CLEARWATER, FLA. – Concluding its weekend at the USF Clearwater Spring Break Classic, the Rutgers softball team rallied a 6-5, come-from-behind victory over North Dakota State on Sunday morning at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
After falling behind 4-0 by the third inning, Rutgers (7-19) pulled within one with three runs in the fourth. As sophomore Whitney Jones held strong in relief, shutting down NDSU (10-19) with three consecutive scoreless frames, RU registered another three-run rally in the sixth to take the lead for good.
Three different Scarlet Knights posted a triple in the contest, including freshman Nicole Bowman, sophomore Nicolette Anico, and senior Carly Todd. Junior Rebecca Hall notched her eighth home run of the season in the win. Jones picked up her first win of the season, allowing only one run, two hits and one walk.
The Bison were led by Vanessa Anderson and Breanna Beatty with a hit each, while Beatty posted two RBIs as well. Jacquelyn Sertic suffered the loss for NDSU.
North Dakota State pushed to a 4-0 lead by the third inning of the contest. After plating a run in the first, the Bison went on to add three runs on four hits and an RU error in the top of the third.
As the RU offense got off to a slow start, Jones entered in the fourth frame, shutting down the Bison with a 1-2-3 inning.
The Scarlet Knights held on to the momentum to make it a one-run in game in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on four hits. Freshman Hailey Hoklotubbe led things off with a single followed by Bowman with a triple to send in the run. After Anico added a triple of her own to send Bowman home, she went on to score on a wild pitch to cut into the deficit 4-3.
Jones backed up the rally by stranding two Bison runners on in the fifth to put up another scoreless frame. A diving catch for freshman Taryn Atlee at shortstop in the top of the sixth would help Jones secure another 1-2-3 inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Hall led off the frame with a homer to centerfield, tying the score 4-4. After a double for Todd and single for junior Sierra Maddox, classmate Meaghan Well’s would reach on a fielder’s choice to send Todd home for the lead. A groundout for senior Dana Hendry scored another run to give the Scarlet Knights a 6-4 advantage.
NDSU’s Stephanie Soriano led off the seventh with a double and would go on to score on the second out of the inning. However, Jones retired the final batter at the plate to close the door on the Bison and seal the victory.
Rutgers opens Big Ten play at Indiana with a three-game series from March 24-26. Friday’s contest will be televised live on the Big Ten Network starting at 6 p.m. ET.
-Rutgers closed its week-long trip in Florida at the USF Clearwater Spring Break on a two-game winning streak and with a 3-2 record overall in the tournament.
-Rutgers notched three triples in the win, marking the most triples in a single game since RU posted two at FIU on March 15, 2016.
-Rebecca Hall added her eighth home run of the season, moving into a tie at eighth on the all-time Rutgers single season record list. Hall now owns 18 career homers.
-Nicole Bowman and Nicolette Anico each recorded the first triple of their careers.
-Carly Todd posted just the second triple of her career, having tallied one in her freshman season.
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