ORLANDO, Fla. (April 5, 2014) – The Rutgers softball team dropped its series-opening doubleheader to American Athletic Conference opponent UCF Saturday afternoon at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights topped RU, 4-0, in the first game and used a five-run fourth inning en route to an 8-0 win in six innings in Game Two.
The pair of losses ended Rutgers’ (16-12, 1-5 American) four-game winning streak.
In Game Two and with UCF (27-11, 5-0 American) up 6-0, the Knights tacked on the extra two runs they needed in the bottom of the sixth inning to seal the 8-0 win. UCF closed the game with a Lena Springer double to left center. The win gave the Knights their third in-a-row and kept them atop the American Athletic Conference standings.
Freshman right-hander Shalya Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.) took the loss, going 3.1 innings. She allowed six hits, four runs and four walks.
A five-run fourth inning by UCF put the game out of reach, as two extra base hits highlighted the inning for the Knights. UCF’s Kahley Novak tripled to right center to score two runs and later scored on a passed ball. Two batters later, Farrah Sullivan hit a towering two-run home run to left field to make it a 6-0 game.
RU trailed just 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning and had a bases loaded opportunity with one out. However, a 1-2-3 double play groundout halted the Scarlet Knights' momentum and led to a big bottom half of the inning for UCF.
Sophomore Dresden Maddox (Kennesaw, Ga.) took over for Sweeney midway through the inning before being replaced by freshman right-hander Aubrie Levine (Yorba Linda, Calif.) two batters later.
UCF used 10 hits and a stingy pitching effort from Shelby Turner to blank Rutgers, 4-0, in the opening game of the series. Turner went the distance and allowed just two hits while striking out nine.
The UCF offense, meanwhile, crossed a run in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings to earn the win.
Junior left-hander Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) took the loss to move her to 9-5 on the year. She went 6.0 innings and allowed 10 hits, four runs and three earned. She struck out six.
Rutgers and UCF close the series out on Sunday, April 6 at 11 a.m.
- Saturday’s games with UCF marked the first-ever meetings between the two schools.
- Junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) had her hitting streak of 13 games snapped by UCF’s Shelby Turner in the series-opener.
- Sophomore Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.) extended her hitting streak to six games and was the only Scarlet Knight to hit safely in both contests Saturday.
- In the first game, UCF became the first team since Hofstra on March 27 to record double-digit hits (10) against RU.
- Rutgers was shutout by an opponent for the second and third time this season. The team’s other shutout loss came against Portland State (2-0) on March 2.
- The Scarlet Knights, who entered the day hitting .299 as a team, were shutout in back-to-back conference games for the first time since April 6, 2012 at Louisville.
- UCF won, 8-0, in six innings in the second game. It was just the third game ended early by an opponent this season.
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