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College Softball:
Rutgers-Camden Week In Review

Monday, March 15, 2004

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Becky Johnson (Bridgeton, NJ/Cumberland Regional)

Junior Becky Johnson turned in a memorable performance at the season-opening Sea Gull Softball Invitational at Salisbury University. The Scarlet Raptors’ pitcher/outfielder went 6-for-13 (.462), collected five RBIs and ripped three home runs to post an incredible 1.154 slugging percentage as the Raptors won three out of four games. With her three homers, Johnson raised her career total to 10, setting a program record. She passed the mark of eight shared by Melanie Pewor (1980-82) and Nelly Cruz (1989, 1991). Johnson also went 1-0 on the mound with a 0.78 ERA, striking out 14 in nine innings. She hurled a one-hitter against York, throwing perfect ball for five innings and a no-hitter for 5-2/3 innings.

SOFTBALL (3-1/0-0)
at Sea Gull Classic, Salisbury University (MD)
Fri., March 12 Rutgers-Camden 14, Wilkes University 0 (5 innings)
Fri., March 12 Salisbury University 1, Rutgers-Camden 0
Sat., March 13 Rutgers-Camden 7, Christopher Newport University 2
Sat., March 13 Rutgers-Camden 6, York (PA) College 3

at Florida Coast Spring Training Camp, Ft. Pierce, Florida
Mon., March 15 vs. Husson College (doubleheader) 10 a.m.
Tue., March 16 vs. Nyack College (doubleheader) 10 a.m.
Thus., March 18 vs. Malloy College (doubleheader) 10 a.m.
Fri., March 19 vs. Ripon College (doubleheader) 6 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden softball team opened the season against some outstanding competition at the Sea Gull Softball Invitational at Salisbury University in Maryland, and if their early performance is any indication, the Lady Raptors showed hints for the potential of an outstanding season.

Rutgers-Camden went 3-1 in the two-day event, losing only to the nation’s top-ranked team, Salisbury, 1-0 on an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Raptors, however, posted a 7-2 win over Christopher Newport University – the only team to beat Salisbury so far this season – and also defeated Wilkes University (14-0 in five innings) and York (PA) College (6-3).

The team hit .339 in its first four games, and saw junior Becky Johnson (Bridgeton, NJ/Cumberland Regional) belt three home runs to become the school’s career leader with 10 round-trippers.


In the opening game, Rutgers-Camden sophomore Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) and Johnson combined on a one-hit shutout against Wilkes. Schlichtig worked the first three innings, and Johnson finished up with two innings pitched, recording all six outs on strikeouts. Johnson gave up the only hit of the game for Wilkes – a single by freshman second baseman Kristi Burke with two outs in the fifth inning. The only other baserunner for the Colonels came on a third-inning walk to junior left fielder Jodi Viscomi.

Rutgers-Camden blew the game open in the first inning, scoring eight runs on five hits, two errors and a pair of walks. Freshman catcher Maureen Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) had a two-run single in the frame and finished the game going 2-for-3.

Johnson led off the Raptors’ six-run second inning with a home run, tying the school’s career mark with her eighth home run at Rutgers-Camden. She tied the school single-season record last year with seven home runs. Her first round-tripper of the 2004 season allowed her to tie the career record set by Melanie Pewor (1980-82) and tied by Nelly Cruz (1989, 1991). She added a pair of home runs in Saturday’s sweep over Christopher Newport and York to claim the record for herself.

Johnson went 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs against Wilkes. Schlichtig also had a pair of hits and scored twice for Rutgers-Camden.

In the nightcap, Schlichtig and Salisbury sophomore Lacey Lister matched scoreless frames until the seventh, when the Sea Gulls’ leadoff batter, junior catcher Kim Rementer, reached on an error and was sacrificed to second. She scored the winning run, barely beating the throw home, on a single to right field by freshman Serena Fleming.

Schlichtig hurled a three-hitter, walking two and striking out four in suffering the tough loss. Lister also hurled a three-hitter, walking two and striking out 13.

