BROOKLYN, N.Y. (May 1, 2014) – The Rutgers softball team capped a 3-0 shutout at LIU-Brooklyn Thursday afternoon in Brooklyn, New York, with a 6-3-6 double play, winning its fifth-straight contest in the process. Rutgers (26-16, 8-7 American] is one win shy of tying its longest winning streak of the season as it heads into its final conference weekend at Houston.
Junior Alyssa Landrith (Vacaville, Calif.) tossed 4.0 innings of shutout action for the 50th win of her Rutgers career. Landrith (15-7) became just the fourth pitcher in program history to reach 50 wins, as she is seven wins shy of tying Kelly Gallagher (1985-88) for third on the all-time list.
Freshman Shayla Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.) shut down the Blackbirds in the final three innings to pick up the first save of her collegiate career.
LIU-Brooklyn (19-31, 8-6 NEC) threatened in the bottom of the seventh by opening the inning with back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate. However a ground out, followed by a thrilling 6-3-6 double play quickly extinguished the Blackbirds’ rally to end the contest.
Rutgers added insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning, putting together three hits for two runs to go ahead, 3-0. Junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) plated freshman Danielle Demarco (Brookfield, Conn.) with her third double of the contest to open the scoring in the inning, as senior Alexis Durando (Oakland, N.J.) later singled her home to give RU a 3-0 edge.
RU got on the board first in the top of the fifth inning, using an RBI double by Howard – her second of the game – to give the squad a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Jordan Whitley (Clayton, Del.) came across for RU on the hit after reaching on a single early in the inning.
The Scarlet Knights travel to Houston, Texas, for their final American Athletic Conference series of the season against Houston. The three-game set begins on Saturday, May 3 with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. and closes with a 1 p.m. meeting on Sunday, May 4 at Cougar Softball Stadium.
- Rutgers’ 26-16 record and .619 winning percentage ranks among the best marks in school history. The 2014 team’s winning percentage is the highest since the 1995 team went 30-17 (.638). That team was also the last squad to finish 10 or more games above .500.
- The Scarlet Knights are one win shy of tying their season-best six-game winning streak from March 14-16 earlier this season.
- RU tied its season-high by turning two double plays Thursday.
- The shutout was the Scarlet Knights’ seventh this season
- Howard went 3-for-4 with three doubles vs. LIU, recording the most two-baggers in a single game of any RU player in at least the last 10 seasons. It is the seventh time she recorded three or more hits and was her team-leading 10th multi-RBI game of the year.
- Landrith became just the fourth pitcher in Rutgers softball history to reach the 50-win mark.
- Sweeney captured the first save of her career.
- Bates and Durando are each one game shy of 150 for their Rutgers careers. Williams is eight shy of 200 games played for her career.
- Howard is one hit shy of 150 for her Rutgers career. She is also three hits shy of tying Williams for the third-most hits in a single season (62). Williams notched 62 hits last season for RU.
- Durando walked twice against LIU and has 32 this season, moving her ahead of former RU standout Brittney Lindley (2011) for second place all-time. She is just the third player after Amanda Heller (2008) Lindley to record 30 walks in a single season. Heller and Lindley recorded 36 and 31 walks, respectively.
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