two Games of ACC Play

Sunday, Mar 03, 2024 at 4:35 pm by Sports Editor

Nathaniel Cunningham | @n_cunning_0


Syracuse softball was supposed to play Duke on Friday but inclement weather forced a double header to open ACC play. An extra day of waiting put some jitters into the SU offense and the Orange took a 7-0 and a 6-0 loss to the Blue Devils on Saturday. 


Game One 

Duke pitcher Jala Wright came out firing. In the first two frames, the senior went 1-2-3 in both with 3 strikeouts. 


The Blue Devils then got the scoring started in the second. First baseman Gisele Tapia led off the frame with a double to left field. Aleyah Terrell pinch ran for Tapia and would score after back to back ground outs to third base. 


The third inning saw no more scoring but in the fourth Duke opened up the game. After catcher Kelly Torres struck out to lead off the inning, Tapia doubled again this time to right center field. Then left fielder Amiah Burgess tripled to center which scored Tapia. Designated hitter Francesca Frelich singled to left, scoring Burgess and giving Duke a three run lead in the fourth. 


While the Orange tried to mount some offense, Wright kept mowing SU down. The Senior gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth but forced weak contact for three straight outs. 


In the bottom half, right fielder Claire Davidson added some insurance for the Blue Devils. The senior hit a solo home run to center field for her fifth of the year. 


Going into the sixth, SU changed pitchers to Jessie DiPasquale but the result was the same. Duke drew two walks and a single to load the bases. Center fielder D’Auna Jennings reached on a fielder’s choice and one scored. Two batters later, Claire Davidson doubled to left scoring two more and and the Blue Devils had a 7-0 lead entering the seventh 


Sophie Garner-Mackin took the ball from Wright in the seventh for the save and did exactly what had happened all game. Although she gave up one of SU’s two hits, more weak contact led to the Blue Devils 14th win of the season. 


Game 2

Just 30 minutes after game one finished, the Orange and Blue Devils faced off again. While this game was slightly different than game one, It continued with Duke scoring early and the Orange being shut down on the offensive end. 


In the bottom of the first, center fielder D’Auna Jennings hit a lead off single then advanced to third on a passed ball. Two batters later, right fielder Claire Davidson hit a sacrifice fly to center scoring one. 


Just as in game one, Duke’s pitcher Cassidy Curd started to shove. In the second the sophomore went 1-2-3 with three strikeouts. In the third, Curd was on route to do that again but a single from Laila Morales-Alves snapped a 5 strikeout streak. So in response she struck out the next batter, Makenzie Foster. In the top of the 4th Curd went 1-2-3 again but this time with only one strikeout. 


While SU’s Britney Lewinski held the Blue Devils at bay through the third, Duke really opened the offense in the fourth. Davidson began the frame with a solo shot to right center field for her second home run of the day. Second baseman Aminah Vega notched a single to right center but then was followed by two flyouts. Then with 2 outs, Amiah Burgess tallied a bunt single advancing Vega. Francesca Frelick doubled to right center scoring and both runners and Duke took a 4 run lead. Shortstop Jada Baker reached via an error and another run scored ending Britney Lewinski’s day. 


Madison Knight took the circle but against her first batter, she gave up a single to left which scored a fifth run in the frame. Duke entered the inning up one and left up six.


While the Blue Devils offense kept cruising at the plate, Curd kept cruising on the bump. Another 1-2-3 inning in the 5th ended the day for Curd who gave up just 1 hit in 5 innings of work. Dani Drogemuller stepped into the circle and kept the high quality pitches alive. The grad student gave up a single but forced weak contact to keep SU scoreless in the 6th. In the final innings, Drogmuller pulled one out of Curd’s book and went 1-2-3 with two strikeouts to end the game. 


The Orange were held to just 5 hits over both games while SU was just shut down in every facet on offense. Syracuse plays Duke at noon tomorrow to avoid the series sweep to start ACC play.