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Rutgers softball ends regular season with series win, doubleheader sweep over Penn State

The Rutgers softball team finished its regular season with a series win over Penn State and was named the No. 3 seed ahead of the Big Ten Tournament.  – Photo by / Cos Lymperopoulos

The Rutgers softball team ended its regular season with a series win against Penn State. The Scarlet Knights (33-21,14-9) took 2 of 3 against the Nittany Lions (34-17, 12-11) at the Rutgers Softball Complex on Livingston campus on Friday and Saturday.

Game one: Rutgers loses 4-1

Rutgers opened up the series on Friday with a loss. 

Maddie Gordon led Penn State to victory with three runs batted in (RBI) including a solo shot in the sixth. Gordon also put the Nittany Lions up 4-0 in the final frame with a sacrifice fly.

Bridget Nemeth was in the circle for Penn State, keeping the Knights scoreless through six frames. Nemeth threw eight strikeouts and only gave up one run off five hits. 

Graduate student infielder Payton Lincavage brought in the only run for Rutgers, scoring senior pitcher and outfielder Morgan Smith after singling to shortstop in the seventh but the damage was already done for the Knights. 

Game two: Rutgers wins 5-3

Rutgers ended the series on Saturday in a doubleheader matchup that started at noon.

The Knights got on the board first as senior infielder Megan Herka hit her first homer of the season in the second. Junior infielder Maddie Lawson then scored to extend the advantage to 2-0. 

The Nittany Lions tied the game with a blast from Gaby Garcia in the fourth, but Rutgers took back a 4-2 lead as redshirt junior outfielder Jillian Anderson responded with a two-run homer. 

Herka added on another run for her team in the fifth, scoring Smith to give the Knights a comfortable advantage.

Fifth-year pitcher Mattie Boyd earned her 19th win of the season, retiring eight batters through seven innings. 

Game three: Rutgers wins 9-5

Just like the previous game, Rutgers took an early 2-0 lead on runs from senior shortstop Kyleigh Sand and Smith. 

Nemeth rocketed one over the fence to bring Penn State level at 2-2 in the second. 

The Knights instantly fired back at the next at-bat, reestablishing a two-run lead.

Rutgers continued its scoring streak, as senior outfielder Kayla Bock and graduate student catcher Katie Wingert each launched balls out of the park. 

After five innings, the Knights owned a 9-3 lead and never looked back. The Nittany Lions scored the last two runs of the game but Rutgers’ advantage was too much to overcome.  

The Knights closed out the successful day with a Senior Day ceremony.

Because of its impressive Big Ten slate, Rutgers was named the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, the highest seed in program history. The Knights will take on the winner of Ohio State and Wisconsin. The game will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa, and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. 

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

To view more of Allison Girardi's work, follow @allisongirardii on X.

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