Rider Opens Play This Weekend
GREENVILLE, N.C.--The Rider University softball team will open the 2013 campaign at the Hampton Inn Pirate Classic, hosted by East Carolina February 9-10.
Rider plays Towson at 11am on Saturday and the host Pirates at 3:30pm.
On Sunday, the Broncs face Cleveland State at 9am and Ohio U. at 11am.
Rider is led by sophomore Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown), a preseason First Team All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference selection.
An Elementary Education and Integrated Sciences/Math major, Breeden was the 2012 MAAC Rookie of the Year and a Second Team All-MAAC selection after earning MAAC Rookie of the Week honors three times.
Breeden started all 54 games as a freshman, one of two Broncs to start every game and led the team in home runs (3), walks (14), doubles (8), total bases (63) and runs batted in (27) and was second in batting average (.277).
The Broncs are also led by junior Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden). Washington was a Second Team All-MAAC selection in 2012, batting a team-leading .297 in 47 games (46 starts).
Washington led the team in stolen bases and was second on the team in hits.
With the graduation of the second highest all-time strikeout pitcher in Rider's history, Rachael Matreale (Williamstown), the Broncs are guaranteed to have the youngest pitching staff in the nation as there are no pitchers on the roster who threw any innings for Rider in 2012. Matreale recorded 596 Ks for the Broncs from 2009-12.
The Broncs return 10 letterwinners, including eight starters for 19-year head coach Tricia Carroll. Last season, Rider finished 20-33-1, 7-9 in the MAAC.
Rider travels to Fairfax, Virginia for the George Mason Patriot Classic March 1-3 and the Broncs are scheduled for a non-conference doubleheader at Drexel on March 5.
The home opener at Herb and Joan Young Field is now tentatively scheduled for March 9 at a time to be determined against Columbia. The doubleheader against the Lions was originally scheduled for April 30 but is being changed due to a schedule conflict.
Rider opens conference play March 30 at Saint Peter's.
All games at the Pirate Classic will have livestats via links provided on GoBroncs.com or you can check out all of the action on Twitter by following @RiderAthletics.