By Kristie Kahl
The softball team kicked off its MAAC schedule last weekend with a bang before falling in three consecutive games.
The Broncs split against Canisius as they claimed a 6-2 victory over the Golden Griffins and Canisius answered back with a 5-1 win.
In the opening game, freshman Rachael Matreale pitched a complete game, allowing only two hits. As her third win of the season, Matreale racked up five strikeouts to help lead the Broncs to success.
Rider trailed in the fourth inning by one before tying the game with an RBI single from sophomore Brittany Eckett. After Canisius allowed a walk, senior Katy Mills hit a three-run home run to left field to put the Broncs up by three.
The Broncs upped the ante as Mills added yet another home run to add two more runs in the sixth inning. Mills added five RBIs throughout the game and she now leads the team with five home runs for the season.
During the nightcap, freshman Kelsey Krisch pitched a complete game in the loss, finishing with three strikeouts.
The team trailed 5-0 in the fifth inning before Eckett hit a sacrifice fly to score sophomore Amanda Centeno, putting Rider on the board for the only time in the game. Centeno added three hits in the nightcap.
Eckett finished with two hits for the day while junior Allyson Melia had three hits. Junior Candice Harris added two hits as well, including a double in the second game.
On Tuesday, Fairfield swept the Broncs in their second doubleheader of the conference schedule.
In the opener, the Stags left Rider scoreless as the Broncs were held to only three runs. The game saw no score until the sixth inning with an RBI double from Fairfield junior Jessica Stand. A relay from Harris to Mills, who threw to junior Derrin Minunni at the plate, prevented Fairfield from tacking on another run and held the game at 1-0.
Matreale claimed the first loss as she threw a five-hitter with six strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the Broncs fell behind by three runs as they faced the potential of another shutout. Minunni hit an RBI single, scoring Centeno after she reached on an error.
Krisch started out the second game, allowing six hits and four earned runs in five innings. Senior Lauren Brunner took over the final two innings, claiming the loss as she allowed one earned run, recording three strikeouts.
Melia added two on the day as Minunni claimed two hits in the doubleheader.
Yesterday, Rider split a doubleheader against Army.
The Broncs fell 8-1 in the opening game as they answered back with an 11-1 victory that ended after only five innings.
For the Broncs, Centeno had six hits on the day, four coming from the second game. Matreale picked up the win for the nightcap, claiming four wins for the season so far. Eckett added to the second win as she had three hits and two RBIs.
The Broncs continue their conference schedule on the road against Marist in a doubleheader tomorrow at noon.