On Sunday, the Rutgers softball team finished its weekend series against Ohio State with a win. The Buckeyes (17-14, 17-14) took the first three games of the series before the Scarlet Knights (7-25, 7-25) took the last game. Rutgers had leads in all four games but could only hold on to the last one.
The first game started well for Rutgers as it took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to a two-RBI double by sophomore infielder Payton Lincavage. The Buckeyes were able to half the deficit in the bottom of the first on a solo home run hit by Sam Hackenbracht. In the top of the third, the Knights retook the lead on an RBI single from freshman infielder Kayla Bock.
Ohio State tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run home run and in the bottom of the fifth it tacked on four runs to take a 7-3 lead that it would hold for the rest of the game. Graduate student pitcher Izzy Berouty got the start pitching five innings and allowing four earned runs. Bock and sophomore catcher/infielder Kiersten Withstandley both went 2-3 with a run in the losing effort.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Rutgers continued its trend of starting hot, when Lincavage hit an RBI single in the top of the first. That would be the only run the Knights would score as the rest of the game belonged to the Buckeyes.
In the bottom of the first, Hackenbracht hit another two-run home run to take a 2-1 lead. That is how the game would stay until the bottom of the fourth when Ohio State got 7 runs on 7 hits to make the game 9-1. That would be all the runs scored as the game ended 9-1. Lincavage went 1-2 with two RBIs in the loss.
After being rained out in the bottom of the fifth, Saturday's game was completed on Sunday prior to the scheduled game. Like the first two games, the third game of the series started well for Rutgers as it scored two in the first thanks to a 2 out 2 RBI double off the bat of graduate student utility Anyssa Iliopoulos.
The Buckeyes immediately responded with a run in the bottom of the first and two more in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead. In the top of the fifth, the Knights struck back thanks to a bases-clearing three RBI double from graduate student infielder Kiana Workman.
Following the trend of the first two games though, Ohio State got hot bats late, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the fifth and two runs in the bottom of the sixth to win the game 13-5. Graduate student utility Gabrielle Callaway went 1-3 with a run and a double in the loss.
In the final game of the series, Rutgers was able to get a game back and win 6-5. They started the top of the first inning with two runs thanks to a Lincavage sacrifice fly and a Workman single. The Buckeyes got one back in the bottom of the first but the Knights scored another run in the top of the second thanks to a Withstandley double.
The game was back and forth from there with Ohio State taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third before Rutgers retook the lead in the top of the fifth. The Buckeyes re-tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth before in the top of the seventh Workman singled to right to drive in what would be the winning run. Workman was the standout in the win, going 2-4 with two RBIs.
The Knights will look to build off their Sunday win when they come home to face off against Iowa starting this Friday.
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