PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 22, 2014) – Following its first American Athletic Conference series win of the season last weekend against Memphis, the Rutgers softball team continues its eight-game homestand with a Wednesday, April 22 contest against former conference rival St. John’s. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Rutgers Quick Hits
The Scarlet Knights swept the series-opening doubleheader against Memphis on Friday, April 18, taking the first game with a walk-off shot by junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) in the bottom of the eighth inning. RU trounced the Tigers in the second game, winning 14-2 in five innings at the RU Softball Complex.
Howard continued her dominant junior campaign at the plate, earning the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week Award. Howard went 6-for-12 in three games played, blasting two home runs and recording five RBIs. Her eight homers are tied for third in the league this season and tie for third among RU softball individuals in the last 10 years. Sophomore Stephanie Huang was named to the conference Honor Roll, going 6-for-10 with a double, two RBIs and two runs.
Junior center fielder Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) leads the American Athletic Conference with a .414 batting average and is second with a .690 slugging percentage, 14 doubles and 35 RBIs. Bates’ 0.38 doubles averaged per game is the 11th-best mark in the country (as of April 21). In 37 games this season, Bates has notched 48 hits, one more than she did in 56 contests in 2013. Her 35 RBIs this year also tie her mark set last season in 56 games. She owns a 10-game hitting streak entering Wednesday’s contest.
Junior Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) enters the week 13-6 on the season after going 1-1 for RU over the weekend against Memphis. Landrith made her 100th appearance as a Scarlet Knight on April 19 vs. the Tigers.
The Scarlet Knights’ .300 batting average, .426 slugging percentage and .370 on-base percentage are the second-best marks in the last 10 years. RU leads the American in batting average.
Scouting St. John’s
Former BIG EAST rival St. John’s (22-20, 7-7 BIG EAST) took two of three games from Seton Hall in conference action last time out from April 17-19 in Queens, N.Y. The Red Storm exploded for a 14-0 victory in the series opener, recording 11 hits and a pair of home runs. SJU took the series finale, 5-4, by turning a game-ending double play to close the win.
Senior Jackie Reed leads the Red Storm with a .409 batting average this season, while .397 hitter and junior Erin Burner paces the squad with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs. Her 11 homers are tied for second in the BIG EAST, while her 32 RBIs put her in third place overall.
Pacing St. John’s in the circle are sophomore Tori Free and junior Francesa Carrullo. Tori Free has been the Red Storm’s primary starter this season, starting 24 of the squad’s 42 games. She owns a 9-13 record and a 3.61 ERA in 108.2 innings pitched.
Carrullo has served as SJU’s most effective reliever with a 5-1 record and 3.38 ERA in 56.0 innings pitched.
The Scarlet Knights lead the all-time series, 30-26-1, but have lost five of the last six meetings against St. John’s.
Free shut RU down in the both of her starts against the Scarlet Knights last season. In the 2-0 win on April 27 she tossed 9.0 innings of shutout softball, struck out eight and allowed just five hits. She struck out seven and allowed two hits in the series finale, which was 5-1 in favor of the Red Storm.
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