Saint Peter's University 4, Rider University 1
Rider University 11, Saint Peter's University 2 / 5 innings
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Doubleheader
JERSEY CITY--Behind three hits each from freshmen Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) and Dana Sensi (Allentown) and four RBI from sophomore Gina McCool (Marlton/Cherokee), the Rider University softball team salvaged a split at Saint Peter's University to open the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference portion of the schedule Saturday afternoon.
Rider won the nightcap 11-2 after falling in the opener 4-1.
"I really liked the composure of the team today," said head coach Tricia Carroll, in her 19th season. "The team is coming together."
In game two, the Broncs scored four times in the first inning on four hits, including RBI singles from Cottrell, Sensi and McCool.
After the Peacocks cut the Bronc lead in half in the bottom of the third inning, Rider responded with five runs in the top of the fourth, including a three-run triple by McCool.
Sensi had an RBI single and Cottrell laced an RBI double as Rider plated two runs in the top of the fifth inning for the final score.
Cottrell had four hits on the day, including two doubles, walked twice and knocked in four.
After the opener against Hartford on March 26, Cottrell's batting average was at .075 and she had gone seven for her last eight with three runs scored and nine RBI, adding almost 100 points to her average.
Red-shirt freshman Krista Morrone (Pipersville, Pa./Palisades) went the distance recording one strikeout for her fifth win of the season.
"In the second game, the bats came alive," Carroll said about the 13-hit effort. "Krista pitched well and the defense was solid behind her. Putting up 11 runs didn't hurt."
In the opener, Rider was held to five hits in a 4-1 loss.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the fifth, sophomore Amanda Irving (Westminster, Md./Westminster) broke up the Saint Peter's no-hitter with a single to right field and advanced all the way to third base on an error. Cottrell followed with an RBI double to left center field as the Broncs got to within 2-1.
"We need to find a way to get the offense going earlier in the day," said Carroll. "Ali pitched well and three earned runs is a reasonable number to give up and still have a chance to win the game. Saint Peter's just had a couple of timely hits."
Saint Peter's got the run back in the bottom of the fifth on an infield single and the Peacocks used a Bronc error in the bottom of the sixth inning to score the final run of the game.
Junior Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden/New Rochelle), freshman Samantha Judd (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake) and sophomore Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) also had hits in the opener for Rider.
Freshman Ali Meagher (Clark/Arthur L. Johnson) struck out one in the complete game loss for Rider.
Also for the Broncs, freshman Kim Valdes (Jupiter, Fla./King's Academy) had two hits in the doubleheader.
Rider and Saint Peter's split two MAAC Games last season with the Broncs winning the opener behind a no-hitter from Rachael Matreale.
In 2011, Rider and Saint Peter's met in Jersey City with the teams splitting the MAAC doubleheader. The Peahens won the opener 2-1 with the Broncs rebounding in the nightcap 6-0.
Rider swept Saint Peter's to open conference play in 2010 and overall the Broncs have won 29 of the 50 games in the series.
The Broncs travel to Lehigh on April 3 for a non-conference doubleheader.