LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 6, 2012) – Rutgers softball dropped a pair of games to No. 12/13 Louisville in Friday’s BIG EAST conference doubleheader matchup at Ulmer Stadium. The Scarlet Knights held UofL scoreless through six innings in game one, but allowed the walk-off double for a 1-0 loss and followed by falling 2-0 in game two.
The RU (16-19, 5-5 BIG EAST) pitching staff held the nationally-ranked Cardinals (32-2, 6-2 BIG EAST) to a combined nine hits, but Rutgers’ bats struggled with the support, recording two hits on the day.
Senior Brittney Lindley (Cicero, N.Y.) broke up the hitless game in the top of the fourth inning of game one, tallying a hit just out of the reach of a diving second baseman, Katie Keller. Lindley moved into scoring position with a stolen base – her 11th of the season. Freshman Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) followed with a walk, reaching base for the eighth-straight game, to put runners on first and second. However, RU was unable to bring either home, keeping the game scoreless.
Landrith’s no-hitter was broken up on a double into left center field by redshirt sophomore Jordan Trimble. Freshman third baseman Kayla Soles followed with a sacrifice bunt, moving Trimble over to third with one out. Landrith escaped, forcing the next two batters to groundout to second and fly out to center to remain locked at zero.
With the game still scoreless in the bottom of the seventh and one out, Trimble singled up the middle of the infield and Soles scored her from first with the walk-off double – only the fourth Cardinals hit in the contest.
Sophomore pitcher Caralisa Connell started and went four innings, allowing one hit and one walk, while fanning three batters. Relief pitcher Chelsea Leonard (7-0) remained unbeaten, throwing three hitless innings. Landrith (11-6) recorded the loss, allowing the one earned run on four hits and three strikeouts.
In game two, Louisville got on the board, scoring in the bottom of the first. Leadoff batter Jennifer Esteban singled up the middle and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Senior Kristin Austin singled to short center, allowing Esteban to round third and come home for the 1-0 advantage.
Rutgers looked to even the score in the third, as freshmen Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) and Ashley Alden (Ivyland, Pa.) drew back-to-back walks and advanced on a ground out by senior Lindsey Curran (Monroe Township, N.J.), putting runners on second and third with two outs. Starting pitcher Tori Collins was able to get out of the inning, getting designated player Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) to pop out to the shortstop.
The Cardinals added another run in the bottom of the fourth, as Soles tallied a one-out single and was brought home on a double into the gap in left center field by freshman Whitney Arion, extending the lead to 2-0.
The Scarlet Knights broke up the no-hitter in the top of the seventh, as Howard doubled to right center – her third double of the season, but RU could not find a way to bring a runner across the dish.
Collins earned the one-hit victory for her 14th win of the season (14-2), while Rutgers’ Abbey Houston (New Egypt, N.J.) got the loss, surrendering two runs on six hits.
The series with the Cardinals concludes on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Ulmer Stadium.
With one walk on the afternoon, Brittney Lindley moved into a tie for first all-time at RU in career walks with 87. She is tied with Jenny Card (2002-05).
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