PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 9, 2012) – The Rutgers softball team will make its third-consecutive appearance in the BIG EAST Championships on Thursday, May 10, as the No. 7-seeded Scarlet Knights are set to take on No. 2-seeded and host Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m. at Melissa Cook Stadium.
RU concluded the regular season with a 26-27 overall mark, its highest win total in the Jay Nelson era, and a 9-13 mark in BIG EAST action. The Scarlet Knights closed out the campaign with a pair of five-inning victories against Lafayette on Wednesday, May 1. Freshman pitcher Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) logged her second perfect game of the season in a five-inning, 9-0 win. Rutgers’ offense backed up Landrith with 11 hits, including a 2-for-3 performance from senior third baseman Brittney Lindley (Cicero, N.Y.) who launched two home runs for three RBI.
In game two, the Scarlet Knights picked up five runs in the third inning en route to defeating the Leopards 8-0. Senior pitcher Noelle Sisco (Towaco, N.J.) threw four scoreless innings, allowing two hits, while sophomore Megan Williams (Richmond, Va.) came in relief for a one-two-three fifth inning.
Landrith leads the pitching staff with 18 wins on the year – second on the RU single season win list – and has recorded a 2.17 ERA. Lindley has recorded a team-best .336 batting average with 12 doubles and 28 RBI. Senior outfielder Lindsey Curran (Monroe Township, N.J.) has recorded a .344 on-base percentage from the leadoff position and has added 16 stolen bases. Freshman outfielder Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) finished the year with a team-high 11 RBI in conference games.
Notre Dame (36-13, 16-3 BIG EAST) was won 15-straight contests coming into the tournament, including a sweep over Pittsburgh in the final weekend of conference action. Pitcher Laura Winter has led the squad with 25-8 mark in the circle and a 1.84 ERA. Amy Buntin is one of three hitters batting over .350 and has chipped in 53 RBI on the year. Dani Miller has recorded a team-best 16 home runs and 54 RBI.
RU split with the Fighting Irish on April 11; falling 4-1 in game one and taking a 7-6 win in the Scarlet Knights only extra inning contest of the season in game two. Freshman first baseman Ashley Alden (Ivyland, Pa.) picked up her second grand slam of the year, part of a five-run fourth inning to tie the game. Howard launched a solo home run in the fifth giving Rutgers its first lead of the contest, but Notre Dame evened the contest in the top of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Howard completed her 3-for-5 performance with the game-winning double. The victory marked the first by RU over the Fighting Irish since the 2008 campaign and gave ND its first league loss of the season.
The winner of Thursday’s contest will take on the winner of No. 3 Syracuse and No. 6 St. John’s at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11.
For more information log on to the BIG EAST Championship Central page.
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