Offensive struggles continue for softball

By Aliyaah Lindsey

The softball team’s offensive struggles continued over the weekend, on the road against Siena and Quinnipiac.

The Broncs were shut out in both games of the series against Siena (15-21-1, 11-5 MAAC) on April 25. Rider lost the first game 3-0 and the second 7-0. Within both games, the Broncs were only allowed five hits, while striking out 21 times.

In the first game, sophomore pitcher Delany DeMello threw 82 pitches, allowing only six hits and recording three strikeouts. DeMello and junior pitcher Montana Berg had the only two hits in the game for the Broncs in the fifth inning.

The score was tied at zero until the bottom of the fifth inning. That inning, which made the difference for Siena, began with a hit batter and a walk. With two outs, Siena hit a two-run double and RBI single to score three runs and win the game.

In the second game, Siena led in the first inning 1-0 to then hit a leadoff single and back-to-back runs extending their lead 4-0 in the bottom of the third. By the fifth inning, Siena reached their final score with a sacrifice fly and two-out RBI double to win the game, 7-0.

Senior outfielder Amanda Irving and senior shorstop Gina McCool, alongside junior catcher Kim Valdes, had the only three hits for the Broncs (10-32, 4-12 MAAC) in the final game.

“We came up against some good pitching, and we just weren’t able to string enough hits together,” said sophomore shortstop Amanda Crimarco. “It is frustrating for us because we know how hard we work day in and day out, and we know the type of team we are capable of being, and we just haven’t shown that.”

In Hamden, Connecticut, the Broncs saw a similar outcome. In both games against Quinnipiac (14-32, 7-11 MAAC), Rider fell short, losing 7-5 in the first game and 3-0 in the second.

By the third inning of the first game, Rider was trailing 4-0. However, with the help of the Broncs’ leading hitter, junior first baseman Dana Sensi, Quinnipiac’s lead was cut in half. Sensi hit a two-run single to shorten the deficit 4-2.

Quinnipiac responded by extending the lead to 7-2 by the seventh inning. However, the Broncs continued to fight, scoring three runs in the final inning. Crimarco led the scoring by hitting an RBI single, followed by Valdes hitting a double to left, closing the game with a 7-5 loss.

DeMello ended the game with four strikeouts, giving up nine hits and seven runs.

“Coming out of this weekend, it was a bit frustrating,” she said. “We know we could have won those games. It’s just the little things that we need to do.”

The little things began to add up in the final game against Quinnipiac as Rider was shut out 3-0. Until the sixth inning, all scores were tied 0-0. Quinnipiac broke the tie with a two-out RBI single, using three hits to make plays off of the Broncs’ errors, closing the game 3-0.

However, as the season closes, the team and coach are looking forward to ending on a high note.

“This team works very hard and has all year,” said Head Coach Patricia Carroll. “We can look ourselves in the mirror and know we are putting forth the effort that deserves success in terms of wins. We have competed well in every contest this season but continue to be one play or one hit short. It’s difficult, but the team keeps getting after it and will through the end of the season. This is a wonderful group of players. I know they will work hard this week and go into the weekend ready. We all want to finish the season, and for the seniors their careers, on a high note.”

Because of the cancellation of Wednesday’s game against La Salle, the team will face Niagara next on May 2 for a two-game series, followed by another series May 3 against Canisius.

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