Rider University 1, Iona College 0
Iona College 5, Rider University 3
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.--The Rider University softball team split a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader at Iona College on Saturday afternoon.
"Honestly, we are disappointed that we gave away the second game and didn't come home with the sweep," said head coach Tricia Carroll. "We had a chance to sweep and didn't make some plays (four errors) and that was the difference."
Behind the 15th win and eighth shutout of the season from senior Rachael Matreale (Williamstown), the Broncs won the opener 1-0.
"Rachael did a nice job," Carroll said. "The first game was a great game; two good teams just going at it."
Matreale recorded three strikeouts in the game, throwing a four-hitter.
Rider (16-25-1, 5-3 MAAC) broke a scoreless tie in the seventh inning when with one out, junior Alyssa Paul (Toms River/Toms River HS East) singled to center field and freshman Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) followed with an RBI double.
Paul had two of Rider's seven hits in the opener and four hits on the day.
"Allysen has come up big all season," Carroll said about her three-time MAAC Rookie of the Week designated player and team leading hitter. "Alyssa was pretty hot today as well with four hits."
Despite out-hitting Iona 12-9, the Broncs lost the night cap 5-3.
"We had some good at-bats and we were facing two good pitchers today," Carroll said. "I don't think we gave away any at-bats so that was a positive."
Trailing 2-0 in game two, Rider got on the board in the top of the fifth inning, bunching together five hits but only getting one run on an RBI single by sophomore Ally Coryell (Ewing).
Iona responded with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth inning, opening up a 5-1 lead.
The Broncs used a Gael error and an RBI single by senior Kelsey Krisch (Parker, Colo./Council Rock HS North) to cut the Gael lead to 5-3 in the sixth inning but that was as close as Rider would get, despite putting the tying runs on base in the seventh inning with no outs. Krisch was two for two in the second game for Rider.
"Kelsey came up big a couple of times," Carroll said.
Matreale started and took the loss for the Broncs, working the first three innings with three strikeouts, allowing two runs (one earned).
Also for the Broncs in the second game, junior Heather Muscara (North Bellmore, N.Y./Mepham) had two hits and scored twice.
"We don't say it often that we should have swept but we feel that one got away from us," Carroll said. "We have to play with more composure and we did that in the first game and didn't do that in the second game. We are playing better in the close games and when we have the opportunity to win, we need to take advantage of that, especially in MAAC play."
Iona swept Rider 6-0 and 2-1 last season in Lawrenceville and the Gaels won both games in New Rochelle (1-0 and 11-1) in 2010. Rider has won 17 of the 31 games all-time in the series. The teams split in Lawrenceville in 2009 with Rider winning the second game 4-3.
Rider hosts Lafayette on Tuesday at Herb and Joan Young Field in a non-conference doubleheader at 3pm.
"With the back to back MAAC weekend game days (Saturday/Sunday) coming up, we need to work on someone besides Rachael eating up some innings," Carroll said. "We are going to use the doubleheader on Tuesday to do that and get the pitching settled for the next couple of weekends."