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Softball Continues Its A-10 and Home-Field Dominance

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04

Courtesy of Michael Rezin/The Ram

Senior Nicole Callahan had four hits combined in Friday’s doubleheader sweep against St. Bonaventure.

 

Fordham’s softball team remained on trend this past weekend, continuing its conference and home-field dominance with a sweep of Atlantic 10 opponent, St. Bonaventure.

Game 1 started off well for the Rams, as junior first baseman Jaime LaBovick reached on an error in Fordham’s half of the first. Senior captain and second baseman Nicole Callahan followed with a base hit, advancing LaBovick to third. Fordham put its first run on the board when junior shortstop Chelsea Palumbo hit a sacrifice fly that scored LaBovick. Fordham had a 1-0 lead after one inning.

Senior pitcher Jen Mineau pitched another gem. In the first three innings, Mineau allowed only one hit, a bunt that took a bad hop and resulted in a double.

Fordham added to its lead in the bottom of the third, when freshman designated hitter Paige Ortiz flashed her power, hitting an opposite-field home run to increase the Fordham lead to two runs. It was Ortiz’s team-leading 13th home run of the year.

Following two more scoreless innings from Mineau, the Rams scored two more in the fifth. Senior outfielder Lindsay Kay Bright led off with an infield single and promptly advanced to second on a wild pitch. LaBovick then reached on an error, with Bright scoring on the play to make it 3-0 in favor of the Rams. Callahan singled to right field, where the outfielder could not handle the ball and allowed LaBovick to score to increase the lead to four.

A two-RBI single from Callahan in the sixth inning, her third hit of the day, put the game out of reach for the Bonnies. Callahan was one of four players to have multiple hits in the game.

Freshman Taylor Pirone came in to pitch the seventh inning and had a scoreless effort, sealing the Rams 7-0 victory in the first game of the doubleheader.

“It was good to get on them early,” Head Coach Bridget Orchard said. “Jen pitched another great game, and scoring early helped relax the team a bit. It’s nice to get the whole team hitting, especially with UMass coming in soon.”

The second game started with a scare, as Mineau gave up a pair of singles that gave the Bonnies first and second with just one out, but Mineau managed to work out of trouble and escape without a run.

Fordham continued its offensive success in the second, when sophomore third baseman Elise Fortier hit a solo home run, her fourth of the season, to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.

After Mineau struck out five of six batters in the third and the fourth in another two scoreless innings for the Bonnies, Fordham gave its pitcher some insurance.

Fortier managed a walk, followed by freshman catcher Kayla Lombardo reaching on an error. Orchard then had junior outfielder Katherine Van Benschoten pinch hit for Bright. Van Benschoten responded by hitting the first pitch she saw over the fence in left for a three-run home run, providing the Rams with a four-run lead.

“That was huge,” Orchard said of the pinch hit home run. “That is not an easy thing to do, and it is great to see some power coming off of our bench to help pick up some starters that weren’t hitting.”

Fordham added another run to its lead in the fifth, when after a Palumbo walk and freshman centerfielder Brianna Turgeon single, LaBovick ripped an RBI double to make the score 5-0.

St. Bonaventure got its only run in two games in the sixth, when sophomore outfielder Lindsay Stowell hit a solo home run for the Bonnies to make it 5-1 in favor of the Rams, which proved to be the final score.

“We played the way we were supposed to against the Bonnies,” Callahan said. “We should have scored more, but we’ll take it.”

With the two wins, Fordham is now 29-19 overall (13-1 in conference play). A Tuesday afternoon loss to Iona dropped the Rams’ record to 9-1 at the newly-renovated Bahoshy field. The final score was 6-2 in favor of the Gaels. Prior to that game, Fordham had been undefeated at the new field.

“They get excited when they get to play in front of our fans,” Orchard said. “They feel comfortable here, they’re confident, and I think it shows when we play here.”

The Rams will head out to Ohio later this week to take on Atlantic 10 opponent Dayton this Friday and Saturday, April 27 and 28.

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