By Cristiana Votta
The Broncs snapped a six-game losing streak on April 23 in a close 5-4 away game against Lafayette (11-36, 4-12 Patriot League) and hope to keep the ball rolling in this weekend’s matchups against Niagara.
Rider (8-36, 3-9 MAAC) hosts two conference home games on April 27 against Niagara (11-25, 6-6 MAAC) and looks to gain some positive results while using the home field to their advantage.
“We are very comfortable playing on our own field,” freshman infielder Dana Sensi said. “Having our fans there will be a positive.”
With the MAAC Championship just a few weeks away, the Broncs have their minds set on what they want and feel confident in their abilities.
“A team goal for the future is to make it to the MAAC playoffs,” junior second baseman/outfielder Kehli Washington said. “I really think this group can do it.”
The team faced four tough losses to Marist (21-21, 7-3 MAAC) and Siena (13-22, 5-3 MAAC) on April 20 and 21, but has learned what it needs to do to ensure future success.
“We have to give everything we’ve got,” junior utility Mary Rossi said. “We don’t have an inning to take a break or an at bat to give up -— we can’t take our minds off the game for a second.”
Although the results weren’t what Rider hoped for, the team felt it battled well and looks to build off of that confidence.
“We learned that we could compete with any team,” Sensi said. “Marist is a very good team and we had the opportunity to beat them in both games. That shows that we can hang with anyone.”
With a performance level on the high end, one Bronc has stuck out to the team: freshman pitcher Ali Meagher. In the Lafayette game, Meagher threw a complete game, earning her second win of the season.
“Meagher has been a tremendous asset to this team,” Rossi said. “Right now, she is our only pitcher and has been doing a great job on the mound. Although she is covered in ice bags after the games, she always has a smile on her face and is ready for any challenges that come her way.”
The Broncs feel that their players responded well in light of recent injuries.
“I think everyone has stepped up because we had to,” Washington said. “We only have 12 healthy players, so everyone had to come together and work hard for each other.”
As far as strengths of the team, Rossi feels that solid fielding has been among the reasons for the team’s success.
“We have had a solid defense, and our bats have been coming around great,” she said. “It’s just a matter of getting the timely hits we need and scoring the runners that are in scoring position — it will happen.”
With the negative patch over, the Broncs wipe their slate clean for their upcoming games against Niagara.
“We ended the streak with a win against Lafayette, so I think that gives us some good momentum going into this weekend,” Sensi said.
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