Rider Home Opener Sunday
LAWRENCEVILLE—20 games. Six weekends. One championship.
The Rider University softball team opens Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play on Sunday, March 30 at 1:00 p.m. against Saint Peter’s University at Herb and Joan Young Field with one goal in mind. Advance to the six-team MAAC championship May 7-10.
All of the practice, preseason workouts and non-conference games come down to these six weekends over the course of late March to early May.
And that journey begins Sunday.
Rider is led by junior Amanda Irving (Westminster, Md./Westminster) who enters play with a .333 batting average and she leads the team in hits (17), doubles (8) and RBI (7).
In the circle, Rider is led by freshman Megan Ailand (Burlingame, Calif./Burlingame who has a 2.10 earned run average in five appearances.
Saint Peter’s, which opens at Iona on Saturday, comes into the weekend 4-16.
This is the second year in a row that Saint Peter’s and Rider have met to open conference play. Last season, the Peacocks won 4-1 in the opener before the Broncs took the nightcap 11-2, behind three hits each from Dana Sensi and Emily Cottrell and four RBI from Gina McCool.
Rider and Saint Peter's split two MAAC Games in 2012 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.
With the addition of Monmouth University and Quinnipiac University, the MAAC schedule has bumped up to 20 games with the top six teams advancing to the conference playoffs, hosted by Fairfield University.
Rider last qualified for the four-team MAAC playoffs in 2006.
Last season, the Broncs finished tied for sixth in the MAAC with the conference race coming down to the final weekend.
The MAAC series is the first two games of a 10-game home stand for Rider with the Broncs hosting Princeton on April 1, Lehigh April 2, Siena on April 5 and Quinnipiac on April 6. All of the dates are doubleheaders with the games against Princeton Facility and Staff Appreciation Day. The weekday games begin at 3:00 p.m. and the weekend MAAC series begin at 1:00 p.m.
Rider’s complete schedule is on-line at GoBroncs.com and all home events will have LiveStats available on game day via links on the schedule page.
Join the Broncs on Sunday for the home opener and witness the first two steps on the 20 game journey to the MAAC championships.