PITTSBURGH, PA - The Rutgers softball team (15-18; 1-5 BIG EAST) split a doubleheader at Pittsburgh (14-20; 1-3 BIG EAST) today, April 4, taking game one, 2-1, on the strength of a strong pitching performance from senior Leah Black (Rocky River, OH) before dropping game two, 9-3.
Black scattered three hits over seven innings for her team-high ninth complete game of the year and raised her record to 6-7 this season. The Scarlet Knights took a 1-0 lead in the third when junior Jenny Card (Miami, FL) deposited her first home run of the year over the left field fence. Card went 1-for-2 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored.
Rutgers increased its lead to 2-0 when junior Crystal Vargas (Jersey City,
NJ) drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk in the sixth to bring home senior Nikki
Childress (Roanoke, VA). The Panthers drew to within one in the bottom of the
sixth, but left the tying run on base and Black induced a game-ending double
play in the seventh to nail down the victory.
Pittsburgh used a five-run second inning to take control of game two on its way to a 9-3 victory. The Panthers got three hits and drew a pair of walks off of three Scarlet Knight pitchers in the second as they built a 5-0 lead. Pitt tacked on three unearned runs in the third to increase the lead to 8-0.
RU scored an unearned run in the fourth and made the score 8-3 in the fifth on a two-run home run from Card, her second of the day. Freshman Jessica Crosby (Sedro-Woolley, WA) pitched the final 4.1 innings in relief and allowed only one earned run. Starter Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) (3-5) took the loss for the Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers will return to the field on Wednesday, April 7, when it heads to Hofstra for a doubleheader at 3:00 p.m.