PRINCETON, NJ - The Scarlet Knights (11-12) registered their fourth shutout of the season in a 3-0 win over Princeton (8-9) on March 24, but fell 5-4 in the nightcap in five innings after the game was called due to darkness.
Senior Leah Black (Rocky River, OH) (5-4) scattered six hits over seven innings as she shut down the Tigers on the way to her seventh complete game and her second shutout of the year. Black walked only one and raised her scoreless streak to 17 innings over her last three appearances.
Senior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) continued her hot hitting since returning from an injury which cost her nine games this season. Her three-run home run in the third gave Rutgers a 3-0 lead and provided all the runs Black would need. Childress has now homered in three straight games and raised her team-high total to four. Senior Nichole Cruz (Bremerton, WA) and junior Stephanie Johannsen (Penn Valley, CA) had two hits apiece for the Scarlet Knights.
The Tigers got timely hitting in game two as they scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 5-4 lead just before darkness forced the umpires to call the game. Rutgers got on the board in the first when Johannsen scored on a Childress double to center field. After Princeton got one back in the bottom of the inning, the Scarlet Knight regained the lead, 3-1, on a Johannsen two-run home run in the top of the third.
Rutgers starter Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) was unable to record an out in the fifth and was relieved by senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) after giving up the go ahead runs on a walk and two hits to start the inning. Gillman (2-3) gave up five runs on nine hits. Johannsen finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Childress, freshman Maggie Geraldi (Russell, IL) and junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) also went 2-for-3.
The Scarlet Knights will open their home slate with their first BIG EAST game of the season when they host the Providence Friars on Sunday, March 28.