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Rutgers softball to take on Nebraska in home opener

Sophomore pitcher Ashley Hitchcock and the Rutgers softball team are set to take on Nebraska in a weekend series in Piscataway. – Photo by Scarletknights.com

On Friday, the Rutgers softball team will head home to Piscataway to play its home opener series against Nebraska. This will be the second campus series of the season and will be the first time that the Scarlet Knights (3-13, 3-13) get to use the new turf.

Rutgers looks to bounce back from its weekend series against Michigan State in which it won 1 out of 4 games. It will face off against a tough Cornhuskers (9-7, 9-7) team which won 3 out of 4 games against Penn State last weekend.

The first game will be held Friday at 3 p.m. followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, with the series concluding after a game on Sunday.

On the mound, the Knights are led by sophomore pitcher Ashley Hitchcock and graduate student pitcher Izzy Berouty. Hitchcock, despite the 1-5 record, has pitched 51 innings with a 5.35 earned run average (ERA) and 33 strikeouts. Berouty has pitched 31.2 innings, notched two wins and 16 strikeouts. 

Nebraska has to worry about sophomore infielder Payton Lincavage and graduate utility Gabrielle Callaway, both of whom are having great seasons.

Lincavage comes in second for the team with a .333 batting average. She also leads the teams in runs and hits with 10 and 18 respectively. Lincavage also leads the team in slugging percentage with .426 and on-base percentage with a .379. Adding to her already impressive season, she also has two doubles, one home run and four runs batted in (RBI).

Right behind her in many of these statistical categories is Callaway. The utility has a .309 batting average with eight runs and 17 hits. She also has two doubles, five RBIs and a .400 slugging percentage.

Another player for Rutgers that has been having a great season is sophomore infielder/catcher Kiersten Withstandley. Withstandley leads the team in RBIs with eight and steals with two. She is also second on the team for on-base percentage with a .375.

The Cornhuskers are led by Olivia Ferrell who holds a 1.96 ERA and Courtney Wallace who has a 2.63 ERA. On the batting side, Nebraska has received production from Sydney Gray, Tristen Edwards and Billie Andrews, whose batting averages are .366, .349, and .302 respectively. The Cornhuskers' team also has 23 steals on 27 attempts for the season.

Teams against the Knights have hit 12 home runs while Rutgers has only hit three on the season. The Knights will also look to close the batting average gap between them and their opponents as their opponents have hit .329 while Rutgers has only hit .221 on the season.

The Knights will look to use home-field advantage to defeat Nebraska and rebound from their series against the Spartans (6-10, 6-10).


For updates on the Rutgers softball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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