Rutgers softball's struggles continue against Indiana
The Rutgers softball team was swept by Indiana during its three-game series at the Rutgers Softball Complex on Livingston campus. The Scarlet Knights (30-20, 7-10) have now struggled for two consecutive weekends and are on an eight-game losing streak.
Rutgers lost the series opener 7-3 on Friday afternoon. The Hoosiers (34-15, 12-5) grabbed an early lead in the game, which they were able to maintain throughout the contest.
Indiana jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning before junior shortstop Kyleigh Sand stole home in the bottom of the first inning to cut the Knights' deficit in half. The Hoosiers would fire right back, though, scoring 4 runs in the second inning to take a 6-1 lead.
The rest of the game was a pitcher's duel, as Indiana was only able to score 1 more run, and Rutgers only scored 2 more runs. Sand scored again during the third inning on a sacrifice flyout from senior infielder Payton Lincavage. Lincavage crossed home plate herself in the sixth inning.
Junior pitcher and outfielder Morgan Smith began inside the pitcher's circle but struggled, only pitching one inning and allowing 5 earned runs. Senior pitcher Ashley Hitchcock came in relief, pitching the remaining six innings of the game, allowing only four hits and 2 earned runs.
The Knights' struggles continued yesterday afternoon, and the team lost the second game of the series by a score of 9-0.
Rutgers bats once again went cold as the contest marked the third time the Knights were shut out in the last five games.
The Hoosiers jumped out to another early lead, scoring 4 runs in the top of the first inning to put the game out of reach.
Graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers pitched inside the circle for 2.1 innings, allowing three hits, five walks and 6 runs. Sophomore pitcher and first baseman Georgia Ingle came in for Vickers and pitched 2.2 innings, allowing seven hits and 2 earned runs.
Rutgers played a more competitive game in the series finale but still lost by a score of 5-4.
For the third game in a row, Indiana took a first-inning lead. With the Knights down 3-0 when they entered the bottom of the third inning, they had their best inning of the series, scoring 4 runs. Rutgers got those runs on three hits, one walk and one batter hit by pitch.
With the bases loaded, Smith was able to drive in the 1st run after being hit by a pitch. With the bases still loaded, senior catcher Katie Wingert tied the game on a single to right center field that brought home 2 runs. Smith then crossed home plate on a sacrifice flyout by sophomore infielder Maddie Lawson to give the Knights the 4-3 lead.
The Hoosiers tied the game in the top of the fifth inning and took the 1-run lead in the top of the sixth inning on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded. Indiana would hold Rutgers scoreless for the final four frames to win the game and sweep the series.
The Knights will go back on the road next weekend when they travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on Iowa. The three-game series is Rutgers' penultimate series of the regular season and will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and continue over the weekend. All three games will be broadcasted on Big Ten Plus.
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