By Luke Lombardi
Whenever a sports team goes on a hot streak, they are bound to cool down, and that is exactly what happened with the Rider softball team as they went 1-5 from April 20-24, 2022.
The week didn’t start off well for Rider as they lost both halves of a double-header against Morgan State University 5-1. The Broncs took a 1-0 lead in the second and held it for most of the game before giving up all five runs in the fifth inning.
Morgan State continued their momentum in the second game capturing a 2-0 lead in the first. Rider tried to strike back in the second inning scoring one run, but it wasn’t enough as Morgan State added runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
The Broncs then went on to win their only game of the week beating Saint Peter’s 9-0. Senior first baseman Grace Stansfield started the scoring with a single, and the Broncs didn’t look back. Junior utility player Elena Gonzalez also hit her first home run of the year during the blowout.
Unfortunately for the Broncs, they couldn’t carry the momentum into game two on the day as they lost 3-2. Rider jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Saint Peter’s scored three runs off sophomore pitcher Anna-Marie Groskritz to pull away for good.
When asked if the pressure was more intense being the starter in a seven-inning game, Groskritz said “I mean, it’s not the best feeling losing when it’s pretty much all on you, so it’s not ideal, but I also know that the players behind me are there to pick me up, like when [Kathryn] comes in for relief, I know that she can do a good job to shut it down and everything.”
The Broncs went into the April 24 doubleheader hoping to turn things around, but ended up losing both games. Manhattan scored first and added one more before Rider got on the board. The Broncs sole run of the game came from senior shortstop Gianna Epps’ fielder’s choice. Manhattan scored four in the sixth, putting the game out of reach for good.
The second game of the day didn’t start any better for Rider as Manhattan scored first once more. The Broncs added one run in the third and had a two run RBI single in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 6-3.
The team won’t let the rough week get to them, though, thanks to the start they had. Senior pitcher Brooklyn Trujillo-Quintana said “As a senior, I’ve seen the program completely build, and I think it’s huge knowing that we were in that first place spot, and I think we knew it, and we weren’t intimidated, but we were kind of like ‘Wow. This is crazy. This is us.’”
Rider looks to right the ship with a two-game series against Princeton on April 27 before continuing conference play against Siena on April 30 and Marist on May 1.