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Rutgers Softball heads to B1G tourney; baseball wrapping up against the best

Baseball has two more Big Ten series left. Softball is heading for a single-elimination showdown at the conference tournament.

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Softball

The Big Ten Softball Tournament starts today on the campus of Ohio State.  Rutgers comes in as the No. 7 seed and will face No. 10 Iowa today at 8:00 pm.  The winner will face No. 2 Minnesota on Friday.  The Knights did not face either of those teams during the regular season. The contest will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.

The tournament is a single-elimination format, with the title contest slated for Saturday night. The tournament champion will earn the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship.  The full bracket can be found here

The top four seeds received byes into Friday's quarterfinals, while four first-round games will be played on Thursday. Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern join Michigan with byes to the quarterfinals, as the Gophers are the No. 2 seed, the Huskers are the third seed and the Wildcats are the No. 4 seed.

Rutgers comes into the tournament reeling just a bit. Since a sweep of a two-game mid-week series against Maryland, Rutgers has lost five of six conference games, dropping to a sub-.500 11-12 in Big Ten play.

The Knights won the season finale against Wisconsin with a walk off homerun by freshman Rebecca Hall, giving the Knights the 3-2 victory.  Hall led the squad with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, including the pay-off home run. Senior Jackie Bates also added a two-run homer of her own in the contest.  Prior to the middle game of the series on Saturday, Rutgers honored its three seniors -- Bates, Chandler Howard and Alyssa Landrith -- for their four years "On the Banks."

Seniors' numbers displayed on the berm beyond the left field fence

In honor of Friends of Jaclyn Day, the Scarlet Knights' team sister, JaDa, threw out the first pitch. RU also recognized Rutgers softball alumni during the contest, which included current assistant coach Lindsey Curran and former head coach Pat Willis.

Baseball

In a non-conference match up, junior R.J. Devish dashed home from second base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Rutgers baseball a 7-6 walk-off victory over Saint Peter's Tuesday at Bainton Field. The Scarlet Knights previously beat the Peacocks, 5-0, earlier in the day to sweep the season series.

But in conference play, things did not go well for the Knights. In a back-and-forth affair against Penn State on Sunday, Rutgers fell on the short side in an 8-5 loss at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. It was the third game of the series, Rutgers losing all three.

Sophomore Gaby Rosa returned to form with two runs allowed over six innings, leaving in line to earn the win. The right-hander struck out two and stranded seven runners on base.

Offensively, the Scarlet Knights pounded out 14 hits on the day. Sophomore Tom Marcinczyk led all players in the game with three hits and has now made it safely on in 39 of his last 40 games played. Senior Vinny Zarrillo senior Joe D'Annunzio, sophomore Christian Campbell and sophomore Chris Folinusz all added two hits each in the attack. Campbell had a team-high two RBIs.

The Knights wrap up their inaugural season of Big Ten play against the top two teams in the conference.

5/01/15

at Penn State *

University Park, Pa.

L, 8-1

5/02/15

at Penn State *

University Park, Pa.

L, 12-10

5/03/15

at Penn State *

University Park, Pa.

L, 8-5

5/05/15

vs. Saint Peter's

Bainton Field

W, 7-6 (10)

5/08/15

at Illinois *

Champaign, Ill.

7:00 p.m. ET

5/09/15

at Illinois *

Champaign, Ill.

4:00 p.m. ET

5/10/15

at Illinois *

Champaign, Ill.

12:00 p.m. ET

5/14/15

vs. Iowa *

Bainton Field

3:00 p.m. ET

5/15/15

vs. Iowa *

Bainton Field

1:00 p.m. ET

5/16/15

vs. Iowa *

Bainton Field

11:00 a.m. ET