Rutgers losing streak jumps to 8 with pair of close losses
Knights suffer another conference doubleheader sweep
The Rutgers softball team's losing streak extended to eight straight games with consecutive losses during a doubleheader on Tuesday night in College Park, against Maryland.
The Scarlet Knights (17-23, 2-9) lost the first game, 5-3, and freshman reliever Taylor Manno received the loss from the circle. Manno replaced junior pitcher Whitney Jones in the second inning, after Jones pitched one inning, allowing one run on three hits.
The Terrapins (18-27, 7-7) had a strong pitching performance from Ryan Denhart, who pitched six and two thirds innings, allowing 4 runs on six hits, while striking out five. Sydney Golden got the final out of the game for Maryland, earning the save from the circle.
Freshman second basemen Myah Moy was 2-3 on the day with 2 RBI’s and a run scored. Moy also had a solo home run in the fourth inning to give Rutgers the lead at the time, 2-1. The Knights’ only other RBI came from junior shortstop Jess Hughes, who had a bases loaded walk in the top of the seventh inning.
The Terps strung together 11 hits in the game, led by catcher Anna Kufta, who was 2-4 with a run scored and two RBI’s.
In game two of the doubleheader, Rutgers suffered an 8-7 walk-off loss in the bottom of the seventh inning, after leading Maryland 7-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Sophomore pitcher Cambria Keefer started in the circle for Rutgers, pitching admirably allowing three hits over five solid innings of work. After five innings of play, Rutgers lead Maryland 2-1.
In the top half of the sixth inning, the Knights exploded for 5 runs thanks to a bases loaded walk by sophomore infielder Nicole Bowman and a fielder's choice from senior infielder Meaghan Wells.
After that, two consecutive RBI singles from freshman catcher Christine Malito and sophomore outfielder Hailey Hoklotubbe netted 3 more runs for Rutgers.
Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Knights held a 7-1 lead over the Terps. That’s when disaster struck. After Keefer surrendered back to back home runs cutting their lead to 7-3, she was replaced by freshman reliever Taryn Collins.
After Collins got the first out of the inning, she surrendered a single followed by a fielding error by Hughes, which put two runners on base. After that, a RBI double cut the Rutgers lead to 7-4. Collins was then replaced by freshman reliever Bianca Vozenilek, who gave up a 3-run home run to tie the game at 7-7.
Vozenilek was left on in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Knights could not muster up a run in the top half of the inning. After hitting back to back doubles, Maryland had runners on second and third with one out. That set the stage for first baseman Jacqui Pascual, who singled into right field, walking off the game for Maryland with an 8-7 win.
With the losses, Rutgers falls to 17-23 on the season and 2-9 in the Big Ten, which puts them in last place. The Knights’ next series comes against Northwestern (25-13, 8-5) in a three-game series at home in Piscataway this weekend.
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