Not only did the game end on a tough note for the Lady Raptors, but Rutgers-Camden junior Beth Laputka (Berlin, NJ/Overbrook) also saw her amazing streak of consecutive stolen bases come to an end, as she was caught for the first time in her career. Laputka, inserted as a pinch-runner in the top of the seventh following a leadoff single Johnson, was thrown out by Rementer on her first stolen base attempt of the season. It snapped her string of 53 consecutive stolen bases, the fourth-longest streak in Div. III history. She finished 15 steals shy of the record of 68, set by Rose Kuchwara of Marywood from April 23, 1996 to April 16, 1998.

In Saturday’s action, Rutgers-Camden toppled Christopher Newport University, 7-2, as Schlichtig hurled a five-hitter, striking out 13. In the nightcap, Johnson allowed only one hit and a pair of walks, while striking out eight, in a 6-3 win over York.

Schlichtig was on top of her game against powerful Christopher Newport (13-3). In raising her record to 2-1, she scattered five hits, including two by sophomore catcher Andrea Rohde, and struck out the side in both the first and sixth innings.

With the score tied at 1-1, Rutgers-Camden batted around in the third inning, starting with a leadoff single by Johnson. That hit was the first of four straight singles, including hits by freshman right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional), Baney and freshman left fielder Tara Fisher (Upper Deerfield, NJ/Cumberland Regional), with Fisher’s hit producing a run. Freshman third baseman Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) plated Millett with a fielder’s choice grounder and freshman first baseman Ashley O’Brien (Phoenixville, PA/Spring Ford) singled home the third run of the frame.

Johnson led off the fourth inning with her record-setting ninth career homer.

The Raptors added a pair of runs in the sixth on a two-run double by junior shortstop Celeste Chinappi (Bellmawr, NJ/Gloucester Catholic).

O’Brien (3-for-3), Baney (3-for-4) and Johnson (2-for-4) led the Raptors’ 15-hit attack.

In the win over York, freshman second baseman Stacy Haas (Florence, NJ/Florence) went 2-for-3 and Schlichtig had two RBIs to pace the offense. Johnson, however, was the story on the mound, hurling perfect ball until a leadoff walk to freshman designated player Gabby Reckendorf in the sixth inning. Reckendorf scored on the only hit by the Spartans (3-8), a two-out single by freshman center fielder Kari Meacham. York added a pair of unearned runs in the seventh, sparked by the leadoff batter reaching on a strikeout/wild pitch, and aided by a walk and four passed balls.

Johnson clubbed her third homer of the season, and 10th career shot, in the first inning.

The Lady Raptors continue their road journey this week, playing eight games at the Florida Coast Spring Training Camp in Ft. Pierce, Florida. They open with a doubleheader Monday against Husson College of Maine.


BASEBALL (5-4-1/0-0)
Mon., March 8 Rutgers-Camden 6, Albright College 4
Tues., March 9 Rutgers-Camden 6, Eastern College 0
California Classic
Sat., March 13 Wesleyan (CT) University 15, Rutgers-Camden 7
Sat., March 13 Whittier (CA) College 5, Rutgers-Camden 4
Sun. March 14 Rutgers-Camden 18, University of Redlands 11
Sun. March 14 Rutgers-Camden 11, Occidental 10

Thur., March 18 vs. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 2:30 p.m. at Claremont-MS (CA)
California Invitational
Fri., March 19 at Claremont Mudd-Scipps 8:30 a.m.
Sat., March 20 vs. Pacific Lutheran 8:30 a.m. at Occidental
Sat., March 20 at Occidental 11:30 a.m.

The Rutgers University-Camden baseball team broke out of its offensive slump in a big way March 14 in the California Classic.

After collecting 56 hits and 32 runs in their first eight games combined, the Scarlet Raptors exploded for 16 hits and 18 runs on the way to defeating the University of Redlands, 18-11, in a morning game played at Chapman University.

The offensive barrage continued in an afternoon game played at the University of La Verne, as the Scarlet Raptors collected 15 hits in an 11-10 win over Occidental College.

In the win over Redlands, senior center fielder Brian Murphy (Sewell, NJ/Paul VI) led the offensive explosion, going 4-for-5 with two home runs, three runs and six RBIs. The two homers gave Murphy three for the season and 18 for his career, one shy of the school record set by Jamie Schwantes (1994-97).

