PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers senior Leah Black (Rocky River, OH) pitched her third shutout of the year in game two of a doubleheader with Syracuse on April 24 to help the RU softball team (23-24; 6-8 BIG EAST) split with the Orangewomen (19-21; 3-5 BIG EAST). Prior to Rutgers’ 4-0 win, Syracuse was victorious in game one, 7-1.
Black (9-9) was outstanding all day long, scattering seven hits over seven innings while striking out eight and walking none.
Rutgers scored in the first inning in game two after mounting a two-out rally. Junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) then followed with a slow roller through the middle and Smith came around to score to give RU a 1-0 lead.
The Scarlet Knights added three more runs in the third. Senior Megan Antonucci (Warrington, PA) opened the inning with an infield single and moved to third as Smith singled and moved to second on the throw. With first base open, Syracuse opted to intentionally walk Childress and senior Brittney Neer (Tallahassee, FL) made the Orangewomen pay by lacing a two-run single to right field. Junior Crystal Vargas (Jersey City, NJ) then executed a sacrifice bunt to score Childress from third and give the Scarlet Knights a 4-0 lead. Antonucci was 2-for-2 with a run scored, while Smith went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
The Scarlet Knights took the early lead in game one with an unearned in the first inning. Smith scored from second on an infield single by Childress after the throw from the shortstop went into the Syracuse dugout.
Syracuse tied the score at 1-1 in the second and used a big fourth inning to go ahead 6-1. The Orangewomen had the first five batters of the inning reach base and used five hits, a walk and an error to plate five runs in the inning. SU would add another run in the sixth to go up 7-1.
Syracuse starter Haley Larsen (13-11) settled down after the first inning and allowed no runs and two hits over the final six innings while striking out six. Senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) (8-6) took the loss for the Scarlet Knights.
The Scarlet Knights will welcome Notre Dame to the RU Softball Complex for a doubleheader tomorrow, Sunday, April 25, at 11:00 a.m. Prior to the game, RU will honor its seven seniors in a ceremony which will begin at 10:30 a.m.