PISCATAWAY, NJ -- The Rutgers softball team (10-7) swept Fairleigh Dickinson (2-8) in the Scarlet Knights home opener, 9-0 and 4-3, Saturday afternoon.
In the first game of the day, which started at noon, the Scarlet Knights came out strong in the first inning with four runs on four hits. Jen Jacoby (Agoura Hills, CA) led off the batting order with a triple to left center and Brittney Neer (Tallahassee, FL) sent her home with a single to left center. Neer then stole second, advanced to third on a throw and scored on an error. Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA) doubled to right field and sent home Meaghan Asselta (Ramsey, NJ), who made it to first on a walk. Melissa Bradford (Pennsville, NJ) sent Childress home on a double to end the first inning at 4-0.
The Scarlet Knights scored twice more in the second inning. Neer showed her base-running skills, stealing second and home after hitting a single to get on. Neer, who is third in the Rutgers record book for steals in a season (30, 2000), led the team with six steals in the first game. Jenny Card (Miami, FL) sent home Asselta for her eighth RBI of the season.
Three more runs sealed the game and put the mercy rule into effect, leaving the Scarlet Knights with an 8-0 shutout. The three runs, scored in the fourth inning, were a result of another steal home by Neer after a single to left field and a two-run homerun by Childress, her second of the season.
Andria Koehler (Sellersville, PA) pitched her second shutout of the season, with five complete innings, to improve her record to 4-1. She struck out eight and allowed only three hits with no walks.
The second game of the day saw a lead slip away, but the Scarlet Knights still pulled out the win.
Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) got the win, pitching 4.2 innings, allowing
five hits two runs (one earned) and no walks. Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt,
NJ) earned the save, pitching the remaining 2.1 innings. She struck out one
and allowed only one hit and one run (unearned).
RU got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the second inning. Stephanie Johannsen (Penn Valley, CA) hit a double to right center to send home Bradford, who went to first on a walk. Crystal Vargas (Jersey City, NJ) hit the first home run of her a career, a two-run home run to right center.
FDU had a run in the third inning off a double down the right field line, but the Scarlet Knights answered with a run of their own in the fourth when Vargas scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jacoby.
The Knights staged a comeback, getting runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make the score, 4-3, but they couldn’t reach home in the seventh to tie the score.