Fordham Softball Wins Three in Texas, Falls to Seton Hall

Julia Martine continued her fine play with another productive weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Julia Martine continued her fine play with another productive weekend. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham softball team concluded their out of conference road trip at the Boerner Invitational in Arlington, Texas last weekend, with the Rams winning three games in the Lone Star state with massive offensive outputs in those wins. The Rams also played a game last Wednesday against Seton Hall in which they dropped in a 5-3 loss in South Orange, New Jersey.

Game one on Wednesday was against the Seton Hall Pirates; Fordham would strike first, a common theme with this team so far, with graduate student Rachel Hubertus driving in junior Michaela Carter on a sacrifice groundout in the first. Senior Julia Martine continued her hot hitting with a two run blast that drove in graduate student Briana Pinto to give Fordham a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

The Pirates would climb back thanks to an RBI single from junior Abby Wingo, who would later score on a throwing error by freshman catcher Sydney Wells which made it 3-2 in the blink of an eye. The Pirates then emerged victorious with home runs in the fourth and sixth innings by freshmen Lauren Caye and Taylor Hill to push the Pirates over the Rams 5-3.

Junior Devon Miller, who started for the Rams, went three and a third innings in which she gave up three earned runs, struck out two and ate her third loss of the year. Senior Makenzie McGrath came in for relief and went two and two thirds by allowing only one earned run. Sophomore Sydney Babik took win number three for herself for the Pirates, going four strong innings and allowing one hit and striking out five in relief of junior Shelby Smith.

Then it was off to Texas, where the Rams opened up with a 6-1 loss against Northwestern State. The Lady Demons had a strong start with four runs in the first two innings. Sophomore Laney Roos whacked in two in the first inning, which was followed by freshman Bailie Ragsdale’s RBI double in the second that dumped in another run. Roos then attacked again with another RBI single to make it 4-0 in the second inning. Junior Maggie Black would put on the finishing touches in the fifth with a two RBI single.

Fordham got retribution in the end with Hubertus knocking in freshman Allie Clark to give Fordham their only run of the game. Miller went out for the Rams again, going six and a third innings and giving up five earned runs. Freshman Sage Hoover was in the circle for the Lady Demons and tossed a masterful six and a third innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits and four walks.

Game two saw Fordham excel early on with a four run first inning thanks to sophomore Bailey Enoch’s grand slam to catapult Fordham in front 4-1. The Rams would add on one more in the third when Pinto stole third and advanced home on a wild throw. McGrath went five and two thirds innings pitched, striking out, walking six and allowing six hits earning her third win of the year. 

The rematch against Northwestern State also proved fruitful for the Rams in which key depth pieces would shine; graduate student Kelly Bright wheeled in two runs off a double in the second inning, which was followed up by a two RBI triple by senior Sarah Taffet to make it 4-0 in the third inning. Taffet has been working her way back from her heart surgery, and slowly but surely, she has been moving along week to week to get back to her full form. 

“With each week [Taffet] has gotten better in different aspects, getting more comfortable on the field … she played a little bit of second and shortstop,” said head coach Melissa Inouye. 

Freshman Derika Castillo and Roos kept the Lady Demons in the game, as Roos helped by forcing a walk with the bases loaded that brought a run home. That was followed by Castillo’s two RBI single to make it 4-3 by the fourth inning. But Fordham took advantage in the fifth, as Martine scored on a wild pitch to seal the deal 5-3.

The Rams used three pitchers in this game: freshman Emilee Watkins, Enoch and McGrath. Enoch would notch her first win of the year, and all three Ram pitchers didn’t allow any earned runs. 

The final game was offensive chaos as Fordham saw University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for a second time at their final game of the Boerner Invitational. Both teams would score at least one run in six of the seven innings played; two runs were scored in one inning by each team and three runs in one inning for each team.

Sophomore Kat Ibarra would get things started with a solo home run in the first inning for UTSA, and Taffet would strike for Fordham with a sacrifice fly to bring home Martine in the second. 

UTSA was not done, as another solo home run by graduate student Lauren Coerver pushed the score to 2-1 UTSA. Then, Hubertus would prove worthy by hammering a two run rocket in the fifth to make the score 3-2 Rams. UTSA responded with a three run blast by senior Marena Estell to jump Fordham and put UTSA up 5-3.

In the sixth, it was Pinto’s turn to join the home run party and she smacked a three-run home run to jump Fordham into the driver’s seat 6-5. That home run was only the third of her career but it was a timely one, as Fordham would come out in the seventh to tack on two more runs; Martine slammed an RBI single in the seventh to score senior Gigi Speer and then Carter reached base on a fielder’s choice that dumped in Enoch for run number eight.

Fordham in this game once again sent out three pitchers — Miller, Enoch and McGrath — and combined to retire 32 of the 34 batters they saw, as well as Enoch getting her second win on the year in a reliever role.

“It was honestly kind of nice to play the same teams twice,” said Inouye. “Given what is going to happen this weekend with conference play, it was nice for our pitchers to battle and learn how to get somebody out. But it was nice to get some more wins.”