Monday, March 12, 2007
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Senior outfielder Autumn Millett put on quite an offensive performance at the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic in Florida over the weekend. In six games, Millett went 10-for-20 (.500) with six runs, eight RBIs, two doubles and three home runs. She had a 1.050 slugging percentage in those games. Along the way, Millett had six RBIs against Webster to set the Rutgers-Camden career RBI record with 105, breaking Michelle Schlichtig’s old mark of 104. By the end of the weekend, Millett extended her program career records to 107 RBIs and 28 home runs.
Tues. 6 at Catholic University ppd. TBA
Fri. 9 Rutgers-Camden 5, Wabash (IN) College 4
SPRING TRIP (Phoenix, Arizona area; all times Mountain)
Mon. 12 vs. McDaniel College (MD) at Snedigar Complex 1 1 p.m.
Tues. 20 at Gwynedd-Mercy College 3 p.m.
The Rutgers-Camden baseball team opened its spring trip to Arizona with a 5-4 win over Wabash College March 9, but the Raptors dropped their next three games over the weekend, losing 11-9 to Alvernia College March 10 and getting swept by Johns Hopkins University, 11-2 and 15-3, March 11.
Alvernia College rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and hung on to defeat Rutgers-Camden, 11-9, in a wild non-conference game March 10 in Chandler, Arizona.
The Crusaders’ rally capped a game in which Alvernia vaulted to a 7-2 lead and fell behind, 9-7, before bouncing back to win. They used three hits, two walks, a hit batsman and an error to produce four runs in the frame against four Rutgers-Camden pitchers. The big hit was a two-run single by senior first baseman Scott Schuler, breaking a 9-9 tie.
Scarlet Raptor senior starter Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) was in line for the win entering the eighth inning. He ended up hurling 7.1 innings, allowing eight hits and eight runs, only four earned. He walked five and struck out 13. Junior John Gladden (Sicklerville, NJ/Winslow Township) took the loss in relief.
Alvernia raced to its big lead aided by a four-run third inning, which included a two-run single by senior shortstop Chris Raniere.
Trailing, 7-2, the Raptors cut the deficit to one run with a four-run fifth inning. Senior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) had a two-run double in the frame.
Rutgers-Camden tied the game in the sixth on an RBI single by senior left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), then scored a pair of the runs in the seventh to take a brief 9-7 lead. Those runs were forced home on back-to-back walks to junior shortstop Shawn Park (West Berlin, NJ/St. Joseph-Hammonton) and Morris with the bases loaded.
For the game, Park and senior catcher Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) each went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI for the Scarlet Raptors. Morris and Buchter each had two RBIs.
In their first game at the Greater Phoenix Invitational, the Raptors’ freshman first baseman Dan Stuhlemmer (Collingswood, NJ/Camden Catholic) delivered a game-winning single to right field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning March 9 to lift Rutgers-Camden over Wabash College, 5-4, at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
With the score tied at 4-4, Rutgers-Camden (4-3) opened the bottom of the ninth with a single from freshman second baseman Kyle Ballay (Delran, NJ/Delran), who went 2-for-2 on the night for his first two collegiate hits. Park followed with a single and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. After Wabash retired one batter on a grounder to a drawn-in third baseman, Buchter was walked intentionally. A fly out to right field wasn’t deep enough to plate the deciding run, giving Stuhlemmer the chance to make his first collegiate RBI and game winner.
The Raptors fought from behind all game against the Little Giants, who fell to 2-6 overall with their fourth straight loss. Wabash took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI double by junior first baseman Shaun Rico. Rutgers-Camden countered with a run in the fourth when senior third baseman Mark Wickersham (Collingswood, NJ/Collingswood) doubled to extend his season-opening hitting streak to seven games. He scored on a single by freshman designated hitter Vince Giunta (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional), his first collegiate hit and RBI.
