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With the spring 2020 sports season being canceled by the COVID-19 outbreak, we at Fordham have decided to dig back through our archives and give our fans content about some of the outstanding teams and athletes-students who have graced Rose Hill for years .
Washington, D.C. (May 15, 2016) – Rain, rain, leave. Between the relentless rain that delayed the tournament twice, losing in the opening round, two extra matches, or playing four matches for two days, including THREE on Sunday, the trip of the Atlantic 10th Atlantic 10 Fordham Softball 2016 Championship may be the wildest in this program . history. A narrow 1-0 loss to fifth seed Saint Joseph pushed the Rams into an elimination bracket where they had to rise against Dayton and Massachusetts to make a rematch with the Hawks, which they had to defeat twice in a row to secure a fourth straight title. They do that.
Heavy rain in our nation’s capital that week pushed the start of the tournament from Wednesday to Friday, fortunately stopping enough to allow for a three-day competition. After two days of waiting, the Rams and Hawks found themselves locked in a pitcher duel, Rachel Gillen of Fordham against Saint Joseph’s Madison Clarke. The duo took turns closing off opponents for five consecutive innings until the Hawks’ Kerrie Kortmann found his long fly ball landed right inside the rotten pole and on the fence, giving a thin underdog 1-0 margin. Clarke made way for Ashley Ventura, who threw two empty frames, while Gillen finished 37 of themth Complete career games with only three hits allowed.
Saturday brought another pitcher duel, but this one surpassed and surpassed Friday and became one of the most epic in the history of the A-10 postseason. Gillen again entered the circle, this time to face Pitcher of the Year at Manda Cash Dayton. It took almost 12 full innings around a two hour rain delay, but the RBI twice escaped Sydney Canessa to score Morgan Figueroa all the way from first pushing the Rams ahead in a meeting with UMass on Sunday morning, with the first pitch set at 9 am to accommodate the possibility of three matches that day. Gillen retired from the last 20 batters he faced and only allowed four hits in all games.
UMass was the first of four consecutive 32-hour wins to secure the program’s fourth straight championship conference. Without rain and sunset, it was still windy on the Mount Vernon Campus in George Washington. Head coach Bridget Orchard chose to rest Gillen for game one after throwing 19 innings two days before, starting junior Lauren Quense against the pitcher of the entire Meg Colleran First Conference Team. Quense then went far, allowing only two runs to no avail, during Fordham’s 6-2 victory.
The Rams scored in the third and fourth rounds. Chelsea Skrepenak led the former frame by doubling to the middle of the center right and Morgan Figueroa defeated the toss at his sacrifice bunt attempt. On that throw, Skrepenak’s aggressiveness made him run home to just beat the tag and score the first run of the game, while Figueroa moved to second. Canessa then printed Figueroa with a pocket fly. With empty bases, Player of the Year Lindsay Mayer walks and the Rams count three straight hits to score two more goals, coming with two Gillen RBIs and one Madi Shaw Single RBI. Two other Canessa goals in the next innings were Amy Van Hoven and Canessa scored because of a throw by Jena Cozza to put her side 6-0 up. Quense worked in and out of trouble all morning but kept the Hawks at bay until seventh when they loaded the base and scored two goals, but Quense rose to attack Godin to end the game. 40 minutes later, the match number one championship begins.
The Rams went down on foot when Mayer’s blast against the wind landed on the left fence to put his team 2-0 up. They added a third in the third when Shaw, who led with a double, scored on the Jessica Hughes single. The Hawks fought back to tie the game, first through a Cyndi Wilson solo home run in the fourth and a two run home run from Sarah Yoos in the fifth. Hitting gives way to throw the next three frames; Gillen continued to shake for Fordham, while Anna Lauterbach was very relieved for Saint Joseph. The Rams broke through in the eighth against Ventura with relief, who had thrown a clean seventh. Quense walked one way and was pinched by senior Cailin Winokur. With two outs, Figueroa slapped the first pitch he saw shallow to the left to put Winokur in the scoring position. Ride on Van Hoven, who took the third throw he saw into the middle of the middle to score a Winokur goal easily. Gillen again traveled the distance, allowing three runs on six hits, while striking 10.
Where game one (or game two of the day) is a fair affair with tense moments, the only example of tension in the final do-or-die is the final defeat when the Rams went on to win 5-1 behind the great tandem of Quense and Gillen in a circle and balanced offensive attacks. Ventura remained in the circle to start but only lasted two innings, allowing five hits and running, escaping the jam-loaded base in the second by allowing only the choice of Figueroa RBI fielder.
With Quense roaming, the Rams managed to advance in the fourth match on the selection of other fielder players, this time beating Skrepenak the All-Rookie option, scoring Hughes. A Shaw RBI single is ranked fifth and two more run in the sixth insurance with groundout Van Hoven and the single Canessa RBI close the score. On the sidelines of the last hits, Yoos produced another run with double RBI in the sixth, only running Quense allowed on five hits. Much to the disappointment of the Hawks, Gillen returned to the circle to see the championship, limiting them to just one hit over 1.2 frames to save his second career.
Gillen has been named the Most Rated Player in the tournament for one year in a row, while Quense, Mayer, and Shaw won the All-Championship award. For five days, the Rams reached 0.283 as a team, led by a lower-class quartet of Hughes, Skrepenak, Shaw, and Figueroa. Quense finished with 0.57 ERA during the first two and 12.1 innings, while Gillen ended his A-10 career with a fantastic 0.98 ERA and a 2-1 record of more than 28.2 innings, resulting in a ratio of 20/2 K / BB and allows only 14 hits.
Fordham advanced to the fourth straight and sixth Regional NCAA appearance of all time, traveling to Eugene, Ore. To face # 5 Oregon and Long Beach State the following weekend.
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