In the immortal words of Crash Davis in the classic film Bull Durham,
“This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball. You hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”
For Rutgers Softball, that statement held for two out of three as the finale of its three game set against Michigan was canceled due to inclement weather.
The weather also forced the teams to play a double header on Friday in light of impending storms over the weekend. The No. 17 team in the country easily won both of those in topping the Scarlet, 11-1 and 9-2.
It has been a rough go for the Scarlet since taking two of three from Penn State in their first Big Ten series at the end of March. RU Is winless in April, all Big Ten games. It puts them at 17-23, 2-9 B1G. In fairness, the two series after Penn State were against No. 23 Ohio State and No. 17 Michigan.
The big negative, though, was the two losses on Tuesday at Maryland. The Terps are, in essence, peers to Rutgers as far as success goes. They were 16-27 before taking both ends of the Tuesday doubleheader in College Park, 5-3 and 8-7. The second game loss was a crusher in that the Knights had scored five in the top of the sixth to take a 7-1 lead. That lasted until the bottom of the sixth when the Terps racked up six to tie and then took the game on a walk off RBI in the bottom of the seventh.
Senior Rebecca Hall continues to lead Rutgers in hitting with a .378 average, good for tenth in the conference. In the circle, Whitney Jones (103.1 IP) and Keefer Cambria (85 IP) are taking the bulk of the work. Their ERAs of 4.06 and 4.20, though, have risen considerably since conference play began. With a .251 team BA, Rutgers is tenth in the B1G, and the team ranks 12th in pitching with a 4.59 staff ERA.
Northwestern visits Piscataway this weekend beginning with a 3 pm game on Friday. The Wildcats are tied for fourth place in the conference at 8-5 and are 25-13 overall. They’ve won three in a row, including a weather shortened two-game sweep at home over No. 22 Ohio State. At the plate, the Cats are led by Sabrina Rabin (.381) and Morgan Nelson (3.19). Kenna Wilkey (11-4, 3.56 ERA) has handled the bulk of the Northwestern pitching.
Northwestern has received votes in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll.
Big Ten Weekly Awards
Player of the Week
Marissa Panko, Northwestern SS – Sr.
- Batted .833 with an .875 on-base percentage and 1.333 slugging percentage, adding three doubles, two RBI and two runs scored in last weekend’s weather-shortened series sweep of No. 22/22 Ohio State• Had three hits and two RBI in the series opener on April 13, including the game-ending two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning
- Reached base in all four plate appearances of Sunday’s finale, collecting two doubles and two talks while scoring twice• Earns her first career Player of the Week honor
Pitcher of the Week
Amber Fiser, Minnesota RHP – So.
- Went 2-0 with a complete game and a 0.00 ERA in the circle last weekend, registering 10 strikeouts and allowing just one walk and seven hits in 14.0 innings of work as the Golden Gophers swept a Big Ten road series at Iowa• Tossed a six-inning complete game (her Big Ten-leading 19th of the season) in the series opener on April 12, striking out six and not allowing any of the 21 batters she faced beyond first base
- Worked the first eight innings in Minnesota’s nine-inning win over the Hawkeyes on April 13, striking out four and giving up just an unearned run• Earns her second career Pitcher of the Week honor
Freshman of the Week
Meghan Beaubien, Michigan LHP
- Posted a 2-0 record with two complete games and a 0.58 ERA in the circle last week, collecting 14 strikeouts and allowing just one walk and four hits as No. 17/16 Michigan won all four games it played, including three against Big Ten foes Michigan State and Rutgers• Threw a complete-game two-hit shutout on April 11 against Michigan State, striking out seven on the way to her eighth complete-game shutout of the season
- Went the distance in a five-inning run-rule win over Rutgers on April 13, recording seven strikeouts and giving up only two hits and one run to earn her nation’s-best 25th victory of the season