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Rutgers softball finishes 5-1 in Rutgers Tournament

Junior pitcher Jaden Vickers threw the first no-hitter in a decade for the Rutgers softball team as the program won 5 of its 6 games in Piscataway this weekend. – Photo by Mike Carlson / Scarletknights

In the program’s first home games of the season, the Rutgers softball team hosted its own tournament this weekend and came out on top in all but one game.

The Scarlet Knights (21-10, 0-0) started their weekend splitting Thursday with a win and a loss against Maryland Eastern Shore. In the first game, the Eastern Shore Hawks (6-17, 3-0) fell to Rutgers in a devastating 16-0 loss. 

In the win, junior pitcher Jaden Vickers threw the first no-hitter for the Knights since 2012. The Crystal River, Florida, native struck out seven batters and improved to 11-2 on the year with the performance. 

Junior infielder Payton Lincavage was among one of the players at Rutgers who led the offense in the double-digit win. Lincavage totaled two hits with three runs batted in (RBIs).

The Knights and Eastern Shore met again later in the day, this time with junior pitcher Ashley Hitchcock in the circle for all seven innings. Rutgers took the early lead in the bottom of the first with a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Taylor Fawcett

Adding to that lead in the third, a sacrifice fly brought in sophomore shortstop Kyleigh Sand. A few innings later, the Shore Hawks were able to tie the game in the sixth inning on a two-run homer from Julia Garcia and kept their momentum further to take the game 4-3.

On Friday, the Knights started a win streak while meeting Saint Peter’s and Fairfield. 

Sand opened the scoring against the Peacocks (11-10, 0-0) with her first career home run to give Rutgers an early 1-0 lead. Saint Peter’s then took back the lead in the top of the second, but the Knights stormed back and continued their offensive excellence, taking home a 5-2 win.

Sand led the team with four hits in as many at-bats, two runs and two RBIs. Rutgers' victory gave Vickers, who got the start, her 12th win on the season.

Sand led the offense again in game two of the day against Fairfield with three RBIs and three hits. Hitchcock shut out the Stags (5-12, 0-0) in the five-inning matchup and only gave up one hit. 

The Knights scored at least one run in each five innings to take the 8-0 victory. 

On Saturday, Rutgers collected its 20th win of the season against Holy Cross. The game only lasted six innings, with the Crusaders (5-14, 0-0) only getting two hits off Hitchcock with zero runs. 

Graduate student utility Gabrielle Callaway was among those who led the offense for the Knights and collected a home run to secure the 8-0 win for Rutgers. 

The Knights won their final outing of the weekend against Drexel in an extra-innings matchup. Vickers got the start and pitched all nine innings for Rutgers to go along with seven strikeouts. 

Sand was the hero for the Knights. Along with her two other hits of the game, Sand hit a two-out single in the ninth to bring home the win for Rutgers. 

The Knights will spend another weekend at home when they start conference play against Minnesota for a weekend series. 

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

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