Fordham softball wrapped up its out of conference tournament schedule March 13-15 down in Raleigh, North Carolina at the N.C. State Hyatt Place Invitational. Fordham split its first two games, falling to No. 21 Missouri 7-5 and defeating Binghamton 6-4.
The Rams then went 1-2 in their final three games, defeating Lipscomb 3-2 in nine innings, but falling to Longwood 10-7 and No. 25 North Carolina State 5-0. The Rams finished with an 11-10 overall record heading into their first Atlantic-10 matchups of the season against the St. Louis University Billikens this past weekend.
The first two games were part of a doubleheader on Saturday, March 21. Fordham struck early in the first game, scoring three runs in the top of the first on RBI walks to senior designated player Michelle Daubman and redshirt senior starter Rachel Gillen and an RBI single by catcher Kayla Lombardo to go up 3-0. The score stood the same until the bottom of the fourth when St Louis’ freshman Alyssa Tarquino hit a three-run home run off Gillen to tie the game at three all.
The game would again remain scoreless for two and a half innings, until Gillen surrendered another home run in the bottom of the seventh, this one a two-run shot to sophomore Alex Nickel, giving St. Louis the 5-3 walk-off victory. Brianna Lore picked up the victory, improving to 7-6 on the season, while Gillen dropped to 7-5 with the loss.
The Billikens started the scoring in the second game, scoring two runs off Daubman on a solo home run by senior Lindsay Freidman and an RBI single by Tarquinio to go up 2-0. Fordham cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth on a solo homer by Daubman and took the lead in the fifth on an RBI triple by sophomore second baseman Amy Van Hoven and an RBI single by sophomore third baseman Lindsay Mayer off Billiken freshman starter Maddie Baalman to make it 3-2 Rams.
St. Louis tied the game up in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Lore, but Fordham retook the lead in the top of the sixth on a two-RBI single by Gillen to make it 5-3. The Rams added three more runs in the top of the seventh on a three-run home run by senior right fielder Cora Ianiro to make it 8-3. Those runs proved very important, with St. Louis adding two in the bottom of the inning on junior Elizabeth Everingham’s two-run home run off Gillen, but the team couldn’t bring it any closer and Fordham took the game 8-5. Gillen picked up her eighth win of the season (8-5) while Baalman earned her third loss (4-3).
The rubber game of the weekend took place on Sunday, March 22. The Rams got to Lore early, scoring eight times in the first two innings. A Daubman RBI double made it 1-0 after the first, but Fordham exploded for seven runs in the second. Back-to-back RBI walks to Van Hoven and Mayer started it off, then an RBI single by Lombardo and back-to-back two-RBI doubles by Daubman and Ianiro gave the Rams an 8-0 lead after an inning and a half. St. Louis chipped away in the bottom of the inning with solo home runs by freshman Allie Macfarlane and sophomore Hailey Weavers off Daubman to make it 8-2 Fordham. The Billkens cut into the Fordham lead further in the bottom of the third on a three-run home run by Macfarlane to bring St. Louis to within three runs at 8-5.
The Rams added some cushion in the top of the fifth on an RBI single by reliever Patti Maloney and sacrifice fly by senior left fielder Brianna Turgeon to bring their lead to 10-5, but the Billikens took back those runs in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run by sophomore Mackenzie Peter and a Macfarlane single that led to an error and a run.
A Weavers solo homerun in the bottom of the sixth brought the Rams lead down to 10-8, and three runs in the bottom of the seventh on a Lore single that scored two runs and a Tarquinio RBI single off Daubman gave the Billikens another walk off victory, 11-10, and the series, 2-1. Baalman picked up the win for St. Louis (5-3) while Daubman suffered the loss for Fordham (2-5).
The Rams open their season at home this afternoon against the Iona College Gaels at 3 p.m.