June 18, 2019 | 72° F

Rutgers gets swept by No. 23 Ohio State at home

Photo by Daniel Morreale |

Last weekend, the Rutgers softball team was swept in a three-game series against No. 23 Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights (17-19, 2-5) lost by scores of 12-3, 6-2 and 10-3. 

In the first game on Friday, Rutgers lost 12-3 after six innings of play. 

Junior pitcher Whitney Jones got the start in the circle for the Knights, but had a rough outing lasting only one inning, allowing 4 runs on three hits and three walks. Jones received the loss on the day, moving her record to 8-8.

Sophomore pitcher Cambria Keefer was brought into the game in the second inning for Rutgers, and also had a rough inning in relief. 

Keefer lasted one inning, allowing 4 runs on four hits. The final four innings were pitched by freshman Taylor Manno, who allowed 4 runs (2 earned). 

For the Buckeyes, Morgan Ray pitched all six innings, allowing only 2 earned runs, while striking out eight on the day. Ray also allowed five hits while surrendering six walks. 

Junior shortstop Jess Hughes extended her hitting streak to 15 games in the loss, going 2-3 with 2 runs scored and a walk. Freshman infielder Myah Moy was also 1-3 with an RBI. 

Ohio State shortstop Lilli Piper had a big game at the plate, going 2-3 with four RBI’s and 1 run scored. Piper also had a 3-run home run in the second inning. 

In game two on Saturday, the Buckeyes took down the Knights by a score of 6-2.

Jones got the start for the second game in a row after her rough game-one outing. Jones pitched well in the game, pitching all seven innings while allowing 6 runs on 10 hits, but did not receive enough run support to get the win. 

Shelby McCombs, Ohio State's ace, got the start in game two and improved her record to 10-2 on the season, allowing just 2 earned runs while striking out five batters. She also hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. 

Hughes went 2-3 again at the plate for Rutgers, moving her hitting streak to 16 games in a row. Senior first baseman Rebecca Hall was 1-3 on the day with an RBI double in the top of the sixth inning. 

The top six batters in the Buckeyes lineup each had an RBI on the day, accounting for all 6 of their runs in the game. With the win, they have won 10 straight season series against the Knights.

In the third and final game of the series, Ohio State capped off the road sweep of Rutgers with a 10-3 win. 

Jones made her third consecutive start of the series, pitching four innings, allowing 6 runs on eight hits. She received the loss in the game moving her record to 8-10 on the season. 

Ray got the win over the Knights yet again, improving her record to 13-5. Ray allowed 3 earned runs on five hits in six innings pitched. She also walked seven batters. 

Sophomore right fielder Nicole Bowman hit a 2-run homer in the top of the fifth inning, her fourth home run this season. Hall had an RBI double to get Rutgers on the board in the top of the third inning, her 10th double of the season. 

With the RBI double, Hall now has 134 career RBI’s, moving her into a third-place tie with Brittney Lindley (2009-12) on the all-time Scarlet Knight RBI list. 

The double was her 45th career double at Rutgers, also moving her into third place all-time in career doubles. Hall is seven doubles away from setting a new program record. 

Hughes had three walks and was hit by a pitch in the game, failing to record an official at bat. Therefore, her 16-game hit streak was unaffected and will remain intact heading into the Knights’ next series with Michigan. 

Rutgers will travel to Michigan (31-7) for a three-game series in Ann Arbor this Friday through Sunday. The Wolverines are ranked No. 28 in the country according to RPI. The Knights are currently ranked No. 116 in RPI. 

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

Matthew Howe

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