CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Rutgers softball team split a pair of games at the UNC Tournament on Saturday, posting a 6-0 win over Fairfield University before falling to the host Tar Heels, 5-3, in the second game of the day.
In the Scarlet Knights' (4-9) victory over Fairfield, senior Nicole Freeman (Sandy, Utah) pitched a complete game, striking out four batters and allowing just five hits.
Sophomore Amanda Shaw (Yorba Linda, Calif.) went 3-for-3 and scored two runs, while junior Mallory Miller (Anaheim, Calif.) had two hits, including her second home run of the year, and a season-high four RBI. Miller had a double, as did sophomores Brittany Loisel (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Kim Hodges (Houston, Texas).
After two scoreless innings, Rutgers took a 1-0 lead when Miller drilled her double to score Shaw.
In the fifth inning, senior Kristin Madoch (Glenview, Ill.) and Shaw both singled to get on base and Miller drove them both in with a home run to give the Scarlet Knights a 4-0 lead.
Hodges and Loisel hit back-to-back doubles with one out in the sixth and both came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Carissa Conroy (Richmond, Va.) and a Fairfield error.
In the second game, the Scarlet Knights were led by freshman Nicole Lindley (Cicero, N.Y.) who went 3-for-3, including her first career home run, and three RBI against North Carolina. Shaw, Hodges and Loisel all had one hit against the Tar Heels.
Three pitchers saw time at the mound for Rutgers. Lindley got the start and stayed in for 3.1 innings, retiring one batter and allowing four earned runs. Sophomore Chrissy Yard (Hillsborough, N.J.) came in for two innings of relief, striking out two patters and allowing just one hit.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the second, the Scarlet Knights got on the board when Lindley knocked a shot to centerfield, scoring sophomore Sarah Kalka (Moreno Valley, Calif.). The Tar Heels, however, answered with a run, owning a 3-1 lead at the top of the third.
North Carolina would score two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. The Scarlet Knights got hits from Loisel and Lindley in the fifth inning, but the runners were stranded as RU failed to put any more runs on the board.
In the top of the seventh, the Scarlet Knights looked to stage a comeback, as Lindley drilled a two-run home run to left field to cut the lead to 5-3, with only one out. The Tar Heels were able to retire Rutgers' next to batters to hold on the for the win.
The Scarlet Knights will wrap up the tournament against Liberty on Sunday, March 4, at 12:30 p.m.