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Rutgers Softball explodes out of the gate in Houston Invitational

The Scarlet Knights won four out of five in Texas to begin the season.

Alex Bierens de Haan
Alex Bierens de Haan

The Softball season is officially here and just getting started but the Scarlet Knights look in midseason form.

Rutgers opened up in Houston during the Houston Invitational and logged a 4-1 record to begin the year.

The lineup features seven starters who are hitting .300 or better in double-digit at-bats. Katie Wingert has provided the power, crushing five home runs and driving in 10 runs over the first five games. Kyleigh Sand and LA Matthews are 9-for-19 (.474) to begin the year.

Mattie Boyd and Morgan Smith are 2-0 inside the circle. Boyd has tossed two complete games and has pitched to a 1.27 ERA, allowing two earned runs in 11 innings while striking out 13 and walking six.

Boyd made her Rutgers debut during the season-opener and went the distance with 11 strikeouts during a 9-1 win over Colgate. During the nightcap, it was an offensive explosion that featured some history that led the way.

Wingert hit home runs in back-to-back games, which were the 30th and 31st of her career. This put her third all-time in program history. Sand went 3-for-5 with three RBI and five runs scored. She became the first Scarlet Knight to score five in a game runs since 2004. Rutgers cruised to a 14-5 win over Indiana State.

Wingert’s hot start continued as she blasted three more home runs during the second double-header of the year. It began during a 10-2 win over Houston, where Wingert and Smith left the yard. Boyd logged her second win of the season, allowing just three hits and two runs during her complete game.

The Scarlet Knights defeated Colgate 7-4 in the nightcap. Wingert registered her fourth consecutive game with a home run, going 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI. Smith got the win in the circle, striking out six. She also went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Sand and Matthews logged multiple hits as well.

The weekend ended with a 6-3 loss against Houston. Rutgers split with the Cougars during the invitational. Kayla Bock went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Wingert ripped a double, extending her hitting streak to five games to begin the season.

The Scarlet Knights will be back in action this weekend during the Panther Invitational in Miami. they will take on Army (10am) and Duke (3pm) during a double-header on Friday before taking on FIU on Saturday at 12:30pm. Rutgers will also play a nightcap on Saturday before finishing the weekend with a single on Sunday. These opponents are to be determined.