Rider takes two of three from Canisius

by Kadie DiGiuseppe

Coming off a three-game losing streak, Rider softball picked up some wins on March 29, falling short again in a match against Canisius the next day and bringing its record to 9-18. 

‘We have what it takes to win’

The Broncs were swinging but couldn’t put a run together until the offense exploded in the fourth inning. 

Starting senior pitcher Anna-Marie Groskritz held the Golden Griffins to no runs and no hits at the end of the fourth inning. 

Freshman infielder Kendall Reda-Fehsal started the inning off with her first home run of her Bronc career to right field. 

Sophomore outfielder Maddie Luedtke doubled to right center and junior infielder Olivia Burroughs followed with another double, which scored Luedtke. 

After freshman outfielder Shelby Dyer’s sacrifice bunt and senior infielder Jessie Niegocki’s double drove in two more runs, the Broncs were up 4-0 going into the fifth inning. 

However, the Broncs let up a solo home run, then went down on strikeouts and groundouts during the last two innings, ending their first game with a 4-1 victory over Canisius. 

Groskritz pitched a full game with six strikeouts and only allowed three hits. 

During the second game of the day, both teams came out swinging, tying the score at two apiece to end the second inning after Luedtke’s two-run home run that also scored Reda-Fehsal for Rider. 

Canisius hit a home run in the third inning, but sophomore utility player Jadeyn Merrill drove in Niegocki for the third run for Rider, tying the score back up 3-3. 

The fourth and fifth innings remained stagnant between the two teams, but Rider came up big in crunch time and got its bats swinging. 

The Broncs allowed one more run to score for the Golden Griffins in the sixth inning but quickly answered. 

Freshman catcher Abby Cruz started the rally for the Broncs when her single to right field scored Luedtke. 

Senior outfielder Laneya Wright’s and freshman outfielder Tristen Wren’s singles drove in freshman infielder Kiersten Buchanan as well as freshman infielder Olivia Smith for two more runs. 

Wright and Niegocki stayed aggressive on the bases and scored the last two runs for Rider, solidifying the 8-4 win. 

Pitchers junior Kathryn Schmierer, sophomore Fallyn Stoeckel and Niegocki combined for three strikeouts.  

“We came right out of the gate hype and ready to attack, and that attack stayed throughout all seven innings of both games. The energy never died,” said Niegocki.

Uphill battle

With its last game of the series against Canisius, Rider found itself in an early deficit after a Golden Griffin three-run home run during the first inning. 

Merril drove in Niegocki for the Broncs’ first run of the game, but the Broncs were still down 3-1 to end the first inning. 

Rider was knocking on the door in the bottom of the third after Niegocki scored another run off of Reda-Fehsal’s RBI single to left center, bringing the game to a close 3-2. 

The Broncs let up another home run in the fifth inning that scored two more runs for Canisius. 

While trailing 5-2 in the seventh inning, Rider knew it had to put something together for a possible comeback win. The last inning ended with Rider putting one more run on the board after Buchanan’s single up the middle scored Smith, ending the game 5-3 in favor of Canisius. 

Groskritz and Stoeckel combined for six strikeouts during the last game. 

The Broncs will stay in conference play next week when they travel to Manhattan College on April 6 and 7 then to Iona on April 9. 

Related Articles

Back to top button