Monday, March 19, 2007
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Senior pitcher/infielder Megan Farrell had an outstanding week at the Florida Coast Spring Training Camp, both at the plate and on the mound as the Lady Raptors swept all eight games they played. Farrell hit .708 (17-for-24), had a slugging percentage of 1.083, scored 12 runs, drove home 13 and collected three doubles and two home runs, including a grand slam. On the mound, she went 3-0 with three complete games, two shutouts and a 0.93 ERA. In 15 innings, she allowed 12 hits, two earned runs and two walks, while striking out 10.
FLORIDA COAST SPRING TRAINING CAMP
All dates doubleheaders
Tues. 13 Rutgers-Camden 12-13, Norwich University (Northfield, VT) 0-0 (both games 5 innings)
Sat. 31* at New Jersey City University (DH) 1 p.m.
The Rutgers-Camden women’s softball team had a slow start to its spring trip by losing five of its first six games, but the Lady Raptors certainly turned the tables last week at the Florida Coast Spring Training Camp in Fort Pierce. Rutgers-Camden won all eight of its games at the event with an incredible offensive display, hitting .505 as a team with 15 home runs, while outscoring its opposition, 84-6. The Lady Raptors had a sizzling .833 slugging percentage as a team, led by seniors Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) and Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep), who slugged 1.375 and 1.083, respectively, while each hitting .708 (17-for-24). Farrell added three wins and a 0.93 ERA on the mound, while Millett became the program’s all-time leader in total bases and ripped four home runs to increase her season total to nine, one behind the program’s single-season record. Three of those nine homers have been grand slams.
The Raptors opened the Florida Coast Spring Training Camp in a big manner as sophomore pitchers Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) each hurled a no-hitter in a sweep over Norwich University of Vermont, 13-0 and 12-0, in a pair of five-inning games March 13.
The sweep helped the Raptors snap a four-game losing streak, their longest skid since dropping four straight games April 6-9, 2002. It also started an eight-game winning streak which carried the Raptors from 3-7 to their present 11-7.
Powell and Van Cleef tossed the 16th and 17th no-hitters in program history and became only the second pair of Raptor pitchers to hurl no-hitters in the same doubleheader. The first pair was Michelle Schlichtig and Becky Johnson, who did it in a 4-0 and 9-0 sweep over Molloy College on March 18, 2005.
Powell’s no-hitter in the opening game was the first no-hitter at Rutgers-Camden since Schlichtig hurled one against William Paterson University, 4-0, May 2, 2006 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference playoffs. Schlichtig had seven of the last eight no-hitters at Rutgers-Camden prior to the double no-hitter, including four last season.
In the opening game, Powell allowed only one walk while striking out two. The Cadets managed only two baserunners in the game one on an infield error to open the third inning, which was subsequently picked off, and one on a one-out walk in the fifth inning.
In the nightcap, an infield error in the third inning was the only base runner off of Van Cleef, who struck out four batters.
Rutgers-Camden’s offense was sparked by Farrell, who went 4-for-4 with three runs and six RBIs in the opening game, then went 2-for-4 with one run and three RBIs in the nightcap. Farrell had a grand slam in the second inning of the opener and hit a three-run homer during a 10-run third inning of the nightcap.
Rutgers-Camden also received a grand slam from Millett in the fourth inning of the opening game.
Junior first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston) added a two-run home run in the opening frame for the Raptors’ first two runs of the evening. Van Cleef, playing center field in the first game, went 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
In the second game, Rutgers-Camden scored all the runs it needed in a three-run first inning. That featured back-to-back home runs by Dreitlein (a two-run shot) and freshman first baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ/Sterling). The 10-run third featured 10 hits, including the home run by Farrell and two-run doubles by senior shortstop Kim Zlupko (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) and Skroski.
For the game, Dreitlein and Skroski each went 3-for-3. Skroski had three runs and three RBIs, while Farrell added three RBIs and Dreitlein collected two runs and two RBIs. Millett went 2-for-2 and scored twice.
The next day, Van Cleef squeezed home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of the nightcap and Millett established a new program record for career total bases, as Rutgers-Camden swept Division II Nyack College, 9-0 and 2-1, March 14.
With four total bases in the doubleheader a double and two singles Millett raised her career output to 270 total bases. She passed the old mark of 267 set by Schlichtig (2004-06).
Skroski paced Rutgers-Camden’s 15-hit attack in the first game, which was called after five innings by the eight-run rule. Skroski went 3-for-4, including her third home run, for six RBIs.
The nightcap was a different story, with the teams deadlocked at 1-1 entering the bottom of the seventh in a pitchers’ duel between Powell and Lady Warrior junior Lauren Jacobs. A pair of Rutgers-Camden seniors, third baseman Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) and Zlupko set the table with leadoff walks. They were sacrificed to second and third by junior left fielder Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken). Van Cleef followed with her game-winning squeeze bunt to score Giles.
Powell finished with a three-hitter, walking six and striking out two. She allowed only a fifth-inning run on a two-out RBI double by sophomore second baseman Bryane Hennessey.
