Manhattan College 4, Rider University 3 / 8 innings
Manhattan College 6, Rider University 2
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Rider University softball team led 3-0 in the opener but lost in extra innings and the Jaspers won the nightcap 6-2 to sweep the Broncs in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader on Saturday at Herb and Joan Young Field.
“The first game was hard,” said head coach Tricia Carroll. “We have good bats but for some reason we are putting extra pressure on ourselves and pressing and thinking ‘we’ve got to come through’ instead of just relaxing and playing. Our batting order is way more dangerous than we’ve shown.”
For Rider (4-31, 2-8 MAAC), freshman Delany DeMello (Roseville, Calif./Roseville) threw all eight innings, recording three strikeouts and had three of the seven Bronc hits in the game.
Rider jumped out to a 3-0, first inning lead on an RBI single by DeMello, an RBI ground out and the third of three Manhattan errors.
Manhattan opened the second inning with two singles and a walk before a sacrifice fly got the Jaspers on the board, making the score 3-1.
A leadoff double, RBI single and run-scoring double tied the game 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning.
Manhattan took advantage of a Rider error to open the eighth inning and after a sacrifice bunt, the Jaspers used an RBI single with two outs to plate the eventual winning run.
In the second game, despite out-hitting the Jaspers eight to seven, Rider found itself on the wrong end of a 6-2 final score.
“We chased some bad pitches in game two,” Carroll said. “Manhattan stepped up and hit some pitches and we didn’t. It’s been a really frustrating year. I know we will keep doing the things we need to do to be successful.”
On the day, Rider left 17 runners on base, nine in the second game.
For Rider, sophomore Dana Sensi (Allentown) had two of the eight Bronc hits.
Manhattan opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning on back to back, one out singles, followed by a Rider throwing error and a sacrifice fly.
The Jaspers hit a two-run home run in the top of the third inning, increasing their lead to 4-0 off freshman starter Megan McDonough (Olney, Md./Sherwood).
McDonough lasted four innings and allowed five runs (three earned), while recording two strikeouts.
Rider got one run back in the bottom of the third inning on a two out RBI single from Sensi.
The Jaspers scored a single run in the fourth inning on an RBI double to center field and a leadoff double, ground out and sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning put the Jaspers ahead 6-1.
Rider closed the scoring in the bottom of the seventh inning with Sensi hitting a sacrifice fly, scoring senior Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden/New Rochelle) who opened the inning with a bunt single.
Washington, who had two hits on the day, was honored between games, along with senior Mary Rossi (Trenton/Notre Dame) as part of senior day with today being the last weekend home doubleheader of the season.
“Kehli gets it,” Carroll said. “She is one of the best hitters and fielders that we’ve had in my 20 seasons. Senior day is hard but it was a good day to celebrate their accomplishments without it being the ‘final’ games of their career. That took some of the emotional aspect out of the day which was a good thing.”
Washington is currently 17th on Rider’s all-time hit list with 156 hits in 171 career games.
“Kehli has had an amazing career,” Carroll added. “She is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached. She has gotten better and better every season and has been an absolute joy to work with.”
The Broncs and Jaspers have met 34 times with Rider winning 16 in the all-time series. Last season, Rider was swept at Manhattan 13-1 and 5-1.
In 2012, Rider swept Manhattan in Lawrenceville, winning 4-0 and 6-4. Rider and Manhattan met in 2011 in Riverdale, when the Jaspers swept the two-game set, 1-0 and 6-3, despite the Broncs out-hitting the Jaspers in both games.
Rider and Manhattan split two games in Lawrenceville in 2010 with the Broncs winning 7-5 after losing 12-0 in the opener. In 2009, the teams split two MAAC games in Riverdale. In 2008 and 2007, the teams also split their two conference games. Manhattan swept Rider in 2006 and 2005 and the teams split in 2004.
The day was also dedicated to Cancer Awareness with the Bronc softball team raising donations in the fight to eradicate the disease. Over 200 parents and fans from both teams were in attendance to support the cause.
Rider hosts Saint Peter’s University on Monday at 2:00 p.m., in a MAAC doubleheader.
“We have five series left and we need to start getting the wins,” Carroll said about MAAC play. “We need to put together a streak. These are must win games.”