Fordham Softball Concludes Battle at the Beach

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Fordham Softball went 1-4 in last weekends Battle of the Beach Tournament in Conway, South Carolina. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Thomas Aiello, Assistant Sports Editor

The Rams continue on their challenging out of conference run, spending this past weekend in Conway, South Carolina at the Battle at the Beach tournament. The Rams opened up the weekend by facing off against the University of South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday in an 8-3 loss.

Devon Miller ate her third loss of the young season against an SEC opponent, in which the Gamecocks sent graduate student Kelsey Oh, who sat down seven batters while going the distance and walking one batter. Miller only went three innings, struck out one batter and gave up seven earned runs, with sophomore Bailey Enoch coming in for four innings of relief and walked three while striking out two. 

Fordham’s first inning got off to a fast start, with the Rams manufacturing runs via a wild pitch which scored graduate student Briana Pinto and a single from freshman Sydney Wells that dumped in senior Julia Martine to make it 2-0 early on for the Rams. 

However,  the Gamecocks would roar back and dominate the Rams. A seven run second inning would put the Rams in a hole in which they had no chance of climbing out of. Senior Jordan Fabian whacked a grand slam off Miller to push the lead to 6-2 following a wild throw which scored two runs. Graduate student Kaite Prebble would follow up this grand slam with a solo shot of her own to balloon the lead to 7-2. 

In the sixth, senior Kassidy Krupit put the icing on the cake for the Gamecocks when she slammed an RBI single to drive in run number eight for the day. Fordham would get one back, with graduate slugger Rachel Hubertus sending a solo shot in the seventh.  

As per usual, these tournaments have double header matinees with game two on Friday coming against Coastal Carolina. 

The Rams and the Chanticleers went five and a half innings of a stalemate, with neither team being able to generate any sort of run production. Fordham had three hits total in this game with juniors Michaela Carter and Amanda Carey along with graduate student Kelly Bright, but the Chanticleers would get the last laugh.

A three-run blast from sophomore Riley Zaina which was followed up by a solo shot from freshman Maddy Jennings gave Coastal Carolina a 4-0 lead to win the game.

Senior Makenzie McGrath, fresh off her first Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week Award, went almost six innings tossing a shutout until disaster struck. For Coastal Carolina, graduate student Kaitlin Beasley-Polko pitched a seven inning shutout with eight punchouts and two walks. 

On Saturday’s double header matinee, Fordham was swept away in game one during their rematch against the Gamecocks. Once again, the SEC opponent showed their superiority with their run support coming in the 8-0, five inning shutout.

South Carolina had a five run first inning which began with an RBI single by junior outfielder Hannah Kumimaya. Then disaster struck; following another single by freshman Emma Sellers, the Gamecocks capitalized on a wild throw which drove in three runs and put them up 4-0. Sophomore Aaliyah White drove in Sellers via a groundout to shortstop and made it 5-0 in the first inning.

Then in the fourth, the Gamecocks tacked on three more, the first coming from an RBI single from Maddie Gallagher and the latter coming off a two run rocket from Fabian. 

Game two of the matinee saw Fordham record it’s first win at the Battle at the Beach, enacting revenge against Coastal Carolina with a 6-0 sweep. Miller took the circle and tossed a gem: seven innings and nine strikeouts retired 23 of the 24 batters she saw. This was her seventh career shutout and tied for eighth of all time in program history.

Senior Julia Martine cranked a solo shot in the first, followed by a Carter RBI single that scored Miller in the second inning. Miller then provided her own run support with a solo dinger in the fourth inning. 

Graduate student Rachel Hubertus drove in Bright in the fourth to push it out to a 4-0 lead. Then in the seventh, Hubertus sent one over the fence to make it 5-0. Hubertus also moved into the top 10 all-time home runs at Fordham. To top off the win, Martine laced another home run in the seventh to shut the door on a Rams victory.

Fordham rounded out the tournament against Marshall where the lights were shutout on them 8-0. The Rams had runners in scoring position multiple times, with Hubertus, Wells and Ayala being the only Rams to reach base.

Marshall took advantage of the Rams in the third inning. After a quick 2-0 start, fifth year Kaite Adams bombed a grand slam to make it 6-0 and the Thundering Herd never looked back. They also produced an RBI double by way of senior Maya Stevenson to make it 7-0, then a fielder’s choice run by freshman Lauren Love to make it 8-0 and seal the deal in the fourth inning.

“We really missed this last year, the team said that this was what they were missing last year because of the shortened season,” said head coach Melissa Inouye. “We peaked too early, and I feel now that we are closer to a rhythm.”

The Rams walk out of South Carolina with just one win in four tries, and have a 3-7 record to start the year in 10 total games so far. 

The two week break couldn’t come at a better time for the Rams. With midterms coming up, the team has a chance to regroup and recover following their experience through this blast furnace they just came out of. The Rams will hit the road to Arlington, Texas on March 4 to the Boerner Invitational with games against University of Texas Arlington, Northwestern State and University of Texas at San Antonio.