Thursday, April 27, 2006
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN - Senior Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) hurled a two-hit shutout and slammed a solo home run to tie the school career RBI record in the opening game, and she earned the win in relief in the nightcap when junior shortstop Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Rutgers University-Camden softball team swept Hunter College, 6-0 and 1-0, in a non-conference doubleheader here April 27.
The sweep lifts the Lady Raptors, ranked No. 4 nationally, to 34-4 overall and extends their winning streak to 24 games. Hunter College falls to 17-15.
The second game featured a fine pitching duel between Hunter sophomore Stephanie Donald (Woodstock, GA/Sequoia) and Rutgers-Camden freshman Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough). Van Cleef worked 6-2/3 innings of five-hit shutout ball before giving way to Schlichtig, who picked up the win with 1-1/3 innings and four strikeouts. She raised her record to 20-2.
Schlichtig worked out of a two-out jam in the seventh, entering the game with a runner at second and getting a called strikeout. In the eighth, the Hawks started the inning with a runner at second base on the international tie-breaker rule. They immediately threatened when junior left fielder Luiginia Gutierrez (Bronx, NY/Walton) reached on an error during her sacrifice. She stole second, giving Hunter two runners in scoring position with no outs, but Schlichtig fanned the next three batters.
Like Hunter, Rutgers-Camden nearly wasted a golden opportunity in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with the tie-breaker runner, an infield single by junior third baseman Megan Farrell (Marlton, NJ/Bishop Eustace) when nobody covered first base on her sacrifice attempt, and a fielder's choice that failed to retire a batter. After two straight forceouts at home plate, the Raptors won the game on a walk to Giles.
Donald (3-7), the tough-luck pitcher, went all 7-2/3 innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run. She struck out six and walked three.
In the opener, Schlichtig went 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI while hurling her two-hit shutout in the opener. She struck out eight batters, allowing only a second-inning single by junior designated player Tiffany Rock (Bronx, NY/Health Professions) and a fifth-inning single by Donald. Schlichtig's solo home run leading off the sixth inning, meanwhile, gave her 96 career RBIs, tying the program mark by Becky Johnson (2002-05).
Rutgers-Camden scored all the runs Schlichtig needed in the first inning following a leadoff single by Van Cleef. A walk to Schlichtig and a two-out RBI single by Farrell plated one run. Sophomore designated player Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) capped the frame with a two-run single.
The Raptors added a run in the third following a ground rule double by Parker. She reached third on a single by sophomore second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) and was squeezed home by Giles.
Parker walked and scored a run on a Van Cleef single in the fifth.
For the game, Van Cleef went 3-for-4 with one run and one RBI, while Schlichtig and Parker were each 2-for-3 with two runs. Parker had two RBIs, while Schlichtig had one.
Hunter College sophomore Allyshia West (Ontario, Canada/West Hills Secondary) took the loss, allowing 12 hits, six runs (five earned) and three walks. West, 9-7, struck out five.
The Lady Raptors close out the regular season Saturday when they host Rutgers-Newark in a New Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader, beginning at 1 p.m. The team will honor its one senior, Schlichtig, on Senior Day.
The Hawks begin play in their City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) tournament Wednesday at the College of Staten Island.