QUEENS, N.Y. (April 27, 2013) – The Rutgers softball team split its series-opening doubleheader with St. John’s Saturday afternoon at Red Storm Field, winning, 5-1, in the second game after dropping the opener, 2-0 in nine innings. Both games were broadcast live on ESPN3.
RU snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory, recording its first game with double-digit hits (10) since an April 18 win against Iona.
With 12 strikeouts combined on the afternoon, Landrith now owns 164 this season, good for second all-time in RU history. Leah Black set the single season strikeout record with in 2001, ringing up 191 batters.
Senior Jennifer Harabedian (Flemington, N.J.) led RU with a 4-7 day from the plate. Senior Kaci Madden (Saratoga, N.Y.) led the Scarlet Knights with two RBIs.
RU’s bats came alive in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday against St. John’s, notching 10 hits and tacking on three runs in the seventh to take a 5-1 victory.
Freshman Dresden Maddox (Kennesaw, Ga.) turned in a solid performance in her 15th start of the season, going 5.1 innings while allowing just four hits and one earned run. Sophomore Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) entered with a runner on second and one out in the top of the sixth and pitched the final 1.2 innings without surrendering a hit. She struck out one to bump her afternoon total to 12, earning her third save of the season.
The Scarlet Knights tacked on three insurance runs in the top half of the seventh to extend their lead to 5-1 entering the final inning of play. Freshman Elizabeth Adams (Crystal Lake, Ill.) ripped a double down the left field line to plate classmate Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.), before senior Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) doubled off the left field wall to make it 4-1.
Sophomore Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) joined in on the hit parade, bringing Williams home and give RU a 5-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh.
Landrith entered the contest in the bottom of the sixth inning with one out and a runner on second. After walking SJU’s Dominique Marcelino to make it a first and second situation, the lefty retired the next two batters to preserve RU’s 2-1 lead.
St. John’s scored its only run of the contest in the bottom of third inning, using a hit to cut RU’s lead in half to 2-1.
RU scored its first runs of the afternoon in the second inning of Game Two at Red Storm Field, as a double to right center by Madden plated a pair of runs to give the Scarlet Knights a 2-0 lead.
Game one featured a pitching duel between some of the best arms in the BIG EAST, as Landrith faced off with the Red Storm’s Tori Free, who entered the day one spot ahead of the southpaw (152) at No. 7 in batters struck out (158) this season.
Free took the win, going 9.0 innings without surrendering a run. She struck out eight to bump her season total to 166.
Landrith dropped to 14-13 with the loss, allowing just seven hits and two earned runs in the 8.0-inning outing. She tied her career-high with 11 strikeouts.
RU faced its best scoring opportunity of the contest in the top of the ninth inning, as the squad advanced runners to second and third with one out after a sacrifice bunt by Madden. Free responded by retiring the next two batters to once again escape a jam, allowing her offense to come up and end the game in nine innings.
The Scarlet Knights mobilized their first big rally of the ballgame with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, as freshman Melanie Slowinski (Severn, Md.) battled against an 0-2 count to blast a double into the right center field gap. A hit-by-pitch and walk later gave RU a bases loaded opportunity with the game still scoreless.
But St. John’s Tori Free buckled down in the tough situation, striking out Williams to get out of the jam.
It was the sixth time this season an opposing team has held RU scoreless. The Scarlet Knights also dropped to 1-4 in extra innings this season.
RU and St. John’s close out the series tomorrow at noon. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Fans can follow live by clicking the following link: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/868630/rutgers-vs-st-johns
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