Fordham Softball Loses Three in South Carolina


Softball sits at 3-10 as they head to Honolulu for more out-of-conference action. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

What has been a difficult beginning to the season for Fordham Softball continued at the Winthrop Garnet and Gold Tournament in Rock Hill, S.C. beginning on Feb. 25. The Rams dropped three out of four contests, picking up a sole victory against North Carolina Central University.

The reigning Atlantic 10 champions now sit at 3-10 overall in this still very young season. Although it’s been a rough start for this year’s squad, last year’s team endured similar struggles early on.

The 2022 team was 4-9 through 13 games, yet they finished the season on top of the mountain. For Fordham, these early non-A-10 games against quality programs are useful as a measuring stick for where they stand heading into conference play. A-10 play is a different beast entirely, and battling Power Five schools and other talented teams now will prove to be beneficial once the conference gauntlet begins.

The Rams got started in South Carolina against Harvard University early on Saturday. For Harvard, Winthrop Garnet and Gold was their first action of the season, with the Rams being just their second opponent of 2023.

Harvard got off to a fast start, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first after Fordham tallied a run in the top half of the inning. Senior Devon Miller was chased after recording just one out. Although she allowed just two hits, Miller couldn’t find the strike zone as she walked five in the first. Three of those walks were run-scoring, with Fordham finding themselves down 5-1 after a frame.

Fordham didn’t go away, scoring four runs in the fourth inning to tie the game at five. After junior Julia Petrovich doubled and Miller reached on a fielder’s choice, senior Amanda Carey launched a three-run homer to get the Rams within one. Freshman Kate McGuire then scored the tying run on an RBI groundout from graduate student Sarah Taffet.

But the Rams’ lead didn’t last long, with Harvard scoring the eventual winning run in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Holly Beeman, who was excellent in relief of Miller, surrendered her lone run of the day on a Finley Payne RBI single. That was enough for Harvard, who shut down Fordham in the final three innings to win 6-5.

Looking to rebound later on Saturday, Fordham went up against North Carolina Central University, a team that entered the contest at 0-8. Junior Bailey Enoch sparked the Rams in this one both at the plate and in the circle, blasting two home runs in addition to tossing a six-inning shutout. Enoch slammed a two-run homer in the first and a solo homer in the fifth while also adding an RBI walk in the sixth.

Fordham also received offensive contributions from freshman Eva Koratsis, senior Michaela Carter and graduate student Julia Martine, who each contributed an RBI.

The Rams were unable to carry this momentum into Sunday, though, as they dropped two low-scoring contests to Long Island University (LIU) and Winthrop University.

Against LIU, Fordham was stifled by Kira Buckner, who tossed a seven-inning shutout with 13 strikeouts while allowing just one hit. Buckner struck out an LIU program-record 11 straight batters between the third and seventh innings as Fordham struggled for base runners throughout the contest. Beeman got the start and went the distance for the Rams, allowing three runs (two earned) across six innings of work.

Fordham and Winthrop saw their contest go into extra innings, with the Rams ultimately falling just short by a score of 3-2.
After falling behind by a run early, Koratsis tied things up for the Rams in the fifth inning with a solo bomb. Junior Bella Ayala then gave Fordham the lead in the top of the seventh on an RBI groundout that scored Martine, but Winthrop replied in the bottom of the frame. Down to their final strike, Mackenzie Smith smacked an RBI double off sophomore Emilee Watkins to tie things up and send the game to extras.

In the ninth, Smith struck again for Winthrop with a game-winning, walk-off single that scored Ella McGalliard. Despite getting dinged with the loss, Watkins tossed over eight innings for the Rams on a whopping 157 pitches.

Fordham now will take the long trip to Honolulu for the Rainbow Wahine Classic this coming weekend. The Rams will once again be up against some tough opponents, including Iowa State University and the University of Hawaii. Looking to finally get some momentum going in 2023, Fordham will hope the tropical weather is a cure for their early season struggles.