Senior designated hitter Mike Carlino (Pennsauken, NJ/Camden Catholic) went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while freshman right fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Besides Morris and Murphy, also scoring three runs were senior second baseman Barry Huver (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown), sophomore first baseman Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland) and freshman third baseman Shane McNichol (Blackwood, NJ/Highland).

Huver and freshman left fielder Nathan Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland) each collected three RBIs, while Carlino added two.

Trailing, 2-0, after one inning, the Raptors took the lead for good with a five-run second inning, aided by a two-run single from Huver that gave Rutgers-Camden the lead for good at 3-2. The Raptors added six runs in the third inning, including a two-run singles by Buchter and Murphy.

Rutgers-Camden (4-4-1) hit the Bulldogs (5-8) with another five-run inning in the sixth. That frame included three hits, two walks, a hit batsman and an error.

Murphy drilled solo home runs in the fifth and eighth innings, and finished his day with 10 total bases, one shy of the school single-game mark. It was the second time he hit two home runs in a game, and the big game allowed him to increase his career output to 304 total bases, becoming the first player in program history over 300.

For the Bulldogs, senior first baseman Chris Grant hit a grand slam in the third inning.

Sophomore pitcher Tom Ford (Laurel Springs, NJ/Paul VI) collected the win with 3-2/3 strong innings in relief. He allowed only three hits and one unearned run, while striking out four.

Later in the day, in a 3marathon game that lasted 3:25 against Occidental,

Facing Occidental College (2-13), the Raptors collected 15 hits and outlasted the Tigers, 11-10, in a marathon game that lasted 3:25.

Sophomore shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) went 3-for-6 with three runs and three RBIs, while Calloway went 3-for-5 with one run and two RBIs.

Freshman right fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) collected two RBIs, going 2-for-3 with one run scored. Sophomore catcher Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) went 2-for-2 with one run, and Carlino went 2-for-6 with one run and one RBI.


After building a 9-3 lead, the Raptors watched the Tigers bounce back to grab a 10-9 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Rutgers-Camden, however, struck back with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth, and sophomore pitcher Derek Heritage (Sicklerville, NJ/Edgewood) made that one-run lead stand up. Heritage earned the win with 2-2/3 hitless shutout innings, walking two and striking out three.

Turekian opened the Raptors’ game-winning rally with a double and scored the tying run on a triple by Calloway. Senior third baseman David Petitt (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook) plated the winning run with a single to right-center field.

Rutgers-Camden scored four times in the first inning, aided by a two-run double from Jakubowski. The Raptors added another four-run frame in the fourth, which included a run-scoring double by Jakubowski, an RBI single by Morris, a sacrifice fly by Calloway and a bases-loaded RBI walk to Huver.

In their first two games of the California Classic, both played at Whittier College March 13, the Raptors lost to Wesleyan (CT) University, 15-7, and dropped a 5-4 decision against Whittier.

Whittier scored four runs in the second inning, three of them unearned, and went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden. Wesleyan put things out of reach early and collected 19 hits on its way to the victory.

Wesleyan (1-3-1) ripped four hits and took advantage of one error and one walk to score four times in the opening inning. The frame was sparked by sophomore center fielder Jeff Maier, who opened the game with a single on his way to a 5-for-6 performance, with three runs and one RBI. The inning was highlighted by a two-run single from sophomore right fielder Alexander Brooks and a two-run triple by freshman left fielder Rob Coughlin.

The Cardinals added five runs in the third inning on two walks and five hits. including a two-run double by junior first baseman Jason Vitko and a two-run single by freshman third baseman Alex Mautone.

The Raptors collected 10 hits in the game, including two apiece by Turekian and Murphy.

In the second game, Rutgers-Camden junior ace Matt Ulmer (Beverly, NJ/Holy Cross) was the tough-luck losing pitcher for the second straight outing as his record fell to 0-2 despite lowering his ERA to 1.82. Ulmer, whose other loss came by a 1-0 score, allowed four runs on four hits and two errors in the Poets’ big second inning. Three runs were unearned.

Whittier added another unearned run in the third, following an infield error.

Rutgers-Camden struck back with four runs of its own in the sixth inning – three of them unearned – off winning pitcher Randy Sobek, who evened his record at 1-1. The big blows in the inning were RBI doubles by Carlino and freshman second baseman Shane McNichol (Blackwood, NJ/Highland).