Jacobs worked 6.1 innings of five-hit ball, walking four and striking out six. She allowed two earned runs, with the first coming in the fourth inning on a double by Millett and an RBI single by Skroski.
The Raptors’ Van Cleef and the Warriors’ Hennessey each had a pair of hits in the game. Both of Hennessey’s hits were doubles.
In the first game, Rutgers-Camden collected 15 hits while Farrell was hurling a three-hit shutout. She walked one and struck out two.
In addition to Skroski’s big game, senior catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) and Giles each went 3-for-3 for the Raptors. Farrell, Parker and Millett all added two hits apiece.
Rutgers-Camden scored all the runs it needed on Skroski’s two-run first-inning double. She added a three-run homer in the second inning.
On March 15 the Lady Raptors exploded for 34 hits, 53 total bases and 23 runs in a pair of five-inning games as they swept past Hilbert College (NY), 11-0 and 12-0.
In the opening game, Dreitlein slugged a pair of home runs to tie a single-game program mark last accomplished by Ashley O’Brien against the College of Staten Island (Game Two, April 22, 2004). Dreitlein went 2-for-2 with two runs and four RBIs.
Van Cleef led the attack by going 3-for-3 with two runs and one RBI. She also tossed a two-hit shutout with no walks and six strikeouts.
Millett had a pair of doubles and three RBIs, Giles added a pair of hits.
The Raptors scored all their runs over a two-inning span, exploding for five in the second inning and six in the third. Both frames featured a two-run home run by Dreitlein.
In the second game, the Raptors ripped 20 hits, one shy of the program record set against Livingston College on April 13, 1982. Those 20 hits included six doubles and the seventh home run of the season by Millett. Millett went 3-for-3 with three runs and four RBIs in the nightcap, extending her hitting streak to 11 games.
Winning pitcher Farrell tossed a four-hit shutout with no walks and three strikeouts. She also helped her own cause by going 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs from the leadoff spot. In the No. 2 hole, center fielder Van Cleef went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Dreitlein added a 2-for-4 game.
The Raptors ripped five hits in each of the first two innings as they scored four runs in the first and three in the second.
For the doubleheader, Van Cleef went 6-for-6 with four runs and three RBIs, while Farrell was 6-for-7 with three runs and four RBIs. Millett went 5-for-6 with five runs, seven RBIs and 11 total bases, while Giles was 4-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Dreitlein went 4-for-6 with three runs, five RBIs and 10 total bases.
Hilbert collected six hits in the doubleheader, three of them by junior shortstop Laura Stranc.
Rutgers-Camden finished its eight-game visit to the Florida Coast Spring Training Camp with a bang.
The Lady Raptors ripped 23 hits, including two home runs apiece by Millett and Skroski as they romped past Northwestern College of St. Paul, Minn., 11-3 and 14-2, March 16. Both games were ended by the eight-run mercy rule, with the opener going six innings and the nightcap lasting five.
In the opening game, Baney singled home the game-ending run with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving the Raptors their eight-run margin of victory. That hit capped a game in which Skroski went 2-for-2 with three runs and five RBIs, hitting a pair of home runs to tie the Raptors’ single-game record held by many. Millett, Baney and Farrell each added two hits in the game.
The Raptors overcame a 2-0 first-inning lead by the Eagles. Rutgers-Camden tied the game in the second, aided by a solo home run from Skroski, and took the lead for good with a four-run third. Skroski’s bases-loaded walk forced home the go-ahead run. She added her second home run, a three-run shot, in the fourth inning. It was the fifth homer of her young career.
In the nightcap, Millett had a two-homer game of her own, including her third grand slam of the season. She went 4-for-4 with four runs and seven RBIs. Her 10 total bases tied the single-game program record shared by Shannon Ireland (Game One against Russell Sage, March 15, 2001) and Stephanie Ortona (Game One against Centenary, March 17, 1999). Millett raised her total to nine home runs on the season one shy of the program mark by Becky Johnson in 2004. She also has an incredible 65 total bases in the Raptors’ first 18 games. The school single-season mark of 97 was set last year by Michelle Schlichtig.
In addition to Millett’s booming bat, Dreitlein went 3-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs and her sixth home run of the season.
Van Cleef added two hits to support winning pitcher Farrell. Farrell hurled a five-hitter for the win in the nightcap after Van Cleef had a five-hitter to win the opener.
SPRING TRIP (Phoenix, Arizona area)
Mon. 12 Rutgers-Camden 8, McDaniel College (MD) 2
Milestones and big wins highlighted a 4-1 week for the Rutgers-Camden baseball team as it completed its spring break trip to the Greater Phoenix Invitational in Arizona, bringing an 8-7 record back to New Jersey. The Raptors’ outstanding week featured the booming bat of senior left fielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), who became the 15th player in program history to reach the 100-hit milestone for his career, senior ace Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley), who became the ninth pitcher in Rutgers-Camden history to win 10 games in his career, and junior southpaw Andrew Lihotz (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast), who continued to cement his reputation as a giant-killer with another spring break victory over a nationally-ranked opponent.
