By Carlos Toro
The Rider softball team split a conference series against Marist (13-18, 4-1 MAAC) in a doubleheader on April 13. The win gave the Broncs (4-27, 2-6 MAAC) a second conference victory out of their eight conference games thus far.
Starting junior catcher Allysen Breeden is happy for her team’s win.
“This was a great win for us in conference play because Marist is projected to win the conference,” said Breeden. “This shows us as a team we have the ability to play with anyone out there. It should send a sign to the other teams we have yet to face, that despite our record, we are not just a pushover.”
The win was a welcoming one for the Broncs, especially with the week they’ve had. They played six games from April 9-13, which saw losses to Saint Joseph’s and Villanova, as well as two losses to Fairfield, before seeing a victory and loss against Marist.
Senior centerfielder Kehli Washington believes that playing at home helped the Broncs get a victory.
“Splitting with Marist definitely boosted our confidence,” Washington said. “Playing at home is an advantage because you have your fans supporting you and no one knows your field better than you do.”
Freshman starting pitcher Delany DeMello had a complete game in game one of the doubleheader, which was Alumni and Fan Appreciation Day at Rider. She allowed no runs while striking out five, while also contributing three hits of her own at the plate, leading Rider to a 5-0 victory.
Head Coach Tricia Carroll said the victory came from the team coming together as a unit defensively.
“Delaney pitched with confidence yesterday and the team played solid defense behind her,” said Carroll.
Rider took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when sophomore third baseman Emily Cottrell, who went 2-6 in the series, hit a home run. That jump-started a three run inning that gave the Broncs just enough offense to pull off the win.
However, Marist’s offense rolled to a 16-3 victory in game two. Five Marist players had at least two RBIs each and the team scored at least one run in every inning.
Despite getting the necessary offense in the first game, offense is still an issue with this young team, according to Breeden.
“As a team we just need to keep getting runners on base and in scoring position that allows us to get that timely hit,” said Breeden. “Hitting with runners in scoring position has been our weakness all year long.”
Despite the team not being able to get the wins they wanted throughout the season, Carroll says she is proud of the way the team has fought this year.
“This team is committed and works very hard,” said Carroll. “They are all wonderful people that the entire Rider community can be proud of. The struggles on the field are certainly not from lack of dedication.”
Rider will take a break from conference play and have a doubleheader at home against Delaware (19-19, 5-6 CAA) on April 16.
They will continue conference play when they face foes Manhattan (15-19, 5-3 MAAC) on April 19.
“We have a double header against a very tough Delaware team this week,” said Carroll. “We will use that to prepare for Manhattan.”