PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 18, 2014) – An 11-run fourth inning against Memphis in the second game of a doubleheader Friday allowed the Rutgers softball team to cruise to a 14-2 win in five innings. The victory completed a day’s sweep at the RU Softball Complex for the Scarlet Knights, who walked off against Memphis in the series opener, 3-1, in eight innings courtesy of a two-run home run by junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.).
The sweep gives RU its first American Athletic Conference series win of the season after taking one of three games in series against Louisville (March 22-23), UCF (April 5-6) and Temple (April 12-13).
In the second contest, Rutgers (21-15, 5-6 American) took advantage of three Tiger errors and tallied seven hits in the fourth inning, closing the frame with a three-run double by junior Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) to make it a 14-12 contest.
Seniors Emma Woo (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) also recorded RBI hits in the big RU inning. Overall, the Scarlet Knights finished the contest with 12 hits.
Freshman right-hander Shayla Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.) shut the door on Memphis (19-26, 3-10 American) in the top of the fifth to seal the win, as the game ended in a thrilling, line-drive 5-3 double play. UM’s Wheeler Hilll hit a rocket at sophomore Jordan Whitley (Clayton, Del.), who then fired the ball to senior Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) at first base to double-up the runner and end the game.
Sweeney (6-8) went 5.0 innings and allowed four hits, two runs and a walk while striking out three. She picked up her first win since April 3 at Villanova, against which the rookie tossed a career-high 10.0 shutout innings.
Bates and Howard were remarkable from the plate on the afternoon, each finishing the day with five RBIs. Howard went 5-for-8 (.625) with two home runs and four runs scored, while Bates went 2-for-5 (.400) with a double and a home run.
Howard’s first home run of the day gave the Scarlet Knights a 3-1 win, as the right field bomb in the bottom of the eighth inning improved RU’s extra-inning record to 3-0 this season.
The game was deadlocked at a 0-0 score until the sixth inning, when Memphis got on the board with an RBI-single from Hill. Bates wasted no time in responding for RU, taking Ellen Roberts deep to left field as the second batter of the inning to make it 1-1.
Junior left-hander Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) tossed a gem for the Scarlet Knights, going 8.0 innings for her 13th win and 17th complete game of the year. She struck out 13 batters – one shy of tying her career-high – and allowed just four hits, holding the Tigers hitless until the sixth inning.
Ellen Roberts (9-15) and Christian Novak (9-8) took the losses in Games One and Two, respectively, for Memphis.
The Scarlet Knights and Tigers close out the three-game set tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the RU Softball Complex. The game will serve as a joint tailgate with the Rutgers baseball team as it faces Cincinnati at 1 p.m. at Bainton Field.
The tailgate begins at 12:30 pm. and will offer the first 100 fans in attendance from baseball and the first 100 fans in attendance from softball the choice of Thomas Sweet Ice Cream or a Chick Fil A lunch. The first 250 Rutgers softball fans to arrive at the RU Softball Complex on Saturday will receive a Rutgers Softball headband.
- The Scarlet Knights improved to 3-0 in extra-inning affairs with their walk-off win in the series opener. It was the team’s second time walking off this season.
- Rutgers recorded double-digit hits (12) and runs (14) for the 12th and seventh time this season.
- The Scarlet Knights have hit at least one home run in three of the last four games, twice recording at least two.
- RU’s 13 RBIs in the second game are a season high.
- Howard hit two home runs Friday to bump her team-leading season total to eight. The eight long balls are the most for a Rutgers player since former standout Brittney Lindley hit 13 in 2011 to reset the school’s single-season record. The eight homers are tied with three others for the third-highest total in the last 10 seasons.
- Landrith made her 99th appearance as a Scarlet Knight in the first game against Memphis. She is two wins shy of 50 for her career, which would make her just the third pitcher in school history to reach that mark.
- Landrtih struck out 13 Tiger hitters, one shy of tying her career-high of 14 set against Quinnipiac on March 16. She struck out at least 10 batters for the sixth time this year.
- With a combined two hits and five RBIs Friday, Bates tied her 47 hits and 35 RBIs recorded last season in 20 fewer games. She leads RU with a .420 batting average.
- Howard bumped her hitting average to .395 with her successful day at the plate.
- Bates is one double away (14) from tying Adele Calimer (1989) for the third-most in a single-season in RU history.
- Williams went 4-for-8 from the plate, recording three bunt singles on the afternoon.
- Woo and sophomore Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.) also had stellar days at the plate. Woo went 2-for-2 with two runs and an RBI in the second game, while Huang went a combined 4-for-6 with a run and two RBIs on the day.
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