Yesterday afternoon, the Rutgers softball team finished its weekend series against Iowa. The Hawkeyes (20-16, 20-16) took all four games against the Scarlet Knights (7-29, 7-29), in part due to the team's strong batting during the series.
Rutgers started its series on Friday, losing 11-8. The game started well for the Knights, and they put up 2 runs in the bottom of the first. Iowa pulled one back in the top of the third and took a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth. But Rutgers battled back, as the team put up four hits and 3 runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game 5-5.
Two solo home runs in the top of the sixth gave the Hawkeyes a 7-5 lead, but the Knights got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, putting the score at 7-6 heading into the seventh. In the seventh, Iowa put the game out of reach when Aralee Bogar hit a grand slam.
Though Rutgers was able to get 2 runs back in the bottom of the seventh, the grand slam proved too much to overcome. The game ended in an 11-8 loss for the Knights.
Graduate student pitcher Izzy Berouty got the start and pitched her first complete game in the loss. Graduate student shortstop Kiana Workman and graduate student left fielder Anyssa Iliopoulos both played well in the loss, going 2-4 with three RBIs and 3-4 with 3 runs, respectively. Rutgers totaled 14 hits in the game, a season-high.
On Saturday, the Knights and the Hawkeyes played in a doubleheader. Iowa took both games, 9-1 and later 6-2.
The first game of the doubleheader was all the Hawkeyes. They jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and never looked back, scoring 3 runs in both the top of the third and fourth to take a 9-0 lead.
Rutgers was able to pull one back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo shot from sophomore third baseman Payton Lincavage, but the game ended 9-1. The home run was Lincavage’s fourth of the season and extended her hit streak to eight games. Sophomore pitcher Ashley Hitchcock got the start pitching three innings and allowing 6 runs.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Iowa continued its dominance with a 6-2 win. Again, the Hawkeyes got out to a fast start, scoring 1 run in the top of the first and 2 runs in the top of the second to take a 3-0 lead.
The Knights got back within a run in the bottom of the third thanks to a sacrifice fly from graduate student first baseman Gabrielle Callaway and an RBI single from Lincavage. That would be the closest Rutgers got, as Iowa fortified its lead in the top of the fourth with 2 runs and 1 run in the top of the seventh to win the game 6-2.
Berouty got her second start of the series, and Hitchock pitched 3.2 innings with three strikeouts in the loss.
Yesterday afternoon, the Knights played their final game of the series. Like the last two games, the Hawkeyes dominated from start to finish. Iowa put up a run in the first inning and 3 in the second to take a 4-0 lead. Then, in the top of the fourth, the Hawkeyes doubled their lead, making the score 8-0.
The Knights look to bounce back and snap their four-game losing streak this Friday at 3 p.m. when Maryland comes to Piscataway.
For updates on the Rutgers softball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.