Thursday, May 11, 2006
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN - Top-seeded Rutgers University-Camden rode the two-hit, 15-strikeout pitching of senior All-American Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) to a 4-0 victory over No. 4 seed Pitt-Bradford in the final game of opening-day play at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship Camden Regional here May 11.
In the first game of the day, #4 Pitt-Bradford defeated #5 Manhattanville, 8-5. Third-seeded Tufts edged #6 Wilkes, 4-3, in the second game before #2 Rowan rode the one-hit pitching of senior Colleen Oswald (Sewell, NJ/Paulsboro) to a 4-0 win over #7 Hunter College.
In Friday's games, Manhattanville (29-13) faces Hunter (20-17) in a 10 a.m. losers' bracket game, followed by another losers' bracket game at 12:30 p.m. between Wilkes (26-14) and Pitt-Bradford (35-8). At 3 p.m., Rowan (39-5) will face Tufts (27-14) in the winners' bracket. The final game of the day will pit the two losers' bracket survivors at 5:30 p.m.
Rutgers-Camden (41-5) is idle until Saturday at 10 a.m., when it faces the winner of Friday's Tufts/Rowan game.
#1 Rutgers-Camden 4, #4 Pitt-Bradford 0
Schlichtig collected the first 10 outs of the game on strikeouts and was hurling a no-hitter until freshman right fielder Michelle Kushner (McKees Rocks, PA/Sto-Rox) lined a two-out single to left in the fourth inning. Schlichtig, who raised her record to 26-3, finished with a two-hitter, allowing two walks while striking out 15. The only other hit she allowed was a pop up by Kushner in the seventh inning that fell between the Raptors' second baseman and center fielder.
Kushner finished 2-for-3 in the game.
The Lady Raptors notched a pair of runs in the third inning after junior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) hit a leadoff single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Schlichtig. A single by junior third baseman Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) later scored Schlichtig.
Millett and Schlichtig hit back-to-back home runs leading off the fifth inning, the team-leading eighth homer for each player. For Millett, it extended her program career record to 23 home runs. For Schlichtig, the home run allowed her to tie the single-season program RBI record of 43, set by Tara Harris in 1988.
For the Panthers, sophomore Mallory Kane (Smethport, PA/Smethport) took the loss, allowing nine hits and four earned runs. Kane, 17-4, walked two and struck out four.
Schlichtig also went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Millett added two hits.