HOUSTON, Texas (May 4, 2014) – The Rutgers softball team was edged, 4-2, Sunday afternoon against Houston at Cougar Softball Stadium in the season finale for both squads. The Scarlet Knights close the season at 27-18 and 9-9 in the American Athletic Conference.
With Louisville’s (33-20, 14-7 American) 6-2 win over Memphis Sunday, the Cardinals secured the No. 3 seed in the upcoming American Athletic Conference Championships, setting No. 5 RU up with another meeting against No. 4 Houston (32-20, 13-8 American). Had Louisville lost, Houston would have jumped to the No. 3 seed and made UofL RU’s opening-round opponent.
The Scarlet Knights cut the UH lead to two in the sixth inning, as a double from sophomore Melanie Slowinski (Severn, Md.) scored classmate Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.) and freshman Carly Todd (Deptford, N.J.) to make it 4-2.
Huang singled and Todd doubled to right center before Slowinski stepped to the plate, hitting a tough chopper that went off the jumping Deidre Outon and into right field.
The Cougars kept RU’s run total at two, allowing just a single by junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) in the top of the seventh to close out the win.
Freshman right-hander Shayla Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.) took the loss to drop to 9-10 this season. She went 4.2 innings and allowed eight hits, four runs – two earned – one walk and a struck out one.
In the fifth inning, UH used four hits and took advantage of an RU error to score three runs and take a 4-0 lead. Sophomore Dresden Maddox (Kennesaw, Ga.) entered the contest with two outs and escaped the inning. She ended the game by tossing 1.1 innings and allowing no hits, no runs and striking out two. Maddox has tossed 4.0 innings of shutout softball over the last two games.
Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings before the Cougars went ahead, 1-0, in bottom of the fourth inning on a solo home run from Haley Outon.
Rutgers and Houston will meet in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference Championships in Houston, Texas on Thursday, May 8. First pitch is set for 7:30 p.m. EST at Cougar Softball Stadium.
- Rutgers’ 27-18 record and .600 winning percentage rank among the best marks in recent school history. The 2014 team’s winning percentage is the highest since the 1995 team went 30-17 (.638).
- RU finished the 2014 regular season with its best conference winning (.500) percentage since the 1998 squad went 10-5 (.666) in the BIG EAST.
- Bates has reached base in each of the last 28 games – a team-high.
- Senior Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) walked once Sunday for her 34th free pass this is season. She is two walks away from tying Amanda Heller (2008) for the most walks in RU single-season history.
- Howard is one hit shy of tying Williams for the third-most hits in a single season (62). Williams notched 62 hits last season for RU.
- Todd led RU from the plate by going 2-for-3 – her seventh multi-hit game this season. Her double to right center in the sixth inning was her third of the year.
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