Saturday Features Siena and Seniors
LAWRENCEVILLE--The Rider University softball team plays the final home games of the 2012 season when the Broncs host Siena College on Saturday at Herb and Joan Young Field.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader begins at 1pm and in between games, Rider will honor the graduating senior class of 2012.
Entering play, the softball team finds itself in fourth place in the conference standings (5-3) with eight games remaining on the MAAC schedule.
Siena enters the game tied for first place (6-2) with Marist. Rider's Sunday road opponent Fairfield is tied for fifth place with a 6-4 MAAC record.
The top four team qualify for the MAAC championship, hosted by Marist May 10-12 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
The Broncs last qualified for the playoffs in 2006 with a 10-6 MAAC record.
Rider (18-27-1) is led by senior pitcher Rachael Matreale (Williamstown) who had 16 of the 18 Bronc wins this season.
Matreale has 181 strikeouts in 176 innings with a 2.05 earned run average. Matreale has all five Rider wins this season in MAAC play with a 1.65 earned run average.
A four-time MAAC Pitcher of the Week honoree, Matreale has the 21st most shutouts in the nation (eight) and she leads the MAAC and is 82nd in the nation in wins.
A Second Team All-MAAC honoree as a junior, Matreale is 89th in earned run average and 90th in strikeouts.
Freshman Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown), a three-time MAAC Rookie of the Week honoree, continues to pace the offense with a .313 batting average.
Breeden has made all 46 starts and leads the team with 42 hits, 26 RBI, eight doubles and three home runs.
Siena (18-22) had won 11 games in a row before losing 4-1 to Fairleigh Dickinson Thursday. The Saints are led by Shannon Jones (.459 average) and pitcher Amanda Filippazzo who has 10 of Siena's 18 wins.
Last season in Loudonville, New York, Siena swept the Broncs, winning 2-1 in nine innings in the opener on a walk off walk and the Saints won the nightcap 9-3.
Rider has won 16 of the 28 games in the all-time series. In 2010, Rider and Siena split two games in Lawrenceville with the Broncs winning 7-1 before losing 6-4 in extra innings. In 2009 in Loudonville, Rider again won the opener (7-1) before losing 6-4 in extra innings in the nightcap. The Broncs swept the Saints in 2008, winning 5-4 and 6-2 in Lawrenceville.
The four seniors, Matreale, Kelsey Krisch (Parker, Colo./Council Rock HS North), Lucy Higgins (Westminster, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) and Samantha Mayer (Neptune) will be recognized in a brief ceremony 15 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
For those unable to make the games on Saturday, GameViewer (LiveStats) will be available free of charge on GoBroncs.com and you can also track the action on twitter by