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Rutgers softball earns thrilling, come-from-behind victories in doubleheader against Maryland

The Rutgers softball team gained two more conference victories with wins over Maryland at home today. – Photo by Tom Gilbert /

The Rutgers softball team met with Maryland earlier today for a doubleheader at home, during which the Scarlet Knights (29-12, 6-2) won both of their matchups against the Terrapins (27-9, 4-4).

To start off the afternoon, Maryland scored the opening run of the first game. The game remained at 1-0 until the Terrapins were able to bring in 2 more runs during the fifth inning.

Though they were still scoreless at the bottom of the seventh inning, Rutgers was ultimately able to do what was needed to win the game.

Senior infielder and catcher Kiersten Withstandley ended Maryland pitcher Courtney Wyche's no-hit bid in the bottom of the seventh inning with a single to center field for the Knights.

Sophomore infielder Maddie Lawson and Withstandley were able to advance to second and third base, respectively, as a result of freshman pitcher Ryann Orange's groundout. Shortly after, Withstandley scored the first run for Rutgers after sophomore pitcher and first baseman Georgia Ingle walked to first.

With bases loaded, senior infielder Payton Lincavage walked to tie the game at 3 points apiece. Batting after her was junior pitcher Morgan Smith, whose performance determined the game.

Smith singled to left field to bring home junior outfielder Leilani Chavez, which also allowed junior shortstop Kyleigh Sand to slide across the home plate just in time for the walk-off victory.

In just one inning, the Knights were able to secure their first runs of the game to bounce back and win 4-3. The thrilling victory was a milestone for head coach Kristen Butler, who earned her 100th win as a coach on the Banks.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Rutgers led right at the start of the contest, courtesy of a first inning Katie Wingert double that brought Smith home.

The Terrapins recorded their first runs during the fourth inning off of freshman pitcher Raimy Gamsby, who took a 1-point lead over the Knights. Graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers entered the circle during the fourth inning to try to prevent any more damage on the basepaths from Maryland.

Rutgers quickly tied the score after a run-scoring double from senior outfielder Taylor Fawcett down the left-field line. Orange was able to bring in yet another run for the Knights with a double that brought home Fawcett once more in the sixth inning. Sand topped things off with a run-scoring single of her own to allow Orange to reach the plate.

Vickers was able to close the door for the save at the top of the seventh inning, giving Rutgers a 5-2 win. She pitched the last four innings for the Knights and allowed no hits while striking out seven Terrapins.

Rutgers will be riding high off these two conference victories before it travels to Colombus, Ohio, this weekend for a series against Ohio State. The first game will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday. The series will continue with a 2 p.m. game on Saturday and conclude with a game at noon on Sunday. All games can be live streamed on the Big Ten Network+.

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

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