PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 3, 2014) – The Rutgers softball team closes the 2014 regular season at Houston in its final American Athletic Conference series of the season. The Scarlet Knights ride a five-game winning streak into the week after defeating LIU-Brooklyn, 3-0, in junior Alyssa Landrith’s (Vacaville, Calif.) 50th-career win on Thursday, May 1. Rutgers has won six of its last seven games.
The series begins with a doubleheader set for 2 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 3 at Cougar Softball Stadium. The series wraps up with a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday. All three games will be streamed live at www.UHcougars.com. A subscription is required.
RU, currently the No. 5 seed for the American Athletic Conference Championships, looks to improve its standing with a big weekend against the currently No. 4 Cougars. If the Scarlet Knights sweep the three-game set they will lock up the No. 4 seed and will still take on Houston in the opening round. However, if RU sweeps and No. 3 USF is swept by No. 6 Temple, the Scarlet Knights will jump all the way up to the No. 3 seed.
If the Scarlet Knights fall in all three games to Houston and Temple sweeps USF, then the Owls will overtake the No. 5 seed and push RU to the No. 6 seed by virtue of Temple’s 2-1 head-to-head edge this season over Rutgers.
Rutgers Quick Hits
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.
Junior Chandler Howard (Wilmington, Del.) hit three doubles against the Blackbirds, the most in a single game for an individual Scarlet Knight in at least the last 10 seasons.
After her 3-for-4 day with five RBIs, two home runs and a grand slam against UConn in the series finale on April 27, freshman Carly Todd (Deptford, N.J.) was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll on April 28, the conference announced. In four games, Todd went 5-for-10 (.500) with eight RBIs and a 1.100 slugging percentage.
Freshman Shayla Sweeney (Barrington, N.J.) also earned a spot on the conference honor roll on April 28, going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA last week for the Scarlet Knights. She tossed 13.0 innings, recording seven strikeouts and a complete game.
Howard, who leads the Scarlet Knights with a .407 batting average, rides a 12-game hitting streak into this weekend’s series, second behind her previous team-high of 13 games earlier this season. Howard is tied for first in the American with 59 hits, second in batting average and second in total bases (97).
Sophomore Stephanie Huang (Paramus, N.J.), third on the team with a .367 batting average, is on a 10-game hitting streak entering the week.
Junior Jackie Bates (Lincroft, N.J.) is third in the American Athletic Conference with a .392 batting average, second with 15 doubles and 37 RBIs, and is tied for third with a .669 slugging percentage. Bates’ 0.37 doubles averaged per game is the 15th-best mark in the country (as of April 28). In 42 games this season, Bates has notched 51 hits, four more than she did in 56 contests in 2013. Her 37 RBIs this year are two more than the 35 she posted in 56 games last season. She owns a 25-game reached base steak entering the week, the best mark on the team this season.
The Scarlet Knights’ .306 batting average and .444 slugging percentage a-re the best marks over the last 10 seasons, while the squad’s .376 on-base percentage is the second-best program marks since 2004. RU leads the American in batting average and is second in slugging, with three players in the top-10 in batting average.
RU’s 32 home runs this season are the second-most in program history behind the 2011 team, which recorded 36.
Houston (30-19, 11-7 American) enters the matchup looking to get back on track in conference play following a three-game sweep last weekend at UCF.
Katie St. Pierre leads the conference with a .413 batting average this season, while Haley Outon (.315) leads the league with 50 RBIs.
All three of Houston’s pitchers have ERAs below 3.60, as Diedre Outon leads the way with a 2.89 ERA and 14-8 record in 130.2 innings pitched. Julana Shrum owns a 10-6 record and 3.35 ERA in 125.1 innings pitched.
This weekend’s series marks the first-ever meetings between the two schools.
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