Rider ends losing streak with doubleheader sweep

Senior Tiffany Day-Neutill posted her 174th career hit on Tuesday against Lafayette, putting her 11th on Rider’s all-time hit list.By Kristie Kahl

Rider’s softball team is starting to pick up the pace after a six-game losing streak while clinching two wins after rough losses on Tuesday.

The Broncs swept Columbia in a doubleheader yesterday, improving their record to 7-12.

“We played much more relaxed and with more confidence,” Head Coach Tricia Carroll said to Rider Sports Information. “It was a good day.”

In the first game, Columbia put a run on the board in the second inning before Rider rallied in the fifth. Senior Aimee Schiller led with a single and senior Lauren Brunner walked with two outs remaining before sophomore Candice Harris hit a three-run homer, helping the Broncs win 3-1.

“Candice’s first home run was big,” Carroll said to Rider Sports Information. “We moved her into the leadoff spot today and my crystal ball must have been working. She’s been getting on base a lot and it seemed that our leadoff spot was coming up in some big spots during the past few games and since Candice was getting on base, we decided to plug her into that spot and it worked.”

Rider came out strong in the second game with another home run by Harris to give Rider a 1-0 lead in the third inning. The Broncs added two more to the board from a two-run single by junior Katy Mills on a Columbia error. Rider added three runs in the fifth inning as the team notched another home run from freshman Brittany Eckett. The Broncs finished with three more runs in the sixth to overtake Columbia 9-0.

“The energy, effort and attitude were better today,” Carroll said to Rider Sports Information. “Those are the things that we can control and when that happens, you get the results like you did today.”

The Broncs fell to Lafayette in a doubleheader earlier in the week.

“We didn’t come out ready to play,” junior pitcher Lauren Brunner said. “It has been a while since we have seen live pitching and gotten to play in a game so we struggled hitting and when we did hit it was always right to them.”

In the first game, Lafayette threw a five-inning complete game with only one hit from the Broncs with sophomore Megan Kozlowski’s one-out single in the first inning. As Rider came up short with no runs in the game, the Leopards retired the Broncs’ next 14 batters in a row to end the opener by a score of 8-0.

“Lafayette hit the ball really well so we need to give them credit for that, but we can also hit the ball and score runs and we didn’t,” said senior outfielder Tiffany Day-Neutill.

To start the second game, Day-Neutill hit a two-out home run to centerfield to put the Broncs on the board early. Lafayette answered with four runs in the bottom of the first, and scoring in each inning to clinch a 9-1 win.

“We know that we play best when we are up and having fun and [on Tuesday] we lacked energy,” she said. “I think we need to find a way to get ourselves up when we lack energy.”

Day-Neutill had two hits for the day, putting her at 174 career hits, 11th highest all-time at Rider.

The Broncs will continue their non-conference schedule on the road with a doubleheader against Monmouth on Sunday.

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