Fordham Softball Readies for Regional Action
Watch | Listen | Game Notes
Fresh off their third Atlantic 10 title in the past four years, Coach Bridget Orchard and the Rams are in Tallahassee, Fla., getting set to take on #8 Florida State on Friday night at 7 PM to kick off NCAA Tournament play.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 with Pam Ward and Michele Smith on the call.
On to the Fray
The Rams enter the game led by a school-record five First Team All-Atlantic 10 selections. Elise Fortier tops the team in nearly every major offensive statistical category, tallying team-highs in batting average (.384), home runs (19), RBIs (70-school record), walks (35), slugging percentage (.841), total bases (127) and runs scored (49). Her home run total has her tied for seventh in the nation this year, while she sits just one round tripper shy of claiming sole possession of first place on the school's all-time list in just three years as a Ram. Senior catcher Gabby Luety ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in home runs with 13 on the season, recording a .340 batting average, 44 RBIs and a .681 slugging percentage in the process. Atlantic 10 Co-Pitcher of the Year and Atlantic 10 Championship Most Outstanding Player Michele Daubman will anchor the Rams in the circle, entering the weekend with a 2.58 ERA, an 18-10 record and a team-best .246 opponent batting average. Rounding out the Rams' First Team All-Conference selections is the dynamic freshman duo of Sydney Canessa and Amy Van Hoven, who bat 1-2 at the top of the Fordham order. Canessa, a talented outfielder from Wall, N.J., has tallied a .314 batting average, 48 runs scored and six long balls in her rookie campaign, while Van Hoven, a second baseman from West Monroe, N.Y., has hit at an outstanding .375 clip on the year, including a .491 average in A-10 play.
One of the best power hitting teams in the NCAA, the Rams rank 21st nationally with 1.11 dingers per outing.
Sophomore hurler Patti Maloney is also only one save off the national lead with six on the year, tying an Atlantic 10 record held by former Fordham great Sara Kinney.
Scouting the Noles
The Seminoles will host the weekend's regional and feature one of the most fearsome lineups in the nation. On offense, Florida State is led by Maddie O'Brien, a redshirt junior that has proven herself to be one of the premier power hitters in the country. The Palm Harbor, Fla., native is hitting at a .442 clip on the season, leading the nation in home runs (23), RBIs per game (1.43) and slugging percentage (.994). She also ranks fifth nationally in on-base percentage at .563. In the circle, junior Lacey Waldrop has also established herself as one of the nation's best, leading the NCAA in victories (33), while ranking fourth in the nation in ERA (0.96). The Chester, Va., native strikes out 8.2 opposing batters per seven innings, while allowing just 4.36 hits over that stretch, good enough for 15th in the country.
As a team, the Seminoles lead the nation in winning percentage with a 50-6 record, while ranking second in team ERA (1.33), 15th in slugging percentage (.519) and 25th in batting average (.316).
Fordham in the NCAA Regionals
This year marks Fordham's fourth trip to the round of 64 in the past five seasons. In 2010, the Rams won two games against host-school Maryland before eventually falling to Keilani Ricketts and Oklahoma. Playing in University Park in 2011, the A-10 champs bested 12th ranked Oregon in one game, but host school Penn State eventually eliminated them in a 16 inning heartbreaker. 2013 saw the Rams travel to Norman, Okla., and pick up another win before getting eliminated by Arkansas.
Overall, the Rams are 4-6 in NCAA Tournament games.