Softball Extends Winning Streak to Six


The Rams vaulted them into first place in the A-10 with a 5-1 conference record. Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram

By Pat Costello 

The Rams vaulted them into first place in the A-10 with a 5-1 conference record. Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram
The Rams vaulted them into first place in the A-10 with a 5-1 conference record. Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram

After beginning the season with some tough loses, the Rams have reminded everyone why they are the favorite to win the Atlantic 10 Championship. Following three victories over St. Joseph’s this past weekend and a win over Lehigh on Tuesday, the Rams pushed their win streak to six in a row and 13 of the last 15.

They have been successful thanks to playing complete games, meaning that they are hitting at a high level, as well as dominating in the circle. Coach Bridget Orchard cited this as a key to their recent success.

“Early in the season, when we hit we weren’t pitching well or the opposite, we would pitch well and not score,” she said. “Over the weekend, both hitters and pitchers did well. We have been able to execute in key situations getting the big hit when needed.”

One of those big hits came during the Rams’ game against Iona last Thursday. Graduate pitcher Rachel Gillen and junior Lauren Quense combined for a three-hit shutout over nine innings. The only run came in the ninth, when junior catcher Stephanie Ferri broke the extra inning tie with an RBI ground rule double.

Games like these show Orchard just what her team is made of. “This team really relies on everyone and they have done a great job of picking each other up,” she said. “We have a different player stepping up each game so that has been key. Not one player has to do it herself. When someone is slumping another player steps up and this has been key.”

This past weekend, the Rams played their second set of A-10 games, outscoring the Hawks 28-6 in Philadelphia. The Rams proved their coach’s point about picking each other up in the third game of the weekend. After Quense took a ball off the shin and Gillen sprained her thumb running into the first baseman, junior infielder Lindsay Mayer was called upon in relief. She threw three perfect innings, striking out four and picking up the first win of her career, a 12-4 victory. The Rams are a team with a lot of grit and heart. They faced adversity early in the season, but have battled all the way back and have set themselves up for a solid run at the A-10 Championship.

The Rams still have a long way to go, and face a plethora of very good teams, including George Washington this weekend. Mayer went 3-4 with two RBI’s and a run scored in the 12-4 victory over St. Joseph’s and will look to keep her pace going forward. Junior infielder Amy Van Hoven has also hit her stride as the season reaches its middle. Her performance at the plate has been pivotal to the Rams success, and she will look to continue her performance. Sophomore infielder Madison Shaw was named A-10 Player of the Week last week, batting .538 with two homeruns and seven RBI’s. Her performance was the spark the Rams needed to continue winning games, a spark that she will look to keep supplying going forward. Freshman infielder Jessica Hughes was also given a weekly award, winning Co-Rookie of the Week. Hughes hit .462 on the week and was 6-6 on steal attempts. She has become a key member to the lineup due to her incredible ability to get on base and score.

The biggest key for the Rams is getting healthy. “We will need Rachel and Lauren to heal up and stay healthy,” Orchard said of her star pitchers. “Our offense needs to continue to score runs, we face some good A-10 offensive teams and we need to continue to score.” In Tuesday’s game against Lehigh the Rams were literally dealt a bad hand. Gillen’s sprained thumb kept her out of the game, meaning that it was up to the arms of Quense and Mayer once again.

The duo held the Mountainhawks to just one hit on the day, with Quense going five strong innings and Mayer coming in for the save in the last two. The Rams pushed a run across early and managed to hold the lead for the rest of the game, eventually winning 1-0. They were able to win even though their best pitcher was out with an injury, proving Orchard’s point that this team can pick up right where they left off even if someone is hurt.

The Rams will continue their A-10 season on Wednesday afternoon with a double header against St. Bonaventure starting at 1 p.m. before playing a three game series against George Washington this weekend.