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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rider Hangs Tough; Splits With Iona

Ali Meagher is pitching more than figured her freshman season...a lot more!

Rider 10
Iona 6

Iona 10
Rider 5 (8)

The Rider Broncs and Iona Gaels split a wild doubleheader Sunday in Lawrenceville, NJ.

The Rider Broncs began the season with three freshmen pitchers for their staff. They are now down to one. Emily Cottrell is their emergency pitcher, but barring that, Ali Meagher will pitch every inning. After going two games on Saturday, Ali beat Iona today. She very nearly beat them twice! Rider coach Carroll said,“This team has been dealt things that in my 28 years of coaching, I have not seen”. And yet, the Broncs admirably played their guts out today! They shocked the Gaels in game one by storming to a 4-0 first inning lead. It started when freshman Dana Sensi smashed a three run homer over the center field fence. A Mary Rossi sacrifice fly RBI then gave the Broncs the quick four run lead. Iona got all those runs back with a five hit attack in the top of the fourth inning. Red hot Sarah Schutz began the rally with a two run blast over the right field fence. RBI singles by Sydney Dimond and Katie Jansson then tied the game at 4-4. But the Broncs went back in front for good in the bottom of the same inning. A bases loaded single by Ally Breeden brought home one run, and the resultant error scored two more to give Rider a 7-4 lead. Amanda Irving's two RBI double in the fifth inning increased the Broncs' lead to 9-4. Kim Valdes homered in the sixth inning making the score 10-4. Iona added two runs in the seventh, but could get no closer than the 10-6 final. Amanda Irving was 3 for 4; Kehli Washington 2 for 2 with three runs scored. For Iona, Sarah Schutz was 3 for 4. Carly Argyle relieved Beth Kann back in the first inning, and took the loss.

It was the Iona Gaels who jumped in front in game two. A two RBI single by Allie Hand put them in the lead in the third inning. Beth Kann and Allie Hand RBIs gave them a 4-0 lead after five innings. Iona starter Carly Argyle was cruising along at this point, but she too had done a lot of pitching on this day, with her early relief appearance in game one. The Broncs finally got to her in the bottom of the sixth. First Dana Sensi singled home a run, then Kim Valdes singled home two, and suddenly it was a 4-3 game. In the top of the seventh inning, Carly Argyle doubled, and eventually scored on a two out error. Turned out to be a huge run, because in the bottom of the seventh, Lauren Davies hit a dramatic two run homer for Rider to send the Broncs' faithful to hysteria and the game to extras. But in the top of the eighth, Iona scored five runs, three of them unearned. Allie Hand would produce her fourth RBI of the game in this inning, and Sydney Dimon doubled home two runs, giving the Gaels a 10-5 win. Jodi Petersen, Beth Kann, Bri Schauer, Carly Argyle and Katie Jansson all had two hits for the Gaels. Rider had 18 hits in this game - Kim Valdes and Kehli Washington both had three. Carly Argyle got the win; Ali Meagher took the loss. Iona is now 4-4 in the MAAC; Rider 3-5. It's been a season of growing pains for the freshmen pitching staff of Rider, as expected, But the way things are playing out, they may mature into an excellent force down the road. And they have a nice prospect coming on board next season.

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