Wabash countered with a two-spot in the fifth inning, aided by two walks, two singles and a sacrifice fly, but the Raptors tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the game at 3-3. Morris plated the fifth-inning run with a ground out following a pair of errors that placed sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) at third base. In the sixth, freshman designated hitter Paul Painter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) hit his first collegiate home run to right field, tying the game.
The teams both scored in the seventh, including an RBI by Morris on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4, setting the stage for the Raptors’ dramatic finish in the ninth.
Gladden, the last of four Raptor pitchers, collected the win. He worked the final 1-2/3 innings, retiring all five batters he faced, including the final one on a called third strike.
Ballay had two hits and two runs for the Raptors, while Morris had two RBIs.
2007 NFCA DIVISION III LEADOFF CLASSIC
Fri. 9 Mt. Union College (OH) 4, Rutgers-Camden 0
FLORIDA COAST SPRING TRAINING CAMP
All dates doubleheaders
Tues. 13 vs. Norwich University (Northfield, VT) 6 p.m.
The Rutgers-Camden softball team was hoping a trip to the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic in Florida would be a chance for the Lady Raptors to rekindle the magic that transformed them into the 2006 national champions. Instead, the Raptors went 1-5 at the Leadoff Classic, salvaging only a 15-2 victory over Webster to escape from their pool play with a 1-2 record. They lost all three bracket play games in the Silver Bracket, including the Third Place Consolation game against Augustana College (Illinois), 4-0, March 11. That loss came on the heels of a 3-0 shutout by Alma College (Michigan) earlier in the day.
The Lady Raptors collected only six hits against a pair of Augustana pitchers as they lost to the Vikings, 4-0.
Rutgers-Camden fell to 3-7 on the season with its fourth straight loss and fifth defeat in its last six games.
The Lady Raptors, who entered the Leadoff Classic ranked No. 16 in the NFCA Division III Top 25 poll, fell behind in Augustana’s two-run third inning on an RBI single by senior catcher Cam Bourlet and a run-scoring error. Bourlet added a two-run double in the sixth to finish the day 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Viking freshman pitcher Jackie Gill worked the first five innings to collect the win, allowing five hits and two walks. Junior Jordan Huff finished the game with two strong innings, allowing one hit and striking out four.
Rutgers-Camden sophomore Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) took the loss, allowing eight hits in her six-inning complete game. She allowed four runs (three earned) and three hits without striking out a batter.
Senior center fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) went 2-for-3 for the Lady Raptors, completing a banner individual performance in six games at the Leadoff Classic. Millett hit .500 (10-for-20) with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs and 21 total bases for a 1.050 slugging percentage.
Earlier in the day, Alma scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning and went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden, 3-0.
Alma scored the only runs it needed in the fourth inning to break up a pitchers’ duel between Lady Raptor sophomore Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Scots senior Kay McDonald. Alma junior shortstop Amy Gaudard drew a leadoff walk and advanced on an infield error. A sacrifice placed a pair of runners in scoring position and sophomore catcher Trista-Lynne Geier delivered a two-out, two-run double.
Powell, 1-2, allowed four hits and three runs only one earned in her six-inning complete game. She walked two and didn’t strike out a batter.
McDonald hurled a four-hit shutout with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Two of the Raptor hits were singles by senior catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford).
In the Silver Bracket’s opening game on Saturday night, March 10, Central College exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and hung on to defeat Rutgers University-Camden, 14-13.
The Dutch, 5-3, overcame a 13-9 deficit in the sixth inning by turning four hits and two walks into five runs to pull out the win.
Rutgers-Camden seemed to have things under control before Central’s late rally, which opened with a walk to freshman third baseman Afton Nelson. One walk and four hits later, the Dutch tied the game at 13-13 on a run-scoring double by sophomore second baseman Ryann Engholm. The tie-breaking run scored on a ground out.
Central’s rally spoiled a 12-hit attack by Rutgers-Camden which featured a grand slam by junior pinch-hitter Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) in the fifth inning, along with home runs by freshman third baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) and Millett. Millett’s homer, a solo shot leading off the second inning, was her fifth of the season and extended her career record to 28.
