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Rutgers softball has strong showing in Low Country Classic

Junior outfielder Morgan Smith's home run against Robert Morris was one of the highlights for the Rutgers softball team during last weekend's Low Country Classic. – Photo by

Last weekend, the Rutgers softball team secured four wins at the Low Country Classic in Charleston, South Carolina. The Scarlet Knights (12-3, 0-0) had another successful tournament and only lost one of their games.

Rutgers started the tournament off by defeating Robert Morris on Friday morning. Though the Colonials (4-5, 0-0) scored first, the Knights responded by scoring 10 unanswered runs, and the game ended with Rutgers winning 10-1. 

Freshman pitcher Ryann Orange scored a run at the bottom of the third inning to give the Knights their first run of the game. Orange led Rutgers with three hits and three runs against Robert Morris. She also hit her second home run of the season in the game.

Junior shortstop Kyleigh Sand and junior pitcher and outfielder Morgan Smith both crossed home plate twice during the game. Smith put the game out of reach with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

Following their game against the Colonials, the Knights gained another victory against their host, College of Charleston. Rutgers defeated the Cougars (3-10, 0-0) in a defensive showdown, winning 3-0.

Neither team was able to score in the first three innings. The Knights started the scoring in the top of the fourth inning when Smith was able to steal home.

Smith accounted for two out of the three runs scored during the game. Freshman pitcher Raimy Gamsby pitched a complete game, totaling seven strikeouts and no allowed runs.

Rutgers suffered its only loss of the tournament to Syracuse on Saturday. In another pitcher's duel, the Orange (5-5, 0-0) defeated the Knights 2-1 in extra innings.

Syracuse scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning, but Rutgers responded well, scoring one run in the bottom of the second inning to keep the game tied at 1-1. Those would be the only runs scored in the allotted seven innings. The game went to extra innings, and in the top of the eighth inning, the Orange scored on an error to bring home what would be the winning run. 

The Knights rebounded and came out strong in their final two games of the tournament. Rutgers gained another victory against Robert Morris on Saturday. The Knights won with a score of 9-4 and ended the matchup with 13 hits.

Later that day, Rutgers got out to an early lead against Charleston and scored four runs in the top of the first inning, three in the top of the second and two in the top of the third inning. 

Graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers and sophomore pitcher Georgia Ingle were on the circle for three innings, each allowing one earned run to the Colonials.

The Knights met up with Syracuse again on Sunday to conclude the tournament. Rutgers was able to exact its revenge on the Orange, defeating the team by a score of 7-2.

Gamsby pitched well against Syracuse, allowing no earned runs and the Orange only scored two runs in the six innings when she was on the circle. Vickers closed out the win, pitching in the seventh inning and allowing no runs.

Orange's terrific play throughout the Classic helped her win Big Ten Freshman of the Week, the third consecutive weekly award for the softball team.

The Knights will compete in the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic this weekend in Lubbock, Texas. Rutgers will match up against North Dakota, Texas Tech and its New Jersey rivals, Seton Hall.

The Knights will begin the tournament Friday at 11 a.m. against the Fighting Hawks (0-12, 0-0)

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

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