Monday, May 15, 2006
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
While leading Rutgers-Camden to the regional title and into the 2005 NCAA Div. III Softball Championship in Raleigh, NC, Michelle Schlichtig put on an amazing show in the East Regional held at Rutgers-Camden. On the mound, Schlichtig went 3-0 (raising her record to 28-3 and breaking her own single-season victory mark of 27 set last year), throwing a trio of two-hit shutouts and allowing only five walks in 21 innings. She struck out 26. At the plate, she went 8-for-9 (.889) with four doubles, one home run, four runs and three RBIs, while in the field she collected nine assists in as many chances. At the Regionals she also broke her own single-season hit record (54 set in 2005), raising the bar to 56. She also tied career marks with 243 assists and 39 doubles heading into the national championships.
SOFTBALL (43-5 overall/18-0 NJAC)
NCAA East Regional, at Rutgers-Camden
Thursday, May 11
Friday, May 12
Saturday, May 13
Sunday, May 14
Rutgers-Camden wins NCAA East Regional
NCAA Division III Softball Championship (Peace College, Raleigh, NC)
Friday, May 19
Saturday, May 20
Sunday, May 21
Monday, May 22
Tuesday, May 23
The third time was the charm, and the Rutgers-Camden softball team is heading where no team has gone in the history of the school.
For the first time in Rutgers-Camden history, a team has advanced to the NCAA finals. The Lady Raptors begin play in the 2006 NCAA Division III Softball Championship in Raleigh, NC, after sweeping through the East Regional held at Rutgers-Camden over the weekend. Rutgers-Camden defeated Pitt-Bradford, 4-0, on May 11 before posting a pair of wins over Rowan, 1-0 on May 13 and 5-0 in the title game May 14.
Senior All-American Michelle Schlichtig (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) hurled a two-hit shutout in each game, finishing the tournament with 26 strikeouts in 21 innings, while allowing only six hits and five walks. She also was a powerful offensive force, going 8-for-9 (.889) with four doubles, one home run, four runs and three RBIs. She went 3-for-4 in the final game to break her own single-season hit record of 54 set last year (raising the record to 56) and she left the regionals tied for the program’s career records in assists (243 set by current Lady Raptor assistant coach Celeste Chinappi from 2002-05) and doubles (39 by Sarah O’Malley from 2001-03).
With their victory, the Raptors become the first team in school history to advance to the NCAA finals. Rutgers-Camden, which barely missed the national finals when it finished as the regional runnerup in both 2004 and 2005, will begin play in the 2006 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Friday at 11 a.m. The Lady Raptors will face a familiar opponent in New Jersey Athletic Conference rival Ramapo College, which captured the regional held in Salisbury, Maryland.
Rutgers-Camden and Ramapo have played five times this season, with the Raptors holding a 4-1 edge. The Roadrunners, which posted their one win over Rutgers-Camden to force a winner-take-all game at the NJAC Championships May 7, are the only team to beat the Lady Raptors since their California trip in March. Since that time, Rutgers-Camden is 33-1 and has climbed to No. 3 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III poll.
The Raptors had to outlast another NJAC foe in their regional final as Schlichtig out-dueled Rowan senior ace Colleen Oswald for the second time in the tournament. Schlichtig struck out four and didn’t walk a batter while hurling her third two-hit shutout of the regional.
Rutgers-Camden, which edged Rowan, 1-0, in the winners’ bracket final May 13, appeared headed for another one-run game on Sunday. The Lady Raptors finally broke the scoring ice against Oswald in the fifth inning when Schlichtig ripped a two-out double her second two-bagger of the day and scored on a double by sophomore first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston).
The Lady Raptors put the game away in a four-run top of the seventh inning. With one out, junior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) reached on an error in left field. Schlichtig followed with a single and Dreitlein walked to load the bases. Junior third baseman Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) singled to left field driving home the second run of the game and junior catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) was safe on a fielder’s choice that plated another run and failed to retire a runner. Sophomore designated player Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) grounded out to bring home the third run of the inning and sophomore second baseman Jayme Feriod (Glassboro, NJ/Glassboro) capped the frame with an RBI single to center.
Schlichtig was 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles in the championship game, while Feriod went 2-for-2 with two walks and one stolen base.
Rowan, which closed its season with a school-record 41 wins (41-7, with four of those losses against Rutgers-Camden and two against another regional champ, Ramapo) received singles from sophomore second baseman Lauren Navarro with two outs in the fifth inning breaking up a perfect game by Schlichtig and a leadoff single by senior center fielder Katie Lavin in the sixth.
