Monday, March 20, 2006
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Senior pitcher/second baseman Michelle Schlichtig had a hot bat at the Sun West Tournament in Orange, California. Facing some of the top teams in the country, Schlichtig hit .469 (15-for-32) with 11 runs, 15 RBIs, four doubles and four home runs. She drew six walks and was successful on her lone stolen base attempt. She hit safely in nine of the Lady Raptors' 10 games, including the last eight. She also went 3-2 on the mound with 38 strikeouts in 31-2/3 innings.
BASEBALL (9-6 overall/0-0 NJAC)
California Trip (All times Pacific)
The Rutgers-Camden baseball team won four of its five games in Southern California during the week to conclude a successful 6-3 spring trip to the West Coast. No win was bigger than the victory which opened the week, a 3-2 victory March 16 over host Chapman University, ranked No. 4 nationally in the pre-season Collegiate Baseball News NCAA Div. III poll.
Sophomore southpaw Andrew Lihotz (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast) hurled five strong innings for his first win of the season to lead the Scarlet Raptors over Chapman University, the defending NCAA West Regional champion.
Lihotz allowed seven hits and six walks for the Scarlet Raptors, who improved to 6-5. He struck out three and surrendered a pair of earned runs. Rutgers-Camden received shutout relief pitching from a trio of young hurlers, as freshman lefty Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville) allowed just one hit in one inning of work and sophomore southpaw Nicholas Eric (Port St. Lucie, FL/Fort Pierce Central) hurled 2-1/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out one. Freshman right-hander Pat Faulls (Laurel Springs, NJ/Highland Regional) picked up the final two outs, one on a strikeout, to earn his first collegiate save.
Not only did the Raptors defeat the highly-ranked Panthers, they put an end to the 18-game winning streak of Chapman senior All-American right-hander Buddy Klovstad. Klovstad (6-1), who hadn’t lost a game since 2004, finished with a seven-hitter and one walk, while striking out nine in his second complete game of the season.
Klovstad’s 18-game winning streak, a Chapman record, started with an 8-1 win over Menlo on April 24, 2004 and included a 10-0 All-American season last year. He won his first six games this season before suffering only his third collegiate loss (21-3). He was one win short of tying for ninth place in NCAA Division III history for consecutive wins.
The Raptors scored all three of their runs in the first inning on a two-run single by senior second baseman Nick Faragasso (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) and a double steal by Faragasso and junior designated hitter Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI), with Amato scoring.
Senior shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) opened the game with a single to center. Junior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland) added a one-out single to left. After both runners advanced a base on a failed pickoff play, Amato walked to load the bases. Faragasso delivered his two-run single to center field, chasing Amato to third. Amato scored moments later on the double steal with Faragasso.
Chapman, which left 13 runners on base, collected single runs in the second and third innings off Lihotz. Freshman shortstop Kurt Yacko had an RBI single in the second inning and freshman first baseman Patrick Ohail singled home a run in the third.
Yacko, Ohail, senior left fielder Brian Brubaker and sophomore designated hitter Steve Fraser each collected two hits for the Panthers. For Rutgers-Camden, senior third baseman Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) went 2-for-4 as the lone Raptor with multiple hits.
Rutgers-Camden split a pair of games March 17 in the California Invitational at University of Redlands. In the opening game, the Scarlet Raptors pounded out 14 hits in a 10-3 victory over Wesleyan University of Middletown, Connecticut. In the nightcap, the Raptors saw host Redlands rip 12 hits to take an early lead before heavy rains ended the game in the fifth inning, giving the Bulldogs a 6-1 win.
Redlands, which improved to 13-3 with its seventh straight win, scored all the runs it needed with a three-run third inning, which wiped out the Raptors’ 1-0 lead. Rutgers-Camden (7-6) scored in the second on a double by Faragasso. He eventually scored on a ground out by senior catcher Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West).
The Bulldogs’ third-inning rally was sparked by a leadoff triple from sophomore shortstop Chase Beatty. He scored the tying run on a single by senior third baseman Patrick Jones. After Jones was caught stealing, senior second baseman Jason Sobieski and junior center fielder Kyle Gardner both singled and advanced on a ground out. They scored on a two-run single by senior first baseman Jake McLean-Black.
Redlands added another three-point frame in the fourth on five hits and three errors. Beatty and Gardner had RBI singles in the frame.
