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College Softball:
Raptor of the Week: Michelle Schlichtig

Monday, May 16, 2005

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Michelle Schlichtig
(Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights)

Junior Michelle Schlichtig capped her outstanding junior season at the NCAA Division III Softball East Regional, working all 32.1 innings that the Lady Raptors played in the tournament. She went 2-2, allowing 18 hits, six walks and four runs (three earned). She struck out 26 batters as the Lady Raptors finished as a regional runnerup for the second consecutive season. She also was one of three Rutgers-Camden players named to the All-East Regional tournament team and was named to the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Softball East Region First Team.

SOFTBALL (35-8-1)

NCAA East Regional (at William Paterson University)

Friday, May 13
Game 1: #4 Ursinus College 3, #5 College of Staten Island 2
Game 2: #3 William Paterson University 3, #2 Manhattanville College 0
Game 3: #1 Rutgers University-Camden 3, #4 Ursinus College 0
Game 4: #5 College of Staten Island 3, #2 Manhattanville College 2

Saturday, May 14
Game 5: #3 William Paterson University 2, #1 Rutgers University-Camden 1 (13 innings)
Game 6: #4 Ursinus College 2, #5 College of Staten Island 1
Game 7: #1 Rutgers University-Camden 2, #4 Ursinus College 1

Sunday, May 15
Game 8: #3 William Paterson University 1, #1 Rutgers University-Camden 0

For the second consecutive season, the Rutgers-Camden softball team finished as the runnerup in the NCAA regionals.

William Paterson University freshman Diana Schraer and junior Jenn Scott combined on a four-hit shutout to lead the third-seeded Pioneers over top-seeded Rutgers-Camden, 1-0, in the finals of the NCAA Division III Softball East Regional May 15 in Wayne, NJ.

William Paterson advanced to the NCAA Softball Championships beginning May 20 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Rutgers-Camden closed its season with a 35-8-1 record. Five of the Lady Raptors’ defeats came against William Paterson, which went 5-1-1 against Rutgers-Camden this season. The Raptors scored eight runs in 67 innings against the Pioneers in those games.

“We are two very evenly-matched teams,” said Lady Raptors coach Carl Taylor, whose teams have posted a 71-19-1 record over the last two seasons. “When one team comes out ahead consistently, there’s a slight edge in some area. I think their edge was in team speed and in execution. They got a couple of key hits.

“The pitching was excellent and the defense was excellent for both teams. It comes down to scoring some runs.”

The Pioneers, who had dropped the Raptors into the losers’ bracket with a 2-1 13-inning victory Saturday, scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the second inning following a single by sophomore designated player Nicole French. She scored on an RBI triple to center by senior left fielder Kelly Harchetts.

Rutgers-Camden’s best scoring chance came in the top of the sixth inning following a leadoff single by junior pitcher Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights). Schlichtig was replaced by freshman pinch-runner Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown). Following a sacrifice by sophomore third baseman Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross), senior shortstop Celeste Chinappi (Bellmawr, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) reached base on a throwing error when she laid down another sacrifice bunt. Scott replaced Schraer on the mound and struck out two batters, sandwiched around a walk, to leave the bases loaded and work out of the jam.

The Raptors had one last chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning when freshman first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston) opened with a single to left and was sacrificed to second by sophomore left fielder Tara Fisher (Upper Deerfield, NJ/Cumberland Regional). Scott worked out of the jam with a pair of ground balls to nail down her second save of the season. She worked 1-2/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk. She struck out two.

Schraer (17-1) allowed three hits in 5-1/3 scoreless innings, walking one. She didn’t have a strikeout.

Schlichtig was the tough-luck losing pitcher as she closed the season with a 27-6 record. Four of those losses came by 1-0 scores, including two in extra innings. Another defeat was 2-1 in 13 innings.

Schlichtig hurled a three-hitter with no walks and one strikeout. French, who went 2-for-2 with one run, was the lone player in the game with multiple hits.

Three members of the Lady Raptors were named to the NCAA All-East Regional team: Giles was named as the third baseman, Schlichtig earned a utility spot and Chinappi was an at large berth on the squad.

The Lady Raptors’ 35 victories this season were the second-highest total in program history, trailing only the 2004 team which finished at 36-11.

The final game at the NCAA East Regional also helped the Raptors add several more marks to their record book. Chinappi, who went 0-for-1 and added two sacrifices, finished her season with 149 at bats, tying the program’s single-season record of 149 set last season by Schlichtig. She also completed her brilliant four years at Rutgers-Camden with a program-record 25 sacrifices, notching two in her final game.

With a sacrifice on Sunday, Giles completed her season with nine, tying Chinappi’s single-season record for sacrifices set in 2004.

Schlichtig, meanwhile, added another complete game and now owns 55 for her two-year Rutgers-Camden career, breaking the mark of 54 complete games set by Nicole Lum from 1992-95.

