Softball Splits on Day One of ESPN Citrus Classic
March 1, 2013
BRONX, N.Y. - The Fordham Rams had a mixed day on Day One of the ESPN Citrus Classic at the Disney World Wide of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., falling 10-2 to Maryland in the morning game before downing Georgia Tech in an extra-inning thriller, 11-10, in the afternoon.
Game One: Maryland
Despite Fordham jumping out to an early 2-0 lead in the first game of the ESPN Citrus Classic, the Maryland Terrapins exploded for ten unanswered runs after that, downing the Rams 10-2 in six innings.
Jamie LaBovick picked up the loss for the Rams, moving her to 3-5 on the year.
After a scoreless first inning and a strikeout from Kayla Lombardo to start off the top of the second, an errant pitch hit Gabby Luety and gave the Rams a runner on with one out. Next, Taylor Pirone stepped up to the plate for the Rams and smacked a double into the right-centerfield gap. The throw home bounced into foul territory, allowing Luety to score and Pirone to move to third.
Paige Ortiz drilled a single past a diving shortstop three pitches later, scoring Pirone and giving the Rams a 2-0 lead.
Maryland responded in the form of a Nikki Maier solo-shot in the bottom of the second, and after a scoreless top of the third, Juli Strange hit a two-run homer that gave Maryland a 3-2 lead after three.
The Terps continued to score from there and the Rams failed to get any more runs across.
Maryland added one more in the bottom of the fourth before scoring four in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-2 lead.
The Terps added two more in the bottom of the sixth, giving Maryland the 10-2 advantage with which it would end the contest.
Game Two: Georgia Tech
Gabby Luety's extra-inning heroics helped Fordham prevail against Georgia Tech on Sunday, as the Rams downed the Yellow Jackets, 11-10, in nine innings.
Just as in the Rams' first game of the day, Fordham and its opponent went scoreless in the first.
While it was Fordham who started things off in the second inning in Game One, this time it was Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets drove in four runs in the bottom of the second, three of which were unearned.
While the Rams struggled to answer the Terps in the morning tilt, Fordham had no such trouble against Georgia Tech. Coach Orchard's squad exploded for six runs in the top of the third, as Lombardo, Luety, Michele Daubman, Ortiz and Chelsea Palumbo all picked RBIs in the frame.
Georgia Tech answered right back, picking up two runs apiece in the third and fourth innings to take an 8-6 lead, but Palumbo came up big for the Rams again, this time ripping a bases-loaded double to knock in two and tie the game at eight in the top of the fifth.
The two teams finished seven innings with the same score, sending the game in extra innings using the International Tiebreaker Rule, meaning that the team at the plate would start the inning with a runner on second base.
LaBovick started on second for the Rams in the top of the eighth, advancing to third on a wild pitch and scoring on an Elise Fortier double one batter later, giving the Rams a 9-8 lead.
The Rams entered the bottom of the inning with the one run advantage.
After LaBovick struck out the first Georgia Tech batter, a deep fly ball to center secured the second out, but it also moved the runner to third. A Morgan Taylor single up the middle scored the run, forcing action to continue into the ninth.
Pirone started the ninth on second for the Rams and Luety blasted her second and third RBIs of the day with a homer over the center field fence.
Georgia Tech responded with a run in the bottom of the ninth to cut the deficit to one, but LaBovick and the Rams prevailed.
LaBovick picked up the win for the Rams, giving her a split-day and moving her record to 4-5 on the year.
The Rams will be back in action tomorrow in Orlando, taking on Mississippi State at 12:15 PM before squaring off against Pittsburgh at 4:45 PM. The Pittsburgh game will be shown live on ESPN3.com.