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Rutgers softball heads to Purdue for penultimate series of season

Sophomore shortstop Kyleigh Sand and graduate student utility Gabrielle Callaway lead the Rutgers softball team as the program prepares for a series at Purdue this weekend.  – Photo by Ben Solomon / Scarletknights

The Rutgers softball team will travel to West Lafayette, Indiana, this weekend to face Purdue. This is the last regular-season Big Ten road trip for the Scarlet Knights (24-26, 2-15) this season.

Rutgers is looking to get on a roll after its series finale win against Penn State last weekend.

The Knights took that game thanks to home runs from junior infielder Payton Lincavage and sophomore outfielder Kayla Bock. Each of them collected their third home run of the year in the matchup.

A handful of players have had their efforts noticed in the Big Ten stat sheets, most notably sophomore shortstop Kyleigh Sand and graduate student utility Gabrielle Callaway. Sand leads the conference in home runs while Callaway is the Big Ten’s runs batted in (RBIs) leader. 

Additionally, Callaway’s 10 home runs put her in seventh among the Big Ten. Sand is third in both stolen bases and runs scored.

As a team, Rutgers has struggled since entering conference play. The Knights were off to a 21-10 start before Big Ten play and have since gone 3-16. The program has one more series following this weekend before the Big Ten Tournament.

The Boilermakers (20-28, 3-13) have some impressive stats from their own players. Rachel Becker leads the team with a .415 average in 48 games played, having started every one of them. Becker has collected 14 RBIs as well as five stolen bases this season.

Brenna Smith is one of Purdue’s regulars in the circle with 82.1 innings pitched. Smith sports a 4.42 earned run average and is credited with three wins in her 27 appearances.

Alex Echazarreta is a big impact player for the Boilermakers. Not only does she bat with a .346 average, but she is also Purdue's top pitcher.

Echazarreta holds a 3.63 ERA in 92.2 innings pitched with an impressive 101 strikeouts. She has been credited with nine wins and seven losses. Along with her pitching accolades, she also holds the team lead with seven home runs and 28 RBIs. 

The Boilermakers are coming off two straight losses against in-state rival Indiana in a doubleheader on Tuesday. Purdue has a 3-5 record this season on its home field.

The series will begin today at 4 p.m., will continue on tomorrow at 6 p.m. and finish up on Sunday at noon. All three games will be available to stream on Big Ten Network+.

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

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