Rutgers losing streak at 15 after series sweep to Michigan State
Thank goodness April is almost over. With three losses this weekend to Michigan State, the Rutgers softball team extended its losing streak to 15 in a row, having not won a game in the entire month of April. The Scarlet Knights dropped the games by scores of 4-2, 9-2 and 2-0.
In game one, junior pitcher Whitney Jones took to the circle for Rutgers. Jones tossed four shutout innings before giving up 3 runs in the fifth. In total she pitched five innings, giving up 4 runs and four walks. The loss moves her record to 8-14 on the season.
Senior first baseman Rebecca Hall was a perfect 3-3 on the day, including an RBI single in the sixth inning. Sophomore right fielder Nicole Bowman put the Knights on the board first in the game, with an RBI single in the fourth inning that put Rutgers ahead 1-0 at the time.
With her single in the first inning, Hall moved into second place on the program's all-time hit list with 213 total base knocks. She trails only alumnus Carla Camino, who has 233 all-time hits.
Sophomore center fielder Hailey Hoklotubbe also extended her hit streak to eight games and has reached base safely in the last fifteen games.
During game two of the series, freshman pitcher Taylor Manno got roughed up in the circle for the Knights, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) through three innings of work. She received the loss, moving her to 0-2 this year. Freshman pitcher Taryn Collins came on in relief, allowing 4 runs in two and one thirds innings of work.
For the Spartans, left fielder Kelly Zackrison hit 2 home runs in the game, accumulating three RBI’s. Rutgers’ only two RBI’s in the game came from sophomore infielder Anyssa Iliopoulos on a fielder's choice, and a safety squeeze bunt play from senior catcher Sierra Maddox.
Hoklotubbe singled in the game, moving her hit streak to nine and her reached base safely mark to sixteen games in a row.
Despite an excellent pitching effort from Jones in the third and final game of the series, the Knights fell to Michigan State, 2-0. Jones pitched six innings, allowing only 2 runs on three hits. Unfortunately, Spartans starter Kristina Zalewski was just a little bit better, tossing a complete game shutout with five strikeouts.
Hoklotubbe was 2-3 in the game, moving her hitting streak to 10 games in a row, and tying junior shortstop Jess Hughes with 17 straight games reaching base on the season.
With only one series remaining on the season for Rutgers, it is hoping May will deliver better results than April did. The Knights were 0-15 in April, with their last win coming on March 31, a 4-2 decision over Penn State.
Rutgers will return home to play its final three games of the season this weekend against Indiana. Despite being just 24-27 on the season, the Hoosiers own one of the top records in the Big Ten with its 16-4 mark.
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