SYRACUSE, N.Y. (April 21, 2012) – Rutgers softball came out on the winning end of a pitchers duel in game one of Saturday afternoon’s BIG EAST doubleheader against Syracuse, defeating the Orange 3-1, before falling short on a comeback 5-3 at the SU Softball Stadium.
In game one, Rutgers (22-23, 9-9 BIG EAST) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first taking advantage of the slick weather as sophomore designated player Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) reached and advanced to second on a throwing error by the second baseman. A wild pitch from SU starting pitcher Jenna Caira sent Williams to third and an RBI single from junior second baseman Jennifer Harabedian (Flemington, N.J.) gave the Scarlet Knights an early advantage.
Junior shortstop Ashley Bragg (Middletown, Del.) drew a walk to start off the second inning and came around to score on a double to right field from freshman first baseman Ashley Alden (Ivyland, Pa.). Senior outfielder Lindsey Curran (Monroe Township, N.J.) picked up an RBI in the inning, driving in Alden on a single to left field, extending the Scarlet Knights lead to 3-0.
Freshman pitcher Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth inning, before senior outfielder Lisaira Daniels led off with a single into left field. A throwing error on the subsequent at bat put runners on second and third for the Orange. A sacrifice fly from freshman third baseman Carey-Leigh Thomas broke up the shutout and cut the SU deficit to two, 3-1.
Curran helped to hold the advantage, climbing the wall to rob a home run from senior second baseman Stephanie Watts in the bottom of the fifth inning and came up big again in the sixth with a catch at the fence to keep RU in front for the victory.
Landrith (16-8) earned the win, letting in one unearned run on two hits and fanning seven batters. She stands in a tie for third place on RU’s single season win list with Juliette Brooks (1996). Caira (20-5) allowed two earned runs on five hits and struck out a career-high 18 batters in the loss.
Syracuse (33-11, 10-3 BIG EAST) took its first lead of the afternoon in the second inning of game two, as sophomore first baseman Jasmine Watson drilled a ball over the fence in right center, for the 1-0 advantage.
The Orange extended the lead to three, following a two-run home run from Watts, ending starting pitcher Abbey Houston’s (New Egypt, N.J.) afternoon in the bottom of the third inning.
Rutgers cut the deficit to one at 3-2 in the top half of the fifth inning. Freshman outfielder Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) led off by reaching base on an error and moved into scoring position on an infield single from Bragg. Back-to-back walks from SU starter Stacy Kuwick, broke up the shutout and a sacrifice fly from senior catcher Kylee Bishop (Tacoma, Wash.), scored Bragg.
SU immediately responded, taking advantage of three RU errors in the inning, leading to a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, going up 5-2.
Rutgers did not go quietly, loading the bases in the top of the seventh inning. Freshman outfielder Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) was hit by a pitch, Alden followed with a walk and Bishop singled. Williams drove home Bates on a single up the middle to keep RU alive, down 5-3 with two outs. However, the Scarlet Knights were unable to complete the comeback.
Houston (4-12) takes the loss, allowing three earned runs on two hits. Senior reliever Noelle Sisco (Towaco, N.J.) tossed did not allow an earned run in 3.2 innings. Kuwik (11-3) earned the win, holding RU to two hits on the afternoon and striking out 12 batters.
The series concludes with game three on Sunday at noon at the SU Softball Stadium.
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