Fairfield University 13, Rider University 4 / 6 innings
Fairfield University 13, Rider University 1 / 5 innings
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Doubleheader
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Rider University softball season came to an end on Saturday with a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader loss to Fairfield University at Herb and Joan Young Field.
The Stags claimed at least a tie for first place in the MAAC, defeating Rider 13-4 and 13-1.
“Fairfield won the MAAC regular season,” said head coach Tricia Carroll. “Now that I’ve seen all of the teams, they may be the best in the conference and they showed why today.”
In the opener, freshman Kim Valdes (Jupiter, Fla./King's Academy) gave Rider a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI double, scoring junior Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden/New Rochelle) who reached on an error to start the bottom of the first inning.
Fairfield took advantage of two Rider errors and used an RBI double and a home run to take a 4-1 lead in the third inning.
The Stags added six runs in the fifth inning on a bases loaded hit by pitch, two walks and a two, run scoring singles to lead 10-1.
Sophomore Gina McCool (Marlton/Cherokee) hit her first home run of the year in the bottom of the fifth inning and Rider used an RBI single by Valdes and a Stag error to cut the deficit to 10-4. Valdes and McCool each had two of Rider’s six hits in the opener.
Fairfield scored three times on a two-out double in the sixth inning for the final score.
“Emotionally it’s been hard,” Carroll said about the 8-41 season. “The injuries and the lack of depth really caught up to us. I’m excited that the team is excited about working hard over the summer to be ready for 2014. They want to get a ‘do over’ and get this season behind us.”
Freshman Ali Meagher (Clark/Arthur L. Johnson) pitched six innings for Rider with one strikeout.
In the nightcap, Fairfield hit a three-run home run, an RBI double and a sacrifice fly in the first inning as the Stags jumped ahead 5-0.
The Stags hit a two-out RBI double in the top of the third inning, extending their lead to 6-0.
Freshman Samantha Judd (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake) hit an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring McCool who doubled to cut the Stag lead to 6-1. Judd had two of Rider’s six hits in the second game.
The Stags scored seven times in the fifth inning on six hits for the final score.
Also for Rider, freshman Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) had two hits, including a double.
Meagher had one strikeout in five innings of work in the second game.
“Ali showed a ton of guts to keep going out there as our only healthy pitcher,” Carroll said. “She is only about 50 percent right now and she keeps asking for the ball. To go out there day after day and do her best, I’m proud of her and so are her teammates.”
Last season, Rider was swept at Fairfield, 1-0 and 7-2. Fairfield swept Rider in Lawrenceville in 2011, winning 3-0 and 5-2 in eight innings. Fairfield and Rider have met 36 times in a series that began in 1998 with the Broncs winning nine times. Rider last defeated the Stags in 2010, sweeping a MAAC doubleheader in Connecticut 2-0 (eight innings) and 12-2 in the final games of the 2010 season.
With no seniors on the roster, Rider is slated to return all 14 letterwinners for the 2014 season.
“The team deserves more success than they have had,” Carroll said. “They are good student-athletes and they played very hard for Rider. This team can look themselves in the mirror and know they left everything out on the field.”