By Jenni Chiarello
Last weekend, the Broncs (15-24-1, 4-2 MAAC) took on Marist in a doubleheader. The Broncs fought tooth and nail and managed to split the series.
“Going into the game we knew that we needed to at least get a split,” said freshman Allysen Breeden. “The games were not going to be easy for us; we were going to have to fight for the win. Marist is a very good team. We worked on playing fast and putting runners in motion.”
Game one was a pitchers’ duel. Senior Rachael Matreale pitched 10 scoreless innings, but the Broncs lost the game in the top of the 11th when Marist (20-19, 4-2 MAAC) hit a walk-off two-run homerun.
“We had an amazing pitching performance from Rachael — we couldn’t ask for more,” Breeden said. “She went 10 innings before she gave up a single run. Offensively we just couldn’t get the clutch hit needed to push the winning run across.”
Freshman shortstop Gina McCool has been impressed with Matreale’s pitching all year.
“Rachael has been phenomenal for us all season and this weekend was two more solid performances,” she said. “She has kept us in every game and has been one of the main reasons why we have been, and will continue to be, successful. She is our leader on and off the field and that is evident to anyone who watches Rider softball.”
Game two was the opposite. The Broncs got the scoring started early with five runs in the first inning. Both teams continued to display offensive power, but in the end, Rider had the advantage on the scoreboard, winning 10-7. Sophomore Krysti Maronski won her 14th game of the season.
“In the second game, we came out swinging,” said Head Coach Patricia Carroll. “I don’t think we have scored five runs in any inning so far this year. Krysti was pitching very well; unfortunately, the defense let her down a little bit and gave up three runs that, in my mind, we shouldn’t have given up. I am proud of how the team bounced back offensively and defensively after Marist was able to tie the game at 7-7.”
Next weekend, the Broncs look to take down a tough MAAC opponent in the Iona Gaels.
“Iona is known for their pitching,” McCool said. “As long as we can keep putting the ball in play, having solid lock down defense and pitching like it has been, good things will happen for us. We just have to keep our confidence up and know that we can beat anyone on any day if we just play our game.”