EASTON, Pa. (May 1, 2013) – Back-to-back shutouts by sophomore Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) and senior Abbey Houston (New Egypt, N.J.) coupled with a 21-hit day allowed the Rutgers softball team to sweep Lafayette Wednesday afternoon at the Lafayette Softball Field. RU took the first game, 8-0, in five innings before taking a 7-0 win in Game Two.
With the pair of shutout victories, RU (29-24, 7-12) moved into fourth place all-time on the program’s single season win list. The Scarlet Knights are one win away from tying for second all-time with 30 wins, and would be only the fourth Rutgers team in 38 years to reach that plateau.
Sophomore Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.), junior Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) and senior Jennifer Harabedian (Flemington, N.J.) spearheaded the RU offense in the two contests, combining to go 12-23 with 10 RBIs, five doubles and four runs scored.
The Scarlet Knights picked up where they left off in Game Two of the doubleheader, compiling nine hits and seven runs en route to a 7-0 victory. Houston improved to 3-5 with the shutout outing, going 7.0 innings and allowing three hits and three walks. She also struck out three in the win.
Three Leopard errors in the top of the seventh led to another big inning for the Scarlet Knights, who notched just two hits in a four-run inning. Senior Kaci Madden (Saratoga, N.Y.) reached on an error to begin the inning, before two more defensive miscues allowed four runs to cross the plate and give RU a 7-0 lead.
RU put together five hits and three runs in fourth inning and take a 3-0 lead. Freshmen Melanie Slowinski (Severn, Md.) and Jordan Whitley (Clayton, Del.) each recorded RBI hits in the inning, while Harabedian grounded out to score another run and record her first of two RBIs on the day.
The Scarlet Knights got on the board early in Game One, as an RBI single by Durando, who went 3-3 with two doubles, gave RU a 1-0 lead. A two-RBI double an inning later helped push the lead to 5-0, before RU’s bats came alive again in the fifth inning put RU three outs away from victory.
Landrith stepped into the circle and retired three out of the next four batters, securing her second win in as many days to improve to 16-14 on the year. She went 5.0 innings and allowed three hits and two walks while striking out one. The lefty has not allowed an earned run in her last eight innings of action.
Rutgers closes out its regular season this weekend at the RU Softball Complex against BIG EAST rival Pittsburgh. The Scarlet Knights currently hold the eighth and final qualifying spot for the BIG EAST Championships, set for May 9-11 in Tampa, Fla. The Panthers and in-state rival Seton Hall sit behind RU with six conference victories, as each look to make up ground in the final weekend of conference play.
The series begins with a Saturday doubleheader beginning at noon before closing out on Sunday, May 5 at noon. Pittsburgh owns a 17-12 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools.
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