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College Softball:
Raptor of the Week: Michelle Schlichtig

Monday, April 3, 2006

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights)

Michelle Schlichtig captures her second Raptor of the Week honor in three weeks after posting a 2-0 record and one save in three pitching performances last week. Schlichtig started with a five-inning no-hitter against John Jay College of Criminal Justice, recording all 15 outs on strikes for her fifth career no-hitter at Rutgers-Camden. Combined with her previous outing, a perfect game against Keystone March 25, it extended her no-hit streak to 10-1/3 consecutive innings. She extended that string to 14 innings before settling for a three-hitter in a 3-1 victory April 1 over defending New Jersey Athletic Conference champion William Paterson University. Schlichtig came back to save the nightcap of a 3-2 win over Paterson, adding a solo home run in that game.

BASEBALL (15-7 overall/3-1 NJAC)


Thur. 30 Rutgers-Camden 5, Richard Stockton College 4
Fri. 31 Rowan University 9, Rutgers-Camden 5


Sat. 1 Rutgers-Camden 19-6, Ramapo College 9-2 (second game 7 innings, darkness)


Tue. 4 Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 7 at Richard Stockton College 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 8 Montclair State University (doubleheader) 12 p.m.
Thur. 15 The College of New Jersey 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 14 at Arcadia University 4 p.m.
Sat. 15 Rutgers-Newark (doubleheader) 12 p.m.
Thur. 20 William Paterson University 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 21 at The College of New Jersey 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 22 at New Jersey City University (doubleheader) 12 p.m.
Thur. 27 at Rowan University 3:30 p.m.
Fri. 28 at William Paterson University 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 29 Kean University (doubleheader) 12 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden baseball team made its debut in the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III national poll this season when it was picked No. 26 in the rankings released March 27. The Raptors made big news on the field as well, winning three of their four games on the opening weekend of New Jersey Athletic Conference play to grab a share of the early-season conference lead.

Rutgers-Camden posted a thrilling 5-4 win over Richard Stockton College in its NJAC opener March 30, thanks to a game-winning two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth by junior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional). Buchter, who has had a phenomenal season, hit in all four games of the weekend to tie the school record by extending his hitting streak to 18 games. The mark was set by Bob Diepold in 2001.

After the Raptors lost to Rowan, 9-5 in a home game March 31, they swept a doubleheader at Ramapo College April 1 by scores of 19-9 and 6-2 in seven innings (due to darkness). The Raptors ripped 28 hits in the doubleheader sweep as they rallied from behind in both games. The biggest comeback came in the opener when they exploded for eight runs in both the sixth and eighth innings to overcome a 9-3 deficit.

The big blow of the sixth inning was a grand slam by senior second baseman Nick Faragasso (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic). In the eighth inning, the Raptors were aided by six hits, one error and three walks. The big hit in the inning was a two-run single by junior left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), who had two hits in each game to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Morris is hitting .370 on the season.

The Raptors’ 18-hit attack in the opener was paced by senior first baseman Matt Calloway (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional), who went 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs. Calloway’s pair of runs allowed him to become the fifth player in program history to score over 100 career runs, giving him 101.

Faragasso went 3-for-6 with three runs and four RBIs, while junior designated hitter Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI) went 2-for-5, including a home run, with two runs and three RBIs.

Senior shortstop Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) and junior catcher Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) also added two hits apiece. Jakubowski also set a single-game school record by participating in all four double plays the Raptors pulled off. The old mark was three, shared by many players.

Sophomore lefty Nicholas Eric (Port St. Lucie, FL/Fort Pierce Central), the third of four Raptor pitchers, worked 1-2/3 innings, allowing five hits, one earned run and no walks as he collected his first win at Rutgers-Camden. Eric, 1-0, struck out two.

Junior right-hander Greg Galbraith (Westville, NJ/Gateway Regional) did an outstanding job of shutting down Ramapo over the final four innings, hurling two-hit shutout ball, to pick up his second save. He walked two and didn’t strike out a batter.

In the nightcap, Galbraith worked the first two innings and pieced together the win with relief help from freshman Pat Faulls (Laurel Springs, NJ/Highland Regional) and sophomore John Gladden (Sicklerville, NJ/Winslow Township). Faulls (1-1) notched his first collegiate win, working 3-2/3 innings and allowing four hits, four walks and one earned run. Gladden collected his second save, wriggling out of a sixth-inning jam to work 1-1/3 perfect innings with one strikeout.

