Softball Slugs Past Fordham, 6-4
RALEIGH, N.C. Claudia Cooper cracked two doubles and the NC State offense pounded five hits off of reigning Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week Jen Mineau as the Wolfpack topped Fordham, 6-4, on Thursday, March 19 at the Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium.
The win moves the Pack to 11-9, while the Rams dip to 16-10.
Mendy McKenzie (4-3) gave up six hits in the winning effort, while Mineau (7-6) allowed three earned runs. Beckah Wiggins failed to record an out and gave up one hit and two earned runs in relief for Fordham, while Chelsea Plimpton allowed two Wolfpack hits.
Cooper went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. State had eight hits total.
Fordham put the first scratch on the scoreboard in the top of the second when Jessica Richards scored on a Jessica Weckenman foul out down the line in right. Samantha Pellechio made it 2-0 Rams in the top of the third with a bloop single into shallow right.
Two Fordham errors aided the Pack in cutting the score to 2-1 in the bottom of the third. Lauren Peters reached on a Pellechio error at first and took to second on an Alyssa Ishibashi sac-bunt. Bethaney Wells followed with a grounder to third, but Jocelyn Dearborn’s thrown to first was off target, allowing Peters to score from second.
The Pack took the lead with three runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth. Stephanie Call lined a single up the middle and Katie Mansilla came on to run her place, quickly stealing second. Cooper and Alyssa Allbritten then cracked back-to-back RBI doubles to left-center, putting State in front 3-2. Ishibashi later moved the score to 4-2 with an RBI single through the left side.
State exploited some shaky Fordham pitching in the bottom of the fifth, adding two more runs to its lead. Wiggins took the ball for the Rams to start the frame, allowing the Pack to load the bases immediately. Bridget Desbois singled into left-center, and Kristine Bechtholdt and Call picked up back-to-back free passes. With that the Rams yanked Wiggins and inserted Plimpton, who eventually allowed RBI singles from Eliza Jacobellis and Allison Presnell, lifting the Pack’s lead to 6-2.
Pellechio trimmed the score to 6-3 with a leadoff shot just inside the left field foul pole in the top of the sixth.
Two State errors helped Fordham add one run in the top of the seventh, but catastrophe was averted as McKenzie got Dearborn to fly out to deep center with the bases loaded to end the game.
NC State will host Virginia this weekend at the Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Softball Stadium in its ACC opener. The Wolfpack and Cavaliers will play two games on Saturday, March 21 at 1 and 3 p.m., before wrapping up the series on Sunday, March 22 at 12 noon. GoPack.com will provide live stats for all three games.