LAWRENCEVILLE—The Rider University softball team lost a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader to Quinnipiac University on Saturday afternoon at Herb and Joan Young Field.
“We swung the bat well,” said head coach Jaci Timko. “We worked the count and had great looks but hit the ball right at them and they made all the plays. We did the right things but it didn’t work in our favor.”
In game two, despite the team-leading eighth home run of the season from seniorEmily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) the Broncs lost 9-3.
Trailing 6-0 in the nightcap, Cottrell launched a solo home run over the left center field fence to get the Broncs on the board.
Rider got to within 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning when senior Samantha Judd (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake) and senior Kim Valdes (Jupiter, Fla./King’s Academy) each singled with two outs and senior Montana Berg(Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) hit a run-scoring single to left field.
After Quinnipiac scored three times in the top of the seventh inning, junior Morgan Benedetti (Ewing) hit an RBI double to left field, scoring Cottrell who doubled to lead off the inning.
Cottrell had two of Rider’s six hits in the second game.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Kallert (Woodland Park/Passaic Valley) went the opening two innings for Rider, allowing seven hits and four earned runs.
In the opener, Rider was held to four hits in the shutout loss.
Quinnipiac broke a scoreless tie in the third inning on a single, stolen base, wild pitch, walk and RBI ground out to take a 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats took advantage of two Rider errors and strung together four hits to plate five runs and push their lead to 7-0 and an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning gave Quinnipiac enough of a margin for the mercy rule.
For the Broncs in game one, sophomore Monica Clark (Bryn Mawr, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) had a double with junior Josettee Spencer (Hillsborough), Judd and Valdes also hitting singles.
Sophomore Jayme Zeilman (Newfield/Delsea Regional) went two innings of relief, allowing three hits and two earned runs to pick up the loss.
“The pitching did a pretty good job keeping Quinnipiac off balance,” Timko said. “They are a good hitting team and we used the three pitchers today to give them different looks and try to keep their hitters in check. We mixed the speeds and the looks. Quinnipiac played with the knowledge that they were still fighting for a playoff spot where we are just taking steps each inning to get better.”
Rider hosts Delaware State on Sunday in a non-conference doubleheader to wrap up the 2016 season. Prior to the first game at 2pm, Rider will honor graduating seniors, Berg, Cottrell, Judd, Valdes and Dana Sensi (Allentown).