Riverdale, NY – Fordham softball reignited the Battle of the Bronx rivalry with nearby Manhattan College on Wednesday, the first time the two schools have met since 2010, and the Rams walked away 8-3 victors. With the win, their fourth straight, Fordham improves to 16-14 overall, while the Jaspers fall to 5-18.
The game started quickly, with one run from each team in the opening frame, but then returned into a pitchers’ duel before things picked back up quickly over the final three frames. Brianna Pinto nearly single-handedly scored the visitors’ first run – walking, stealing second, moving over on a flyout, and scoring on Rachel Hubertus’ groundout. The Jaspers responded against starter Bailey Enoch in the bottom half of the frame with a two-out RBI single by opposing starter Marika Deemer.
The two pitchers traded blanks over the next three innings until Megan Gillooley led off the fifth with a solo home run to put Manhattan up by one, 2-1. In came freshman Emily Watkins in relief who ended up picking up her second win of the year with three strikeouts over 2.2 frames and just one unearned run against her.
Fordham responded in a big way at the top of the sixth immediately after Manhattan took the lead. Julia Martine led off by being hit by a pitch and Enoch singled to put runners on the corners. Devon Miller stepped up and smoked the first pitch up the middle to tie the game up and Amanda Carey loaded the bases with a single of her own. Two batters later, Kelly Bright’s booming two-run double broke the brief deadlock and Allie Clark’s first career home run, a three-run shot, busted the game open, 7-2. In the bottom half, Watkins ran into trouble with two on and one out, but stroke out the following two batters to escape it. Each team scored eleven in the seventh – for Fordham it was a Martine solo home run and for the Jaspers it was a RBI single.
Senior Makenzie McGrath came on in relief for the final out with two runners on and struck out Kristyn Smith on three pitches. Enoch and Miller each finished with two hits to lead the offense, while Clark and Bright also reached base safely twice. Enoch and Watkins each finished with three strikeouts.
Fordham is back in action on Saturday with a nonconference doubleheader against Kent State beginning at 1 pm on ESPN+.