Oswald, who finished with a 33-5 mark, allowed eight hits, three walks and five runs, only one earned. She struck out six. Three of her losses came in head-to-head duels with Schlichtig.
In the winners’ bracket final against Rowan May 13, Schlichtig hurled a two-hit shutout and doubled home the only run of the game as the top-seeded Lady Raptors defeated No. 2 seed Rowan University, 1-0. Rowan bounced back to reach the finals with a 6-5 win over #3 Tufts later in the day.
In the first East Regional duel between the two pitchers who earned All-New Jersey Athletic Conference First Team honors, Schlichtig doubled home the lone run of the game in the sixth inning off Oswald. Millett opened the frame with a walk and scored when Schlichtig slammed a double to the fence in center field. The RBI was Schlichtig’s 44th of the season, breaking the old school mark of 43 set by Tara Harris in 1988.
Oswald allowed only four hits, four walks and the one earned run for the Profs. She struck out three.
Schlichtig went 2-for-2 as the lone hitter in the game to collect multiple hits.
In their opening game at the NCAA regionals, the Lady Raptors rode the two-hit, 15-strikeout pitching of Schlichtig to a 4-0 win over fourth-seeded Pitt-Bradford.
Schlichtig collected the first 10 outs of the game on strikeouts and was hurling a no-hitter until freshman right fielder Michelle Kushner lined a two-out single to left in the fourth inning. Schlichtig finished with a two-hitter, allowing two walks. 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 in short right-center field.
Kushner finished 2-for-3 in the game.
The Lady Raptors notched a pair of runs in the third inning after Millett hit a leadoff single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Schlichtig. A single by Farrell 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 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.
May 13-14 Dad Vail Regatta (Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA)
1. Washington University of St. Louis, 6:53; 2. Grand Valley, 7:12; 3. Florida Tech, 7:23.05; 4. Rochester, 7:24.86; 5. Rutgers-Camden, 8:01.
Women’s Varsity Heavyweight 8 Repechage Div. II and III Second Final
1. University of Rochester, 7:07.2; 2. Rutgers-Camden, 7:28.0; 3. Susquehanna University, 7:35.0; 4. John Carroll University, 7:58.0; 5. The College of New Jersey, DNS.
(cox-Michelle Sanchirico; stroke-Nicole Corl; 7-Laura Williams; 6-Renee Martin; 5-Cynthia Burt; 4-Monica Fleming; 3-Regina Williams; 2-Rachel Negro; bow-Traci Arnold)
May 12 Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Four
1. University of Georgia, 6:52.64; 2. University of Pittsburgh, 6:56.71; 3. Clemson University, 6:52.64; 4. Rutgers-Camden, 7:11.07; 5. Santa Barbara University, 7:19.47; 6. Stony Brook University, 7:36.81.
(cox-BJ Ochal; stroke-Lou Gallagher; 3- Lance Carsillo; 2- Sean Kendall; bow- Joe Cardillo)
The Rutgers University-Camden women’s crew team finished second in the Women’s Varsity Heavyweight 8 Repechage Div. II & III Second Final at the Dad Vail Regatta May 13 on the Schuylkill River.
Rutgers-Camden posted a time of 7:28.0 to finish second to the University of Rochester (7:07.2). That race came after posting a semifinal time of 8:01 to finish last in their five-boat heat.
The Lady Raptors’ boat included sophomore coxswain Michelle Sanchirico (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep), senior stroke Nicole Corl (Sewell, NJ/Gloucester Catholic), sophomore 7-seat Laura Williams (Cherry Hill, NJ/home schooled), junior 6-seat Renee Martin (Mays Landing, NJ/Oakcrest), junior 5-seat Cynthia Burt (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford), sophomore 4-seat Monica Fleming (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood), freshman 3-seat Regina Williams (Cherry Hill, NJ/home schooled), freshman 2-seat Rachel Negro (Audubon, NJ/Paul VI) and sophomore bow Traci Arnold (Pitman, NJ/Pitman).
The Rutgers-Camden men’s club team placed fourth out of six teams in its Varsity Heavyweight Four heat on May 12, posting a time of 7:11.07. The boat included junior cox BJ Ochal (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic), junior stroke Lou Gallagher (Florence, NJ/Holy Cross), sophomore 3-seat Lance Carsillo (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken), junior 2-seat Sean Kendall (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township), and freshman bow Joe Cardillo (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown).
The Dad Vail Regatta was the final race of the season for the Rutgers-Camden program.