Rutgers-Camden junior Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) took the loss, allowing six earned runs and 11 hits in 3-2/3 innings. Ronca (1-1) struck out four. Freshman Brandon Rocktoff (Pennington, NJ/Hopewell Valley Central) hurled the final 1-1/3 innings in his collegiate debut, allowing just one hit and one walk. He struck out two in the scoreless performance.
Earlier in the day, the Scarlet Raptors rode the combined pitching of senior Tom Ford (Laurel Springs, NJ/Paul VI) and sophomore John Gladden (Sicklerville, NJ/Winslow Township) to a 10-3 victory over Wesleyan University.
Ford scattered 12 hits over 7-1/3 innings, walking none and striking out six. He allowed three earned runs while raising his record to 3-0. Gladden worked the final 1-2/3 shutout innings, allowing one walk and no hits.
Rutgers-Camden scored all the runs it needed in a four-run first inning, which opened with a single by senior shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon). He advanced to second on a balk and to third on a fly out. Buchter reached on an infield single and stole second. Junior designated hitter Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) walked to load the bases and his former high school teammate, junior left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), delivered the first run with a sacrifice fly.
Faragasso walked to re-load the bases and Turekian plated three runs with a double to center field.
Buchter added a two-run single in the fourth inning, the Raptors plated a run on a double steal in the sixth and added an RBI by Jakubowski in the seventh when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Jakubowski added a two-run single in the ninth inning to finish with a 2-for-4 day, one run and three RBIs.
Buchter paced the Scarlet Raptors with a 3-for-6 game, adding one run and one RBI. Turekian went 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs, while Terrill went 2-for-4 with one run. Freshman right fielder Ian King (Riverside, NJ/Riverside) went 2-for-2 with one run.
The Scarlet Raptors concluded their spring trip with back-to-back 7-5 California Invitational victories March 18-19 at Whittier College and Occidental College, respectively.
After falling into a 5-0 hole through 6-1/2 innings against Whittier, the Raptors notched two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and exploded for a five-run eighth to post the victory. The rally made a winner out of Rocktoff, who hurled shutout ball over the last 2-1/3 innings to earn his first collegiate decision. He allowed one hit and one walk, while striking out one.
Faulls made his first career start for the Scarlet Raptors (8-6), working 2-1/3 innings and allowing two hits, one walk and one earned run, while striking out two. He was relieved by Wright, who worked 4-1/3 innings, surrendering six hits, one walk and four runs (three earned). He struck out four.
Whittier (8-10), which edged Rutgers-Camden 7-6 on March 12, scored a single run in the second and added a four-run top of the seventh, batting as the visiting team.
Rutgers-Camden got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh on a leadoff home run by Morris and an RBI single by Inkster.
The Raptors exploded for five runs in the bottom of the eighth on four hits and one error. Inkster had a two-run single in the frame, while King plated one run with a single. Another run scored on a bases-loaded walk to Turekian, who was playing in his 100th career contest at Rutgers-Camden. He is the ninth player in program history to reach that plateau. He also is the third current Raptor over 100 games, joining Inkster, who hit that plateau March 4, and senior Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional), who played in his 100th game last season.
For the game, King and Morris each had two hits, while Inkster went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Morris went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs as Rutgers-Camden completed its nine-game trip to Southern California with a 7-5 victory at Occidental College March 19.
The Scarlet Raptors took the lead for good in a three-run second inning, sparked when Terrill opened the frame by reaching on an error. Morris followed with his second home run in as many days. Calloway added a single and eventually scored on a single by King.
The Scarlet Raptors added a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Morris and plated two runs in the sixth on a single by Buchter. Buchter went 2-for-5 on the day, stretching his hitting streak to 11 games. He has hit safely in 14 of the Raptors’ 15 games this season.
Rutgers-Camden’s final run came in the seventh on doubles by Calloway and King, with King collecting an RBI.
Junior right-hander Kevin Engel (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township) collected his first victory at Rutgers-Camden, working five innings and allowing two hits, four walks and two earned runs. He struck out three.
Sophomore Steven Sooy (Millville, NJ/Millville) worked two-thirds of an inning and junior Greg Galbraith (Westville, NJ/Gateway Regional) finished the game with 3-1/3 innings, allowing five hits, two earned runs and one walk. He struck out one in collecting his first save.
The game featured a fourth.-inning single by Jakubowski, giving him 100 hits in his three-year career at Rutgers-Camden. He also had 38 hits in his freshman season as a member of the West Chester University baseball team.
