After playing 20 straight away games over the last four weeks, Fordham Softball returned to Bahoshy Field for a four-game home stand. The Rams had gone 7-13 over their several road trips.
“Traveling has been great and allowed us to get outside and play in nice weather,” coach Bridget Orchard said. “But there is nothing like playing at home.”
The team was looking to get its season headed in the right direction after winning only one of the five games they played last weekend. They accomplished that goal in a big way, sweeping the weekend with four wins over Providence and Saint Peter’s.
On Friday, March 11, the Rams started their weekend against the Providence Friars and sent junior pitcher Lauren Quesne to the circle. Quesne dominated the Providence lineup, throwing a complete game one-hitter. She took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Providence’s Brittney Veler belted a double. Quesne struck out nine of the 26 batters she saw on the day, walking three and hitting another with a pitch. Fordham’s offense backed her, exploding for five runs in the fourth inning. The Ram hitters accumulated four singles in a row to start the inning, with the go-ahead RBI coming from graduate student pitcher Rachel Gillen. Sophomore infielder Madison Shaw followed and matched Gillen before junior catcher Ally Vergona and sophomore outfielder Morgan Figueroa knocked in a run each with RBI groundouts. Freshman infielder Jessica Hughes knocked in the fifth run with a single to left field, capping the huge inning. The Rams failed to score again, but Quesne’s shutout, the second of her career, made that a moot point.
Gillen stepped into the circle in the second game of the Friday doubleheader and refused to be outdone by Quesne. She tossed a complete game and struck out 14 Friars, falling just one shy of her career high. The only black spot on her day came when she surrendered three runs in the third inning. She was able to quickly resolve the issue, however. The Rams scored four runs in the first two innings and three in the third to jump out to a 7-3 lead. They added one more in the sixth, ending the scoring for the game. The final score was 8-3.
The Rams’ offense exploded for 14 runs in their third game of the weekend, which was against Saint Peter’s on Saturday. Junior outfielder Syndey Canessa started off the day by crushing a two-run home run, her sixth of the season, tying her career high. Quesne drew an RBI walk before Vergona hit a sacrifice fly, which plated the fourth run of the inning. The Rams put a matching four runs up in the second to push their lead to 8-1. After an RBI single by Mayer made the score 9-1, Quesne put an exclamation point on the game, ripping a line drive down the left field line for a grand slam and extending Fordham’s lead to 13-1. The following inning ended the scoring, with freshman catcher Kylie Michael collecting her first career RBI to push the score to 14-1. Quesne threw three innings, striking out four with one earned run to earn the win. Mayer pitched the final 2 frames, as the game ended in the fifth due to the mercy rule. Quesne’s record sits at 4-5 for the season after winning both her weekend starts thanks to two strong performances.
The second game against Saint Peter’s, held on Sunday, yielded a similar result. Gillen took the mound again but allowed a two-run home run in the first inning. The Rams failed to score in the first two innings, but their bats came alive in the third. They put four runs on the board and never looked back, adding six more runs over the next three innings, including a walk-off three-run home run from Shaw in the sixth inning. The Rams had 11 hits on the day and were able to capitalize on the poor defense of their opponents, who committed five errors. Gillen shook off the initial home run and allowed only two hits after the first inning. She threw another complete game, striking out seven and earning her seventh win of the season. The victory was Fordham’s fifth straight victory in a row, its longest win streak of the season.
This weekend, the Rams will head down to Maryland for the Tiger Classic, hosted by Towson University.