For the first time since early March, Fordham Softball lost two games in a row. After their Saturday matchup against the Dayton Flyers was cancelled due to inclement weather, the Rams and the Flyers faced off in a doubleheader on Sunday. “We didn’t play well on defense or offense this past weekend, so not much went our way,” said head coach Bridget Orchard. While the Rams did not necessarily play poorly, they could not string together any offense to help their pitchers out.
The first game was a tight contest throughout the first two innings, but Dayton busted the game open in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded, junior pitcher Lauren Quense got taken deep by Dayton’s Krista Gustafson, which was good enough for a grand slam and a four run lead. The Rams were never able to overcome the deficit, although last weeks A-10 Player of the Week, Madison Shaw, put the Rams’ only run on the board in the seventh. It was the sophomore infielder’s tenth homerun of the year, a team high, and was one of three hits the Rams had for the game. She maintains a .355 batting average and a mammoth .669 slugging percentage. Quense threw four strong innings, giving up four earned runs on that grand slam before turning it over to junior Lindsay Mayer, who threw the final two innings.
In game two, the Rams put the first run on the board after freshman infielder Jessica Hughes stole her record 33rd base of the year before coming around to score on a sacrifice fly. Quense got the nod again and pitched a strong six innings, allowing only one hit.
In the bottom of the seventh, however, all hell broke loose. The first two Dayton batters singled to start the bottom of the inning. With one out, Dayton’s Katie Ryan doubled off the left field wall. Sophomore leftfielder Morgan Figueroa picked up the ball and fired home. The throw was so on-line that it hit the Dayton runner in the helmet, allowing her to score. The ball kicked away and the Rams managed to get the Dayton runner at third base, who advanced on the Figueroa throw, into a rundown. After a few throws, the home plate umpire deemed that junior catcher Ally Vergona obstructed the runner and awarded her home plate, giving the Flyers the walk-off 2-1 victory.
“[It was a] tough weekend at Dayton for sure, but we are confident we can work harder this week and be ready for a rematch at the A-10 tournament,” said Orchard. “Watching Dayton’s excessive celebration on Sunday is something that will stick in their heads hopefully and motivate them to work harder this week.”
With the two wins on Sunday the Flyers jumped the Rams for first place in the A-10, making the forthcoming weekend’s matchup against George Mason all the more important for the Rams. “We still need to win to secure a bye in the conference tournament, so this weekend is important. We always talk about not getting too high or too low and our ultimate goal is still in front of us,” said Orchard. “We have always set our sights on winning the A-10 Tournament and advancing into the NCAAs Tournament.”
Getting hot at the right time is an important part of post-season success in any sport. The Rams are now coming off of two separate winning streaks and appear to be cooling off when the need to be heating up. The A-10 Tournament begins on May 10, so the Rams will look to use the George Mason matchup as a springboard into the playoffs and an opportunity to put the Dayton losses behind them. “As a team we just talked about moving forward and focusing on the big series this weekend against George Mason,” said Orchard.
The Rams return to action on May 7 against George Mason with a doubleheader at Bahoshy Field, with first pitch set to be at noon.