May 11, 2013
AMHERST, Mass.—Fordham needed two games and had to hold off a late rally, but the Rams captured their second Atlantic 10 Softball Championship, beating Saint Joseph’s 6-5 in the second championship game 6-5 Saturday afternoon at Massachusetts’ Sortino Field.
Top-seeded SJU (37-10-1) won the first championship game Saturday morning, 7-1 to force the second game. The Hawks entered the final day from the consolation bracket and would have needed two wins to claim the A-10 title.
Second-seeded Fordham (35-21), who also won the title in 2011, earned the league’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Rams fate will be announced at 10:00 pm Sunday night on ESPNU.
Saturday was a slugfest, as home runs propelled both teams to wins. Fordham hit three homers in game two, a solo shot by Elise Fortier in the first, a two-run blast by the Championship’s Most Outstanding Player Paige Ortiz in the second inning and a Kayla Lombaro homer in the third that also plated two runs.
The Rams also got a fifth-inning insurance run that proved to be the difference after a late SJU rally. Fortier hit a sacrifice fly that scored Chelsea Palumbo.
Saint Joseph’s scored four runs in the sixth, beginning with an RBI single by Juliette D’Ambrosio that scored Morgan Earling. Nicole Palese followed with another RBI single that plated Dana Parks. Sarah Yoos had an RBI single as well that scored Palase and Melissa Ruf, closing the gap to 6-4.
The Hawks scored one more in the seventh on a Parks two-out single that plated Earling, but Parks ended up being the third out on a fielder’s choice hit by Ruf, giving Fordham the title.
Jamie LaBovick (13-9) earned the win, throwing 5.2 innings allowing four runs on six hits. Patti Maloney earned her second save of the year, throwing 1.1 innings allowing one run on one hit. Liz Mendez, who earned a spot on the All-Championship team after relief appearances through the week helped propel the Hawks into the finals Mendez (11-6), who got the win in the first game Saturday, gave up three runs on two hits in game two.
A first-inning grand slam by senior Monica Aguilar and a complete-game six hitter by freshman Mendez propelled Saint Joseph's to a 7-1 win over Fordham in the first championship.
Aguilar ripped a bases-loaded pitch over the left-field fence to give the Hawks a 4-0 lead. Fordham got one back in the top of the third on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Palumbo that plated pinch runner Brianna Ciuffi.
Aguilar's round-tripper was all SJU needed, but Earling added three insurance runs with a three-run homer in the sixth.
Mendez, who earned the start after multiple stellar relief appearances earlier in the week, earned the victory allowing just the one Fordham run on six hits.
Michelle Daubman (17-8) took the game one loss.
Joining Ortiz and Mendez on the All Championship Team were LaBovick, Brianna Turgeon, and Fortier from Fordham, Parks and Yoos from Saint Joseph’s Brianna Lore, Laura Bohning and Jessica Van Nostrand from Saint Louis and Temple’s Stephanie Pasquale.