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Rutgers softball swept by Penn State

Graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers pitched eight innings and allowed no runs in two games in the circle against Penn State this weekend, but the Rutgers softball team was swept by the Nittany Lions (23-13, 5-9). – Photo by AJ Henderson /

The Rutgers softball team was swept by Penn State during its weekend series in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Scarlet Knights (30-17, 7-7) struggled to generate hits and runs against the Nittany Lions (23-13, 5-9) pitchers and only scored 3 runs across the three games played. Here are three takeaways from Rutgers' three-game series against Penn State.

Bats go cold in Friday's doubleheader

The Knights faced off against the Nittany Lions for a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. Rutgers lost both games after failing to score a run in either.

The first game was a low-scoring affair. The game was tied 0-0 heading into the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Emily Maddock singled to bring home Penn State's 1st and only run of the game. That would end up being the winning run as the Nittany Lions won the series opener 1-0.

Junior shortstop Kyleigh Sand, junior outfielder and pitcher Morgan Smith and junior outfielder Kayla Bock each had one hit during the game, which was the Knights' only hits in the game.

Penn State found even more success hitting the ball and scoring runs in the second game of the doubleheader. In the bottom of the second inning, Maddie Gordon hit a 3-run home run over the left-center field wall to put the Nittany Lions up 3-0. Those would be the only runs scored for both teams, as Penn State ultimately won the game 3-0.

Rutgers was only able to manage four hits in the second game of the doubleheader. Though Sand and Morgan both got another hit in the second game, they were unable to cross home plate.

This is the first time this season that the team has gone two games in a row without bringing in at least 1 run.

Strong pitching performances

The Knights' pitchers had strong performances inside the pitcher's circle. Smith started the series opener pitching for four innings, allowing seven hits, getting five strikeouts and allowing no runs.

Freshman pitcher Raimy Gamsby pitched the game's final two innings, getting one strikeout and allowing two hits and 1 earned run. That run would end up being the difference in the game.

Graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers pitched all six innings in the second game of the doubleheader. She allowed seven hits and 3 earned runs while recording one strikeout.

Rutgers pitchers struggled inside the circle during today's game. Gamsby got the start, pitching 2.2 innings while allowing three hits, one walk and 6 earned runs. She later struggled with command as she hit two batters. Freshman pitcher Ryann Orange came in for Ramsby in relief, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and 2 earned runs.

Vickers concluded the game, pitching two hitless and scoreless innings.

Sunday struggles

The Knights' struggles continued today. The Nittany Lions got out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a 2-run home run in the bottom of the second inning and a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning.

Rutgers finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. The Knights got five hits and brought in 3 runs in the fourth inning to cut Penn State's lead to just 3 runs.

The Nittany Lions would quickly put an end to the Rutgers comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a double from Maddock that brought home 2 runs. Those would be the final runs scored as Penn State won 8-3.

The Knights' offense continued to struggle today, striking out nine times in the contest.

After traveling the last two weekends, Rutgers will be back at the Rutgers Softball Complex on Livingston campus this weekend, where the team will play a three-game series against Indiana. Friday and Saturday's games will start at 3 p.m., and Sunday's game will begin at 1 p.m. All three games will be broadcasted on Big Ten Plus.

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

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