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Rutgers softball ends losing streak but drops 2 games to Iowa

Senior outfielder Taylor Fawcett helped drive home a run in the Rutgers softball team's series-opening win against Iowa. – Photo by Ariel Fox /

The Rutgers softball team won 1 out of 3 games during its weekend series against Iowa. The Scarlet Knights (31-22, 8-12) broke their losing streak to open the series but fell in their Saturday and Sunday matchups.

Friday afternoon was a much-needed win for Rutgers as the Knights were able to grab a 5-3 win and end an eight-game losing streak.

Rutgers picked up all 5 of its runs early in the game. Senior outfielder Taylor Fawcett's sacrifice fly allowed freshman pitcher Ryann Orange to trot home. Junior shortstop Kyleigh Sand started off the rally of runs after getting on base during the third inning. Junior pitcher and outfielder Morgan Smith then singled to left field, enabling Sand to run home.

Fawcett's triple to right center allowed Orange and fifth-year senior catcher Katie Wingert to cross home plate. The Knights were able to keep the lead for the remainder of the game. 

Despite the Hawkeyes (30-22, 10-10) picking up 2 more runs toward the end of the game, it was not enough for them to make a comeback. Graduate student pitcher Jaden Vickers tossed all seven innings in the series-opening win.

Iowa was able to get the edge over Rutgers on Saturday, where the team won the game 7-4. The Hawkeyes picked up 3 runs in the first two innings, but the Knights were able to tie the score shortly after in the third and fourth innings. In the fourth inning, junior outfielder Kayla Bock sent a ball over the center field wall for the game-tying run.

The fifth inning served Iowa well as four different players were able to run home for the Hawkeyes, and Rutgers was unable to make a comeback. The Knights had a total of eight hits in Saturday's game.

On Sunday, both teams played a hard-fought game. Iowa began the game right away, bringing in 5 runs during the first inning.

Rutgers scored 4 out of its 6 runs during the second inning. Smith's RBI through the left field side brought in Sand and junior outfielder Leilani Chavez. Smith and senior infielder Payton Lincavage were later brought home after Wingert hit a 2-run double.

The Knights and Hawkeyes both scored 2 runs during the fourth inning. The game was still close, entering the final three innings as Rutgers was only down by 1 run. 

After scoring 2 runs near the end of the game, Iowa took home the win over the Knights by a score of 9-6 as Rutgers was unable to gather any additional offense.

Vickers was inside the circle for 4.2 innings in the closing game of the series, giving up 4 runs, 3 of which were earned, and receiving the loss. Senior pitcher Ashley Hitchcock and sophomore pitcher and first baseman Georgia Ingle also made quick appearances inside the circle for the Knights.

Rutgers will have its last conference series this weekend against Northwestern. Back on their home field, the Knights have one last weekend to pick up more victories before the Big Ten Tournament. While their losing streak is over, the Knights still have lost 10 out of their last 11 games.

The series will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Rutgers Softball Complex on Livingston campus. Saturday's game will take place at 3 p.m., followed by Sunday's 1 p.m. senior day game. The series will be broadcasted on Big Ten Plus throughout the weekend.

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

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