SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIF. (March, 9, 2013) – The Rutgers softball team (7-7) came up just short against Nevada in its second game of a Saturday doubleheader, losing, 2-1, in eight innings in day two of the Mustang Classic. It was the first extra inning action of the season for the Scarlet Knights (7-7), who split the day by earning an 8-0 victory over Northern Illinois in six innings in their morning contest at Bob Janssen Field.
Senior pitcher Abbey Houston (New Egypt, N.J.) took the loss against the Wolfpack, throwing for 1.1 innings and allowing two hits and no earned runs. The righthander entered with the game tied in the seventh inning, getting out of a bases loaded jam before Nevada crossed a run on a basehit to earn the 2-1 victory in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Freshman pitcher Dresden Maddox (Kennesaw, Ga.) went 6.0 innings in a no-decision, walking six and allowing five hits and one earned run.
The international tiebreaker rule was applied as the teams entered the eighth inning, placing senior shortstop Ashley Bragg (Wilmington, Del.) on second base with junior outfielder Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) leading off from the plate.
Durando bunted Bragg over to third base for the inning’s first out, but Nevada’s Karlyn Jones struck out the following two batters to get the Wolfpack out of the inning.
Houston entered the game in the seventh inning, and got into a bases loaded jam with one out. But a pair of solid defensive plays by sophomore Ashley Alden (Ivyland, Pa.) and Bragg got RU out of the jam and into extra innings.
The Wolfpack knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Nevada’s Jasmine Jenkins took Maddox’s first offering deep to centerfield for a solo shot. It was the third homer Maddox allowed this season, and marked only the sixth earned run she allowed.
Nevada threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning after a hit and subsequent throwing error by gave the Wolfpack runners on the corners. Maddox then threw a wild pitch to put the two runners in scoring position, but got Lauren Lastrapes swinging to escape the inning.
The Scarlet Knights broke through in the top of the fifth inning, as back-to-back doubles by freshman Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.) and Bragg gave RU a 1-0 lead. Huang floated one down the left field line and hustled all the way through to beat the throw at second, before Bragg took Karlyn Jones’ first offering and blasted it to left centerfield, just out of the reach of a diving Sara Parsons.
RU tied its third highest run total of the season in its first contest against Northern Illinois, earning an 8-0 victory in six innings.
Sophomore Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) recorded her sixth complete game of the season, going 6.0 innings and fanning five. She improved to 5-4 with the victory and lowered her ERA to 1.34 with the scoreless outing.
Bragg led RU from the plate in the morning contest, going 1-2 and tying a career-high three RBIs. Five different Scarlet Knights recorded RBIs in the win, as RU recorded seven walks.
The Scarlet Knights notched four runs in the sixth inning, recording two hits and hitting into three errors to take an 8-0 lead. The inning began with Durando reaching on an error, and ended with a Durando groundout four runs later.
Sophomore outfielder Chandler Howard (Middletown, Del.), Bragg and Alden and freshman Jordan Whitley (Clayton, Del.) all earned RBIs in the inning.
RU scored first against the opposition for its fifth straight contest, taking advantage of three walks in the top half of the second to take a 2-0 lead. Bragg sent a liner to right center to bring Alden home, before a sac-fly by Durando plated Huang.
The Scarlet Knights close out the Mustang Classic tomorrow, when they take on Nevada at 9 a.m. PST at Bob Janssen Field.
- With the loss to Nevada, Rutgers dropped to 5-2 when this season when leading after five innings.
- Landrith improved to 5-4 on the season with a victory against the Huskies, seeing action for her third consecutive game. She dropped her ERA to 1.34 on the season.
- The starts for Huang and Whitley in both of RU’s Saturday contests marked their second and third starts each of the season. Huang earned her first start defensively at second base against NIU before returning to start against Nevada, while Whitley served in the DP slot in both contests. She earned her first start as the DP against the Huskies.
- The Scarlet Knights scored first for the fifth and sixth straight games against the Huskies and Wolfpack. RU improved to 6-4 this season when crossing the first run.
- Alden recorded her eighth RBI of the season against the Wolfpack. She is third on the team with eight on the year.
- RU is undefeated when scoring between six and nine runs this season after blanking NIU, 8-0.
- Bragg tied her career high in RBIs with three against NIU. She also recorded her fifth double of the season and leads RU in the category.
- The Scarlet Knights drew more than five walks (seven) for the second time this season.
- Five or more players recorded RBI’s in the victory, marking the fourth time this season RU achieved that feat. RU is 4-0 in those games.
- RU took on Northern Illinois for only the second time in school history, evening the series at 1-1 with the victory.
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