April 23, 2019 | 71° F

Rutgers goes 1-3 in Puerto Vallarta

Photo by Jeffrey Gomez |

This weekend, the Rutgers softball team traveled south of the border to play in the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge (PVCC) in Mexico. After playing four games, the Scarlet Knights will come home from Mexico having gone 1-3 and are now 3-6 on the season. 

In game one of the challenge, Rutgers lost a hard fought game 2-0 to Texas. This pitchers duel saw only eight hits combined in the entire game, three for the Knights and five for the Longhorns. 

Junior pitcher Whitney Jones (1-2) received the loss in the game after pitching six innings and allowing only 1 earned run. For Texas, Paige von Sprecken pitched a gem, a complete game shutout, while striking out five. 

In the second game of the weekend, Rutgers squared off against a formidable opponent, No. 3 Oregon. After five innings, the game was over as the Ducks demolished the Knights, 10-0. Rutgers only managed two hits in the game and also made two errors in the field. 

Freshman pitcher Taryn Collins took the loss (1-1), as she pitched one inning allowing 5 earned runs. Freshmen Taylor Manno and Bianca Vozenilek came on in relief for the Knights. 

The next game for Rutgers featured yet another ranked opponent, this time in No. 15 Ole Miss. In this game, the Knights dropped a 9-1 loss in six innings. Jones received the loss on her record (1-3), as she pitched three innings, allowing eight hits and 4 earned runs. 

Rutgers had four errors in the game, something that plagued them throughout the Challenge. Its lone RBI in the game came from a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior first baseman Rebecca Hall. 

In the final game of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, the Knights won a thrilling game in extra innings against Houston, 4-3. For Rutgers, sophomore Cambria Keefer (1-2) hurled all eight innings earning the win, allowing only 2 earned runs. 

Three of its 4 runs came in the top of the eighth inning, including a home run from Hall, who was 2-for-4 in the game. 

“I saw her throwing riseballs to the other hitters, so I knew what to expect when I came up,” Hall told scarletknights.com. "This is a huge win for our team,” Hall said. “Obviously we struggled throughout the weekend so for our team to pick it up after a loss earlier today and have that kind of energy was awesome.” 

Winning the final game of the PVCC was huge for the Knights, as it was their lone win of the weekend. Hall, Keefer and sophomore infielder Nicole Bowman were named to the All-Tournament team. 

Next weekend, Rutgers will travel to Georgia to play in the Bailey Memorial Tournament at Kennesaw State, where it will face off against Florida A&M and Morehead State, as well as the host team. 

“Control the things you can control in the game, and hopefully the outcome would turn around and it did, it played out in our favor today so that’s exciting," Hall said about the win over Houston.

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

Matthew Howe

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