For the game, Buchter, King, Calloway and Morris each had two hits. Inkster also collected one assist, allowing him to set the career mark with 286, one more than former record-holder Barry Huver (2001-04).
SOFTBALL (10-4 overall/0-0 NJAC)
Mon. 13 Fontbonne University (MO) 11, Rutgers-Camden 5
Tue. 21 John Jay College of Criminal Justice (doubleheader) 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 1 William Paterson University (doubleheader) 1 p.m.
The Rutgers University-Camden softball team ended its week-long stay at the Sun West Tournament by facing the best team in the nation. And the Lady Raptors, ranked No. 9 in the pre-season National Fastpitch Coaches Association Div. III poll, couldn’t quite overcome the top-ranked University of St. Thomas (MN).
The two-time defending national champion Tommies pushed across the deciding run in the bottom of the sixth inning to edge Rutgers-Camden, 4-3, March 18. Earlier in the day, the Raptors routed Knox College (IL), 13-3, in a five-inning game.
Rutgers-Camden concluded its 10-game trip to Southern California with a 6-4 record, leaving the Lady Raptors with a 10-4 mark overall as they return to Camden for their home opener. They will face John Jay College of Criminal Justice in a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday.
St. Thomas, playing its first game in defense of its second straight Div. III title, broke a 3-3 tie with two outs in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by sophomore left fielder Fiona Lodge. It was the second solo home run of the game for the Tommies against Lady Raptor ace Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights). Senior catcher Nikki Conway hit a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the first inning.
After Rutgers-Camden scored in the top of the first on an RBI single by Schlichtig, the Tommies notched single runs in each of the first three innings to grab a 3-1 lead. Rutgers-Camden, however, tied the game with single runs in the fifth and sixth off St. Thomas senior starter Janet Nagel. Both runs were unearned.
The Raptors scored in the fifth following a leadoff bunt single by sophomore second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro). She advanced two bases on a throwing error and scored on a two-out single by junior shortstop Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional). Millett went 3-for-3 in the game.
Rutgers-Camden tied the game in the top of the sixth on a single by sophomore first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston). Dreitlein advanced on a ground out and scored on an error, setting the stage for St. Thomas’ winning run in the bottom of the frame.
In addition to Millett, Schlichtig went 2-for-4 for the Raptors. St. Thomas sophomore Maria Bye, who picked up the win in relief, was the lone Tommie with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with one RBI.
In the first-game win over Knox College, Rutgers-Camden exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the first inning to wipe out a 1-0 deficit. Schlichtig hit a two-run home run to give the Raptors the lead for good. Freshman right fielder Mandi Moore (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township) singled home two runs and later stole home as part of a double steal. Millett added an RBI double in the frame.
The Raptors put the game away with a five-run fourth inning, capped by a grand slam from freshman designated player Heather Pohorely (Lebanon, NJ/Hunterdon Central).
The game against Knox College marked the 100th career contest at Rutgers-Camden for junior third baseman Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross), making her the ninth player in program history and fourth this season to pass the century mark in games played. On March 16, Schlichtig, Millett and junior Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) each played in their 100th game against Illinois College.
Baney, Dreitlein and Pohorely each went 2-for-3 against Knox. Pohorely had four RBIs, while Schlichtig, Giles and Moore each added two.
After winning nine of its first 10 games, Rutgers-Camden dropped a pair of games March 17, making eight errors to surrender two costly unearned runs in each contest. Those runs came back to haunt the Lady Raptors as they dropped a pair of 5-4 decisions against Central College (Pella, Iowa) and St. Mary’s University (Winona, Minn.). The losses snapped the Raptors’ five-game winning streak.
Central improved to 10-3. Pre-season No. 15 St. Mary’s is 1-1, with both decisions coming against the Lady Raptors.
Rutgers-Camden held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 in the first game against Central before the Dutch tied the game on two hits and one error in the fourth inning. After the Raptors regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by freshman center fielder Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough), Central scored the deciding runs in the top of the fifth.
The Dutch opened their winning rally with a double by sophomore shortstop Chelsea Freese. She was sacrificed to third and scored on a single to center by junior third baseman Tina Shimak. After sophomore catcher Kelly Harris reached on an error and Shimak was picked off second, Harris stole second. She scored the winning run on consecutive errors at second base and in right field.
Junior Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep), the second of two Lady Raptor hurlers, took the loss, working 3-1/3 innings and allowing three hits and two runs, only one earned.
