CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Rutgers split a pair of games on the final day of the Cavalier Classic, March 21, to finish the tournament with a 4-2 record. The Scarlet Knights (10-11) rallied from behind to beat La Salle, 7-5, but couldn’t hold a ninth-inning lead against host UVA and lost to the Cavaliers, 7-4, in eight innings.
Rutgers was trailing La `Salle (3-13) 5-3 after four innings, but the Scarlet Knights hit five consecutive singles to start off the fifth and plated three runs in the inning to take a 6-5 lead. Junior Stephanie Johannsen (Penn Valley, CA) delivered the key hit in the inning when she singled home junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) and senior Megan Antonucci (Warrington, PA) to give Rutgers the lead. Senior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) belted a solo home run in the seventh to give the Scarlet Knights some breathing room.
Senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) (4-3) allowed only one run and struck out five in four innings of relief to take the victory. Smith finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI and Childress went 2-for-3.
In the championship game against UVA (18-15), sophomore pitcher Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) (2-2) cruised for six innings before allowing three runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth in RU’s 7-4 loss.
The Cavaliers could manage only three infield singles before the seventh, but their first hit out of the infield was a big one as Hannah Owings ripped a two-out, two-run single to left to tie the game at 3-3 and force the extra frame. UVA exploded for four runs on three hits in the eighth to put the game away.
Rutgers broke the scoreless deadlock in the fifth when Childress hammered a three-run home run to left to put the Scarlet Knights up 3-0. She went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI.
The Scarlet Knight will play a double header at Princeton on Wednesday, March 24, at 2:30 p.m.