Virginia softball welcomed Fordham to The Park Thursday for an evening doubleheader. The two teams split the day, with the Cavaliers taking the first game 9-2 and the Rams winning the second 8-2.
Game one saw an awakening at the plate for the Virginia batters. The team’s nine runs — eight of them in the first three innings — came off a total of 14 hits.
The Cavaliers (4-22, 1-10 ACC) got an early start against Fordham (13-15), jumping out for four runs in the bottom of the second. Freshman infielder Madison Labshere got the ball rolling with a one-out single, coming home on a fielder’s choice by junior first baseman Megan Harris. Senior second baseman Marcy Bowdren also contributed a single to score freshman outfielder Iyana Hughes. Junior outfielder Heidi Velk put the garnish on the inning with a two-run scoring triple.
Sophomore pitcher Aimee Chapdelaine moved on from a rough last week by picking up the win in game one. She gave up two runs, one earned, in four-and-two-thirds innings, registering two strikeouts.
Freshman Lindsay Mayer came in to relieve Chapdelaine in the fifth inning. She would finish the game without allowing a hit and striking out one Fordham batter.
“[Mayer] kept us in the game,” coach Blake Miller said. “She came in and got control of the situation after Aimee had lost her control.”
Virginia would continue to rack up the hits in game two, but they could not bring runners home after they reached base. Both the Cavaliers and Rams tallied 11 hits, but Fordham batters were able to capitalize and convert base runners into eight runs while Virginia scored only two.
Chapdelaine started game two as well, but Miller pulled her after starting the first inning with two consecutive walks. Once again, Mayer took control of the hill and pitch four innings before Chapdelaine returned.
“[Chapdelaine] wasn’t throwing strikes” Miller said. “When she goes after hitters she’s fine, but she didn’t have quite the control to challenge batters.”
Fordham capitalized on Chapdelaine’s two opening walks to score three first-inning runs by way of senior infielder Elise Fortier’s homerun. The Rams would tack on another run in the second inning off a double by freshman infielder Amy Van Hoven.
The Cavaliers were able to scratch out two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Senior outfielder Stephanie Harris knocked a triple and came in to score on a double by Mayer. Mayer then scored on a single to right field by freshman catcher Katie Park.
Mayer was locked in all night long at the plate. She went two-for-three with two runs scored in the first game and followed up with three-for-four performance in the second act.
“Recently I’ve been going to the plate with a 2-0 mindset,” Mayer said. “I step in the box thinking I’m already in a hitting situation, and I look for a strike right away.”
Fordham junior infielder Paige Ortiz drove in the dagger in the fourth inning when she crushed a Mayer pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam. The Cavaliers had multiple opportunities to claw their way back in the game, but could not manage to drive in runs, finishing with eight stranded runners.
“In the game two we changed our mentality with runners on base,” Miller said. “Instead of driving balls in the gap we were trying to do too much.”
Virginia returns to The Park for a doubleheader next Wednesday with George Mason.