AMHERST, Mass.— Junior right-hander Rachel Gillen struck out 11 batters and the Fordham offense took advantage of four St. Bonaventure errors to defeat the Bonnies 5-1 in the second game of the 2015 Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Championship Wednesday at Sortino Field.
Gillen, a First Team All-Conference selection (21-8) went the distance, allowing five hits and just one earned run to secure the win and push the third-seeded Rams (33-18) into the second round against No. 2 Saint Louis. The Rams and Billikens will tangle at 2:30 pm Thursday.
St. Bonaventure (15-23) fell into the consolation bracket, where it will face La Salle in an elimination game Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
Gillen surrendered the one run in the second inning when junior Emily Belfield belted a home run into left centerfield. The Bonnies held the 1-0 lead into the fifth inning, but Sydney Canessa’s sacrifice fly scored Cora Ianiro from third to even the score. Ianiro had reached on a lead-off double and moved to third on a bunt by Brianna Turgeon.
Extra innings were on the horizon, with the score tied in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, but back-to-back Bona errors plated Gillen, Ianiro and Paige Ortiz. An RBI single by Canessa scored Turgeon for the fifth run. Gillen then made quick work of the Bonnies in the top of the seventh to give the defending champions the win.
Gillen was also 2-for-3 with a run scored for Fordham. Ianiro had two run scored and Canessa tallied two RBI. Kelli Rohan was 2-for-3 for Bona and Belfield had the run scored and the RBI. Josie Borysevic took the loss, allowing eight hits, but just one earned run, the final four Ram runs were all unearned. Borysevicz had three strikeouts.