Rutgers falls in extra innings to LIU Brooklyn
In a game that featured 21 runs scored and 33 hits between both teams, the Rutgers softball team fell in extra innings on the road to LIU Brooklyn, 11-10, in nine innings. The loss marks the team's 12th in a row, dating back to its last win on March 31.
In the top of the first inning, junior shortstop Jess Hughes put the Scarlet Knights (17-27, 2-12) on the board first with a solo bomb to left field. But, the Blackbirds (17-24) knotted the score at 1-1 when Victoria Zamora countered with a solo home run of her own to centerfield in the bottom of the second inning.
At the start of the third inning, senior first baseman Rebecca Hall put Rutgers back on top 2-1 with her team-leading seventh home run of the season. Through two innings of work, freshman pitcher Taylor Manno had only given up one mistake — the home run to Zamora in the second.
Freshman Taryn Collins was brought on in for relief for one inning of work in the third, and after an error at shortstop by Hughes and a bases-loaded walk, a fielder's choice netted LIU Brooklyn 2 runs in the inning and now led the game 3-2.
When sophomore pitcher Cambria Keefer came into the game for the Knights, the floodgates began to open for the Blackbirds. After a walk and a double to start off the inning, Keefer surrendered a 3-run home run to Angie Vazquez to put LIU Brooklyn up 6-2.
After the Blackbirds pushed across another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, Rutgers trailed 7-2 heading into the top of the seventh inning, needing 5 runs to extend the game — and that is exactly what it did.
Hall started the inning off with a one out single, and advanced to third base on a double from freshman infielder Myah Moy. After sophomore right fielder Nicole Bowman walked, sophomore infielder Anyssa Iliopoulos stepped up to the plate.
Iliopoulos ripped a pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam, tightening the gap to just 1 run. LIU Brooklyn made a pitching change, and the Knights strung together some base runners to set up an RBI single from Hughes to tie the game with two outs.
Junior pitcher Whitney Jones came on in relief for Rutgers in the bottom of the seventh, and slammed the door on the Blackbirds, forcing extra innings.
Iliopoulos hit an RBI double scoring Hall in the top of the eighth inning and senior catcher Sierra Maddox proceeded to hit a 2-run home run to put the Knights on top 10-7 after eight and a half innings.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Zamora tied things up again, hitting a 3-run bomb off of Keefer to make the score 10 apiece.
Keefer remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, where LIU Brooklyn walked off the game with a fielder's choice after the bases were loaded. Rutgers fought admirably to tie the game up again, but eventually the effort was spoiled.
Hall was 4-6 in the game with 3 runs scored and an RBI. Iliopoulos was 3-5 with 2 runs scored and a team leading five RBI’s in the game. Keefer received the loss moving her record to 8-13 on the season.
The Knights will pick things back up on Friday with a road series against Michigan State (18-24, 4-11) in East Lansing. There, they will have three games to try and snap their 12-game losing streak.
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