Offensively, Calloway, Buchter, Morris and sophomore right fielder Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) each had two hits for the Scarlet Raptors, who overcame a 2-1 deficit with a three-run fifth inning. Jakubowski and Morris had RBI singles in that frame, sandwiched around a sacrifice fly by Amato.

In the March 31 loss to Rowan, it was the Profs who rallied from a deficit, overcoming a 3-0 first-inning lead aided by 14 hits and some shaky Rutgers-Camden defensive play.

Rowan, ranked No. 8 nationally in the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III poll, was sparked by 3-for-5 days from sophomore third baseman Bruce Reibis and junior designated hitter Brian McLaughlin. Reibis had two runs and two RBIs, while McLaughlin collected one RBI and scored three times.

The Scarlet Raptors scored three times in the first inning after consecutive singles by Jakubowski, sophomore second baseman Joe Ambrozy (Haddon Township, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) and Buchter loaded the bases with no outs. Calloway delivered one run with a sacrifice fly, extending his career school record to 11 sacrifice flies. Faragasso ripped a two-out double scoring Ambrozy and Buchter.

Rowan started its comeback in the second inning with a single run off Scarlet Raptor sophomore starter Andrew Lihotz (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast). With one out, the Profs loaded the bases on singles by McLaughlin and sophomore left fielder Frank Hasenauer and an infield error. Senior center fielder Jim Comprelli poked an RBI single to left.

In the third inning, the Profs tied the game with two runs on four hits, including a couple which were played into base hits. McLaughlin doubled home one run and scored the tying run on a pop up which fell for a single by junior first baseman Shawn Counard.

Rowan grabbed the lead for good in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Reibis and the Profs put the game away with a three-run seventh inning. That frame included a misplayed ball which went for an RBI double by Hasenauer, a sacrifice fly by Counard and a run-scoring double by sophomore catcher Bobby Fox.

Rowan added its final runs in the eighth on a walk to senior shortstop Matt Enuco, a triple by Reibis and a fielder’s choice RBI grounder by junior right fielder Tim Edmeads.

The Raptors added a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Jakubowski, who went 4-for-5 on the day. Their final run came in the eighth on a triple by Morris and an RBI single by Faragasso, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Rowan sophomore starter Joe Cichy (3-0) picked up the win, working 7-2/3 innings, allowing nine hits, five runs (four earned) and no walks. He fanned three. Junior Tyler Dempsey collected the last two outs for his third save.

Lihotz (2-3) worked six innings, allowing 11 hits, six runs (five earned) and one walk. He struck out two.

In their NJAC opener March 30, Buchter continued his season-long heroics, ripping a two-out, two-run game-winning double to the center field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the Scarlet Raptors to a 5-4 victory over Richard Stockton College.

Trailing, 4-3, entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Rutgers-Camden opened the winning rally with a single to right field by senior catcher Nick Turekian (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill West). He was sacrificed to second by Faragasso. After senior third baseman Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) drew a walk and was replaced by sophomore pinch-runner Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional), the Ospreys replaced senior starter Mike Downs with sophomore Sean Curran. A wild pitch moved up the runners and the Ospreys elected to intentionally walk Jakubowski. With the bases loaded, Curran struck out Ambrozy, leaving Buchter at the plate with two outs. Buchter, who earlier in the day extended his hitting streak to 15 games, drilled a shot to the base of the center field wall to plate Turekian with the tying run and Straga with the winner.

The rally made a winner out of Rutgers-Camden freshman southpaw Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville), who worked the final two innings in relief of senior starter Tom Ford (Laurel Springs, NJ/Paul VI). Wright allowed one hit and two walks in a scoreless stint, while striking out three to raise his record to 2-0. Ford worked the first seven innings, allowing seven hits, four earned runs and one walk, while striking out four.

Downs, 2-1, was the tough-luck losing pitcher, being charged with five earned runs in 8-1/3 innings. He allowed nine hits and three walks, while fanning five.

The Scarlet Raptors scored single runs in each of the first two innings. In the opening frame, Jakubowski hit a leadoff single, advanced on a single by Ambrozy and scored on a long single to right-center by Amato. Inkster hit a one-out home run to left field for the Raptors’ second-inning run.

