PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 23, 2013) – After enjoying its first weekend off since February, the Rutgers softball team returns to the diamond on Wednesday, April 23 for a BIG EAST doubleheader against Syracuse. Game times are set for 1 and 3 p.m., at the RU Softball Complex.
The Scarlet Knights (25-19, 6-8) return to Piscataway on Thursday, April 25, to battle in-state rival Monmouth at 3:30 p.m.
RU enters its doubleheader with the Syracuse (17-24, 5-9) tied with Connecticut (22-20, 6-8) for sixth place in the conference standings. The Scarlet Knights are two games behind No. 5 Georgetown (19-28, 8-8), and hold a one-game advantage over the Orange, who currently represent the eighth and final qualifying seed for the BIG EAST Championships scheduled for May 9-11 in Tampa, Fla.
Rutgers posted a 2-1 week last week after back-to-back 11-hit performances from the plate. The team scored a combined 16 runs in its two victories, as sophomore Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) spearheaded the offense.
Howard went 5-10 (.500) with three doubles and five RBIs in the three-game span, earning her a spot on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll. She joined juniors Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) and Loren Williams (Los Angeles, Calif.) and senior Kaci Madden (Saratoga, N.Y.) as the only other Scarlet Knights to earn the distinction this season. Williams earned a spot on the Honor Roll twice in 2013.
Syracuse enters its doubleheader with RU after dropping two of three games to Seton Hall in its last time out. The Orange avoided a sweep by taking the series finale, 4-3, at the SU Softball Stadium, scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to seal the win.
SU’s Shirley Daniels, who went 7-14 (.500) and made the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll last week, went 1-2 with a solo shot in the Orange victory. Jasmine Watson is Cuse’s most dangerous hitter; she is tied for fifth in the BIG EAST with 10 home runs and leads her team with a .281 batting average.
Lindsay Taylor boasts the lowest ERA for the Orange at 2.56 and leads the team with 84 strikeouts in 104.0 innings pitched.
Monmouth (26-13, 12-4) visits Piscataway on a three-game winning streak, and has won nine of its last 10 games overall. The Hawks swept Mount St. Mary’s in a doubleheader last week, outscoring the opposition 23-6 in the two games.
Four MU players are hitting above .300 this season, as Kayleena Flores leads the Hawks with a .319 batting average through 36 games. Kate Kuzma leads the team with six homers this season.
The Hawks posses a pair of aces in their starting rotation in Cerissa Rivera and Lauren Sulick, as the hurlers own ERAs of 1.91 and 2.20, respectively. Opponents are hitting just .196 against Sulick this season.
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