Rams Sweep UMass in Historic Weekend; Fall to Iona at Home

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Fordham Softball had a historic weekend against UMass. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Thomas Aiello, Assistant Sports Editor

Fordham’s pitching has been front & center as of late, with Junior Devon Miller taking the circle for the Rams on Saturday; tossing five near perfect innings for her fourth career no-hitter. Miller is starting to get on a roll in her last four starts; winning those last four, striking out 24 and allowing only one earned run in that span.

Coach Melissa Inouye also earned her 200th career victory in the Sunday 6-1 victory, capping off a historic weekend for both herself and Miller. 

The Rams went 3-1 this week, and for good reason. Following their 5-4 loss in extra innings to the Iona College Gaels, the Rams avenged their loss by sweeping the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Minutewomen in a weekend series in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Last Wednesday, Fordham hosted the Gaels at the friendly confines of Bahoshy Field in an out of conference mid-week special. Freshman Emilee Watkins made the start for the Rams, as Iona sent junior Kara Zazzaro into the circle. 

The Gaels got down to business in the first inning, driving in two runs on one hit by graduate student Natalia Meray. The second run came off a fielding error which allowed junior Allie Taylor to make it 2-0 early. The Rams got one run back after a sacrifice fly by sophomore Bailey Enoch, which drove in freshman Allie Clark in the bottom of the first inning.

Iona then cooked up a two-run home run by senior Jessica Chilcott, ballooning the lead to 4-1 by the third. At this point, Watkins’ day was over for Fordham as she went three total innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out two.

Fordham climbed back with their two top offensive threats, graduate student Rachel Hubertus and senior Julia Martine, who hit a solo home run and two-run home run, respectively, to tie things up at four. Fordham and Iona both had multiple chances to win the game, but run production became stale as the game entered extra innings.

Enoch entered in relief for Watkins, and she kept Iona at bay with eight strikeouts over five strong innings. Iona eventually got things rolling in the top of the eighth. After a single by sophomore Kayla Haywood, freshman Brianna Bailey smacked a double into the outfield. A misplay allowed Haywood to score all the way from first, and Iona held on 5-4 to win this standalone game in extras. 

Fordham then bused up north to Amherst to face UMass in a three game weekend series. On Saturday, the Rams commenced a double header with a 9-0 annihilation of UMass. Things got started when Fordham put three of its first four batters on base which set the stage for Enoch who tattooed a grand slam to slingshot Fordham in front 4-0.

The Rams didn’t look back, as Hubertus came up in the very next inning and charged a three-run rocket out of the yard, her team-high ninth of the season. Hubertus has been on a tear in her last five games, whacking  at least one home run in each game while driving in nine runs over that span.

Fordham continued to administer pain in the third inning, when Clark sliced a single and  a throwing error paved the way for senior Gigi Speer to touch home plate and push the lead out to 8-0.

Enoch drilled a solo home run in the fourth inning, sealing the envelope 9-0 and forcing the mercy win in game one

Miller took the circle for the Rams, and tossed five near perfect innings and walked only four batters on the day. This was her fourth career no-hitter, and she did so by striking out six batters while collecting her fifth win of the year.

Game two was more of the same with the Rams getting after it in the first inning, this time with Clark scoring graduate student Brianna Pinto on a sacrifice fly. Then, Hubertus hit another home run, this time a solo missile to make it 2-0 in the first.

In the second inning, senior Sarah Taffet joined the home run party by shooting a two-run blast to double the lead to 4-0, tallying her second of the year. Martine smacked her seventh home run of the year in the third, making things 5-0 by the fourth inning.

UMass got two runs back, as  senior Kendra Allen drove in one off an RBI single in the bottom of the third. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Bella Pantoja drove in another run off a single to make things 5-2. But in the fifth, Enoch blasted a two-run home run to essentially end things at 7-2. This was Enoch’s third home run on Saturday.

Senior Makenzie McGrath also had a solid outing in the circle for the Rams, going the distance for the third time this year. McGrath allowed eight hits, struck out a career high nine batters and earned her fifth win of the year.

The Sunday finale saw Fordham make quick work of the Minutewomen, despite UMass drawing first blood via a sacrifice bunt and a throwing error that had them in front 1-0. But once again, the Rams rolled back in front with another hit parade that began in the third inning.

Clark generated her second sacrifice fly to score Speer. Then, Hubertus launched another home run, her 12th of the year, pushing Fordham in front 3-1. Junior Amanda Carey ripped a two-run blast in the fifth that scored Miller. A Martine sacrifice fly scored Pinto and capped things out with Fordham winning 6-1, sweeping UMass to improve to 15-14 on the year and 7-4 in A10 play..

The Rams return to New York but will be at Manhattan College to take on the Jaspers in a double header on  Wednesday, before returning to Bahoshy Field on Saturday to face Kent State in another doubleheader.