Stockton tied the game in the top of the fifth following a leadoff double by sophomore shortstop Pat Goodwin. Goodwin advanced on a single by senior third baseman Eric Markussen. After junior left fielder Chris Herman squeezed home Goodwin and reached on a fielding error, junior center fielder Mike Liquori plated the tying run with a single to center. Liquori went 2-for-3 with one RBI on the day.

The Ospreys took a brief 3-2 lead in the sixth inning when senior catcher Chris Crescenzi opened the frame by crushing a long home run to left-center. It was his team-leading third homer of the season. Rutgers-Camden, however, tied the game in the bottom of the frame after Buchter hit a leadoff double down the right field line. He scored on a one-out single to left field by Morris.

Stockton regained the lead in the eighth when junior second baseman Brian Paras opened the inning with a single to chase Ford. Wright walked Crescenzi and allowed an RBI double by senior first baseman Mike Roman before working out of the jam.

For Rutgers-Camden, Inkster went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI, while Jakubowski and Buchter each went 2-for-4 with one run. Buchter added his two clutch RBIs in the ninth inning.

SOFTBALL (16-4 overall/2-0 NJAC)


Fri. 31 Rutgers-Camden 18-11, John Jay College of Criminal Justice 0-0


Sat. 1 Rutgers-Camden 3-3, William Paterson University 1-2


Tue. 4 The College of New Jersey (doubleheader) 3 p.m.
Sat. 8 Montclair State University (doubleheader) 1 p.m.
Tue. 11 at Rowan University (doubleheader) 3 p.m.
Thur. 13 Gwynedd-Mercy College (doubleheader) 3 p.m.
Sat. 15 at Ramapo College (doubleheader) 1 p.m.
Tue. 18 at Richard Stockton College (doubleheader) 3 p.m.
Wed. 19 at Neumann College (doubleheader) 4 p.m.
Sat. 22 at Kean University (doubleheader) 1 p.m.
Tue. 25 New Jersey City University (doubleheader) 3 p.m.
Thur. 27 Hunter College (doubleheader) 5 p.m.
Fri. 28 Ursinus College (doubleheader) 5:30 p.m.
Sat. 29 Rutgers-Newark (doubleheader) 1 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden softball team served notice that it’s ready for the grueling battles of the rugged New Jersey Athletic Conference as the Lady Raptors opened their NJAC schedule by hosting the defending conference champion, William Paterson University, April 1. Senior pitcher Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) hurled a three-hitter to win the opening game and picked up the save in the nightcap in relief of junior Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) as the Raptors swept the Pioneers, 3-1 and 3-2. The doubleheader was a rematch of last season’s NJAC and NCAA East Regional championship games, both won by Paterson. Once again it matched two of the premier teams in the NJAC and the nation. Rutgers-Camden is ranked No. 11 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association NCAA Division III poll, while Paterson is ranked No. 16.

That sweep put an exclamation point on an outstanding 4-0 week for the Lady Raptors, who ripped John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 18-0 and 11-0, in a pair of five-inning home games March 31. In the opener, Schlichtig hurled a no-hitter, recording all 15 outs on strikes.

In their first NJAC game against William Paterson, the Lady Raptors broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs, Farrell poked a single to left and advanced on a wild pitch. She was replaced by freshman pinch-runner Valeri Bohn (Delran, NJ/Holy Cross), who scored on a double by junior catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford). Sophomore Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) ran for Baney and scored on a single to right field by sophomore designated player Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken).

Those runs made a winner out of Schlichtig, who hurled a three-hitter, allowing only one unearned run and three walks. She struck out seven while raising her record to 8-2.

The lone run allowed by Schlichtig came in the third inning when sophomore first baseman Mercy Nunez drew a leadoff walk and sophomore pinch-runner Kathy Wehmann was sacrificed to second base. She scored on an infield throwing error after the Raptors tried to double her off following a line out.

The Lady Raptors got that run back in the bottom of the third following a leadoff walk to sophomore second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) and a sacrifice by junior shortstop Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross). A wild pitch advanced Feriod to third and she scored on an infield single by freshman center fielder Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough).

