Sunday, April 15, 2012

Marist And Rider Split Two Very Different Games

Emily Osterhaus dueled Rachael Matreale in an 11 inning thriller

Marist 2
Rider 0 (11)

Rider 10
Marist 7

Game One Box
Game Two Box

The Marist Red Foxes and Rider Broncs split an important conference doubleheader that featured a pitchers' duel and a slugfest Sunday in Lawrenceville, NY.

These two teams collided in Lawrenceville today with identical 3-1 records, and fighting for position in the MAAC. The doubleheader turned into a classic. Game one had all the feel of a tournament game, going scoreless through the first ten innings. It wasn't surprising to see Broncs' senior Rachael Matreale involved in such a game; in fact, it was almost typical of her. She struck out a season high 13. But the Red Foxes must have been delighted with the complete game win by Emily Osterhaus, who had been having a bit of a down season, giving way in the circle to two freshmen. Emily was solid in the long shutout. She had a close call in the sixth inning, but Haley Birnbaum gunned down Samantha Mayer trying to score to end the Rider threat. Marist finally got the winner in the top of the 11th inning when Haley Birnbaum, who had saved the game earlier, won it with a two run home run. A great game between two teams that didn't want to give an inch.

With the length of game one, one would have figured that Rider might be in some trouble because Rachael Matreale would not be able to start game two. But a funny thing happened---Rider pounded out five runs in the bottom of the first to stun Marist. It was as if they felt guilty for not getting Rachael any runs in the first game. In that inning, Gina McCool drove home a run, and Heather Muscara and Lucy Higgins both drove home two. Marist came back with a trio of runs in the top of the third inning thanks to a Dani Koltz RBI and two Rider errors that scored Megan Lamoureux and Ashley Corriss. Rider took a 7-3 lead in the bottom of the same inning with a two RBI Alyssa Paul single.

This was a strange game though, one that see-sawed back and forth with lots of scoring. After the third inning, Rachael Matreale re-entered the battle, in relief of Krysti Maronski. But the 11 innings of work previously may have affected her as Marist tied the game in the fourth by putting up four runs on four hits. The Red Foxes scored all those runs after two outs were made. An infield single by Taylor Kuzma scored one run; a single by Megan Lamoureux scored another two; and MAAC RBI leader Dani Koltz tied the game with a single up the middle. Rachael warmed back up in a hurry though, going on to shutout Marist over the final three innings. The heroics came in the fifth inning when Alyssa Paul, who had a great game, singled home the winning run. Insurance came in the form of a Gina McCool triple, which scored two. Gina and Alyssa were both 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

A great doubleheader with both teams surviving with 4-2 records intact and solidly in the hunt.

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