Softball Goes 2-2 on Weekend After Pair of Walk-Off Losses

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Softball Goes 2-2 on Weekend After Pair of Walk-Off Losses

Photo by Drew DiPane/The Ram Jamie LaBovick’s 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Atlantic 10 history.

Photo by Drew DiPane/The Ram Jamie LaBovick’s 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Atlantic 10 history.

Photo by Drew DiPane/The Ram Jamie LaBovick’s 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Atlantic 10 history.

Photo by Drew DiPane/The Ram Jamie LaBovick’s 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Atlantic 10 history.

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By MATT ROSENFELD

SPORTS EDITOR

Photo by Drew DiPane/The Ram Jamie LaBovick’s 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Atlantic 10 history.

Photo by Drew DiPane/The Ram Jamie LaBovick’s 28-game hitting streak is the longest in Atlantic 10 history.

After dropping both ends of a non-conference double header to Lehigh last week, the Fordham softball team had to bounce back quickly. In four conference games this past weekend, the Rams managed two series splits with Saint Louis and Butler.

Fordham took its furthest conference road trip last Thursday as it traveled to the Gateway to the West to take on the Billkens on Friday and Saturday. The trip started well for Fordham, which defeated Saint Louis 4-3 in the Friday matchup.

Saint Louis took a two run lead heading into the fifth inning. The Rams had been getting hits but were unable to convert until the top of the fifth. In the inning, senior Chelsea Palumbo led off with a single. After a fly-out from sophomore Paige Ortiz, sophomore Sammi Smith singled to give the Rams first and second with one out. Fordham finally got the clutch hit it needed when senior Jamie LaBovick doubled driving in one run to cut the deficit to 2-1. Then, as she has all year, junior Elise Fortier delivered at the plate. Fortier drove a double to right center that scored LaBovick and Smith and put the Rams ahead. A fielding error from Saint Louis gave Fordham another run, ending the inning with a 4-2 lead.

“We have hitters one through nine, so it’s not always the same person who gets up and gets the hits,” head coach Bridget Orchard said about her team’s clutch hitting. “I think they’re used to hitting in tight situations and they don’t seem to get rattled at all.”

Sophomore Michelle Daubman gave up a home run in the bottom of the sixth that made the game 4-3, but that was where it would end. Freshman Patti Maloney was called upon in relief and shut down the Billikens in the final two innings.

“[Maloney’s] performance was huge,” Orchard said. “Proving to us that she can come in under pressure and get big outs against some big hitters was big. She did a great job.”

The second game saw Maloney back on the mound for the Rams. She, along with Billikens freshman Brianna Lore, pitched four scoreless innings to start the contest.

The scoreless tie was broken in the bottom of the fifth, when Saint Louis freshman Elizabeth Everingham hit a solo home run to put the Billikens up 1-0.

Fordham remained resilient though. In the top of the sixth, the Rams answered. LaBovick singled up the middle, extending her hit streak to 26 games at the time. That led Fortier, Fordham’s biggest hitter up to this point in the year, to hit an RBI double, tying the game at one.

Daubman took over for Maloney in the bottom of the sixth inning and shut down Saint Louis in the sixth.

After Fordham failed to get a run across in the top of the seventh when they had a runner in scoring position, Saint Louis took advantage of its opportunity to get a win. A lead off single from senior Laura Bohning followed by a walk set up the walk-off single by senior Erin Harcar. Her single to left center scored Bohning and gave Saint Louis a 2-1 win.

Fordham went from Saint Louis right to Indianapolis, where it took on Butler in an Atlantic 10 Sunday doubleheader.

The Rams took the first game of the day 3-0. Fordham received a great performance from the top of its lineup. LaBovick, Fortier and junior Gabby Luety (one, two and three in the Fordham order) combined to go 6-10 with all three RBI for the team.

All of the scoring came in the first two innings. LaBovick led the game off with a solo home run to left field, immediately giving Fordham a 1-0 lead. In the second, an RBI single from Fortier and a sacrifice fly from Luety gave the Rams all the runs they would need.

Daubman threw a gem in the early game, pitching a complete game shutout and giving up only six hits and no walks in the game. She picked up her 14th win of the year in the victory.

Coach Orchard knew her team would respond to the tough loss at Saint Louis less than 24 hours before.

“They wanted to get out there and play again,” Orchard said. “The good thing about softball is you don’t have to wait a week to play another game, so I think with us, the team was excited to get back on that field after the loss.”

The final game of the weekend would be another heartbreaking loss for Fordham.

Maloney toed the rubber for the Rams and held the Bulldogs scoreless in the first three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, Butler put together a double and an RBI single with two outs to put them ahead 1-0.

Fordham answered quickly, however. Following Butler’s run, the Rams came up in the top of the sixth and scored one of their own. Another LaBovick home run, her sixth of the year and second in the double header, tied the game at one. The home run also extended LaBovick’s hitting streak to 28 games, the longest in A-10 history.

Neither team would score in the seventh as the game carried into extra innings. In the extra frame, Fordham scored a run on an RBI double from Fortier. Unfortunately for Fordham, it could not manage to get an out in the bottom half of the eighth.

Butler led off with two singles, the second of which led to a throwing error by Daubman in left field that allowed the tying run to score and the winning run to advance to second. With the game tied and Butler holding all the momentum, senior Devin Dearing delivered an RBI double that gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 win.

After this past weekend, Fordham is 25-16 overall, sitting at 9-5 and fourth in the A-10.

While the Rams had a couple of good wins over the weekend, they are not sitting in the best spot when it comes to postseason play.

“We should have been 4-0 over the weekend,” Orchard said. “Coming out 2-2 was a little bit tough because we’re on the cusp of possibly not making it into the A-10 tournament. We have the two toughest teams coming up in our schedule still, so we have to knock off one of those tougher teams.”

The Rams have a doubleheader with Siena on Wednesday, April 17 and then host conference foe Dayton on April 19 and 20.