Van Cleef went 3-for-3 with two runs, one RBI and a pair of doubles for the Lady Raptors.
The second game had a similar tone for the Raptors, who played a 5-4 extra-inning game against St. Mary’s for the second consecutive day. On March 16, Rutgers-Camden won that game in the eighth inning. On March 17, the Raptors dropped that decision after allowing the Cardinals unearned runs in both the eighth and ninth innings.
St. Mary’s took the lead in the top of the eighth on a two-out infield error, but Rutgers-Camden scored an unearned run of its own in the bottom of the frame, sending the game to the ninth inning. With two outs, an infield error kept the inning alive and senior first baseman Jenny Schipp singled home the winning run.
Rutgers-Camden threatened in the bottom of the ninth before the potential tying run was stranded at third base.
Van Cleef hurled a complete game for the Raptors, allowing nine hits and one walk, while striking out five. Only three of the runs she allowed were earned.
Schipp went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI for St. Mary’s as the lone player in the game with multiple hits.
In the March 16 victory over St. Mary’s, Schlichtig hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to win her own game and help the Lady Raptors sweep a pair of Sun West Tournament contests. Earlier in the day, Rutgers-Camden defeated Illinois College, 10-2.
St. Mary’s appeared to be on the verge of being shut out by Schlichtig, losing 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning of the night game. The Cardinals rallied for four runs on three hits and two walks, with all four runs scoring with two outs. The big hit was a two-run game-tying single to left field by losing pitcher Jenny Schipp.
After two Raptors were retired in the top of the eighth inning, including a runner erased on the basepaths, Schlichtig homered to left-center field for her third round-tripper of the season. It also was her second home run of the day, as she hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the win against Illinois College.
Rutgers-Camden had scored two runs in the sixth to break open the scoreless duel between Schlichtig and Schipp. The frame was sparked by a leadoff infield single from sophomore left fielder Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown). She advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out single to left by Schlichtig, who advanced on the throw home. Baney followed with an RBI single to center.
The Raptors added two more runs in the seventh, sparked by a two-out single from Feriod. Grochowski reached on an error and both players scored on a single by Van Cleef.
The Cardinals tied the game with a four-run seventh before the Lady Raptors posted the win in extra innings. Schlichtig allowed six hits, three walks and four earned runs, while striking out 11. Schipp allowed seven hits, five runs (three earned) and no walks. She fanned seven.
Schlichtig, who went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, was the lone player in the game to collect multiple hits.
In the opening game, Schlichtig went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs, while Van Cleef and Millett ach added two hits and two runs. Millett also had one RBI. Dreitlein added a two-run home run in the Raptors’ six-run first inning.
The Illinois College contest marked the 100th career game at Rutgers-Camden for the Lady Raptor trio of Schlichtig, Baney and Millett.
Farrell collected five hits to extend her hitting streak to six games, Baney became the fifth player in program history to reach 100 career hits and Schlichtig earned a pair of wins as Rutgers-Camden swept a pair of games at the Sun West Tournament March 14. The Lady Raptors, ranked No. 9 nationally in the pre-season National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, posted a 10-1 victory over Kenyon College of Gambier, Ohio, in a game shortened to five innings by an eight-run mercy rule. The Raptors added a 6-1 win over Illinois College (Jacksonville, IL) in their second game of the day.
In the opening game against Kenyon, Rutgers-Camden put the game away in the top of the first inning with an eight-run explosion off sophomore pitcher Stephanie Hemmingson. Millett sparked the frame with a one-out single and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a single by Schlichtig. She scored on a squeeze bunt by Baney, who reached on a fielder’s choice. Farrell, who went 5-for-7 on the day to extend her team-high hitting streak to six games and raise her team-leading average to .500 (12-for-24), loaded the bases with a single to left. Dreitlein and Feriod each followed with an RBI single. Giles and Grochowski both walked to force home runs, and following a line out, Millett drew another RBI walk. Schlichtig capped the frame with a two-run single to right field.
The Lady Raptors completed their scoring with a two-run second inning, which started with Farrell’s double to right-center. One out later, Feriod had an infield single and Giles hit an RBI double down the right field line. Feriod scored the final run on a sacrifice fly to left field by freshman pinch-hitter Valeri Bohn (Delran, NJ/Holy Cross), who was making her collegiate softball debut.
