July 18, 2019 | 81° F

Rutgers to play 5 games over weekend in Georgia

Knights travel down south for Bobbie Bailey Memorial Tournament

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

This weekend, the Rutgers softball team (3-6) will travel to Kennesaw, Georgia to play in the Bobbie Bailey Memorial Tournament at Kennesaw State from Friday to Sunday. 

It will play a doubleheader on Friday against the host team Kennesaw State (2-3), a doubleheader on Saturday against Florida A&M (3-6), and will close out the tournament Sunday against Morehead State (6-2). 

Coming off the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last weekend, the Scarlet Knights went 1-3, playing through some tough competition that included two ranked teams in No. 5 Oregon and No. 16 Ole Miss. Their lone win in the tournament came against Houston, which they won 4-3 in extra innings. 

"We're looking to build on our last win," said head coach Jay Nelson to scarletknights.com. "It gave us a little momentum beating a good team that is now receiving votes in the national polls. We had some timely hitting and great pitching, so we're looking to carry that confidence into Georgia and bring home as many wins as possible."

Leading the way so far for Rutgers has been senior first basemen Rebecca Hall, who is batting .346 thus far with three doubles, 2 home runs and nine RBIs. She is also leading the team in slugging percentage, sitting at .769. 

Hall, who has had a memorable career so far as a Knight, is on the verge of breaking through to top honors on some key stat categories in program history. She is 37 RBI’s shy of setting a new program record, nine hits away from being top 10 all-time and 14 doubles away from being No. 1 all time in career two-baggers. 

Rutgers has some other key players on offense as well, like freshman designated player Erin Collins, who has reached base safely in every game so far this year. Sophomore infielder Nicole Bowman is currently tied for the team lead in batting average (.350) and is also riding a six-game hit streak into the weekend. 

Despite being just 1-3 on the season, junior starting pitcher Whitney Jones has thrown well, compiling a 2.92 ERA so far with six strikeouts. Sophomore Cambria Keefer also has a pitching victory, as she is 1-2 on the year with a 4.71 ERA. 

The Knights have been solid in swiping bags so far this season, as they have successfully stolen 8 out of 9 base attempts on the year. 

Coming into this tournament, Rutgers (.232 team BA and 5.28 team ERA) ranks behind both the Owls (.273 team BA and 4.20 team ERA) and the Eagles (.260 team BA and 2.58 team ERA) in both of those categories. But, it ranks ahead of the Rattlers, who post a .205 team batting average and 6.34 team ERA. 

Of the three teams they will be facing this weekend, the Knights only own a series victory over Florida A&M at 5-0 all-time. Rutgers is 0-1 against Kennesaw State all time and 1-1 against Morehead State. 

After the tournament this weekend in Kennesaw, the Knights will continue their non-conference schedule next weekend at Hampton University in Virginia, where they will compete in the Pirate Invitational against Hampton, North Dakota and Maryland Eastern Shore. 

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

Matthew Howe

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