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Wagner College 14, Rider University 5 / 5 innings
Appalachian State University 8, Rider University 0 / 5 innings
ROCK HILL, S.C.—The Rider University softball team opened the 2016 season with losses to Wagner and Appalachian State on Friday afternoon at the Winthrop Tournament in South Carolina.
“We were aggressive at the plate,” said Jaci Timko, in her first season as the Rider head coach. “We did what we wanted and got runners on base but we just needed to find a way to get them to score.”
For Rider (0-2) in the opener, senior Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) hit a home run to left field for the final score, her first of the season and the 14th of her career.
“Emily has an awesome home run,” Timko added.
The Broncs took a 2-0 first inning lead on an RBI hit by pitch and a bases loaded walk.
Rider pushed its lead to 4-1 on a two-run double by senior Dana Sensi (Allentown). A preseason All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference honoree, Sensi had three hits on the day for the Broncs.
Wagner responded with six runs in the bottom of the second inning and the Seahawks pushed across seven runs in the bottom of the third to take a 14-4 lead.
Also for the Broncs in the opener, sophomore Toni Nino (Adelanto, Calif./Silverado) had two of Rider’s six hits and she scored twice in the game.
Junior Delany DeMello (Roseville, Calif./Roseville) lasted 2 1/3 innings in the circle, allowed 12 runs, 11 earned while scattering eight hits.
In the second game against Appalachian State (2-10), Rider was held to three hits, two by Sensi (double, single) as the Broncs fell 8-0 in five innings.
Sensi is now 26th all-time on Rider’s career hit list with 145.
The Mountaineers took a 2-0, first inning lead on three hits and ASU used three hits and a Rider error to plate five runs in the top of the third inning.
ASU used a bunt single, sacrifice bunt and Bronc error to plate its eighth run in the top of the fifth inning for the final score.
Also for Rider in game two, senior Montana Berg (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) had a ground-rule double.
Sophomore Jayme Zeilman (Newfield/Delsea Regional) went 2 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and seven earned runs to pick up the loss.
Rider plays Towson University and the host Winthrop Eagles on Saturday in the second day of the tournament.
Rider’s home opener is scheduled for March 7 against North Carolina A&T.