For the game, Farrell went 3-for-4 with two runs, while Feriod and Giles each went 2-for-2. Feriod scored twice and had one RBI, while Giles had one run and two RBIs. Schlichtig went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs, while combining with freshman Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) to hurl a one-hitter. The only hit by the Ladies came on a leadoff infield single in the fifth inning by junior left fielder Kate Zdrojeski. Zdrojeski advanced on an error and a wild pitch and scored the Ladies’ lone run on an infield out.
Schlichtig hurled no-hit ball over three innings, walking one and striking out five. Powell allowed the one hit and one run (unearned) in two innings, collecting one strikeout.
In the nightcap, Schlichtig hurled a three-hitter, allowing two of those hits on first-inning doubles which produced the only run for the Lady Blues. Rutgers-Camden bounced back to win the game, taking advantage of three unearned runs in both the third and fifth innings.
In the third inning, Giles and Van Cleef each reached on an infield error, sandwiched around a ground out. Van Cleef’s grounder plated Giles with the tying run. One out later, Schlichtig doubled home Van Cleef and then scored on a single by Baney.
Grochowski sparked the fifth-inning rally with an infield single and a stolen base. Two outs later, she scored when Schlichtig reached on an error. Baney followed with an RBI double to right field for her 100th career hit, and was replaced by sophomore pinch-runner Brittany Sports (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Heights). Sports scored on a double by Farrell.
The Lady Raptors split their first two games at the Sun West Tournament March 13. They allowed five unearned runs in a six-run fourth inning and went on to lose the opening game, 11-5, against Fontbonne University of St. Louis, Missouri. The Raptors bounced back in their second game to post a 9-1 win over the College of Mount St. Joseph of Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the opening game, the Raptors and the Griffins were locked in a 2-2 tie until the top of the fourth inning. Griffins junior right fielder Kendal Whitaker opened the frame with a single off Schlichtig. Whitaker stole second, advanced on a ground out and scored on a two-out bunt single by junior third baseman Lauren Austin. Junior shortstop Kate Evers followed by reaching on an error, and the floodgates opened against the Raptors. Fontbonne followed with a single by freshman center fielder Annie Dillinger, a two-run double by junior first baseman Kristin Lommel and a three-run home run by senior left fielder Erica Jones.
The Griffins tacked on another big inning in the sixth on a three-run home run by junior designated player Jenny Vasquez. Fontbonne ripped three home runs in the game, including a solo shot in the third inning by Dillinger. The Griffins collected 14 hits off three Raptor pitchers.
Schlichtig went 2-for-4 with one run and two RBIs at the plate, while Farrell went 2-for-3 and added a sacrifice fly.
In the nightcap, Farrell (1-0) tossed a two-hitter in a game called after five innings by the eight-run mercy rule. She allowed only a first-inning run on a leadoff triple by junior center fielder Erin Brogan and a fielder’s choice RBI. She held the Lions hitless after that until a two-out single in the fourth inning, and wound up with one walk and five strikeouts.
Offensively, the Lady Raptors tied the game in the third inning on singles by Van Cleef, Baney and Dreitlein. Dreitlein’s two-out single to left field plated Van Cleef.
Rutgers-Camden put the game away with an eight-run fourth inning, sparked when Giles was hit by a pitch. Back-to-back infield errors loaded the bases and Schlichtig was hit by a pitch to force home the tie-breaking run. Baney plated another run on a fielder’s choice and Farrell had a two-run single. After a single by Dreitlein, Millett ripped a two-run double to right field. Giles capped the frame with a two-run ground-rule double.
For the game, Dreitlein went 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Baney and Farrell each added two hits. Farrell, Millett and Giles had two RBIs apiece.
Tue. 21 Dickinson College Invitational 1 p.m.
Mon. 3 Lebanon Valley College Invitational 12:30 p.m.
Thur. 6 Susquehanna University Tee-Off Tournament 1 p.m.
Thur. 13 Widener University Invitational 12 p.m.
Mon. 17 Franklin & Marshall College Invitational 1 p.m.
TRACK AND FIELD
Sat. 25 Richard Stockton Invitational 10:30 a.m.
Sat. 1 Danny Curran Invitational 10 a.m.
Sat. 8 Osprey Open 10 a.m.
Wed. 12 Lebanon Valley College Invitational 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 15 New Jersey Invitational 9 a.m.
Sat. 25 Murphy Cup Regatta .
Sat. 1 Bryn Mawr College .