PISCATAWAY, NJ – In its final home games of the season on April 28, the Rutgers softball team (23-27-1) dropped game one of a doubleheader with Delaware (25-19-1), 4-2, and game two ended in a 4-4 tie after seven innings when the umpires called the game due to darkness.
The Scarlet Knights wasted no time getting on the board with a pair of first-inning runs in game one. Junior Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) hit a two-out single up the middle and senior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. Senior Brittney Neer (Tallahassee, FL) then lined a single up the middle to score Smith and move Childress to third. Childress then scored as the catcher’s pick-off throw to third sailed into left field to make it 2-0 RU.
Delaware cut the lead to 2-1 in the third, and took a 4-2 lead on a three-run home run to dead center field off the bat of Laura Streets in the top of the fifth. Streets drove in all four runs for the Blue Hens and finished game one 2-for-4. Senior Megan Antonucci (Warrington, PA) went 3-for-4 for the Scarlet Knights and senior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) (8-8) took the loss after pitching 6.2 innings and striking out five.
Rutgers took the lead in game two in the second inning. Senior Nicole Casey (Churchville, PA) flared a single to shallow right field and moved to third on a Delaware throwing error on Maggie Geraldi’s (Russell, IL) sacrifice bunt attempt. Antonucci then singled to right to score Casey and give RU the 1-0 lead.
Delaware took a 4-1 lead in the fifth on two hits and three Scarlet Knight errors, but Rutgers responded in the bottom half of the inning. Childress doubled to the left center field fence and Neer singled up the middle to put two runners on base. Junior Jenny Card (Miami, FL) then drilled a three-run home run to center to knot the game 4-4.
Both teams had a number of chances to take the lead over the next two innings, but the umpires were forced to call the game at the conclusion of the seventh inning due to darkness. Childress and Neer both finished the game 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Antonucci went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
RU will embark on its final road trip of the season this weekend when it heads north for a pair of BIG EAST doubleheaders. The Scarlet Knights will play at Seton Hall on Saturday, May 1, at 12:00 p.m., before traveling to Jamaica, NY, for a pair of games with St. John’s on Sunday, May 2, at noon.