PISCATAWAY, N.J. (Feb. 13, 2013) – The Rutgers Softball team opens its 2013 campaign this weekend in San Antonio, Texas, where the Scarlet Knights will compete against four schools at the University of Texas at San Antonio Classic. RU looks to come out of its opening weekend with a .500 or better record for the second straight season.
“We are ready to go and prepared for most anything opponents have to throw at us,” said head coach Jay Nelson. “After three and a half weeks of practicing in the RAC and the Bubble, we have a bit of Bubble/RAC fever and are ready to compete on a real field. This will be a nice test for us taking on variety of teams in this the second week of NCAA softball play.”
RU begins its season with a Friday doubleheader, starting at 9 a.m. against Boise State and continuing at 11:30 a.m. against Iowa State. The Scarlet Knights will compete in another doubleheader Saturday, when they face off against Missouri State at 2 p.m. followed by a meeting with UTSA at 4:30 p.m. The team closes its stint in the Lone Star State at 9 a.m. on Sunday with another battle against Boise State at Roadrunner Field.
Boise State, which finished last season with an RPI of 57, will be RU’s first test of the season. The Broncos dropped their most recent contests to No. 5 Oregon and No. 4 Arizona State in a doubleheader on the final day of the Kajikawa Classic.
BSU was outscored by a combined 19-1 in those games, compared to its positive scoring margin of 20-9 through its first three games of the season. The Broncos boast three hitters with a batting average of at least .300 through five games. Senior Holly Bourke leads the way with .429 batting average and four RBIs.
Iowa State is the only program entering the UTSA Classic with a winning record. The Cyclones are 4-1 through their first five games, and are outscoring opponents by 5.4 runs per game courtesy of a hot start to the season at the plate. Eight of the team’s 13 players who have gotten at least two at-bats are hitting .300 or better through five games.
Missouri State earned its first win of the season on the final day of action at the Georgia Tech-Kennesaw State Invitational after starting the year with a four-game losing streak. The Bears downed Butler, 5-2, to avoid a five-game skid, as sophomore Chelsea Jones allowed just two runs in seven innings of work.
Host school UTSA marks the fourth opponent RU will battle over the weekend. The Roadrunners dropped two of three games in a series with Lamar, as both of the team’s losses were decided by two runs or less. Sophomore Vivian Tijerina paces UTSA with a .625 batting average and two home runs, while junior Jolene Graham leads the squad from the circle with a 0.88 ERA.
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