In Saturday's most interesting MAAC doubleheader, Canisius and Rider split a pair of conference games in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Rider coach Tricia Carroll said earlier this week that her Broncs would be ready for Canisius, and she wasn't kidding either. In what was easily Rider's best played games of the 2013 season, they earned a huge split, nearly winning twice. Rider's freshmen pitchers have suffered growing pains this season, but Krista Morrone (pictured) forgot all that and pitched a whale of a game in earning her first career shutout. She held the hot hitting Golden Griffins to only three hits, continually frustrating their efforts to get back in the game. Her team gave her plenty of support too, pounding out 10 hits. The Broncs opened the scoring in the fourth inning. Kim Valdes reached base with a double, and moved to third base after a ground out. Rider then got a break when center fielder Tori Nappo dropped a fly ball with two outs, which allowed Kim to score easily for a 1-0 lead. The Broncs then erupted for four runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach. RBIs by Dana Sensi, Kim Valdes, Amanda Irving and Emily Cottrell sealed the deal. Kehli Washington was 3 for 4 in the game. Jen Consaul took the loss in the circle for Canisius.
Coach Carroll announced before the games that Krista Morrone would pitch both ends of the doubleheader; and Krista did have a chance to win, but surely did not have as much energy as she did in game one. Partly because of this, and partly because of Canisius desperation, the Golden Griffins got an incredible 21 hits in the game. And they would need all of them. Canisius got off to a 2-0 lead due to a Robin Kennery RBI in the third inning; and a Michelle DelPrince RBI double in the fourth inning. Rider would storm back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, featuring Emily Cottrell's three run homer. Lauren Davies also doubled home a run. The Griffs took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth inning with RBIs by Stephanie Pfentner, Katie Medina (pictured) and Tori Nappo. But the Broncs got those three runs back in the bottom of the same inning with RBIs by Samantha Judd, Ally Breeden and a wild pitch that scored Gina McCool. Rider was up 7-5 at that point. The Golden Griffins, however, would score the game's last four runs. In the sixth inning, Robin Kennery's RBI single, and Katie Medina's two RBI double gave Canisius the lead back for good. Alexis Roman singled home Michelle DelPrince, who had tripled, for the final run in the seventh and a 9-7 Canisius win. Katie Medina was 4 for 4 in the game, with three RBIs. Alexis Roman, Meghan Cuda, Robin Kennery and Michelle DelPrince each had three hits. Lauren Davies and Amanda Irving had two hits apiece for the Broncs. Canisius used three pitchers, with Jen Consaul earning the win. Canisius is 1-1 in the MAAC. The Broncs are now 2-2, and have complicated the race, much to their pleasure.