The Scarlet Knights originally had plans to participate in the 27th Campbell/Cartier Classic hosted by San Diego State before most of the tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather in California. RU is still set to matchup with Ohio and Northern Illinois now in Athens, Ohio, two teams that were also scheduled to make the trip to SDSU.
RUTGERS SEASON PREVIEW
The Scarlet Knights finished the 2016 season with a 24-33 record and a mark of 8-15 in Big Ten play, concluding with their third consecutive appearance in their respective conference tournament and second since joining the Big Ten. Despite the graduation of five starters last season, this year's roster boasts 13 letterwinners from that squad, including nine returning starters and five newcomers.
Senior right hander Shayla Sweeney leads the way in the circle after posting nine wins and three saves a year ago. Junior infielder Rebecca Hall guides the Scarlet Knights at the plate after posting a .279 batting average to go with 48 hits, 12 doubles and 25 RBIs. Classmate Sierra Maddox contributed 31 hits, including 26 RBIs and a team-best nine home runs last season.
For a full preview of the season, click here.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Northern Illinois, the defending Mid-American Conference West Division champion, will also open the season this weekend. NIU is coming off its first 30-win season (35-20, 13-10 MAC) in 16 years and back-to-back winning seasons since 1999 and 2000.
The Huskies return three All-MAC selections, led by Alex Frenz, the 2016 MAC Rookie of the Year, who resumes her role in the circle after posting a 16-8 record with a 2.27 ERA in a team-best 175.2 innings.
SERIES VERSUS THE HUSKIES
The series between RU and NIU is tied at 1-1. The Scarlet Knights own the most recent victory with an 8-0 win in 2013, while the Huskies took the first meeting 10-2 in 1995.
Entering the year after a 37-23 campaign in 2016, Ohio registered a 4-1 record at the Carolina Classic last weekend. The Bobcats captured wins over Charlotte (6-3), Presbyterian (3-0), and a pair of victories over Longwood (5-0, 5-0). Ohio’s lone loss was to host South Carolina (10-0).
MacKenzie Brunswick led the team with a .545 batting average with a team-best six hits in five starts. Savannah Jo Dorsey picked up MAC East Pitcher of the Week honors after posting a team-leading 1.11 ERA to go with a 3-0 record and 30 strikeouts in 19.0 innings.
SERIES VERSUS THE BOBCATS
In a series dating back to 1983, Ohio holds a 4-3 lead over Rutgers. The teams last met in 2012, when the Scarlet Knights fell 8-0 to the Bobcats.
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