Norfolk State 3, Rider University 2
Norfolk State 7, Rider University 6 / 8 innings
NORFOLK, Va.—After giving up all of a 4-0 lead, including three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rider University softball team staged a rally of its own with one in the eighth but NSU rallied again with two runs, sweeping the Rider University softball team in a non-conference doubleheader Thursday afternoon.
“It was a very frustrating day,” said head coach Tricia Carroll who saw the team fall to 2-11. “We played strong defense and the base running during the eighth inning was aggressive to get us the lead.”
Tied 5-5 in the eighth inning of game two, junior Amanda Irving (Westminster, Md./Westminster) laced an RBI double on a 2-2 count, scoring freshman Morgan Benedetti (Ewing) who started the inning on second base due to the international tie breaker rule.
NSU rallied in the bottom of the eighth, ending the game on a two out, two-run RBI double.
Freshman Kaitlyn Kallert (Woodland Park/Passaic Valley) pitched a complete game, scattering 10 hits and recording four strikeouts.
“Kaitlyn pitched well, short of a couple of pitches,” Carroll said. “The pitching staff is coming along but we ran ourselves out of a couple of innings. We need to stop leaving runs on the table.”
In the last five games, all losses, Rider has left 47 runners on base and in the last three games, all one run losses, the Broncs have stranded 28 base runners.
Rider broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when sophomore Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) doubled down the third base line, scoring junior Gina McCool (Marlton/Cherokee) who led off the inning by reaching on an error.
The Broncs plated three more runs in the top of the fourth inning on a Spartan error and a two-run double by McCool, putting Rider ahead 4-0.
Norfolk State got one run back with a home run in the bottom of the fourth and the Spartans got to within two runs with an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Cottrell hit a run scoring single in the top of the sixth inning, giving the Broncs a three-run lead before the Spartans rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
Cottrell had four hits in the doubleheader.
In the opener, Rider lost to the Spartans 3-2.
Trailing 3-0, freshman Amanda Crimarco (Levittown, N.Y./Kellenberg) hit her second home run of the season, in the top of the seventh inning for the final score. Freshman Delany DeMello (Roseville, Calif./Roseville) singled to left field and freshman pinch runner Josettee Spencer (Hillsborough) scored when Crimarco lifted a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence.
Junior Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) doubled to left field to continue the Bronc rally but the Spartans got the final two outs to secure the win.
Norfolk State broke a scoreless tie in the second inning with back to back singles.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, NSU took advantage of a walk to plate two runs on a home run to centerfield as the Spartans extended their lead to 3-0.
DeMello pitched all six innings, scattering eight hits while recording four strikeouts.
Rider travels to Columbia on Sunday for a non-conference doubleheader.
“I’m confident that we will pull things together,” Carroll added. “We have four more non-conference games until the conference season begins to get things headed in the right direction.”
Rider opens the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule against Saint Peter’s on March 30 at 1:00pm at Herb and Joan Young Field.