SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The Rutgers softball team (11-29, 4-10 BIG EAST) was swept by Seton Hall (25-21, 5-9 BIG EAST) on Tuesday, April 18 in South Orange, NJ. The Pirates took game one by a score of 3-2 and won game two 3-1.
Seton Hall took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first as a result of a miscue by the Scarlet Knight defense. Maggie Simkiss reached first base safely on an error in the infield and two batters later, Jenna Best lifted a ball to right-center field for a two-run home run.
The Scarlet Knights’ offense remained quiet through much of game one as the Pirates held Rutgers to just one hit over six frames. RU got back into it in the seventh inning with a single to left field from freshman Kaitlyn Valiante (Mt. Laurel, NJ), followed by Sarah Kalka (Moreno Valley, CA), who tied the game at 2-2 with her team-best fifth home run of the season.
Seton Hall took the win in the bottom of the seventh when pinch hitter Daria Glynos earned a leadoff walk and was replaced on the bases by Ashley Constantini. Constantini eventually reached third base on a single from Akoua Lonergan and a fielder’s choice by Christa Leighton. With just one out on the board, Katie Pierce hit a high fly ball to left-center field, driving in Constantini for the game-winning sacrifice fly.
Freshman Christina Yard (Hillsborough, NJ) took the hard-luck loss (5-10), allowing three runs (zero earned) on four hits in 6.2 innings of action. Kalka finished 1-for-3 with two runs-batted-in.
In the first inning of game two, Seton Hall put runners on the corners with one out, but a great defensive effort by the Rutgers infield shut the door on the Pirates’ chances of driving in a run. The Scarlet Knights broke up an attempted double steal to run SHU out of the inning.
In the second, Seton Hall’s Jessica Schulien hit a solo home run to put the Pirates on the board. SHU eventually added two more runs to extend its lead. Pierce drove in Kealan Waldron with an RBI sacrifice fly in the third inning and followed with an RBI double to left field in the fifth to make the score 3-0.
Rutgers scored one run in the sixth to pull within two scores (3-1) of the Pirates. The Scarlet Knights loaded the bases on back-to-back singles from freshman Amanda Shaw (Yorba Linda, CA) and Madoch, while Valiante reached first base after being hit by a pitch. Freshman Kim Hodges (Houston, TX) then earned a walk to bring home RU’s one run.
Junior Jessica Crosby (Sedro Woolley, WA) got the game-two start, allowing two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings before being relieved by senior Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA). Gillman went 3.2 innings and surrendered one run on two hits, while striking out three.
The Scarlet Knights will return to action on Wednesday, April 19, at 3:00 pm for a road-doubleheader against Monmouth. Rutgers and Monmouth previously met on March 17 at the Delaware State Bash at the Beach Tournament with the Hawks taking a 13-5 victory.