BOCA RATON, FL - Rutgers (1-1) began the season with an 8-0 win over LIU and a 2-1 extra-inning loss to No. 9 Michigan on day one of the FAU Tournament in Boca Raton, FL, on Feb. 20.
Senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) and sophomore Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) combined to pitch a five-hit shutout and freshman Jessica Crosby (Sedro-Wooley, WA) began her collegiate career by going 2-for-2 with a double, four RBI and a run scored in the 8-0 win over the Blackbirds. Cosentino worked out of early trouble, scattering five hits over five innings, while Gillman worked a scoreless sixth and struck out one.
The Scarlet Knights posted their first run when junior Crystal Vargas (Jersey City, NJ) scored from second on an LIU throwing error in the second, and RU went on to score two more runs in the inning. After Rutgers scored a run the third, Crosby broke the game open with a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth that scored senior Nichole Cruz (Bremerton, WA), senior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) and junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) to make the score 7-0. Childress finished the game 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored, and senior Brittney Neer (Tallahassee, FL) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and two stolen bases.
The Scarlet Knights lost a pitcher’s duel to the ninth-ranked Wolverines in extra innings, 2-1. Michigan took the lead for good when Michelle Teschler scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Meghan Doe in the top of the eighth inning. Senior Leah Black (Rocky River, OH), pitching in her first game since 2002, allowed only one earned run over eight innings while striking out five. Michigan took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Childress tied the game 1-1 with a solo home run to deep center field in the bottom of the first to account for Rutgers only score of the game.
RU will return to the field on Saturday, Feb. 21, when it faces Eastern Michigan at 10:00 a.m. The Scarlet Knights will finish up the day at 7:00 p.m. when they play host Florida Atlantic.