WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Rutgers softball team (12-30) defeated Monmouth (17-22) 2-0 in game one of its doubleheader but was edged 2-1 by the Hawks in game two on Wednesday, April 19, in West Long Branch, NJ.
Game one turned out to be a tight affair as Rutgers and Monmouth combined for zero runs and just six hits through the first five innings.
The Scarlet Knights posted the games first score in the sixth when freshman Brittany Loisel (Gilbert, AZ) fought away several pitches and earned a tough leadoff walk. Freshman Amanda Shaw (Yorba Linda, CA) followed with bunt-single, while junior Kristin Madoch (Glenview, IL) advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt. In the next at-bat, freshman Kaitlyn Valiante (Mt. Laurel, NJ) delivered a sacrifice fly to right field for an RBI. Rutgers added to its lead and took the 2-0 victory on a wild pitch from Monmouth pitcher Kristine Sawlsville.
Junior Nicole Freeman (Sandy, UT) picked up the complete-game shutout (2-7), allowing just four hits and striking out three. In addition to Freeman’s solid performance, RU’s defense was also instrumental in holding the Hawks to their limited offensive production as the Scarlet Knights turned a pair of double plays in game one.
The Hawks struck first in game two, scoring a pair of runs on a few misplayed balls by the Scarlet Knight defense. Heather Gordon and Kara O’Dell each singled to reach base but Rutgers errors allowed them to round the bags and cross home plate, giving Monmouth a 2-0 advantage.
RU responded in the third with a run of its own, but it was not enough as the Hawks earned the 2-1 victory in the nightcap. Xaymara Rodriguez (Paterson, NJ) earned a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Loisel before being driven home on Shaw’s RBI single to right field.
The Scarlet Knights will next be in action for back-to-back road doubleheaders against BIG EAST Conference opponents DePaul and Notre Dame. Rutgers is slated to face the Blue Demons on Saturday, April 22, at 12:00 pm, followed by a match-up with the Irish on Sunday, April 23, also at noon.