A last-inning rally couldn’t make up for a cold day at the plate, as the Hofstra softball team came up just a run short in a 3-2 loss to Fordham on Wednesday afternoon, snapping the team’s eight-game win streak.
“Fordham was the better team today,” said Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson after the loss, the Pride’s first defeat since March 4. “They came out ready to go, and we were very passive.”
Passive was the word to describe Hofstra’s offense on Wednesday, after such an impressive stretch through the month of March. The Pride were held to just five hits, and the offense that had won three of their last five contests by mercy rule was held largely in check by Rams pitcher Paige Rauch, who was able to control the inner half of the plate and produce a lot of weak contact out of the Pride.
Even with Rauch’s solid outing, Hofstra still showed flashes of the power that they’ve shown this year, by way of an absolute scorcher off the bat of Michaela Transue that cleared the center-field wall and got the Pride to within a run of Fordham in the last inning.
“We need her [Transue], she’s a force,” Anderson said. “It’s huge for her and huge for her confidence.”
The homer, Transue’s first of the year, made it a 3-2 game with one out in the seventh. The Pride’s first run came on a base hit from Courtney Scarpato in the previous inning that got through the legs of Fordham left fielder Deanna Burbridge. The error allowed Lydia Witkowski to race around from first to score.
After Transue’s blast, Hofstra got the tying run on base after Brittany Allocca drew a walk to add to her all-time program leading total of 104. Unfortunately for Hofstra, she was left there as Brielle Pietrafesa popped up to the catcher to end the game, and Hofstra’s winning streak.
Sarah Cornell got the start for the Pride and took the loss, throwing four innings and allowing three runs, although only one of them was earned. Cornell struck out four batters, but also walked three.
“She’s got to cut down on some of those walks, and she just seemed a little uncomfortable out there,” Anderson said.
Her command seemed to be a bit off early, but the sophomore showed tremendous poise in the early going, stranding five runners on base in the first two innings.
It looked as if Cornell would escape the third inning unscathed as well, as the Pride seemingly cut down a run at the plate on a great relay after a two-out double from Fordham’s Madie Auginbaugh.
However, the call at the plate was that Hofstra catcher Kaitlyne Musa had obstructed the Rams runner from reaching home plate. The run counted, and the next batter up roped a single that scored Auginbaugh, turning what could have been a scoreless third inning into a 2-0 Fordham lead.
Hofstra will return to action over the weekend, heading down to Elon University for a three-game set with the Phoenix. The action kicks off on Saturday with a double-header, first pitch for Game 1 is set for 1 p.m.