Van Cleef and Baney each collected two hits for Rutgers-Camden off Paterson sophomore pitcher Diana Schraer. Schraer (6-2) hurled a seven-hitter, allowing three earned runs and four walks. She fanned four.

For Paterson, senior third baseman Nicky Arias went 2-for-3 off Schlichtig, including a double.

In the second game, Farrell was staked to an early 2-0 lead. The Raptors, batting as the visiting team, scored twice in the top of the second inning, sparked by a single from sophomore first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston), who extended her team-leading hitting streak to eight games. Farrell followed with a bunt single and Baney loaded the bases with a single to left. After Dreitlein was retired on a fielder’s choice at the plate, freshman second baseman Heather Pohorely (Lebanon, NJ/Hunterdon Central) walked to force in a run. With two outs, Van Cleef plated the second run with an infield single.

Paterson bounced back in the bottom of the second after a leadoff single by Nunez. Wehmann ran for her, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice by senior right fielder Danielle Patlen. She scored on a ground out by junior left fielder Jamie Fields.

Schlichtig drilled a solo home run in the third inning and relieved Farrell on the mound to open the fifth.

The Pioneers cut the gap to 3-2 with an unearned run in the fifth off Schlichtig. Junior second baseman April Sardinas-Wyssling opened with a double down the left field line. She scored from second base on an infield error.

Farrell ((2-1) worked four innings, allowing five hits and one earned run. She struck out three and didn’t walk a batter. Schlichtig picked up her first save of the season with three innings of two-hit ball, allowing only the one unearned run. She fanned two and also didn’t issue a walk.

The losing pitcher was Paterson senior Jenn Scott, who allowed nine hits, two walks and three earned runs in a complete-game effort. Scott (6-3) struck out seven.

Dreitlein had three hits in the nightcap, while Van Cleef added two for Rutgers-Camden. For Paterson, Sardinas-Wyssling went 2-for-4 with one run scored.

In the non-conference sweep over John Jay, Schlichtig hurled a no-hitter in the opening game – missing a perfect game by a two-out error in the last inning – and sophomore Therese Taraschi (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield) hurled a one-hitter in the nightcap.

Schlichtig recorded all 15 outs on strikeouts in tossing her second consecutive no-hitter. It nearly was her second straight perfect game, but the potential final out, senior center fielder Lisa Trojanowski, reached on an infield error before Schlichtig got the last out on a strikeout. Schlichtig, who hurled a 14-0 perfect game against Keystone College March 25, now owns five no-hitters at Rutgers-Camden, including her perfect game.

Schlichtig struck out the first 14 batters of the game to set a new Rutgers-Camden program record. She broke the mark of 11 straight strikeouts by Sarah O’Malley in the first game against Centenary College April 23, 2003. It was the second long strikeout streak for Schlichtig in a week. She also fanned the first nine in her perfect game against Keystone.

Schlichtig, a First Team All-America pitcher last season, also helped her cause at the plate, going 4-for-4 with four runs and five RBIs. She drove home four runs in the Lady Raptors’ 10-run first inning, collecting an RBI double to plate the first run and adding a bases-clearing double later in the frame.

The Raptors’ first inning also featured a three-run double by Baney and an RBI single by Feriod.

For the game, Feriod went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI, while Farrell and Dreitlein each had two hits, three runs and two RBIs. Junior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) went 2-for-5 with three runs to raise her career total to 97 hits. She is on the verge of becoming the sixth Lady Raptor to reach 100 hits for her career, a list which includes teammates Schlichtig and Baney.

In the second game, Taraschi allowed only a first-inning two-out single by losing pitcher Kevina Ayala in hurling her first shutout at Rutgers-Camden. She didn’t walk a batter and fanned four as she set down the final 13 batters in order.

The Lady Raptors scored all the runs she needed in a four-run third inning, sparked by Taraschi’s leadoff single. Parker and freshman catcher Heather Taylor (Clementon, NJ/Overbrook) collected back-to-back RBI singles in the frame and freshman shortstop Mandi Moore (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township) added an RBI double.

In the Raptors’ seven-run fourth inning, Parker drilled a three-run home run and Bohn had a three-run inside-the-park home run. The other run in the inning was plated on an RBI single from Pohorely.

