After losing by only one run against one of the top pitchers in the A-10, the Colonials felt confident heading into their second game of a doubleheader Sunday.
When head coach Stacey Schramm saw that Fordham was keeping reigning A-10 pitcher of the week Jen Mineau in for game two, she knew her team had made the Rams nervous.
The slight confidence wasn’t enough to lift GW (9-19) to victory in the second game, where the Colonials lost by a score of 5-1. But the team’s ability to force the No. 1 team to keep its best pitcher in for both games was heartening for its head coach.
“The fact that she pitched against us in two games showed that GW could beat them. It assured us that we can compete,” Schramm said.
The first game was scoreless through the first two innings until Fordham pulled ahead, scoring two runs in the top of the third. Freshman Victoria Valos hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning and scored the Colonials’ lone run. Sophomore Courtney Martin struck out four while the Rams’ Mineau struck out 13 Colonials, allowing just one hit and securing the victory for Fordham.
When she discovered the Rams were leaving Mineau in for the second game of the afternoon, Schramm seized their decision as a way to improve her team’s confidence.
“Their pitcher is strong. We prepared for her by practicing staying behind the box. Offensively, I think we were ready. Before we got our first strike, we did well,” Schramm said.
Senior Kara Clauss pitched the second game and struck out two, allowing nine hits while Mineau struck out six with five hits. Fordham entered the second game strong, scoring three runs in the top of the first. The Rams continued to hit well, adding two more runs in the top of the third. The score was 5-0 until junior Tara Fogarty hit a home run to put GW on the board.
The Colonials hoped the homer would provide a boost to their play, and responded with hits in the sixth and seventh innings. Despite landing runners on base, GW couldn’t convert them into runs, ultimately falling 5-1. The difference, Clauss said, was her team’s ability to stay positive amid discouraging play.
“I was trying to stay focused on the batters and pitching. The focus wasn’t where it should have been. The only thing we’re missing is the mental confidence. Physically, we can keep up, we just need to be confident,” Clauss said.