Rams Claim Victory in Battle of the Bronx, Split against Kent State


The Rams proved to be the rulers of the Bronx with their win over Manhattan College. (Courtesy of Twitter)

The yearly “Battle of the Bronx” is the legendary rivalry between Fordham University and Manhattan College. It is famous in the world of basketball, with both schools deadlocked in a fierce rivalry. But for the first time since 2010, Fordham Softball met the Jaspers on the diamond. The rain might have stopped the doubleheader, but clear skies allowed  for both teams to take the field for one game on Wednesday. 

Fordham got off to a hot start in the top of the first inning with a bit of small ball to start the stand-alone game. After a walk in her first at-bat of the day, graduate student Brianna Pinto stole second base and then slid into third on a fly out by freshman Allie Clark. Fellow graduate student Rachel Hubertus knocked in Pinto with a RBI groundout to get the Rams on the board 1-0. 

Hubertus is on her way to some history of her own, as she recorded the 108th RBI of her career and is now closing in on the top 10 in career RBI’s at Fordham. 

Manhattan tied things up in the bottom of the first inning with junior Marika Deemer hitting  an RBI single to score a runner. In the fifth inning, the Jaspers added another run off the bat of senior Megan Gillooley to make things 2-1. 

The Rams changed that with the bat of junior Devon Miller, who slapped an RBI single to drive in senior Julia Martine to start the sixth. That was followed up by a double scoring two by graduate student Kelly Bright allowing Fordham to take the lead, 4-2. 

Clark made her mark with her first career dinger; a three run shot that extended Fordham’s lead to 7-3 in the sixth. Martine followed Clark’s lead with a solo shot of her own, her eighth of the year and the eighth run of the day for the Rams. Manhattan did end up getting a run back, but it didn’t matter as Fordham’s pitching shut down the Jaspers  to take home the victory. 

Between sophomore Bailey Enoch, freshman Emilee Watkins and senior Makenzie McGrath, Fordham pitching allowed two earned runs and struck out seven batters on the day. Watkins walked away with the win, the second of her career, and struck out three batters of her own.

Fordham returned to Bahoshy Field on Saturday for a double header against Kent State University, splitting against the Golden Flashes in what was a tale of two games. 

Game one saw both pitchers go the distance and keep things scoreless through four innings, but Kent State changed that in the top of the fifth. Madison Hershberger and Emily Lippe produced RBI singles that put Kent State out in front 2-0. In the bottom half of the inning, Fordham got one back via a Miller solo home run.

But in the seventh, Kent State flashed four runs to put the game away 6-1, with Jessica LeBeau going the full seven innings with nine strikeouts and only one walk.

In game two, Fordham once again locked in a deadly duel with the Golden Flashes, as McGrath held Kent State at bay with her first career complete game shutout. McGrath induced nine groundouts, seven flyouts, with five strikeouts and allowing three total hits. Kent State’s Anilese Kelly was equally impressive with six innings of two run ball and six strikeouts, but those two runs proved to be the deciders in game two. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Hubertus stepped to the plate and sent her 13th home run of the year to dead center, giving the Rams a 1-0 lead. This was her 35th career home run as she now sits fifth all time on the Fordham career home run charts, tied with Katie Davis and Erin Fisher. She also sits 10th all time for most home runs in a single season, with only seven more needed to tie the record of 20 home runs in a single year which was set back in 2013 and 2014 by Elise Fortier.

Martine followed Hubertus in the very next at bat with her ninth home run of the year, giving McGrath a 2-0 cushion heading into the sixth. McGrath got help from her fielders, as junior Michaela Carter made an over-the-head catch in left to help put the Golden Flashes away. Fordham sealed the deal in game two and walked away 2-1 for the week. The team now sits at 17-15 overall and 7-3 at Bahoshy field. 

The Rams are back in action Wednesday, April 13, against Hofstra University on the road in a standalone game at 6 p.m., then return home for a three-game set against Saint Joseph’s University with game one on Friday at 11:00 a.m. and then a double header on Saturday with the first game at 12:00 p.m.