By Melissa Kasiarz
This past weekend, Rider softball opened up its MAAC schedule against St. Peter’s on the road and came away splitting the doubleheader.
In the opening game, Rider fell 2-1 despite outhitting the Peahens 8-5, but bounced back in the later matchup, shutting out St. Peter’s with a final score of 6-0.
To start the doubleheader, junior ace Rachael Matreale threw a complete game and struck out six, but her effort wasn’t enough.
“I was disappointed with the way we played in the first game,” said Head Coach Tricia Carroll. “My team just wasn’t ready for the first game. Rachael pitched really well, only giving up two runs.”
Senior leadoff hitter Jen Steward collected three hits while the first six Broncs in the lineup had at least one hit, but the offense only managed to push across one run.
“Our energy wasn’t there in the first game,” said senior Brittany Eckett. “We thought it was an easy win so we ending up stooping down to their level.”
Rider rebounded in game two of the doubleheader with outstanding pitching by its rookie hurler. Freshman Krysti Maronski threw a complete game, allowing only three hits in the shutout. Maronski was named the MAAC Pitcher of the Week for her outing.
“I was very happy with my performance on Saturday against St. Peter’s, especially because I had no walks during the entire game,” Maronski said. “We were able to throw a lot of things and mix it up to keep the batters off balance.”
In the first inning, the Broncs got three runs, two coming from RBI singles off the bats of junior Samantha Mayer and freshman Lisa Blanton. In the fifth inning, Mayer hit an RBI double, expanding Rider’s lead to 4-0. Mayer finished the day with four hits, three in the second game.
To cap things off, freshman Ally Coryell delivered a two-run pinch-hit single in the seventh inning, completing the shutout. Freshman Kehli Washington had two hits while sophomore Sam Pugh recorded a double.
Eckett was happy with the outcome.
“We did awesome in the second game,” she said. “Krysti played really well.”
Last season, Rider swept St. Peter’s in the opening set of conference play and also won 27 of 47 games in the series against the Peahens.
“There is always room for improvement, no matter what,” Maronski said. “There is always going to be a pitch I can make better, and improving on getting ahead in counts.
Rider is back in action on Saturday when it travels to Marist for another doubleheader. Game one will begin at noon with game two following at 2 p.m.
“This weekend, we need to be consistent,” Carroll said. “We need to play every ball, every pitch, offensively and defensively. There have been tons of injuries to our starters and we just have to be able to play through it.”