College Softball – Aggie Invitational
Maryland Eastern Shore 3, Rider University 0
Rider University 8, North Carolina A&T 7
GREENSBORO, N.C.—With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, the Rider University softball team broke a 4-4 tie, scoring four times and held on for a split on the final day of the Aggie Invitational, defeating the host North Carolina A&T on Sunday afternoon.
In the opener, the Broncs lost 3-0 to Maryland Eastern Shore.
“Overall it was a good weekend,” said head coach Tricia Carroll, who is in her 20th season at Rider. “It was really fun to see the growth in the team, particularly in their composure, in the three day tournament.”
In the nightcap, Rider (2-4) had 10-hits, led by three from freshman Delany DeMello (Roseville, Calif./Roseville).
Tied 4-4, senior Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden/New Rochelle) had a two-out single and DeMello followed with an RBI double, giving the Broncs a one-run lead. An RBI single by sophomore Dana Sensi (Allentown) gave Rider a two-run lead and a NC A&T error allowed the Broncs to plate two more runs.
NC A&T took advantage of a Rider error and a three-run double, all with two outs before sophomore Montana Berg (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) was able to escape with the complete game win.
“Montana threw very well,” said Carroll about the second game. “She was challenged in the last inning but her composure was there and she got us the ground ball we needed which Dana (Sensi) handled with ease for the last out. We did all our damage in the seventh with two outs. Kehli got on then stole second and Delany hit the ball hard all day and this one dropped in for a double. Dana (Sensi), Emily (Cottrell) and Amanda (Irving) all had very good at-bats in the last inning to get us the runs we needed.”
Berg went seven innings, scattering nine hits and allowing five earned runs while recording three strikeouts.
Junior Amanda Irving (Westminster, Md./Westminster) hit a two-run triple in the first inning and junior Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) followed with an RBI single, staking the Broncs to a 3-0 lead.
Trailing 3-1, North Carolina A&T rallied for three runs in the third inning on three hits to take a one-run lead.
Rider tied the game in the fifth inning on back to back doubles by Washington and DeMello.
In game one against UMES (2-7), despite a complete game, four strikeout performance from DeMello, the Broncs were shutout 3-0.
UMES got on the board in the top of the first inning with a two-out solo home run to left field.
The Hawks extended the lead to 3-0 with three hits in the third inning, including an RBI single with the third run coming on a bases loaded walk.
Rider had six hits, including a double by Irving.
The Broncs left runners on base in every inning and stranded nine total, including leaving the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
“The first game, we played really solid defense,” Carroll said. “Ally threw out a couple runners and Delany threw very well but we just couldn't get hits to drop. We had good at-bats with very good contact but could not catch a break. We need to keep hitting the ball hard and good things will happen.”
Rider travels to Fairfax, Virginia for George Mason’s Patriot Classic, a five-game tournament, February 28-March 2, playing against Cornell, Army and the host Patriots.
The Broncs open the home schedule on March 30, taking on Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Saint Peter’s University in a doubleheader, beginning at 1 p.m., at Herb and Joan Young Field.