Rutgers win streak snapped against LIU Brooklyn
LIU Brooklyn defeated the Rutgers softball team for the first time since 2011 by a score of 4-3 Wednesday afternoon.
In a game that took eight innings at LIU Field, a shot off the bat from Kayla Gloady deflected off of senior pitcher Dresden Maddox’s foot and trickled into the outfield as Victoria Zamora trotted in to score the winning run.
“If we played a clean game today, we win,” said head coach Jay Nelson.
Three passed balls and a collision in the outfield were mistakes that eventually cost the Scarlet Knights the game, giving it away to their last non-conference opponent of the season.
It was the second time this season that LIU (23-24) has played Rutgers (23-27), as the Knights took the first matchup, 2-1.
Junior Aubrie Levine started in the circle for Rutgers, making her seventh start of the season. Levine pitched a total of 3.2 innings, allowing 3 runs off six hits and striking out two.
LIU struck first in the bottom of the first inning after Kylie Mulholland flied out to center field, driving in Whitney West to make the score 1-0 Blackbirds.
Padding its lead in the third inning, LIU's Celinna Cosio’s solo shot down the left field line to put the deficit at two runs.
The Knights would come from behind in the top of the fourth inning and take their first and only lead of the day as sophomore first baseman Rebecca Hall started the inning off singling through the left side.
Senior shortstop Melanie Slowinski would then reach on a fielder’s choice, as Hall would be out on the force at second. Sophomore Sierra Maddox singled followed by Carly Todd singling through the left side.
Sophomore Jacqueline Kott then hit a frozen rope up the middle plating both Maddox and Slowinski, making the score 2-2.
Freshman Adriana Burcar would make her coach look good as she grounded out to second, driving in Todd and giving Rutgers a 3-2 lead.
“I gotta get everyone in,” Nelson said, referring to why he started back ups in many spots in the lineup. “Get them ready for this weekend.”
LIU would tie the game up shortly after the Knights gained the lead via Evie Claussell’s double to drive in Samantha Offenback to even the score back up at three a piece.
The game would then go on for three straight scoreless innings until a single to left by Angie Vazquez would start the inning that eventually made LIU the winner.
Victoria Zamora would pinch a run for Vazquez, advancing to second due to a wild pitch by senior Dresden Maddox.Alyssa Gospodarek then singled to short, advancing Zamora to third.
Kayla Gloady’s hard hit liner would deflect off of Maddox’s foot and make its way into the outfield as Zamora crossed the plate making the final score 4-3.
“I just think we couldn’t execute when we had runners on base,” said senior Jordan Whitley. “I think they did a good job moving runners, and unfortunately, their timing was better than ours.”
Although Rutgers was riding hot with a winning streak of five until Wednesday’s loss, Slowinski feels that the Knights can move on pretty quickly and get ready for a weekend series on the road in East Lansing against Michigan State.
“It’s just a loss, and that’s it,” Slowinski said. “We move on pretty quick. We can bounce back and come out and play the game we know how to. So I think we'll be okay, we just need to keep that in my mind and keep working on it."
With the loss Wednesday, Rutgers is now four games under the .500 mark at 23-27.
An upcoming weekend series against Michigan State will be no easier than Wednesday's game, as the Spartans look to avenge last years sweep by the Knights.
But Nelson isn’t worrying about his teams riding off into the sunset with momentum, he’s worried about straightening out any mistakes that need tuning
“I think about how my team's playing,” Nelson said. “We were a little bit sloppy, we dropped a pop fly because we didn’t call for it, we made a couple errors. All of those things together are problematic. I’m more concerned about straightening those things out than with what our momentum is. We lost six games in a row and came back and won five in a row. It’s a matter of getting everyone to feel good about themselves.”
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