PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers managed to bang out 10 hits in game one of a double header with Columbia on March 31, but fell 7-4 to the Lions (13-14). The Scarlet Knights (14-15) rebounded in game two and took advantage of an excellent outing by senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) to register a 2-0 victory and earn a split with the Lions.
Cosentino (6-5) had her second solid start in as many days and gave up only two hits in six innings to lower her ERA to 1.57. RU wasted no time getting on the board in the second game, taking a 1-0 lead in the first. Senior Megan Antonucci (Warrington, PA) led off the game with a single up the middle and scored on a single from junior Stephanie Johannsen (Penn Valley, CA) through the left side.
The Scarlet Knights added an insurance run on senior Nikki Childress’ (Roanoke, VA) sixth home run of the year, a solo shot over the right field fence. Junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) went 2-for-3, giving her four hits in the double header and eight hits in her last 15 at bats.
In game one, Columbia struck first, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the third on three hits and a wild pitch. Rutgers cut the lead to two in the fourth when Childress reached on an error, moved into scoring position on a passed ball and came home on a single by Smith to make the score 3-1.
The Lions responded immediately, adding two more in the fifth to make it 5-1, but the Scarlet Knights scored two of their own in the top half of the inning. Senior Brittney Neer (Tallahassee, FL) reached on an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. She then came home on an Antonucci single to make it 5-2. Smith drove in her second run of the game when Antonucci scored on a ground out to second.
Rutgers added an unearned run in the sixth when junior Crystal Vargas (Jersey City, NJ) scored to get within one, 5-4, but the Lions plated two more runs in the seventh to take a 7-4 lead. Senior Leah Black (Rocky River, OH) (5-6) took the loss for the Scarlet Knights.
The Scarlet Knights will head back to the road for a pair of BIG EAST doubleheaders against Virginia Tech on Friday, April 2, at 12:00 p.m., and Pittsburgh on Sunday, April 4, at noon.