Participating in the Thundering Herd Round Robin in Huntington, West Virginia, over the weekend, the Rutgers softball team picked up 1 win in 4 games played, falling to five games below .500 on the season with one more tournament to go before the Big Ten play rolls around the corner.
After the Scarlet Knights’ (9-14) first contest against Marshall was postponed due to inclement weather, Rutgers won against Bucknell 10-5 on Saturday. The Knights then lost to the Thundering Herd (18-6) 9-8 later that day, before taking a loss to each team on Sunday. Rutgers was outscored 16-2 in its last two games.
Over the span of the tournament, the Knights struggled with pitching. In their first game played, true freshman pitcher Jaden Vickers gave up three hits and 2 runs before recording an out. She now sits at a 4.17 earned run average on the season.
In Rutgers’ second game on Saturday, sophomore pitcher Corah Price pitched 5.2 innings for her team. Unfortunately for the Knights, she gave up 9 runs on 12 hits while also allowing two walks. Price currently sits at a 7.45 earned run average on the year.
The next day, Rutgers’ woes continued. While true freshman pitcher Ashley Hitchcock had success in her 3.1 innings against the Bisons (8-10) on Sunday, allowing only 1 run on four hits with five strikeouts recorded, her relievers did not. Price and junior pitcher Taylor Manno allowed 6 total runs to score, while the Knights tallied just 1 themselves in their third game of the tournament.
In Rutgers’ final game on Sunday, Vickers started against Marshall. She struggled again, allowing 6 runs on six hits in three innings pitched.
For their next game, the Knights will take on Seton Hall today at 2:30 p.m., in South Orange, New Jersey. The Pirates (10-13), despite being roughed up in their last contest against Bowling Green, have won 4 of their last 5 games, and will seek to continue their recent success against Rutgers, who will need to hold off a solid lineup.
Seton Hall is currently hitting .290 as a team with a .824 OPS to back it up. In comparison, the Knights are hitting .242 as a team with a .691 OPS.
Rutgers’ inability to produce at the plate has shown in its recent stretch of games. Despite starting the season off strong, averaging approximately 5.3 runs per game in their first seven contests, the Knights have seemed to hit a wall in their production, as they have averaged approximately 2.8 runs per game since Feb. 15.
Rutgers has the chance to turn it around at the plate against the Pirates, though. Aside from Shelby Smith, who currently sports a 3.86 earned run average, Seton Hall’s other three options for toeing the rubber in Reganne Camp, Kelsey Gumm and Mo Sobel have struggled. The three of them have earned run averages of 4.50, 4.93 and 5.21, respectively.
With the Knights having a handful of away games before returning home to face Wisconsin on March 20, their ability to perform well against the Pirates could set the tone for how the upcoming road trip will go.
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