For the game, Pohorely, Parker, Taylor and Moore each collected two hits. Parker had four RBIs, while Bohn added three.




Mon. 3 Lebanon Valley College Invitational 12:30 p.m.
(at Lebanon Country Club, Annville, PA)

Thur. 6 Susquehanna University Tee-Off Tournament 1 p.m.
(at Susquehanna Valley Country Club, Selinsgrove, PA)

Thur. 13 Widener University Invitational 12 p.m.
(at Frog Hollow Golf Club, Middletown, DE)

Mon. 17 Franklin & Marshall College Invitational 1 p.m.
(at Bent Creek Golf Course, Lancaster, PA)

Rutgers-Camden opens its spring season April 3 at the Lebanon Valley College Invitational. The Raptors are coming off a 44-41-1 record during the fall season for their program-record fourth straight winning semester.



1 at Danny Curran Invitational (at Widener University, Chester, PA)


Rutgers-Camden Winners:

* Carmen Zimmitt, Long Jump (18-00.50)

* Travis Stewart, 10,000 meters (34:37.21)

Rutgers-Camden School Records:

* Carmen Zimmitt, Long Jump, 18-00.50 (Old: 17-9 by Zimmitt at the ECAC Championships, May 20, 2005)

Sat. 8 Osprey Open (at Richard Stockton College, Pomona, NJ) 10 a.m.
Wed. 12 Lebanon Valley College Invitational (Annville, PA) 3:30 p.m.
Sat. 15 New Jersey Invitational (at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ) 9 a.m.
Sat. 22 East Stroudsburg University Invitational (East Stroudsburg, PA) TBA
Thur. 27- Penn Relays TBA
Sat. 29 (at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)
Sat. 29 Lions Invitational (at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ) 10:30 a.m.


Sat. 6 New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships TBA
(at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ)

Senior captain Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) finished first in the long jump, breaking her own school record, to highlight the Rutgers-Camden track team’s performance at the Danny Curran Invitational April 1 at Widener University.

Zimmitt had a long jump of 18-00.5, breaking her mark of 17-9 set at the ECAC Championships May 20, 2005.

Zimmitt also finished third in the 100-meter dash (12.89) and seventh in the triple jump (34-05.75).

The Scarlet Raptors also received a first-place finish on the men’s side, as freshman Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) won the 10,000-meter run in a time of 34:37.21.

The Lady Raptors’ 4x400 team finished 11th in 4:42.58 with a quartet of sophomore Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional), senior Tanishia Greene (Georgetown, SC/Georgetown), sophomore Jessica Hull (Sicklerville, NJ/Fairton Christian Center and Academy) and freshman Brandee Neiderhofer (Absegami, NJ/Holy Spirit).

Hafiz also finished fifth at 100 meters (13.25) and sixth in the triple jump (34-06.75), while Greene was 12th in the 200 meters (28.82) and Neiderhofer was 14th at 5,000 meters (22:33.37).

Sophomore Rachel McCormick (Blue Anchor, NJ/Winslow Township) finished 29th at 800 meters (2:56.01) and 44th at 1,500 meters (6:00.28).

The men’s 4x400 team also finish 11th, led by sophomore Patrick Eigbe (Galloway, NJ/Absegami), sophomore Darryl Mendillo (Galloway, NJ/Absegami), freshman Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) and Stewart.

Eigbe also finished 25th in both the 100 meters (12.15) and 200 meters (24.36), while Mendillo was 31st at 800 meters (2:09.18). Salamon was 20th at 800 meters (2:04.54) and 31st in the 1,500 meters (4:19.66).

Sophomore Michael McClain (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) finished 24th in the long jump (16-03.75) and 15th in the triple jump (35-02.0).

Freshman Kevin Dukes (Pitman, NJ/Pitman) finished 15th in the 110-meter high hurdles (20.91).




Sat. 8-Sun. 9 Knecht Cup Regatta .
(Cooper River, Pennsauken, NJ)

Sat. 15 Johns Hopkins Invitational .
(Baltimore, MD)

Windy conditions forced the Rutgers-Camden women’s crew team and Bryn Mawr College to race an alternative course upriver on April 1 and use the scheduled competition as a practice.

The Lady Raptors return to competitive action April 8-9 on their home course at the Cooper River in Pennsauken, where they will compete in the Knecht Cup Regatta.

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