Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pitchers' Duel Highlights Rider-Iona Split

Rachael Matreale prevailed over Sarah Jackson Saturday. Will there be a rematch?

Rider 1
Iona 0

Iona 5
Rider 3

Game One Box
Game Two Box

The Iona Gaels and Rider Broncs split a big MAAC matchup Saturday in New Rochelle, NY.

Well, the matchup was all it was cracked up to be, that's for sure. Rider's Rachael Matreale and Iona's Sarah Jackson went toe-to-toe Saturday at the Rice Oval in a classic pitchers' duel that had the intensity of a tournament game. The Gaels had a good chance right in the first inning when Eileen McCann singled, stole second base, then stole third after an Alyssa Maiese walk. But she was left standing there after Rachael induced a simple ground out. The Gaels got Chelsea Sheehan to third base in the second inning after she had reached base on an error, but she too was stranded. Rider then had a good chance in the fourth inning when two base hits landed runners on second and third bases. But Sarah struck out Ally Coryell and Lucy Higgins to snuff the threat. Kehli Washington got to third base for the Broncs in the fifth inning after a two base error and sacrifice. But Chelsea Sheehan and Alyssa Maiese combined for a double play to end that chance. Again in the sixth, Rider got a runner to third, after Sam Pugh and Lisa Blanton singles, but Sarah struck out Amanda Irving. Finally, in the top of the seventh inning, Rider struck paydirt. A one out single by Alyssa Paul brought up freshman Ally Breeden. Ally smashed a double over center fielder Jodi Petersen's head, and Rider had the 1-0 lead. Allyssa James would single for the Gaels in the bottom of the seventh, but that was it; the Broncs won 1-0. It was a great game. Sarah Jackson struck out eight, and walked only two. Rachael Matreale struck out three, walked two and allowed only four hits. For Rider, it was a statement win.

To show the confidence the Broncs have built this season, Rider Coach Tricia Carroll thought her Broncs should have had the sweep. Rachael Matreale started the second game, but she has not been as effective with the extra start, although not bad. This time she was up against Alyssa Maiese. The Gaels jumped in front 2-0 in this game. In the second inning, Chelsea Sheehan singled home Deanne Algeo after an error and wild pitch. In the third inning, Eileen McCann lifted her sixth home run of the season over the left field fence. Rachael Matreale was pulled after that and relieved by Krysti Maronski. Krysti held the fort until the Broncs got one back in the top of the fifth inning with an Ally Coryell RBI single. The Broncs had five hits in this inning, but could score only once. The Gaels responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame, two of them coming thanks to an Allyssa James triple; another from a Chelsea Sheehan single. Rider closed the deficit to 5-3 in the top of the sixth with another three hits and an RBI by Kelsey Krisch. The Broncs opened the top of the seventh inning with singles by Alyssa Paul and Ally Breeden, but Alyssa Maiese executed a timely double play to save the day for Iona. Interesting that Rider got ten hits in those last three innings attempting to rally; this is clearly a team that has dramatically improved their offense during the course of this season; getting 19 hits on Iona's pitchers is a big deal. The Gaels' Allyssa James had her biggest game in a while, hitting 2 for 2 with three RBIs and a run. Kelsey Krisch was 2 for 2 for the Broncs.

Both teams now stand at 5-3.
A note: Iona's scheduled game at Manhattan Sunday has been postponed until Monday due to a forecast of heavy rain.

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