Those marks are among 13 career and 15 single-season individual records set or tied during the season. The Raptors also set a team mark with a Rutgers-Camden all-program record 26-game winning streak and peaked at the highest national ranking for any program in school history, No. 2 nationally on April 27.

The Raptors qualified for the regional finals after emerging from the losers’ bracket May 14. Grochowski scored the winning run on a wild throw to the plate on an attempted squeeze bunt by Chinappi as Rutgers-Camden edged Ursinus College, 2-1, in the losers’ bracket final.

The Lady Raptors stayed alive in the tournament in dramatic fashion, as winning pitcher Schlichtig opened the bottom of the seventh inning with a double to left field. Grochowski ran for Schlichtig and advanced to third on a passed ball. With one out, Chinappi dropped down a bunt that was fielded by Ursinus pitcher Mallory Greene, but her hurried throw to the plate was high past catcher Kelly DeBow as Grochowski scored the winning run.

Schlichtig earned the win with a six-hitter, walking two and striking out three to complete her day with 19-1/3 innings pitched. She pitched all 12-1/3 innings in the Raptors’ 2-1 loss to William Paterson, which dropped Rutgers-Camden into the losers’ bracket. Against Ursinus, she allowed one earned run, and helped her own cause with a 2-for-3 game at the plate.

Rutgers-Camden took a 1-0 lead in the third inning following a leadoff single by freshman second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro). She was sacrificed to second by Schlichtig and scored when a single by Giles was misplayed in right field.

Ursinus tied the game in the fifth inning, sparked by a leadoff single from freshman second baseman Jessica Cherry. She advanced on a ground out and scored on a two-out single by junior shortstop Marci Logan.

Greene (16-4) took the loss, her second loss to Rutgers-Camden in the tournament. She allowed 10 hits in 6-1/3 innings, striking out four and not issuing a walk. Both runs off of Greene were unearned.

Rutgers-Camden received two hits apiece from Schlichtig, sophomore catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford), senior center fielder Becky Johnson (Bridgeton, NJ/Cumberland Regional) and Fisher.

The Raptors broke two of their own single-season records in the game as Schlichtig’s two doubles gave her 53 hits for the year, breaking her mark of 52 from 2004, and Baney’s three putouts gave her 390, one more than her single-season record from 2004.

William Paterson dropped the Lady Raptors into the losers’ bracket by plating an unearned run on an infield error with one out in the 13th inning, giving the Pioneers a 2-1 win May 14. The game marked the third extra-inning contest in the last four meetings between the Pioneers and the Raptors, including games of 12 and 15 innings May 6-7 at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships.

The Pioneers’ winning rally started with an infield single by sophomore second baseman April Sardinas-Wyssling. Following a stolen base and a strikeout, junior catcher Mindy Coxe drew an intentional walk. French bounced a grounder under the glove of the charging Raptors’ shortstop, allowing Sardinas-Wyssling to score the winning run.

Scott, who beat the Raptors in a 15-inning 1-0 NJAC championship game May 7, continued her mastery over Rutgers-Camden with a six-hitter, raising her record to 17-7. She walked one and struck out two and retired the last 15 batters following a single by Chinappi to open the ninth inning. Chinappi went 3-for-5 with one RBI, collecting half of the hits off Scott.

The Pioneers broke open a scoreless game with a run in the third inning, sparked by a one-out bunt single by sophomore center fielder Brandi Kavaliauskas. Walks to sophomore first baseman Liz Sisca and Sardinas-Wyssling loaded the bases, and junior third baseman Nicky Arias squeezed home Kavaliauskas.

The Lady Raptors tied the game in the top of the sixth inning after a leadoff slap infield single by Feriod. She was sacrificed to second by Schlichtig. Chinappi pushed a bunt toward the left side and, with the infield in motion, it rolled to a vacated shortstop, allowing Feriod to score from second.

That run ended Scott’s scoreless streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings against the Lady Raptors.

Schlichtig took the loss for the Lady Raptors, despite striking out 10 in her 12.1 innings. It was her 20th double-digit strikeout game of the season. Schlichtig walked four – one intentionally – and allowed seven hits and two runs (one earned).

Schlichtig also collected three assists, raising her season mark to 84 and breaking the old program record of 83 assists, set by Tara Harris in 1988.

In their NCAA East Regional opener May 13 Schlichtig hurled a two-hitter to break her own single-season shutout record and lead the Lady Raptors to a 3-0 victory over Ursinus College.

Schlichtig, making her career-record 58th start to break the program record of 57 by Sarah O’Malley (2001-03), also broke her own mark of 11 shutouts in a season, set last year. Schlichtig allowed only a pair of singles – one in the first inning and one in the seventh – as she recorded her 12th shutout to raise her record to 26-4. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out 12.

Schlichtig also tied her own mark with her 32nd pitching appearance of the season, passed her own mark of single-season innings pitched (203.1 last year) by raising her total to 205.2, and became the first hurler in program history to pass 300 strikeouts in a season. She now has 304.

