KISSIMMEE, Fla.—Juniors Megan Ailand (Burlingame, Calif./Burlingame) and Delany DeMello (Roseville, Calif./Roseville) combined on a two-hit shutout to give the Rider University softball team a 1-0 win on Monday afternoon at the Rebel Spring Games in Florida, helping the Broncs snap a 10-game losing streak.
Ailand worked the opening two innings against the Bison and DeMello worked five innings of hitless softball, allowing only one base runner (via walk) to pick up her first win of the season and giving first-year head coach Jaci Timko her first victory at Rider.
“I can't take any credit for the win,” said Timko. “That was 100 percent the players. Meg and Delany were able to quiet a very good hitting Bucknell team and the defense, was absolutely spotless. It was a great team win!”
Rider (1-10) scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a single by sophomore Monica Clark (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Archbishop Carroll). Clark then stole second base and on the under throw by the catcher, Cottrell scored to give the Broncs a one-run lead.
Junior Josettee Spencer (Hillsborough) had Rider’s only other hit, a single to right center field in the third inning.
"Alexa (Feliciano) called a heck of a game," Timko added about her rookie catcher. "She is a key reason we won."
In the opener against the Great Danes of Albany, Rider committed three errors, two in a four-run second inning for Albany as the Broncs lost 7-1.
“In the Albany game, we seemed to be going through the motions and were not able to execute on all ends,” Timko added. “Which makes the game against Bucknell that much sweeter.”
Trailing 7-0 in the top of the seventh inning, senior Kim Valdes (Jupiter, Fla./King's Academy) singled and pinch runner freshman Brianna Parisio(Sayreville/Sayreville War Memorial) advanced on a passed ball, eventually scoring on an Albany error for Rider’s only run of the game.
Valdes had two of Rider’s three hits in game one and she also walked, reaching base in three out of three at bats.
Senior Dana Sensi (Allentown) doubled for the Broncs in the sixth inning.
Ailand went the first three innings for Rider, allowing four hits and five runs, one earned.
Albany pitcher Devin Durando went the distance, recording nine strikeouts and allowing one run which was unearned.
Rider and Bucknell play a doubleheader on Tuesday in Florida, beginning at 9am.