PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 15, 2012) – The Rutgers softball team picked up its eighth BIG EAST victory of the season, surpassing last season’s conference win total and moving to a .500 league record at 8-8, as the Scarlet Knights defeated Villanova 9-1 in six innings on Sunday afternoon at the RU Softball Complex. Senior outfielder Lindsey Curran (Monroe Township, N.J) and freshman outfielder Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) tallied three hits apiece as the Scarlet Knights totaled 14 hits on the afternoon.
Rutgers moves to 19-22 overall, while the Wildcats fall to a 27-17 mark and 1-10 in conference.
RU opened up a 2-0 advantage in the first inning as Curran led off with a single to the shortstop and was pushed over on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore designated player Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.). Senior third baseman Brittney Lindley (Cicero, N.Y.) singled through the left side of the infield to score Curran and advanced into scoring position on the cutoff throw to the plate. Howard extended the inning as she beat out an over thrown ball from the shortstop to pick up her first of three hits on the day. Lindley moved to third on the hit and came around to score on the over throw.
Villanova got one back in the top half of the inning, as starting pitcher Molly Manning helped herself out, coming around to score after getting hit by a pitch to reach base. Freshman outfielder Beth Smetana notched a double into right center to put Manning on second and a grounder to third from junior catcher Amanda Marquez allowed Manning to cross the plate, bringing VU within one at 2-1.
The Scarlet Knights broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning. Senior catcher Kylee Bishop (Tacoma, Wash.) started the inning with a triple up the right field line – her first of the season – and Curran followed with her fourth home run of the year. Despite two quick outs, RU was able to string together some hits and was helped by an error from the center fielder who overran a single from Howard to bring home junior second baseman Jennifer Harabedian (Flemington, N.J.) from second. Howard would come around to score on a single from junior shortstop Ashley Bragg (Middletown, Del.) – her second hit of the afternoon – for the 6-1 advantage.
Rutgers did further damage in the bottom of the sixth, opening the inning with three-straight singles to load the bases. Lindley singled into left field to drive in the first run. Harabedian drew a bases loaded walk and Howard’s RBI singled ended the game after six innings due to the eight-run rule, giving RU the 9-1 victory.
Freshman pitcher Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) picked up the win (14-8), allowing one earned run on four hits. Manning (11-6) falls after 4.2 innings, getting knocked out in the midst of the fourth inning rally by the Scarlet Knights. Manning allowed four earned runs on eight hits. Caitlyn Delahaba came in relief, throwing 0.2 innings and allowing three earned runs.
The Scarlet Knights take a break from conference action on Tuesday, April 17 when they travel to Stony Brook. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
Follow Rutgers Athletics on Facebook (www.facebook.com/RutgersAthletics) and Twitter (@RUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates. Fans can receive timely information, including special offers and giveaways throughout the year on both social media outlets along with www.ScarletKnights.com.