One step forward, two steps back. Two weekends ago, Softball Fordham seemingly came into its own, winning four out of five games. The impressive turnaround got the Rams headed in the right direction, but was short lived. This past weekend they dropped four straight, before finally managing to win their fifth. They seemed to struggle early in the weekend, but played much better in their last few games.
The first two games were a rough patch on the weekend. The Rams gave up 20 runs, while only managing to plate three of their own. The first game they played was against the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles managed to hit three home runs off of pitcher Rachel Gillen. The grad student was knocked out after only throwing a third of an inning, giving up six runs on five hits. Junior pitcher Lauren Quesne finished the game in the circle, allowing three runs on five hits. On the other side, the Rams only garnered two hits in the game. Gillen tallied one, with the other coming off of the bat of sophomore infielder Madison Shaw. The game was called in the fifth due to the runs rule.
The second game of the day was more of the same for the Rams, although they did see their bats start to heat up a bit. Trailing Iowa State 3-0 in the second, Shaw stepped to the plate and put the Rams on the board with a solo homerun to right field. Two innings later, junior outfielder Sydney Canessa continued her hot streak by doubling home two runs, tying the score. That would cap the scoring for the Rams, but the Cyclones were only getting started. They tacked on three in the fourth and five in the sixth, running away with the victory late in the game.
The following day the Rams faced off against the Mercer Bears. Mercer jumped out to an early lead in the first two innings by accumulating three runs on two home runs. They tacked on two more in the fifth and one in the sixth to take the victory. The Rams never managed to get a runner past second base and only managed three hits on the game. Gillen tossed another complete game, giving up six runs on eight hits while taking the loss.
The Rams came to blows with Boston College yet again, but refused to suffer the same fate as the first game. The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Rams stormed back with four runs in the top of the third. Timely hitting and a couple of miscues allowed the Rams to take their first lead of the entire weekend, although it would be short lived. Boston College hit two solo home runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game. The deep ball would continue to hurt the Rams, as a third solo homerun in the fourth proved to be the game winning run. The Rams left a runner in scoring position in the sixth and would never threaten again. Quesne (2-5) was dealt her fifth loss of the season, as she allowed five earned runs on eight hits in four innings.
The bright spot of the weekend came on the final day when they again faced the Iowa State Cyclones again. After trailing 1-0 early, Gillen helped her own cause, crushing the first pitch of her at-bat over the right field fence. The three run homerun vaulted the Rams into the lead in the fourth, and although the Cyclones managed to add one more in the fifth, it was not enough. The Rams went on to add another pair of runs to close the game. Gillen (5-8) tossed another complete game, picking up her fifth win of the season. She gave up two earned runs on five scattered hits with two walks.
Continued success at the plate for Canessa is something that the Rams will need going forward. After highly successful freshman and sophomore campaigns, Canessa is primed for a big year.
“[She] has made the move to the three spot in the hitting order and has risen to the occasion time and time again,” coach Bridget Orchard said. “She has had to develop into more of an RBI hitter for us. With the work she has put in during the off season and with Josh Greer in the weight room she really has picked up her power numbers and has been clutch with key hits when needed.”
Canessa and the Rams will look to turn things around when they return home for five games this weekend, starting with Providence on March 12.