Rutgers losing streak up to 6 games
Last weekend, the Rutgers softball team traveled to Ann Arbor to take on No. 17 Michigan in a three-game series. Due to rain on Sunday, the Scarlet Knights were only able to play the Wolverines in a doubleheader on Friday.
In game one of the doubleheader, Michigan threw out its ace, freshman Meghan Beaubien, who pitched a complete game (5 innings) two hitter, allowing Rutgers to score only once, while striking out seven, en route to an 11-1 mercy rule win. Beaubien’s 25th win of the season leads the nation in individual pitching wins.
The Knights scored first in the game, thanks to an RBI double from senior first baseman Rebecca Hall in the top of the first inning, which scored sophomore left fielder Hailey Hoklotubbe.
Hall’s double gave her 46 career doubles as a Knight, tying her for second all-time in program history. With the RBI, Hall sits at 135 for her career, which gives her possession of third place all-time in Rutgers program history.
But after going up 1-0, the Wolverines answered with a grand slam in the bottom half of the first inning off of sophomore starter Cambria Keefer. She lasted just two innings in this one, allowing 6 runs on six hits and four walks. With the loss Keefer moves to 5-8 on the season from the circle.
The Knights’ only other hit in the game came from freshman second baseman Myah Moy. Freshman reliever Taryn Collins came in after Keefer was pulled and pitched the remainder of the game, giving up 5 runs on five hits.
In game two of the doubleheader, Rutgers put out junior pitcher Whitney Jones, while Michigan countered with the second ace on its staff, Tera Blanco. Jones lasted four innings for the Knights, allowing 6 runs on nine hits and four walks, on the way to a 9-2 Wolverine victory. With the loss, her record moves to 8-11 on the season.
Blanco pitched six innings of work for Michigan, allowing 2 runs on five hits, while striking out three. Blanco picked up the win on the day, improving her record to 8-2.
Sophomore right fielder Nicole Bowman broke up the shutout in the fourth inning with an RBI single that scored Hoklotubbe. Junior shortstop Jess Hughes had the second and final RBI for Rutgers in the fifth inning, with a single that scored sophomore Anyssa Iliopoulos.
Looking ahead for Rutgers (17-21), it will take on Maryland (16-27) on Tuesday in a doubleheader. The games will be away from Piscataway in College Park.
The Terrapins rank 153 in RPI, while the Knights rank 112. This should be a good bounce back series for Rutgers, as it lost its last six games dating back to April 1. The Knights have also played two consecutive ranked Big Ten opponents in series’.
Maryland hits a lowly .234 as a team, while allowing opponents to hit .290 off of them. The team ERA isn’t that great either, with a combined staff number of 4.38, while allowing opposing pitchers an ERA of 1.91 against them.
The games will be nationally televised on the Big Ten Network starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Rutgers will likely throw its top two pitchers in Keefer (5-8, 4.20 ERA) and Jones (8-11, 4.04 ERA). Look for the Terrapins to counter with Ryan Denhart (8-12, 3.44 ERA) and Sydney Golden (8-13, 4.26 ERA).
For updates on the Rutgers softball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.