Fairfield University 1, Rider University 0
Fairfield University 7, Rider University 2
Metro Atlantic Athletic Confernce
FAIRFIELD, Conn.--The Rider University softball team was swept in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader at Fairfield on Sunday afternoon.
"We had chances to score," said head coach Tricia Carroll. "We just couldn't get a timely hit. Some normally solid bats were quiet today."
The Stags used a first inning run in the opener to win 1-0 and broke a 2-2 tie with five runs in the sixth inning to take the nightcap.
In the first game, senior Rachael Matreale (Williamstown) recorded eight strikeouts and allowed only five hits including two in the first inning as the Stags went ahead 1-0.
Fairfield (26-24, 8-4 MAAC) held Rider (20-29-1, 7-5 MAAC) to only two hits, both by sophomore Lisa Blanton (Hilliard, Fla./Hilliard). Blanton had three hits in the doubleheader.
"The first game was great," Carroll said. "Both teams made some great defensive plays and we just came up a little short."
In the second game, junior Alyssa Paul (Toms River/Toms River HS East) hit an RBI single down the right field line and the Broncs used a double steal with sophomore Kehli Washington (Lulea, Sweden/New Rochelle) scoring as Rider took a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
Paul had three of Rider's eight hits in the second game.
Fairfield tied the game at 2-2 on an infield single, stolen base, walk and two-run double in the bottom of the third inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Stags opened the inning with a batter hit by a pitch and after a sacrifice bunt, Rider committed a crutial fielding error to extend the inning. Fairfield followed with three straight hits, all with two outs, including a three-run double to break the game open 7-2.
Rider was retired in order in the top of the seventh for the final score.
Also for the Broncs in game two, junior Heather Muscara (North Bellmore, N.Y./Mepham) had two hits.
Matreale absorbed the loss for Rider, throwing her second complete game of the day, recording five strikeouts. Matreale allowed seven runs but only two were earned.
"Rachael pitched well all day," said Carroll. "In her 13th inning of the day, Fairfield finally got to her with three hits after the error."
Fairfield swept Rider in Lawrenceville in 2011, winning 3-0 and 5-2 in eight innings. Fairfield and Rider have now met 34 times in a series that began in 1998 with the Broncs winning nine times. Rider last defeated the Stags in 2010, sweeping a MAAC doubleheader in Connecticut 2-0 (eight innings) and 12-2 in the final games of the 2010 season.
Rider makes a trip to Western, New York to complete the 2012 regular season schedule, facing Niagara on May 5 and Canisius on May 6 with MAAC playoff qualification likely coming down to the final day of the regular season.
Iona leads the MAAC with an 11-3 record, followed by Marist and Fairfield which are tied for second at 8-4. Rider is tied with Canisius for fourth with a 7-5 record, with Siena in sixth place at 6-6.
The top four teams advance to the conference playoffs May 10-12 in Poughkeepsie, New York. Rider last qualified for the playoffs in 2006.