SB : Watts, Watson each homer to avenge earlier bad breaks

first_imgStephanie Watts and Jasmine Watson made a pact in center field.In the second game of a doubleheader against Rutgers on Saturday, they swore they wouldn’t give Scarlet Knights center fielder Lindsey Curran the chance to track down their fly balls.Curran robbed two potentially game-tying home runs to help Rutgers upset the Orange in the first game, so Watts and Watson promised they’d clear the wall this time.‘In between games, I went up to Watson and I challenged her to hit more home runs than me,’ Watts said. ‘It was a friendly thing, but we wanted to make sure we got those home runs back.’Both players smashed home runs that sailed over Curran, earning them redemption in a 5-3 win over the Scarlet Knights at Skytop Softball Stadium on Saturday. Syracuse (34-11, 11-3 Big East) defeated Rutgers (22-24, 9-10 Big East) 1-0 in the series finale Sunday to take the weekend series.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘It was great to see them bounce back like that after catching those bad breaks in game one,’ head coach Leigh Ross said. ‘That’s just the way the game is sometimes, but obviously they were disappointed about it.’Watts and Watson both hit long fly balls that would have cleared the fence and tied the game 3-3 to give SU pitcher Jenna Caira a shot to win a game in which she set a career high with 18 strikeouts, but Curran took them away.Curran’s most spectacular catch came when she took away Watts’ homer. In the fifth inning, Rutgers starting pitcher Alyssa Landrith threw the second baseman a changeup that she said she could ‘put some power into.’When she launched the ball to deep left center, Watts assumed she had tied the game.But Curran had other plans. She leapt at the last second and extended her glove over the outfield fence to prevent a home run.‘I thought I had it for sure,’ Watts said. ‘I actually started into my home run trot to first because I thought I had it. She made a great play, but it was a bummer to see.’Curran’s glove robbed Watson in the next inning, too. The center fielder snatched another potential game-tying blast at the fence.‘It was frustrating,’ Watson said. ‘You had two big chances to tie the game, and it just didn’t happen.’Watts and Watson decided to turn their frustrations into a friendly home run competition to start the second game. Watson said it was the perfect way to break the tension of losing a game both players felt they could’ve won for their team.In the second inning, Watson drilled her ninth home run of the year to put SU ahead 1-0, buckling the knees of Curran when she realized she couldn’t track down the deep shot to straightaway center field.When she realized she hit the home run that evaded her in the previous game, Watson threw her hands up in elation on the jog to first base.‘I was a little happier to hit that one than I would’ve been otherwise,’ Watson said. ‘I’ve been struggling lately, and with what happened in the first game, it just felt good to hit one there.’Watts chased starter Abbey Houston out of the game an inning later with a two-run shot of her own, pushing the Orange lead to 3-0.From there, SU was in control, and in Ross’ eyes, Watts’ homer meant she was even with Curran for the two runs she denied them in the first game.‘You control what you can control, but it was a little bit of poetic justice,’ Ross said.nctoney@syr.edu Published on April 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: nctoney@syr.edu | @nicktoneytweets Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Commentslast_img read more

Jordan Ayew, the stagnation of a one-time Ghana prodigy

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Jordan AyewLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | After a turbulent spell in England resulting in relegation with two different clubs, former Ghana prodigy Jordan Ayew will attempt to relaunch his stuttering career at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.Since leaving France in 2015, little has gone to plan for the son of Marseille great Abedi Pele, the three-time African footballer of the year.Following his move from Lorient to Aston Villa, the forward enjoyed a relatively successful debut season with seven Premier League goals although the 1982 European champions were relegated and Ayew’s own form has taken on a similar trajectory.He spent a season in the second tier before Swansea signed him to play alongside his elder brother, Andre. It took Jordan six months to break into the first team, but the following season was again largely productive with 11 goals in all competitions. However, it too ended in relegation.It was then that things took a downward spiral. Loaned to Crystal Palace this past season, the ex-Marseille product failed to make an impact at Selhurst Park and netted just twice in 25 total appearances.At the time it looked a shrewd move with scant competition from an underperforming Christian Benteke, the misfiring Alexander Sorloth and injury-prone Connor Wickham, but Ayew struggled to impose himself.– Redemption in Egypt? –Benteke, Sorloth and Wickham provided just one goal between them, but the Palace hierarchy lost confidence in the Ghanaian and brought in Michy Batshuayi on loan for the second half of the season. A torrid 2018-19 campaign leaves Ayew in a tricky situation. Swansea, who are going through a rebuilding process, have made no secret of their desire to offload the forward, his salary a considerable burden for a Championship club. Andre, also still on the books at the Liberty Stadium, is in a similar position after a difficult time with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.“With the Swans still battling to make ends meet, the comparatively high-earning Ayew brothers’ continuing presence on the wage bill has become a real albatross around the club’s neck,” the WalesOnline website wrote recently.“Jordan is only 27 and should be in the prime of his career so again he shouldn’t be satisfied with the current situation and should be doing everything he can to engineer a move.”With that in mind, the Cup of Nations arrives just at the right time. While their club performances have not hit the expected heights, the Ayew brothers have often delivered for their country.Jordan, who has 13 international goals, and Andre, on 14, were both part of the Black Stars team that lost the 2015 final on penalties to the Ivory Coast.Against Benin on Tuesday, Ghana will need another top display from the attacking duo, and those in Accra, as well as Swansea, will be watching on keenly.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more