BOCA RATON, Fla. – A five-run eighth inning propelled the Rutgers softball team to an eight-inning 8-6 win over Quinnipiac (3-6) on Saturday morning at the FAU Softball Stadium. The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for RU. The Scarlet Knights will face host Florida Atlantic at 6:00 p.m. today and, with a win against the Owls, will finish the event with a 2-2 record.
The Scarlet Knights (5-15) were led by sophomore Sarah Kalka (Moreno Valley, Calif.) who had two hits in the game. Six other players picked up hits for RU, including junior Ashley Hartley (Chico, Calif.) and sophomore Kim Hodges (Houston, Texas) who each had doubles in the game.
Four pitchers saw action for the Scarlet Knights as sophomore Chrissy Yard (Hillsborough, N.J.) earned the win. Yard pitched 2.1 innings and allowed four hits and two earned runs. The game marked the sixth time this season that four or more pitchers have seen action for RU.
With one out in the eighth inning, Kalka singled through the right side, advancing Kristin Madoch (Glenview, Ill.), who was placed on second base by the international tiebreaking rule, to third base. Kaitlyn Valiante (Mt. Laurel, N.J.) pinch hit and reached on fielder's choice, however, an error by the Bobcats' second baseman allowed Kalka to advance to second as Madoch scored to give RU a 4-3 lead.
Hodges came to the plate and doubled to left field, plating Kalka and advancing Valiante. When Christine Royland (Westwood, N.J.) reached base on fielder's choice, Hodges moved to third and Valiante scored for the Scarlet Knights, putting them ahead, 6-3. Hartley came up and doubled to left field, scoring both Amanda Heller (Belle Mead, N.J.), who pinch ran for Royland,and Hodges to give the Scarlet Knights an 8-3 lead. The final out came from an RU fly out to left field.
The Bobcats, however, opened their at-bat with two hits, including an RBI-double from Kim Le Bel. Jenna Henry came around to score on Quinnipiac's next at-bat and Le Bel scored on a sacrifice fly from Brianna Sloane, but Krista Seeman flew out to Heller in left field to end the game.
To start the game, Rutgers went three-and-out in its first at-bat and Quinnipiac took a 1-0 lead at its first go at the plate. Brianna Sloane and Krista Seeman hit back-to-back singles to put two on for the Bobcats and both runners then advanced on a wild pitch. Kristin Sheriff and Maria Browne both walked, scoring Sloane.
After a scoreless second inning, the Scarlet Knights tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the third. With one out, Hartley walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Amanda Shaw (Yorba Linda, Calif.). Madoch drilled a single down the right field line, scoring Hartley. The inning ended when Madoch was caught stealing second on the next play.
The Bobcats re-captured the lead in the third with their second run of the game. Seeman singled to open the inning and Sammi Allendorfer reached base on an error. On the next play, Allendorfer was caught stealing, but Seeman scored on the play to put Quinnipiac ahead, 2-1. Crosby retired the next two batters to end the inning.
The game saw another lead change in the fourth when the Scarlet Knights scored two runs to own a 3-2 lead. Mallory Miller (Anaheim, Calif.) led off with a single to second base, advancing to third on two passed balls. With one out, Shantai Dixon (Sayreville, N.J.) singled up the middle, scoring Miller on the play to tie the game. Kim Hodges (Houston, Texas) reached base on an error, advancing Dixon to second. Brittany Loisel (Gilbert, Ariz.) then singled up the middle to score Dixon, as Rutgers took a 3-2 edge, however, the Bobcats scored a run of their own in the fifth to tie the game, 3-3.
The teams combined for just three hits over the final two innings to send the game into extra innings, which were played by the international tiebreaker rule.