HACKENSACK, NJ - Following a tough weekend, Rutgers (13-14) broke out of its offensive slump in a big way, banging out 22 hits in a double-header sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson (2-16) on March 30. The Scarlet Knights climbed to within one game of the .500 mark by defeating FDU 3-1 in game one and 9-0 in game two.
Senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) (5-3) hurled her second complete game of the season, allowing only one run on a solo home run and lowered her team-best ERA to 1.79 as RU broke its three-game losing streak in a 3-1 victory over the FDU Knights.
The Scarlet Knights got on the board in the third when senior Nicole Casey (Churchville, PA), who led the inning off with a single through a drawn-in infield, scored on a Megan Antonucci (Warrington, PA) single to right. Rutgers made it 2-0 when junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) singled home senior Nichole Cruz (Bremerton, WA).
FDU got one back with one out in the bottom of the fifth when Caitlyn Reuter hit a solo home run over the left field fence, but Rutgers added an insurance run in the sixth when sophomore Courtney Love (Seabrook, TX) doubled to center to score junior Stephanie Johannsen (Penn Valley, CA) from third to make it 3-1. Eight different Scarlet Knights had hits with senior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) leading the way (2-for-4).
In the nightcap, RU broke the game wide open in the fourth, scoring seven runs on eight hits while sending 12 batters to the plate. The biggest blow was a Childress grand slam to deep center. The home run was Childress’ fifth of the year and extended her hitting streak to nine games. The Scarlet Knights tacked on two more runs in the sixth to complete the 9-0 victory.
Ten different Rutgers batters registered hits in the game, including Smith, who went 3-for-4 with a run scored to raise her season average to .338, and junior Crystal Vargas (Jersey City, NJ), who finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Sophomore Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) went the distance for her first shutout of the year and raised her record to 3-4 on the season.
The Scarlet Knights will get right back to action when they host Columbia in a doubleheader tomorrow, Wednesday, March 31, at the RU Softball Complex at 2:30 p.m.