Tuesday, May 2, 2006
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN -Senior All-American Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) hurled a one-hit shutout and Rutgers University-Camden set new program records for most wins in a season and most consecutive wins as the Lady Raptors defeated The College of New Jersey, 6-0, in the opening round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Softball Championship here May 2.
With the victory, the top-seeded Raptors improve to 37-4, passing the old school mark of 36 wins set in 2004. They also have won 27 consecutive games, one more than the mark set last season. TCNJ, the sixth seed, falls to 25-16.
In other first-round games played on campus sites, #2 Rowan University defeated #5 Montclair State University, 9-5, and #3 Ramapo College edged #4 William Paterson University, the defending NJAC champion, 4-3.
The remainder of the double-elimination tournament will be played at Rutgers-Camden beginning Friday, when Montclair State faces TCNJ at 11 a.m., William Paterson plays Rutgers-Camden at 1:30 p.m. and Rowan battles Ramapo at 4 p.m.
Schlichtig raised her record to 22-2 with her one-hitter, walking two and striking out 11 as she raised her school-record consecutive scoreless inning streak to 40.2. It was her fifth consecutive shutout, tying the program mark set by Becky Johnson in 2004, and Schlichtig's 12th shutout on the season, tying her own single-season mark set last year.
Schlichtig allowed only a two-out double in the second inning by sophomore right fielder Christina Lizzi (Wyckoff, NJ/Ramapo).
The Lady Raptors broke the game open with a four-run third inning off TCNJ junior starter Julianne Lajiness (Monroe Township, NJ/Notre Dame). The frame was sparked when sophomore second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) beat out an infield single and advanced on a throwing error. She moved to third on a grounder to second base by junior shortstop Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) and scored on an infield single by freshman center fielder Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough). One out later, the Lady Raptors loaded the bases on a single by Schlichtig and a walk to sophomore first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston). The bases were cleared a moment later when junior third baseman Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace) ripped a three-run double to left field, extending her hitting streak to 13 games, the longest on the team this season.
Rutgers-Camden added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning after sophomore designated player Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) singled to right field and advanced on a throwing error. One out later, Giles was hit by a pitch and Van Cleef singled to load the bases. Two runs scored on a double to left center field by junior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional).
For the game, Van Cleef went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Farrell had three RBIs, while Millett added two.