Fordham Softball Falls to Pitt, 1-0, Beats James Madison, 5-0
March 16, 2012
Harrisonburg, Va. - A pair of stellar pitching performances from Jen Mineau and Taylor Pirone helped the Fordham softball team earn a split on day one of the JMU Days Inn Invitational from Harrisonburg, Virginia on Friday. The Rams lost to Pittsburgh, 1-0, in the opener, despite a one-hitter from Mineau, but rebounded with a 5-0 shutout of James Madison in the second game of the day.
In the bottom of the first, the Rams got a runner in scoring position when Brianna Turgeon worked a two-out walk. Paige Ortiz advanced her to second with a single up the middle but Turgeon was stranded there when Gabby Luety struck out.
Fordham starter Jen Mineau didn't allow a hit in the first two innings, striking out the side in the second. In the top of the third, though, Pitt jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Kristen Cheesebrew led off with a solo home run to left field. That was the only hit Mineau allowed, as she struck out the side again in the sixth.
The Rams got the tying run into scoring position in the fourth as Ortiz picked up her second hit of the game off of Pittsburgh starter Savannah King, this one a double down the right field line. Sammi Smith came in to run for Ortiz but was eliminated on a grounder to shortstop by Luety.
Neither side had another hit in the game until the bottom of the seventh. Trailing 1-0, Chelsea Palumbo singled to right and Michele Daubman followed with a hard grounder to short. The Pittsburgh shortstop made a poor throw to second and Daubman reached on the error while the tying run, Palumbo, moved into scoring position with one out. The next batter, Elise Fortier, hit into a fielder's choice as Palumbo was forced at third for the second out, but Fordham still had the tying run in scoring position as Daubman moved to second. However, pinch-hitter Jo Krasnisky flied to right to end the game.
Mineau went the distance and was the hard-luck loser in a pitcher's duel as she allowed just the one hit to Cheesebrew. The pitcher fanned eleven and walked just one in the complete game. With the loss, she is now 7-8 on the year. Ortiz had two of the Rams three hits in the game.
Pirone was in the circle against the Dukes and she gave up a single in the first, but eliminated the runner on a double play en route to retiring the next four batters. The offense gave her help in the top of the second as Brianna Turgeon led off with a single down the left-field line. Daubman followed with a double to left-center, putting runners on second and third with no outs. One out later, Palumbo gave Fordham a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Turgeon.
Entering the fourth inning, Pirone had allowed just a pair of harmless singles, but only had a one-run lead. The Rams extended the advantage in the inning by scoring four times. Fordham opened the frame by loading the bases on three walks and Palumbo drove in her second run of the game with a single that scored Brianna Ciuffi to make the score 2-0. Fortier followed her with a bases-clearing double down the left field line that gave the Rams a 5-0 lead.
The five-run cushion was more than adequate for Pirone, who went the distance for a four-hit shutout to earn her first collegiate victory. She walked one and struck out four.
Palumbo finished the contest with the Dukes with two hits and two RBI, and Fortier had three RBI and a pair of hits as well. On the total day, Fordham allowed just five hits and outscored its opponents, 5-1.
The Rams, 8-14 on the year, continue play in the JMU Days Inn Invitational with games against George Washington and Pittsburgh on Saturday. The game with the Colonials is slated for 9:30 a.m. and the contest with the Panthers begins at noon.