McNichol went 2-for-3 with one RBI in the game. Jakubowski went 3-for-5 with one run scored.

While pitching his second complete game of the season, Ulmer allowed only six hits and one earned run. He walked three and struck out three.

Earlier in the week, the Raptors posted back-to-back victories by winning at Albright College (6-4, March 8) and capturing a home win over Eastern College (6-0, March 9).

Junior pitcher Pat Jankowski (Delran, NJ/Delran) hurled seven innings of three-hit ball and Heritage closed out the shutout with two innings of two-hit ball as the Raptors toppled Eastern.

Jankowski didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven. He hurled perfect ball, striking out four, the first time through the lineup before Eastern senior second baseman Joe Foster doubled to lead off the fourth inning. The only other hits allowed by Jankowski were back-to-back singles leading off the seventh inning by freshman shortstop Chris Raniere and senior left fielder/pitcher Jordan Nyce. Jankowski worked out of that jam aided by a line drive to center field that was caught by Murphy, who turned it into a double play by throwing out Raniere scampering back to the bag.

The Raptors’ defense also included three assists by Huver, who broke the school’s career record with his 23oth assist. He passed the mark of 229, held by Gerry Gatelein (1993-96).

The Scarlet Raptors scored the only run they needed in the second inning when Carlino hit a one-out single to left and stole second. With two outs, Turekian hit a slow chopper between third base and the mound, and beat the throw by Eagles third baseman Jeremy Dager. Carlino, running all the way, scored ahead of the throw home.

The Raptors added three runs in the third inning when Huver was hit by a pitch and stole second. Sophomore third baseman Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) walked and sophomore left fielder Evan Graham (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West) both singled to load the bases. Huver scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Jakubowski. With two outs, Calloway hit a two-run double to left.

Rutgers-Camden closed its scoring in the sixth when Carlino and Morris drew two-out walks. They scored on a double to right field by Turekian, who went 2-for-3 with three RBIs on the day.

Calloway went 2-for-4 with two RBIs for Rutgers-Camden.


Against Albright, freshman Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) collected a pinch-hit RBI double in the top of the ninth inning, breaking a 4-4 tie and propelling the Raptors to a 6-4 road win.

Terrill’s game-winning hit came moments after Albright tied the game on a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning by senior designated hitter Scott Hoffman.

Rutgers-Camden broke a scoreless deadlock in the fifth inning on a single by Carlino, a walk to Inkster and an RBI single by Huver.

The Raptors added a single run in the seventh on a home run by Carlino – their first round-tripper since opening day – and plated a pair of runs in the top of the eighth to take a 4-0 lead. In the eighth, Huver walked and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Jakubowski walked and stole second. Both players scored on a two-run single by Morris.

Albright tied the game with four unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth on an error, a single, a walk and the two-out grand slam by Hoffman.

Rutgers-Camden bounced back in the top of the ninth following a leadoff single by Inkster. Buchter ripped a pinch-hit double to right field, but Inkster was cut down at the plate for the first out of the inning. Terrill followed with his own pinch-hit double to score Buchter with the go-ahead run. Freshman Brian Schweers (Perryville, MD/Perryville) ran for Terrill and scored on a single by Huver.

Junior pitcher Nick Davidson (Voorhees, NJ/Eastern) worked 7-2/3 strong innings, hurling shutout ball before allowing Albright’s eighth-inning rally. All the runs were unearned. Davidson walked three, allowed three hits and struck out seven.

Junior righty Matt Novella (Lindenwold, NJ/Overbrook) collected the win in relief with 1-1/3 innings of shutout ball. He didn’t allow a hit and walked one. He recorded all four outs on strikeouts.

Inkster, Carlino and Huver each collected two hits for the Raptors. Morris and Huver had two RBIs apiece.


Sat., Mar. 20 at Richard Stockton College Invitational 11 a.m.
Sat., Mar. 27 at Widener University Invitational 10 a.m.
Sat., April 3 at Osprey Open (Richard Stockton College) 10 a.m.


Thur., Mar. 18 at Susquehanna University Tee-Off Tournament 1 p.m.
Mon., Mar. 22 at York College Invitational 1 p.m.

©2004 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.