Saint Peter’s University 5, Rider University 3
Rider University 13, Saint Peter’s University 0 / 5 innings
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
LAWRENCEVILLE—Freshman Kaitlyn Kallert (Woodland Park/Passaic Valley) tossed a five-inning complete game shutout, allowing only four hits as the Rider University softball team snapped a six-game losing streak and split a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader against Saint Peter’s on Monday afternoon at Herb and Joan Young Field.
“The second game went well,” said Kallert. “After the result of the first game, we wanted to come right back out and do well. I felt good warming up and everything felt natural today. My changeup was working well and I was able to get some strikeouts using it.”
The games were originally scheduled for March 30 but were rained out.
“I was looking forward to the day when the bats finally all came together and today was that day,” said head coach Tricia Carroll. “We haven’t been hitting consistently and you saw that in the opening game. We’ve gotten a hit here and there and then stalled. The second game especially, we put the ball in play and put the pressure on the opponent and then with runners on base, were able to take advantage and score some runs. Kaitlyn did a nice job pitching as well. I was proud of her getting the shutout.”
For Rider (5-32, 3-9 MAAC), senior Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden/New Rochelle) went four for four with two runs scored and two RBI in the second game and junior Amanda Irving (Westminster, Md./Westminster) homered in both games to pace the offense.
“This may have been Kehli’s best game since the opening weekend of the season,” said Carroll. “She has had a nagging injury and today, looked like her old self. That’s the Kehli we know and that we need. She set’s the table.”
Rider broke a scoreless tie in the second inning when freshman Amanda Crimarco (Levittown, N.Y./Kellenberg) hit a two-run double to right center field, scoring junior Gina McCool (Marlton/Cherokee) and freshman Megan McDonough (Olney, Md./Sherwood). McDonough singled to start the inning with McCool reaching on a fielder’s choice and Saint Peter’s error. Washington followed with an infield single to second base, scoring junior Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) who reached on a walk. Sophomore Kim Valdes (Jupiter, Fla./King’s Academy) had an RBI single to center field and McDonough, batting for the second time in the inning, doubled to right field, scoring Irving with Rider’s sixth run of the frame.
“My teammates backed me up today,” Kallert added. “Everything was caught and it is easier to pitch with a big lead. I was glad that they were able to do that in support of my efforts.”
McDonough, Crimarco and Valdes each had two of Rider’s 12 hits in the nightcap with Crimarco, Washington and Irving each scoring twice.
Irving was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the third inning as Rider pushed its lead to 7-0.
The Broncs put the game away in the fourth inning, scoring six times, the key hits, an RBI single by Washington and a two-run home run from Irving, her fourth of the season, as the Broncs also took advantage of two Saint Peter’s errors.
In the opener, Saint Peter’s jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 5-3 win after Rider loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Saint Peter’s got a two-out single in the first inning and followed with an opposite field home run gave the Peacocks a 2-0 lead off freshman starter Delany DeMello (Roseville, Calif./Roseville).
DeMello went all seven innings and scattered 10 hits, while recording four strikeouts and allowing five earned runs.
The Peacocks hit a solo home run to right center, leading off the second inning, increasing their lead to 3-0.
Saint Peter’s hit a two out RBI bloop single in the third inning, pushing the Rider deficit to 4-0.
Irving hit a home run with one out in the bottom of the third inning, her third of the season, clearing the fence in right center, cutting the Saint Peter’s lead to 4-1.
“Amanda is very dangerous,” Carroll said. “She hit two home runs today but also can use the short game so teams don’t really know how to play her.”
Irving had four of Rider’s 11 hits in the first game and her five hits on the day puts her at 98 hits in her Bronc career.
Rider cut the Saint Peter’s lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a fielder’s choice and Peacock error.
The Peacocks used a single, wild pitch and RBI single with one out to plate an insurance run in the seventh inning, making the score 5-2.
The Broncs scored one in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Irving for the 5-3 final score.
Rider out-hit Saint Peter’s 11-10 but left 10 runners on base in the opener.
“We still have some spots in the lineup where we need to take a breath and stay within what we know how to do,” Carroll said. “We relaxed and played in the second game and didn’t do that as much in the opener and really, gave away some at-bats and also gave the game away and we can’t do that at this point in the season. The first game was frustrating because it seemed that everyone was waiting for someone else to setup instead of taking ownership. We had chances.”
Rider and Saint Peter’s last met on March 30, 2013 when the Broncs lost 4-1 in the opener before rebounding for an 11-2 win to split the MAAC series.
Rider and Saint Peter's split two MAAC Games in 2012 with the Broncs winning the opener behind a no-hitter from Rachel Matreale.
In 2011, Rider and Saint Peter's met in Jersey City with the teams splitting the MAAC doubleheader with the Broncs rebounding in the nightcap 6-0 after a 2-1 opening game loss. Rider swept Saint Peter's to open conference play in 2010 and overall the Broncs have won 30 of the 53 games in the series.
Rider hosts Lafayette in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m., before the team resumes play with a trip to Western, New York to face Canisius and Niagara.
“The next couple games are going to be tough,” Kallert added. “A lot of teams are competing for the final playoff spots and we need to fight hard and hopefully come out on top.”
“Playing games is what I think we need to do so I’m glad we are playing again on Tuesday,” Carroll said. “And going to Buffalo is a challenge. It is a long bus ride and a challenge being away from home. All of the teams are very much in the race for the six playoff spots, Rider included and we are hoping to put together some good games and push across some runs to give ourselves a chance.”