Broncs Split at Pirate Classic
Rider University 3 Cleveland State 2
Ohio University 8 Rider University 0 / 5 innings
GREENVILLE, N.C.--The Rider University softball team scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat Cleveland State and split the final two games at the Hampton Inn Pirate Classic, hosted by East Carolina University Sunday afternoon.
"Getting on the field and getting that first win feels good," said head coach Tricia Carroll. "Seeing live pitching, this early in the season is a plus."
Rider (1-3) lost the second game 8-0 to Ohio University.
In the opener, Cleveland State jumped out to a 1-0, first inning lead on a passed ball before Rider tied it in the bottom of the frame on a two-out RBI double by senior Alyssa Paul (Toms River/Toms River HS East), her 95th career hit.
Sophomore Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) started the rally with a single to center field and scored on the double after advancing to second on a single by freshman Dana Sensi (Allentown). Sensi was three for three in the first game and had four hits on the day.
CSU hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
Trailing by one in the bottom of the sixth inning, Sensi led off with a single through the left side. Paul followed, reaching on a fielder's choice and stole second base. Sophomore Gina McCool (Marlton/Cherokee) singled to left and advanced to second on an error with Paul reaching third base. Freshman Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) reached on an RBI fielder's choice and went to second on an error with Paul scoring when the catcher dropped the ball and McCool also scoring on the play as the Broncs literally were given a 3-2 lead.
Red-shirt freshman Krista Morrone (Pipersville, Pa./Palisades) retired the side in order in the top of the seventh for her first collegiate win. Morrone recorded three strikeouts and allowed only one walk in the complete game effort.
"Krista threw a nice game," said Carroll. "She did a nice job in the last inning, retiring the side in order to get the win."
In the second game, Rider was held to two hits and the Broncs suffered their third shutout of the season.
Freshman Montana Berg (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) took the loss, recording four strikeouts while surrendering four home runs in four innings of work.
"Krista and Montana are both showing signs that the pitching will be good when we hit conference play," said Carroll. "I like the poise that both showed today."
Trailing 8-0, Rider had a chance to rally after back to back one out singles from Breeden and Sensi but Bobcat pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey worked out of the jam. Dorsey worked the five inning complete game, recording seven strikeouts.
Sensi batted .545 in the tournament with six hits in 11 at-bats.
"Dana had a good day with four hits and a good tournament," Carroll added.
Ohio University took a 2-0, first inning lead on a leadoff walk and a home run.
The Bobcats added five runs in the second inning on four hits, including a two-run home run and a three-run home run.
Ohio U. hit a one-out solo home run in the third inning for the final score.
Rider travels to George Mason's Patriot Classic in Fairfax, Virginia March 1-3. The Broncs face GMU on March 1, Cornell and Rutgers on March 2 and Cornell and GMU on March 3.
Rider's home opener is tentatively scheduled for March 9 against Columbia.