The Seton Hall softball Pirates started off strong at the plate on Wednesday afternoon against rival Rutgers, but their bats faltered while the Scarlet Knights stayed hot and pulled away for a 13-7 victory.
Senior Lauren Fischer got the start for Seton Hall and she immediately found herself in trouble, giving up three runs in the top of the first.
The Pirates quickly responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to put them out in front behind an RBI single from Destini Peck, an RBI double from Hailey Arteaga and an RBI single from Ragen Reddick.
Fischer was able to work her way out of trouble in the top of the second while Seton Hall continued its offensive onslaught in the bottom half of the inning, putting up three runs behind back-to-back home runs from Alexis Walkden with a teammate on base and a solo shot from Fischer to put the Pirates up 7-3.
“With our team, I’m always expecting us to erupt at any given time,” head coach Paige Smith said. “We’ve got the bats to do it up and down the lineup and they did what they were supposed to do early on.”
Smith handed the ball over to Madison Strunk in the top of the third, and at that point things started to unravel defensively for the Pirates. It wasn’t pretty from the third inning on, as Seton Hall committed five errors, leading to four unearned runs for Rutgers, which would ultimately do the Pirates in.
“Usually seven runs is enough to win a ball game, but this one came down to us losing the free-be battle,” Smith said. “When you have 21 outs to work with and you give the other team 30 it’s a hard thing to come back from.”
The final blow came in the top of the fourth, when two consecutive Seton Hall errors on the infield allowed Rutgers to take a 9-7 lead, one they would not relinquish as Seton Hall could not capitalize on scoring chances late in the game.
The Pirates will look to bounce back Thursday when they take on Stony Brook in a game that was previously rained out before gearing up to take on Georgetown in a three game set over the weekend.
Tyler Calvaruso can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.