PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 9, 2014) – In a game that saw a combined five home runs and 20 hits by the Rutgers and Seton Hall softball teams, the Scarlet Knights held off the visiting Pirates in the seventh inning for a 6-5 win Wednesday afternoon at the RU Softball Complex.
Entering the final frame up, 6-2, Rutgers (18-12, 2-4 American) surrendered a three-run homer to Seton Hall’s Maria Deluca with two outs to make it a 6-5 contest. The very next Seton Hall batter, Danielle Destaso, struck out swinging for what would have been the game’s final out, however, Destaso hustled to first base following the strikeout. After an initial call of out, the umpires met and called Destaso safe at first base, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs.
Junior left-hander Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) (11-5) collected herself to prevent the Pirates’ comeback, forcing a dribbler back to the circle to give the lefty the final groundout of the game. Landrith went 7.0 innings and allowed eight hits, five runs, all earned, and a walk. The junior also struck out four batters in her 14th complete game of the season.
A two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning by freshman Danielle Demarco (Brookfield, Conn.), who set a new career-high with three RBIs, gave RU a 6-2 edge heading into the final stretch of the contest. Three consecutive singles by senior Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.), sophomore Melanie Slowinski (Severn, Md.) and freshman Carly Todd (Deptford, N.J.) put runners on for Demarco, who did the rest with a liner into the left center fielder gap.
Rutgers had a two-run rally cut short by an interference call in the third inning, but not before Todd singled to bring home Durando and make it 4-1. Sophomore Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.) doubled to right center to start the frame, later scoring on a passed ball for the inning’s first run.
The first two innings of the game saw two Scarlet Knights homer, as junior Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) tied the contest at one in the first inning with a deep blast to left field – her fifth of the season. In the following inning, Demarco hit her own shot to left field to give Rutgers the lead for good.
All five of Seton Hall’s runs were scored courtesy of the long ball. The Pirates’ Destaso hit a solo shot in the first inning to give SHU a 1-0 edge before an Alex Rabbetts solo homer made it a 4-2 game in the top of the fifth. Deluca hit the third Seton Hall home run of the game – a three-run shot – in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough to get the Pirates back into the game.
Destaso (3-5) took the loss, going 2.2 innings and allowing five hits, four earned runs and two walks.
Rutgers is back in action on Thursday, April 10 at Princeton. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Class of 1895 Field.
- With the win, Rutgers improved to 45-21 all-time against Seton Hall. The Scarlet Knights have won the last seven meetings with the Pirates.
- Landrith struck out four Seton Hall batters to put her one K shy of tying Kelly Gallagher (1985-88) for second on the all-time RU strikeout list. The lefty has 432 strikeouts for her career.
- Durando is three walks shy of tying Mikelyn Messina (2010) for the third-most walks (28) in a single-season in school history.
- Bates hit her fifth home run of the season to tie for the team lead. She now has 29 RBIs in 30 games, six shy of her total from all of 2013.
- Rutgers hit two home runs in the same game for the fifth time this season.
- It was the Scarlet Knights’ ninth game with 10 or more hits in 2014.
- Demarco’s three RBIs are a new career-high.
- Durando reached base safely in all four of her at-bats, recording two singles and two walks.
- Todd (three), Demarco (two), Slowinski (eight), Huang (six) and Durando (four) all recorded multi-hit games.
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