May 18, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. - Needing a win to keep their season alive, Fordham got just what it needed, defeating Marist 5-3 in the Norman, Okla., Regional.

With the win, Fordham will take on Arkansas tonight. First pitch for that game will be 7:34 PM ET.

It looked as if Fordham might struggle early, as Michele Daubman surrendered a walk and a single before retiring a Marist batter in the top of the first. But the North Massapequa, N.Y., native worked her way out of trouble, downing three straight Red Foxes to exit the inning unharmed.

Elise Fortier reached first on a walk in the bottom of the first, but the Rams failed to push a run across.

Daubman retired Marist 1-2-3 in the top of the second, and the Rams grabbed the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Gabby Luety drew a leadoff walk and Daubman dropped a bunt single to give the Rams first and second with no outs. After Brianna Turgeon struck out, Paige Ortiz ripped a single to left center, bringing home Luety from second. At the end of the inning, Fordham led 1-0.

Daubman made quick work of the Red Foxes again in the top of the third, sending them down in order.

In the bottom of the inning, Chelsea Palumbo and Fortier went down to start the inning, but Kayla Lombardo sparked a two-out rally with a single to center. Next, Luety stepped into the batter's box and drove a double to the right center field gap, scoring Lombardo all the way from first. Following a Daubman groundout to end the inning, the Rams took a 2-0 lead into the fourth.

Marist finally broke through in the top of the fourth, plating two runs and tying the game. The Red Foxes recorded five straight singles off of Daubman to start the inning, but the sophomore settled down and tallied three straight outs. Those outs came in large part due to the heads up play of the Fordham infield, including Daubman. On two straight groundballs, Brianna Turgeon and Daubman went straight to home, grabbing the lead runner before a liner back to Daubman ended the run with the inning's third out.

Turgeon singled up the middle to kick off the bottom of the fourth, but the Rams failed to push anything across and preserved the tie at two.

The Red Foxes went three up, three down in the top of the fifth.

Palumbo and Fortier each reached on an error to start the bottom of the fifth, giving the Rams runners on the corners with no outs. After Fortier stole second, Lombardo smacked an RBI single to center to put the Rams back up by one, 3-2. With runners on the corners once again, Luety grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, but the run scored from third and gave the Rams a two-run cushion.

Marist threatened in the top of the sixth with a leadoff single from Kyrsten Van Natta, moving her into scoring position with a bunt single two outs later. Daubman, however, picked up the final out of the sixth by forcing a weak grounder to third that Lombardo handled with ease.

Turgeon picked up her second hit of the game to start the bottom of the sixth and a Claudia Law hit-by-pitch one out later gave the Rams two runners on base. LaBovick then reached on a fielder's choice to give the Rams runners on the corners with two outs and Palumbo came up in the clutch, lining an RBI single to center to extend the Rams' lead to three, 5-2, heading into the seventh.

Marist scored one run in the seventh to tighten the deficit to two, 5-3, but the Rams came out on top.