PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 11, 2013) – The Rutgers softball team heads to South Bend, Ind., to square off with Notre Dame in a critical three-game series. The Scarlet Knights (23-15, 6-5) enter the series one spot behind the No. 4 Fighting Irish (26-10, 7-1) in the conference standings, as the three-game set carries seeding implications for the BIG EAST Championships, scheduled for May 9 in South Florida.
The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 13 beginning at noon, before closing the three-game set on Sunday with another noon matchup at Melissa Cook Stadium.
RU enters with a 4-1 record in its last five games, as it downed in-state rival Princeton, 4-0, in its most recent contest. The pitching combination of senior Abbey Houston (New Egypt, N.J.) and freshman Dresden Maddox (Kennesaw, Ga.) shut down the Tigers lineup, allowing only four hits.
From the plate, the Scarlet Knights took advantage of a three-run second inning to secure the victory. Sophomore Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) and senior Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) each recorded RBI singles in the inning, with senior Kaci Madden (Saratoga, N.Y.) drawing an RBI-walk.
Notre Dame enters the series with just one blemish on its conference schedule, as the Irish had their 17-game BIG EAST winning streak snapped by Villanova earlier this season.
The Irish enter the matchup with the No. 17 batting average in the country (.327), and boast the nation’s most dangerous hitter in Emily Koerner. Koerner leads the nation with a .504 batting average and is 10th nationally with a .904 slugging percentage. Both marks are tops in the BIG EAST.
Of the six Notre Dame players hitting at least .300, all own averages upwards of .330, and three recorded at least 27 RBIs this season. The squad enters the series 3-2 in the past five games, with their most recent outing resulting in an 11-3 loss in five innings to Northwestern.
Notre Dame owns a 30-8 all-time advantage over the Scarlet Knights, as the Fighting Irish topped RU last year in the BIG EAST Tournament by a 5-0 margin. RU last topped the Fighting Irish on April 11 of last season, taking the game, 7-6, to split the regular season series
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