It was a bright and sunny day on the Gartland Athletic Field for a Senior Day doubleheader as the Marist Red Foxes faced off against the Rider Broncs. This doubleheader was originally scheduled for Sunday, but rain delayed the matchup until Monday afternoon.
This marked the final two regular-season home games for the Red Foxes. In the first game of the day, Marist defeated Rider 7-3. Senior Megan Beiermeister started off on the mound. She pitched for 3 ⅔ innings, giving up two runs.
In the bottom of the third, Marist got things going with five consecutive hits with two outs. Senior Brandi Coon and redshirt junior Claire Oberdorf both had RBI singles. This put the Red Foxes up 3-0.
After Rider scored two runs in the top of the fourth, senior Kallen Leeseberg came in for relief in order to maintain the Red Foxes’ lead. And she did. Leeseberg got a big strikeout, preventing Rider from scoring with bases loaded. Sophomore Hunter Hand also contributed with a huge throw to get a crucial out at home.
Freshman Kaley Coltrain stepped up in the bottom of the fifth by delivering a drive to left center for a two-run homer. Marist made a statement on their home turf by taking the first game 7-3.
After the infield was raked, the teams quickly assembled to head into the second game. During the break, the Red Foxes were told some good news.
“In between games coach told us that we clinched our spot in the MAAC tournament,” Oberdorf stated. “After clinching the first win, we knew we could control our own destiny. Game two we were ready to take it and jump on them early.”
Senior Brooke Peterson took the mound for the second game, looking to make her mark on her senior day. She started out strong with two strikeouts and no runs allowed in the top of the first.
At the top of the second, Peterson surrendered a home run, giving Rider a 1-0 lead. Marist continued to have a scoring lull. In the bottom of the second, two Red Foxes were on base, but they could not get the right hit to bring in some runs. Rider had a hit to right field for a double in the top of the third. Immediately after, a line drive was sent to center field and knocked in a run. This gave the Broncs a 2-0 lead.
The Marist bats came alive in the bottom of the third, with a double by junior Ali Milam, that knocked in a run to get the Red Foxes on the board. Soon after, with two outs, Oberdorf hit a double to center field, sending in two more runs. The Marist mojo was back, as the Red Foxes took a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the fourth, freshman Calista Phippen came in to keep the Marist lead alive. She immediately took care of the first batter with a strikeout. It was a 1-2-3 inning and Phippen was changing the pace of the game. Milam then knocked in a security run for the Red Foxes in the bottom of the fourth.
However, the Broncs answered back with solo-homer in the top of the fifth. Rider was looking to tie the score, however, Phippen was bringing the heat on the mound. The Red Foxes put a quick end to the top of the fifth with two fly outs and a strikeout by Phippen.
Oberdorf slammed one out of the park, and the Red Foxes greeted her at home plate in celebration. This extended the Marist lead to 5-3 at the end of the fifth inning.
The Broncs came fighting back in the top of the seventh with a home run by junior Shelby Miller, her second of the day. This brought the score to 5-4. Rider was hoping to tie it up in their last at-bat. However, Phippen took away any hope they had with a strikeout and a fly out to end the game. Phippen ended the day with four strikeouts. The Red Foxes took the second game of the day, 5-4.
“I am pleased because we battled all day,” said Marist Head Coach Joe Ausanio. “We scored runs when we needed to and we got some big clutch hits when we needed to. That’s the key.”
“Today the pitchers battled and they threw their games,” said Oberdorf, who ended the day with a home run and three RBIs. “The defense was able to step up and make great plays today.”
Looking towards the MAAC tournament, Ausanio recognizes what needs to be improved on in order to be successful in the coming weeks. “We have to work on situational hitting. We have to make sure that when we have runners in scoring position, we get them in.”
The Red Foxes look to pull out two more wins for their next doubleheader against Lafayette College on Wednesday afternoon.
Edited by David Salamone