By Carolo Pascale
Softball was handed its two worst losses of the season and lost three of four games against Marist College on April 23 and April 24, dropping its record to 12-14.
Game one of the series started well for the Broncs, but it was the only matchup they won throughout the weekend. The game finished in a 5-2 win for the Broncs.
After giving up a run in the first inning, Rider came back in the top of the second inning, scoring three runs and gaining a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Marist scored making it a one-run game but the Broncs still led 3-2.
The fifth inning changed the game for Rider, as sophomore catcher Elena Gonzalez hit her second home run in two games, giving the Broncs a 5-2 lead.
Rider would hold this lead for the rest of the game and snag a 5-2 victory to open the series.
Gonzalez hit two for four, had three RBIs in game one and had a run of her own.
“I think Elena [Gonzalez] has been this strong and consistent the entire season. Her hitting home runs is just part of her consistency,” said Head Coach Davon Ortega about Gonzalez’s recent performances. “It wasn’t that she was ‘due’ for performances like this, it is more of the natural progression of the hard work and focus she’s had from the beginning of the season.”
The second game of the series started well for the Broncs, but Marist took it to Rider late in the game to win the game 12-2.
The first inning saw each team score two runs. Graduate student outfielder Kelsey Marigliano and Gonzalez scored for the Broncs while Marist third baseman Miah McDonald hit a home run to make the game 2-2.
Marist scored in the second but the wheels really came off the tracks for Rider in the sixth as Marist scored nine runs that inning to win the game 12-2.
“After Marist scored 12 runs in game two, it impacted the team greatly. We haven’t had a blowout loss like that all season so we had to learn how to handle that,” said Ortega.
Despite the rough loss, Marigliano still had a successful day for the Broncs getting on base safely in all seven of her at-bats. She hit three for three and walked four times throughout the day.
Game three ended even worse than game two as the Broncs were mercy ruled. Marist won 10-0 after five innings.
Marist had seven hits and a walk in the second inning, racing to a 7-0 lead.
Marist scored another three runs in the third inning off three Rider errors and pushing its lead to 10-0.
Rider only registered one hit throughout the entire game as Marist registered nine in only four innings.
“Game three was the most disappointing for me because it’s the first time I’ve seen my players quit and give up,” Ortega said “A few runs were put on the board against us and we dropped our heads and quit. Losing is part of playing the game but what is absolutely intolerable is quitting and not playing hard—it’s disrespectful to the game.”
The final game of the series ended in another Broncs loss. Rider slipped up late, losing its lead, ultimately losing 7-5.
Rider got started in the first scoring one run, but Marist scored three to take a 3-1 lead.
The Broncs came out in the third successfully taking the lead back by scoring four runs, making the score 5-3.
Marist scored in the fourth and tied the game in the seventh at 5-5 as designated player Ali Milam hit a walk-off home run to win the game for Marist 7-5.
“What went wrong this weekend is the same things that have plagued us all season—we haven’t corrected some of the mistakes we have been making since game one,” Ortega said.
Rider, now 12-14 on the year, will face Monmouth University on April 28 in a doubleheader.