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Rutgers softball off to best start since 1996

An undefeated weekend has the Scarlet Knights at 7-3 so far this season.

Ashley Hitchcock had a big weekend on the mound for Rutgers.
(Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics)

The Rutgers softball team has begun the 2022 season with a 7-3 record, the best start in 26 years for the program. It’s been an encouraging turnaround after finishing just 8-36 last Spring. They’re now just two more victories from exceeding last season’s win total.

Last weekend, the Scarlet Knights went 5-0 with two victories over Wagner and Colgate, as well as one against East Carolina at the Pirate Clash in Greenville, North Carolina.

It culminated with junior Ashley Hitchcock’s one hit, complete game shutout in a 2-0 win over Colgate. The right hander had a tremendous weekend, finishing with a 3-0 record behind three complete games along with 1 save in four appearances, a 1.67 ERA and 26 strikeouts.

Junior left hander Jaden Vickers went 2-0, allowing just three earned runs over 12 inning for a 1.75 ERA and 10 strikeouts. She is 4-0 this season with a 2.48 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.

As a team, Rutgers hit .315 over the five wins and scored 29 runs along with eight extra base hits, including three home runs.

Rookie Maddie Lawson was 8 of 16 for a .500 average at the plate with 6 RBIs and her first career home run. She earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for her performance over the weekend.

Junior Payton Lincavage hit .438 (7-16) while scoring 7 runs, knocking in 4 RBIs and stealing 3 bases. Sophomore Kyleigh Sand hit .375 (6-16), scored 8 runs, had 3 RBIs and stole 5 bases on the weekend. Sand leads RU with .367 batting average this season and tied with Lincavage for a team best 10 runs scored, who is second with a .357 batting average.

Graduate student Gabrielle Callaway hit her team leading second home run of the season in the 2-0 win over Colgate and also leads Rutgers with 10 RBI and 20 total bases through 10 games.

Next up, the Scarlet Knights will play another five contests in +The Spring Games in Leesburg, Florida from February 25 through 27. They’ll face Princeton, Siena, FGCU, North Florida and Cornell one game apiece this coming weekend.