Rutgers-Camden scored the only run Schlichtig needed in the second inning following a leadoff single by sophomore right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional). She was sacrificed to second by Johnson and advanced on a single by Dreitlein. Millett scored ahead of a throw to the plate on a squeeze by Giles.

Giles opened the Raptors’ two-run fifth inning with a double to left-center, and advanced on a sacrifice by Fisher. After Feriod was hit by a pitch, Schlichtig walked to load the bases. Chinappi followed with a ground ball through the legs of the Bears’ shortstop, allowing two runs to score.

Greene was the tough-luck losing pitcher, tossing a three-hitter with two walks and three strikeouts. Greene (16-3) allowed only two earned runs.

In addition to their accomplishments on the field, the Raptors also were well-represented off the field on a pair of all-star teams. Schlichtig was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year and joined Baney and Chinappi on the All-NJAC First Team.

Schlichtig and Baney also were named to the 2005 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III All-East Region First Team, while Millett and Chinappi earned Second Team honors.


May 13-14 DAD VAIL REGATTA (at Philadelphia, PA)

(May 13, 2005)
Women’s Varsity Heavyweight Four with Cox


1. Long Beach, 7:31.66; 2. Catholic University, 7:43.20; 3. Tulsa, 7:45.72; 4. Rutgers-Camden, 8:01.12; 5. Purdue, 8:05.86; 6. Duquesne, 8:08.97.

Stroke Nicole Corl, 3 Laura Williams, 2 Monica Fleming, Bow Traci Arnold, Cox Renee Martin

Women’s Frosh/Novice Four with Cox


1. Eastern Michigan, 8:11.78; 2. UMCP, 8:22.53; 3. Lowell, 8:27.19; 4. Temple, 8:52.9; 5. Butler, 8:55.73; 6. Rutgers-Camden, 8:56.11.

Stroke Kristin Szostak, 3 Stephanie Jones, 2 Cynthia Burt, Bow Holly Shelly, Cox Colin Oswald

Men’s Frosh/Novice Four with Cox

1. Pittsburgh, 7:01.97; 2. Notre Dame, 7:15.87; 3. Long Beach, 7:23.05; 4. Hofstra, 7:24.38; 5. Rutgers-Camden, 8:03.51.

Stroke Sean Kendall, 3 Lance Carsillo, 2 George Hall and Bow Justin Kapr, Cox BJ Ochal

Men’s Pair without Cox


1. Grand Valley, 7:20.01; 2. Rutgers-Camden, 7:29.46; 3. Binghampton, 7:32.22; 4. North Carolina State, 7:37.48; 5. Michigan, 7:45.79.

Stroke Chris Piligno and Bow Lou Gallagher

(May 14, 2005)

Men’s Pair without Cox


1. Dowling, 7:53.46; 2. Bowdoin, 8:05.22; 3. Chicago, 8:10.13; 4. Georgia Tech, 8:11.64; 5. Oklahoma City, 8:24.93; 6. Rutgers-Camden, 8:33.86.

Stroke Chris Piligno and Bow Lou Gallagher

The Rutgers-Camden women’s crew team closed its maiden season by competing at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia May 13-14.

The Women’s Varsity Heavyweight Four with Cox boat finished fourth in its six-boat heat (8:01.12) during Friday’s action. Members of the boat included sophomore coxswain Renee Martin (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest), junior stroke seat Nicole Corl (Sewell, Gloucester Catholic), freshman 3 seat Laura Williams (Cherry Hill, NJ/Dunkin Ed, PA), freshman 2 seat Monica Fleming (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood) and freshman bow Traci Arnold (Pitman, NJ/Pitman).

The Lady Raptors also finished sixth in their heat for the Women’s Frosh/Novice Four with Cox race, posting a time of 8:56.11. That boat included junior stroke seat Kristin Szostak (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg), sophomore 3 seat Stephanie Jones (Swedesboro, NJ/Kingsway Regional), sophomore 2 seat Cynthia Burt (Woodbury, NJ/West Deptford) and freshman bow Holly Shelly (Erial, NJ/Timber Creek). The coxswain was sophomore Colin Oswald (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown).

The men’s club team also raced a pair of boats, as junior stroke seat Chris Piligno (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and junior bow Lou Gallagher (Florence, NJ/Holy Cross) finished second in their five-boat heat in the Men’s Pair Without Cox (7:29.46) on Friday to qualify for Saturday’s semifinals. They finished sixth in the semifinals in a time of 8:33.86.

The Men’s Frosh/Novice Four with Cox boat was fifth in its heat (8:03.51). The team consisted of sophomore coxswain B.J. Ochal (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic), junior stroke seat Sean Kendall (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township), sophomore 3 seat Lance Carsillo (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken), junior 2 seat George Hall (Williamstown, NJ/Delsea) and sophomore bow Justin Kapr (Harpursville, NY/Harpursville).


Sat., May 19-21 at ECAC Championships (Springfield College)

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