PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 3, 2013) – The Rutgers softball team faces Pittsburgh this weekend at the RU Softball Complex in a pivotal BIG EAST series. RU and Pitt are two of eight teams fighting for the final four qualifying spots for the BIG EAST Championships, set for May 9-11 in Tampa, Fla.
The series begins on Saturday, May 4 with a doubleheader. Game times are set for noon and 2 p.m., as the Scarlet Knights will honor their four graduating seniors – Ashley Bragg (Middletown, Del.), Jennifer Harabedian (Flemington, N.J.), Abbey Houston (New Egypt, N.J.) and Kaci Madden (Saratoga, N.Y.) – prior to the first contest of the afternoon.
The series finale will be played on Sunday at the RU Softball Complex, beginning at noon. RVision, presented by AT&T, will broadcast the contest live on scarletknights.com. Danny Breslauer will be on the play-by-play call.
The Scarlet Knights (29-24, 7-12) currently hold onto the eighth and final qualifying spot for the BIG EAST Championships, as they seek their fourth consecutive bid to the conference tournament. Pitt (17-28, 6-13) enters the series tied for 10th with Seton Hall (19-28, 6-12) in the conference standings. Both are behind Connecticut (25-25, 7-12), which is currently ninth, since RU owns the series tiebreaker after taking two of three games from the Huskies earlier this season.
RU has outscored the opposition, 20-2, in its last three contests, as the Scarlet Knights enter on a three-game winning streak. The squad shutout Lafayette, 15-0, in two games on Wednesday, May 1, in its final non-conference meetings of the season. Harabedian continues to swing a hot bat, as the second baseman is hitting .433 (13-30) is the Scarlet Knights’ last 10 games.
The Panthers enter the critical series after splitting a midweek doubleheader with Providence (22-25-1, 8-11) on Wednesday. By taking one of two, Pitt put itself in a better position to reach the BIG EAST Championships, as Providence ascended to sixth place with a victory.
Leading Pitt from the plate is Tori Nirschl, who owns a .331 batting average in 45 games played this season. Her 11 home runs and .662 slugging percentage are good for fourth and ninth, respectively, in the league.
Savannah King aces the Panthers’ staff, boasting a 3.79 ERA and 8-15 record this season.
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