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Ziemba, Bigler go yard, Pride takes down Rams 6-1

By Joe Pantorno, Sports Editor

It was getting dark on Tuesday evening, but two home runs from Tessa Ziemba and one from Becca Bigler provided enough power to light the Hofstra softball stadium in the Pride's 6-1 win over Fordham. The win is Hofstra's 21st in 22 games.

In what looked to be a pitcher's duel between Hofstra's Olivia Galati and Fordham's Jen Mineau the bats headlined the first inning.

After Fordham (27-18) plated a run in the top of the first inning, after an error from catcher Courtney Crews gave the Rams new life, Ziemba bombed her first round-tripper of the game in the bottom half of the inning, a two-run, high-arching blast that just cleared the right field fence.

"It was very important [that we got to Mineau early]," said Edwards. "We knew if she kept grinding she was going to find it and we just ran into a couple early, got a couple of runs."

Bigler clocked her ninth home run of the season, a solo shot, in the third inning to give Hofstra (25-13) some breathing room.

"We just kept hacking," said Edwards. "We ran into a couple and got a couple of dingers."

It was all the support Galati needed in the circle, though she did not have her best stuff, it was still a magnificent outing.

The junior pitched a complete game, allowing one run on five hits while striking out 10 batters, improving her record to 19-5 on the season

"In the second inning, I pulled her over and I said, 'You know you don't have your good stuff right now,'" said Edwards. "You had to grind it until you find it and she kept working and working and she would find a way to get them out."

Ziemba, who went 3-3 on the day, added the cherry on the victory cake with a three-run home run to centerfield, her second of the game and her tenth of the season. Bigler went 1-2 with an RBI and two runs scored.

It might have been a vital out-of-conference win over an in-state opponent, but Edwards viewed the victory as much more.

"A lot of people would look at this as a local rival, but this was a national game," said Edwards. "You had Olivia Galati throwing against Jen Mineau who was an All-American. Everybody around the country was watching this game."

Junior Tessa Ziemba (1) is congratulated by head coach Bill Edwards rounding third after her second home run of the game against Fordham. (Cody Heintz/The Chronicle)

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