GREENVILLE, N.C. — The Rider University softball team scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat Cleveland State and split the final two games at the Hampton Inn Pirate Classic, hosted by East Carolina University Sunday afternoon (Feb. 10).
Rider (1-3) lost the second game 8-0 to Ohio University.
In the opener, Cleveland State jumped out to a 1-0, first inning lead on a passed ball before Rider tied it in the bottom of the frame on a two-out RBI double by senior Alyssa Paul (Toms River/Toms River HS East).
Sophomore Allysen Breeden (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) started the rally with a single to center field and scored on the double after advancing to second on a single by freshman Dana Sensi (Allentown). Sensi was three for three in the first game and had four hits on the day.
CSU hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead.
Trailing by one in the bottom of the sixth inning, Sensi led off with a single through the left side. Paul followed, reaching on a fielder’s choice and stole second base. Sophomore Gina McCool (Marlton/Cherokee) singled to left and advanced to second on an error with Paul reaching third base.
Freshman Emily Cottrell (Beachwood/Toms River HS South) reached on an RBI fielder’s choice and went to second on an error with Paul scoring when the catcher dropped the ball and McCool also scoring on the play as the Broncs literally were given a 3-2 lead.
Red-shirt freshman Krista Morrone (Pipersville, Pa./Palisades) retired the side in order in the top of the seventh for her first collegiate win. Morrone recorded three strikeouts and allowed only one walk in the complete game effort.
In the second game, Rider was held to two hits and the Broncs suffered their third shutout of the season.
Freshman Montana Berg (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) took the loss, recording four strikeouts while surrendering four home runs in four innings of work.
Trailing 8-0, Rider had a chance to rally after back to back one out singles from Breeden and Sensi but Bobcat pitcher Savannah Jo Dorsey worked out of the jam. Dorsey worked the five inning complete game, recording seven strikeouts.
Ohio University took a 2-0, first inning lead on a leadoff walk and a home run.
The Bobcats added five runs in the second inning on four hits, including a two-run home run and a three-run home run.
Ohio U. hit a one-out solo home run in the third inning for the final score.
Rider travels to George Mason’s Patriot Classic in Fairfax, Virginia March 1-3. The Broncs face GMU on March 1, Cornell and Rutgers on March 2 and Cornell and GMU on March 3.
Rider’s home opener is tentatively scheduled for March 9 against Columbia.