Two Home Runs Propel Rams to 4-1 win over Saint Joseph's at A-10 Championship
May 10, 2012
St. Louis, Mo. - The opening game of the 2012 Atlantic 10 championship was a rematch between the 2011 finalists in Fordham and Saint Joseph's and, fueled by a pair of home runs, the Rams prevailed, 4-1.
Fordham's biggest concern heading into the game was the health of All-American pitcher Jen Mineau, who injured her pitching hand against Alabama on Monday. Mineau assuaged many of Fordham's fears early as she showed no lingering effects by getting all three outs in the first on strike outs, interrupted only by a Melissa Ruf single to left.
Rochelle Christman led off the second with a grounder to Nicole Callahan, but Callahan's throw went over Jamie LaBovick's head and Christman took second with no outs. Mineau didn't let the Hawks capitalize on the error as she struck out Maria Ficca looking on a full count, got Nicole Palase to foul out to Elise Fortier and Deanna Stinner to fly out to Lindsey Kay Bright to end the inning.
Fordham took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Fortier went the other way into the right-center gap for her team-leading fourteenth double of the season. Brianna Ciuffi came in to run for her and Ciuffi came around when Chelsea Palumbo ripped a home run down the left-field line.
After recording an out in the fourth, Mineau surrendered three straight walks to load the bases for Palase. Mineau got Palase to fly to Bright in shallow left which didn't allow the runners to advance. With two outs, Stinner fouled out to Bright in left and Mineau escaped unscathed.
The fifth opened with Alaina Loguidice reaching on a walk and Traneya White running for her. Parks laid down a bunt but beat the throw to first to put runners on first and second with no outs. Ruf attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Fortier pounced on the ball and tossed to Palumbo to get the lead runner. Moran followed with a foul out to catcher. With two outs, Rendon connected on an RBI single up the middle that scored White to make the score 2-1. Christman then hit a ball to deep center where Brianna Turgeon made the catch to end the inning.
Fordham added some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and pinch runner Erica Wills on first, Paige Ortiz lifted a ball that wrapped around the foul pole down the left field line for a two-run home run. It was Ortiz's team-leading 13th home run of the year and her 39th and 40th RBI.
Mineau allowed a single in the seventh, but held the Hawks scoreless for the 4-1 win. She struck out seven and improved her record to 25-13 with her 31st complete game of the year.
Palumbo and Ortiz accounted for all of the Rams' RBI in the game with their two-run home runs.
Fordham returns to action on Friday, May 11, when they face top-seeded Massachusetts at 2:00 PM (EST) in the first game of day three of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship.