On Friday, the Rutgers softball team will head home to take on Iowa for a weekend series. This will be the Scarlet Knights' (7-25, 7-25) first series against the Hawkeyes (16-16, 16-16) and the third campus home series of the season.
Despite a series loss to Ohio State, Rutgers will look to build on its 6-5 win on Sunday versus the Buckeyes (17-4, 17-4). It will face off against an Iowa team that dropped 3 out of 4 games against Minnesota last weekend.
The first game will be held Friday at 3 p.m. followed by a doubleheader on Saturday with the series concluding with a Sunday game.
In 2019, the Knights won 2 out of their 3 games against the Hawkeyes.
At the plate, Rutgers is led by graduate student utility Gabrielle Callaway and sophomore infielder Payton Lincavage. Callaway is hitting .320 and leads the team in hits with 33, doubles with seven, home runs with four and RBIs with 15. Callaway is top ten in hits in the Big Ten. Lincavage leads the team in runs with 19 and is second on the team in hits with 30. She is also batting .309 with 11 RBIs.
Other key contributors for the Knights are sophomore infielder/catcher Kiersten Withstandley and freshman infielder Kayla Bock. Bock is hitting .236 with seven doubles and 10 RBIs. She also has a .337 on-base percentage. Withstandley is second for Rutgers with 12 RBIs and is tied for first on the team with three stolen bases. She is also hitting .228 with a .347 on-base percentage.
In the circle, Iowa has to worry about sophomore pitcher Ashley Hitchcock who has pitched 93.2 innings with a 5.98 ERA, four complete games and 59 strikeouts.
The Hawkeyes are led by Denali Loecker and Nia Carter. Loecker is batting .346 on the season with 15 RBIs, 27 hits and seven home runs, according to Rutgers Athletics. Carter is batting .290 with 13 runs and 10 RBIs.
If the Knights are to win the series they are going to have to close the ERA gap between them and their opponents. Currently, teams facing Rutgers have a 2.21 ERA while the Knights have a 6.86 ERA against these same teams.
Rutgers will look to use home-field advantage and build off their win last Sunday when they face the Hawkeyes this weekend.
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