By Jenni Chiarello
The Broncs’ dominance over Lafayette did not provide them enough momentum to carry over into wins against Monmouth, as they split their games this week before a home doubleheader against Siena on Saturday, and an away doubleheader against Fairfield on Sunday.
Siena is currently tied with Marist for the lead in the MAAC with a 6-2 record.
Freshman Madison Rittley made her first collegiate start for the Broncs in game one. She made the most of her opportunity, going 3-4 with four RBIs. A two-run single by Rittley in the bottom of the second gave the Broncs an early 3-0 lead.
Rider continued to dominate on the offensive side early in the game, scoring eight runs in the first three innings.
“Our bats came alive [against] Lafayette,” Head Coach Patricia Carroll said. “We had success in our at bats by being patient and letting the pitchers do the work.”
The pitching was also strong for the Broncs, as senior Rachael Matreale went the distance in the five inning game while only giving up four hits.
“We got very good pitching from both Rachael and Kelsey,” Carroll said. “Although we gave up a few runs in the fifth inning of the second game, the team maintained composure to finish the game in five innings by the run rule.”
Unfortunately, the Broncs couldn’t keep the offense going on Wednesday when they faced Monmouth. Game one consisted of a two-run double by sophomore Lisa Blanton. The Broncs couldn’t keep the two run lead, however, eventually dropping the game, 4-3.
“Monmouth is a very good team and it was disappointing how we lost the first game,” Carroll said. “With a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, giving up three runs was hard to take.”
Game two featured a strong pitching performance from the Broncs’ rotation. Sophomore Krysti Maronski went the distance, but gave up 12 hits and three runs in the shutout loss.
“We held Monmouth’s very good batting order right up until that point,” Carroll said. “Hopefully we learned from that and it will make us better and ready for conference play. Krysti pitched very well and I’m disappointed for her that we couldn’t score a couple more runs.”
With what Carroll saw from her players on the field during the week, she is confident that they can compete against Siena’s strong team.
“We have played pretty well in conference play so far this year,” she said. “I know we can win the conference if we can get into the tournament. Siena has been scoring lots of runs. We need to shut down their offense and put a few up ourselves. I think the Lafayette game showed our players how good we can be offensively. That confidence is the key to our success for the upcoming weekend series against Siena and Fairfield.”