PISCATAWAY, NJ - In its second BIG EAST doubleheader of the season, the Rutgers softball team (13-10, 1-3 BIG EAST) lost both games on Monday afternoon to Seton Hall at the Rutgers Softball Complex. The Scarlet Knights dropped the first game, 8-5, while surrendering the second contest to the Pirates, 7-0.
Rutgers opened up the scoring in the first game of the doubleheader, manufacturing one run in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore Crystal Vargas (Jersey City, NJ), who went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the game, singled to right field to open the inning. Junior Nicole Casey (Churchville, PA) pinch ran for Vargas at first base. After advancing to second on a steal and third on a bunt by senior Jen Jacoby (Agoura Hills, CA), she scored on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of junior Brittney Neer (Tallahassee, FL).
The Pirates responded with two runs in the top half of the third inning as Seton Hall’s Laura Taylor smacked a two-run home run, also scoring Kate DePaul, who led off the inning with a single up the middle.
The Scarlet Knights knotted up the score at 2-2 in the fourth as sophomore Helen Smith (Tucson, AZ) belted a solo home run over the fence in left center.
After a scoreless fifth inning, Seton Hall exploded for two runs in the sixth. Rutgers registered a run in the bottom half of the frame. Sophomore Stephanie Johannsen (Penn Valley, CA) laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced Vargas, who reached base on an error, to second. After Vargas moved to third on a single by Jacoby, Neer singled to left field, plating Vargas.
With a 4-3 lead heading into the final frame, the Pirates put the game out of reach as Taylor hit a her second home run of the game, a two-out grand slam over the fence in right field.
Rutgers pulled within three runs, scoring two in the bottom of the seventh as Vargas hit her third home run of the season over the center-field wall, scoring junior Nikki Childress (Roanoke, VA), who opened the inning with a double.
Senior Andria Koehler (Sellersville, PA) (5-3) took the complete-game loss, surrendering eight hits and four earned runs while striking out nine. The Pirates’ Christina Shanko (10-1) gave up 11 hits while striking out five for the win.
In the nightcap, a six-run Pirate first inning led to a 7-0 Seton Hall victory. Childress, Vargas, Jacoby and freshman Courtney Love (Seabrook, TX) had RU’s four hits in the darkness-shortened five-inning game
Junior Brielle Cosentino (Carlstadt, NJ) suffered the loss (5-5), allowing five runs in 0.1 inning. Freshman Christina Gillman (Valencia, CA) pitched 4.2 innings of relief, giving up two runs on three hits, striking out two Pirates while walking three. Seton Hall’s Megan Meyer threw the five-inning shutout for her fifth victory of the year (5-4).
The Scarlet Knights return to action on Wednesday, April 2, at Columbia. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 2:30 p.m.