Millett and Skroski each went 3-for-4 with three runs scored for the Raptors. Skroski and Parker had four RBIs apiece. Baney went 2-for-5 for Rutgers-Camden.
For Central, junior catcher Kelly Harris went 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs. Harris ripped two doubles and a triple.
On the opening day of the NFCA Div. III Leadoff Classic March 9, Rutgers-Camden saved all its runs and most of its hits for the second game. After the Lady Raptors were blanked, 4-0, on two hits by Mt. Union College in the first game, they exploded for 11 hits and 15 runs in a 15-2 five-inning win over Webster University in the nightcap.
Millett paced the Raptors’ attack in the nightcap, going 3-for-4 with two runs, six RBIs and her third home run of the season. With her six RBIs, Millett raised her career total to 105, passing the program mark of 104 set by Michelle Schlichtig (2004-06).
In the first game, Mt. Union freshman pitcher Stephanie Cain tossed a two-hit shutout for the Purple Raiders, who improved to 6-2. Cain allowed only a pair of singles by Baney and Kim Zlupko (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson), in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. She walked three and struck out 10.
Mt. Union’s nine-hit attack off Raptor senior starter Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) was sparked by junior designated player Lindsay Royer, who went 3-for-3 with one run and one RBI. Freshman third baseman Anna Horning and senior catcher Crystal Thomas both went 2-for-3 for the Purple Raiders.
Mt. Union broke open a scoreless game with a three-run fourth inning, aided by four hits and two errors. Thomas singled home the eventual winning run.
In the nightcap, Rutgers-Camden scored three runs in the first inning, started by Millett’s RBI double. The Lady Raptors broke open the game with a 10-run third inning on their way to the quick victory. Millett had a huge inning, plating the first four runs on a grand slam to right-center and later adding an RBI double. Millett finished with eight total bases in the game.
Millett’s six RBIs were two shy of the program single-game mark set by Stephanie Ortona against Centenary College in the first game of a March 17, 1999 doubleheader. Ortona also had a program-record 10 total bases in that game, which was later tied by Shannon Ireland against Russell Sage College (Game one, March 15, 2001). Millett’s eight total bases also were two shy of that mark.
The Raptors also received two hits apiece from Baney, Zlupko and junior first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston).
Van Cleef hurled a three-hitter, allowing two earned runs and two walks while fanning four. She raised her record to 2-1.
Two of the hits by the Gorloks were by sophomore right fielder Dana Vahey, who went 2-for-2 with one run and one RBI. Vahey had a double and a home run for Webster.
The Raptors ended pool play March 10, and for the second time in a week they lost to Methodist (NC) University, which is ranked 23rd in the latest NFCA Division III Top 25 poll. The Monarchs held the Lady Raptors in check for a 5-1 win, dropping Rutgers-Camden into the Silver Bracket of the tournament for bracket play.
Methodist, which one-hit the Raptors in an 8-0 victory March 2 at the Atlantic vs. East Challenge in Virginia Beach, limited the Raptors to three hits third time around behind the combined pitching of freshmen Emily Beck and Tina Poindexter. Beck hurled six innings of two-hit shutout ball, walking none and striking out seven to raise her record to 4-2. Poindexter allowed one walk, one hit and one run in the seventh inning on the fourth home run of the season by Millett.
Other than Millett’s home run, the only other hits by the Raptors were singles one in the second inning by losing pitcher Farrell and one in the fourth by Zlupko.
The Monarchs, 10-3, scored all the runs they needed in a three-run fourth inning. Junior catcher Rebekah Kelly, who went 3-for-3 with four runs scored against the Raptors last week, had a leadoff single, stole second and scored on a triple by freshman right fielder Cortney Kerns. Senior left fielder Kristen Kennedy followed with an RBI single and later scored on a single by junior first baseman Candace Hudgins.
Methodist added a pair of runs in the fifth, including an RBI fielder’s choice by Kennedy.