PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 23, 2014) – Behind three-run home runs from sophomores Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.) and Melanie Slowinski (Severn, Md.) in an eight-run bottom of the fourth inning, the Rutgers softball team trounced visiting St. John’s ,13-3, Wednesday afternoon at the RU Softball Complex.
The home runs were career firsts for both Huang and Slowinski, who each led the RU (22-16, 5-7 American) charge with 2-for-3 performances against the Red Storm (22-21, 7-7 BIG EAST). Eight of the Scarlet Knights’ nine starters recorded a hit in the game, while senior Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) and junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) joined Huang and Slowinski with multi-hit games of their own.
Freshman right-hander Shayla Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.) picked up her seventh win of the season to improve to 7-8. She went 4.0 innings and allowed two hits and an unearned run before junior left-hander Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) closed out the final frame with a pair of strikeouts.
St. John’s took advantage of a Rutgers error in the third inning, striking first by scoring Kaitlyn Wilkins on a single up the middle from Jackie Reed. From there it was all Rutgers, which used four hits to score five runs in the third inning before exploding to end the game an inning later.
Senior Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) set the scoring in motion with a two-run double to left center in the third inning. Freshman Carly Todd (Deptford, N.J.) knocked in two runs of her own later in the frame, lining one through the right side to bring home Huang and Durando.
Huang hit a line drive shot into the wind for her first-career home run in the fourth inning, ending her day with four RBIs. She became the second Scarlet Knight this season after junior Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) to knock in four runs in a single game.
Slowinski followed her up three batters with a deep shot to left field, giving her the first four-bagger of her Rutgers career.
The Scarlet Knights return to the RU Softball Complex for a three-game series with American Athletic Conference foe UConn from April 26-27. The series begins with a noon doubleheader on Saturday before closing with a noon matchup Sunday. Sunday’s game against UConn will be broadcast live on RVision, presented by AT&T.
- With the win, the Scarlet Knights improved to 31-26-1 all-time against their former BIG EAST rival.
- Rutgers recorded double-digit hits (13) for the 14th time this season and third consecutive game.
- RU also notched double-digit runs for the eighth time in 2014 and second time in the last three games. The five-inning win was the fifth game this season ended early by the Scarlet Knights.
- The Rutgers pitching staff has allowed two or fewer earned runs in three of the last four games.
- As a team, the Scarlet Knight hit at least two home runs in a game for the eighth time this year against St. John’s. RU has hit at least one home run in five of the last six games, three times recording at least two.
- Rutgers did not strike out a single time against St. John’s. The opposition failed to record a strikeout against RU on two other occasions this season – against Hofstra on March 27 and Portland State on March 2. The Scarlet Knights are 2-1 in those contests.
- The three-run home runs both Huang and Slowinski – both coming in the fourth inning – were the first of their respective careers.
- Huang’s four RBIs were a new career-high. She is the second played this season after Bates to record at least four RBIs in a single game.
- Slowinski tied her career-high with three RBIs, knocking in three for the first time since Feb. 16 against Colorado State.
- With a walk against St. John’s, Durando tied for third (28) on the single-season walks list with Mikelyn Messina (2010).
- Bates had her hitting streak snapped at 10-games with an 0-for-2 day, recording two runs and a walk. Howard, meanwhile, extended her hitting streak to eight games with a 2-for-3 game against the Red Storm.
- Sophomore Meagan Esteban (Brea, Calif.) notched a pinch-hit double in the fourth inning, her first double as a Scarlet Knight. The hit was her first since she went 1-for-2 against Hofstra on March 27.
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