By Jonah Haskell
The Fordham Rams had a week of ups and downs. They went 4-1, including a doubleheader sweep of St Joseph’s on Sunday. Unfortunately for Fordham, senior shortstop and sparkplug Amy Van Hoven was lost to a broken leg on Friday. Van Hoven is likely sidelined until at least the A-10 Championship in May.
“Amy going down is a big loss to the team,” said Rams head coach, Bridget Orchard, “but the team is rallying behind her and hoping for a speedy recovery.”
But it was good week for the Rams besides the injury, as they improved to 27-8 on the season and took two of three during a weekend series against conference rival George Mason. Fordham also played two non-conference games during the week, taking on Stony Brook and Seton Hall in a double header on Wednesday.
In the first of those games, Fordham continued their run of dominant play at home, defeating Stony Brook 13-0 via the runs rule in the fifth. Madison Auginbaugh, Taylor Stocks and Stephanie Rundledt combined for the shutout, with Stocks allowing the only Seawolves’ hit while getting the win. The offense came from all over the line up, as Amy Van Hoven, Sydney Canessa, Madison Shaw, Lindsay Mayer and Lauren Quense all drove in two runs.
The Rams’ pitching continued to dominate in the second game against Seton Hall, as Auginbaugh, Quense and Stocks combined to throw another shutout in a 5-0 win. Madison Shaw led the offense with two RBIs, and Rams hurlers extended their streak of scoreless innings to 26.
Fordham began their series with St Joseph’s with a loss in a classic pitching duel on Saturday. Rams starter Lauren Quense and her Hawks counterpart, Ashley Ventura, traded zeroes for seven full innings, and Quense came back for extras. But in that eighth inning, Molly Kapala tagged Quense for a 2-run homer, ending Fordham’s scoreless innings streak at 33.1, and when the Rams came back out in the bottom of the inning, they were stifled by Ventura once more, who finished the shutout for the 2-0 St Joseph’s win.
The Rams’ line-up was out of sorts during that game, as Lindsay Mayer was forced to play in the unfamiliar position of shortstop for the injured Van Hoven.
But offense wouldn’t be a problem for Fordham in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, as Madison Auginbaugh, who was named A-10 Pitcher of the Week this week, tossed six scoreless innings in a 7-0 win.
The Rams offense jumped on top in the second when it capitalized on a couple of errors to score four runs on an RBI double by Jessica Hughes, a two-run single by Canessa, and a run scoring single by Shaw.
Auginbaugh would tack on another for Fordham in the third with an RBI single, and it appeared that the Rams had won in the sixth when they got two runs on a single by Shaw and an RBI groundout by Mayer. Later in the inning, Hughes was walked with the bases loaded, and it appeared that the game would end, 8-0, via the runs rule as Maria Trivelpiece trotted home to score. But the runner on first, Ally Vergona, didn’t run all the way over to touch second and was called out, extending the game.
Despite the controversy, Taylor Stocks came out to shut down St Joesph’s in the top of the seventh and the Rams captured not just a win, but the 700th career victory for coach Orchard.
“I feel blessed to be able to get 700 wins as a head coach,” she said. “I feel so lucky to be able to coach these girls every day! I learn as much from them as they do from me. I have a lot of people I owe to getting these 700 wins!”
Not long after reaching the milestone, coach Orchard and the Rams were right back at it for the second game of their doubleheader against St Joseph’s.
The Hawks jumped on top early with a run off of Lauren Quense in the first, and managed to double their lead to 2-0 in the fourth. Fordham fought back in the sixth, getting two runs to tie the score courtesy of RBI singles from Morgan Figueroa and Jessica Hughes. Like the first of the series, this game would go to extras, as Madison Auginbaugh came on throw four huge innings in relief.
“Maddie Aughinbaugh is a fierce competitor, and really wants to be challenged.” said coach Orchard. “She is getting better every day because she really wants it and is determined to help us win games.”
But the freshman stumbled in the tenth, allowing a solo homer to Caela Abadie and giving St Joseph’s a 3-2 lead. The Rams came up in the bottom of the inning desperate to keep the game going, but Ally Vergona struck out leading off. With two outs left, Morgan Figueroa singled and Jess Hughes blasted a walk-off, two-run homer to right to give the Rams a 4-3 win.
“Jess has played such a big role on this team since they day she stepped on campus her freshman year.” Orchard said after the game. “It was great to see her once again come through and get the big clutch hit when we needed it.”
With win number 701 in hand, Orchard and her squad now look forward to a week off before they head down to Fairfax, Virginia for a three game series against George Mason next weekend.