Softball: Norwich splits GNAC DH with Rivier

Madison Miller softball action spring break trip
Chandler Mosher '21

NASHUA, N.H. - The Norwich University softball team split it a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with Rivier University on Saturday afternoon.

Norwich (13-13, 7-7 GNAC) dominated Game 1, pounding out 15 hits en route to a 17-2 victory in five innings. However, Rivier (10-26, 4-12) jumped out to a 6-0 lead in Game 2 and then held on for the 10-6 victory to salvage the split. 

Senior designated player Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.) went 7-for-8 at the plate with five runs scored and three RBIs, including her team-leading fourth home run of the season to lead the Cadets' offense on the day. Rinaldo brought her career RBI total to 92, which ties Cody Collins '08 for fifth on the all-time list. 

Sophomore Brittany Vandergroef (Lodi, N.J.) and junior Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) each hit big flys as well with Vandergroef's being a grand slam. 

Junior shortstop Makenna Wade (Saint Johns, Fla.) continued her recent surge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored in Game 1. 

Senior catcher Madison Miller (Patterson, Ga.) collected two hits to become the third different NU softball player to reach the 100-career-hit milestone this season. Junior outfielder Kaylee Blanchard (Worcester, Mass.) tied Vandergroef with four RBIs in the first game. 

Reid and Rinaldo led the offense again in Game 2, each going 3-for-4. However, the Cadets didn't hit as consistently up and down the lineup as they did in the opening game. 

Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) picked up the victory in Game 1, going five innings and striking out five while giving up one earned run. She improved to 10-6 on the season. 

Norwich takes on GNAC South-leader Simmons College on Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. on the NU Softball Field to close out the GNAC regular season.