Despite taking a 3-0 lead into the sixth inning, the Rutgers softball team, seeded seventh, fell to 10th-seed Iowa in the opening round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament on Thursday night.
The Scarlet Knights went 29-20 in their first year in the Big Ten and posted an 11-12 conference mark.
Rutgers starting pitcher Alyssa Landrith worked her way out of the jams throughout the game and held the Hawkeyes scoreless for the first five innings. However, she surrendered a pair of two-run home runs in the sixth and seventh inning that would prove to be the difference in the game.
Chandler Howard and Jordan Watley, with three hits apiece, combined for all six of the Knights' hits. Howard went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Howard, a senior, now has 211 hits in her career, ranking third all-time in Rutgers history.
On the mound, Landrith went the distance for the Knights, allowing five runs on 10 hits. She struck out six. Landrith, also a senior, will go down as the winningest pitcher in Rutgers history with 67 career victories. The California native also pushed her school-record strikeout total to 642.
Iowa advances to play second-seeded Minnesota on Friday night. For more information on the conference tournament, visit the Big Ten's Tournament Central.