PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 5, 2012) – The Rutgers softball team jumps back into BIG EAST play this weekend when it travels to Louisville, Ky., to take on No. 12/13 Louisville. The three-game series opens Friday, April 6 with a doubleheader scheduled for noon and concludes on Sunday, April 7 with a single game set for 11 a.m.
The Scarlet Knights (16-17, 5-3 BIG EAST) stepped out of league action on Tuesday when it hosted a doubleheader against Colonial Athletic Association member Hofstra. Despite tallying eight hits, Rutgers fell 8-2 in game one to the Pride – who drew nine walks and were helped by two RU errors – and were shut out in game two, 8-0. Freshman Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) shinned offensively, combing for four hits in six at bats on the afternoon.
Freshman Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) continues to lead the pitching staff with 11 wins on the season, six shutouts and a 2.85 ERA.
Senior Brittney Lindley (Cicero, N.Y.) is posting a team-best .382 batting average on the year, while sophomore Alex Durando (Oakland, N.J.) and freshman Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) are hovering around the .300 average, at .292 and .286, respectively.
RU has won five-straight conference games coming into the weekend, however, the Cardinals own a 7-3 series advantage over the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers split with UofL last season, as head coach Jay Nelson picked up his first victory over a ranked opponent since joining the RU staff, a 3-1 win against then-No. 25 Louisville. RU fell 6-4 in 11 innings in game two.
The Cardinals (30-2, 4-2 BIG EAST) have dropped two of the last four games, with a pair of losses coming against conference foe DePaul over the weekend. UofL recovered after dropping two out of three to the Blue Demons with a 2-1 victory against Kentucky on Wednesday night, to improve to 14-0 at their home stadium this season. Sophomore Taner Fowler tallied two hits in three plate appearances for two RBI, while sophomore pitcher Caralissa Connell held the Wildcats to two hits in six innings of work.
On the year, Kristin Austin has a team-best .408 batting average and entered the week first in the nation in triples per game (0.23). In the bullpen, Tori Collins and Connell have combined for 24 of the team’s wins and 162 strikeouts. The Cardinals pitching staff is holding opponents to a .178 batting average and have accumulated a 1.35 ERA – ranking 11th in the nation entering into the week.
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