Morris reached his milestone in a big way, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored to power the Scarlet Raptors over Springfield (MA) College, 12-5, in a non-conference game March 15 in Chandler, Arizona. He singled in each of his first four plate appearances. His third base hit of the day, coming in the fourth inning, was the 100th of his career. The contest also was his 94th career game, and he added two more the next day against Roger Williams University, leaving him four shy of becoming the 12th player to reach 100 games played at Rutgers-Camden.
Against Springfield, the Raptors took the lead for good in the top of the first inning on a one-out single by Morris, who scored on a double by senior designated hitter Mark Wickersham (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson).
Rutgers-Camden added three runs in the third inning, sparked by a Morris single and an RBI double from senior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional). The Raptors put the game away with a six-run fourth. That frame featured five hits, including a two-run single by senior catcher Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) and back-to-back triples by junior right fielder Joe Midili (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) and sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional). Midili’s triple plated two runs and he scored on Straga’s three-bagger.
Ronca worked five innings to collect his 10th career win, raising his season record to 2-1. He allowed six hits, five runs (four earned) and five walks, while striking out six.
Buchter, Wickersham, Terrill and Straga each collected two hits in addition to the big game by Morris. Terrill had three RBIs, while Midili and Wickersham each added two.
A day earlier Lihotz and junior righty John Gladden (Sicklerville, NJ/Winslow Township) combined on a seven-hitter to lead the Scarlet Raptors to a 7-3 victory over powerful Wheaton (Mass.) College, March 14 at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. Wheaton was ranked No. 2 in the American Baseball Coaches Association/Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III pre-season poll.
The Scarlet Raptors received 5.2 strong innings from Lihotz as he defeated a highly-ranked opponent for the second consecutive season on the Scarlet Raptors’ spring trip. Last year Lihotz posted a 3-2 victory at Chapman (CA) University (March 16), which was ranked No. 4 nationally at the time.
In winning his first decision of the season, Lihotz allowed five hits and seven walks, limiting the Lyons to three runs, only two earned. He struck out three.
Gladden entered the game with two outs and two runners aboard in the sixth inning, when the Raptors were clinging to a 6-3 lead. He worked out of the jam with a strikeout and went on to earn his first save of the season, hurling 3.1 shutout innings of two-hit ball. He walked one and struck out four.
After Wheaton scored a run in the top of the first inning on a double and an RBI ground out, Rutgers-Camden bounced back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Junior shortstop Shawn Park (West Berlin, NJ/St. Joseph-Hammonton) and Morris opened the frame with back-to-back walks and scored on a one-out double by Wickersham, who had three RBIs on the day.
Wheaton tied the game in the top of the second on an RBI single by senior left fielder Jeff Martin, but Rutgers-Camden answered with a run of its own on a walk to Straga, a stolen base and an RBI single by Park.
Wheaton tied the game again in the third on a pair of walks, a double steal and a throwing error before Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Senior first baseman Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI) drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a single by Straga.
Wickersham had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Straga collected his second RBI of the game on a sixth-inning ground out. The final Scarlet Raptor run scored in the eighth on a double by Straga and a run-scoring single by freshman third baseman Kyle Ballay (Delran, NJ/Delran).
Straga finished the day going 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Midili went 2-for-4 with a double.
The Raptors opened the week March 12 when sophomore right-handers Pat Faulls (Laurel Springs, NJ/Highland Regional) and Adam Sanchez (Leominster, MA/Worcester Academy) combined on a three-hitter to lead Rutgers-Camden over McDaniel College (MD), 8-2.
Faulls, 1-1, worked six strong innings, allowing two hits, three walks and two earned runs. He struck out four. Sanchez nailed down the victory with one-hit shutout ball over the final three innings to collect his first save. He walked two and struck out three.
Rutgers-Camden took a quick lead in the top of the first inning following back-to-back singles by Park and Morris. Park, who scored four runs on the day, came home with the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Terrill.
McDaniel took a brief lead in the bottom of the first when it turned a walk and two hits into its only runs of the game. Rutgers-Camden, however, grabbed the lead for good with a two-run second inning, highlighted by a two-run double by Morris.
The teams traded scoreless frames for the next several innings as Faulls and Green Terror starter Brian Rosato battled in a pitchers’ duel. Rutgers-Camden finally padded its 3-2 lead with a two-run seventh inning, chasing Rosato with an RBI single by Morris. Morris later scored on a double by Terrill.
The Raptors added three runs in the eighth inning to put the game away, with Morris and Ballay each collecting an RBI. The final run scored on a two-out error.
For the day, Park went 4-for-4 with four runs, while Morris was 3-for-5 with one run and four RBIs. Ballay and Terrill each went 2-for-4.
The Raptors split a doubleheader in Mesa, Arizona, on the final day of their spring break. Sanchez hurled 5.1 strong innings in the nightcap and Morris and Wickersham each ripped three hits to help Rutgers-Camden post a 10-7 victory over Roger Williams University March 16.
The Rhode Island-based school won the first game, 3-1, as Hawks sophomore righty James Lydon won an outstanding pitchers’ duel against Raptor sophomore southpaw Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville).
Rutgers-Camden heads home at 8-7, having won four of its last five games.
In the opening game, Lydon earned the win with a six-hitter, allowing only one earned run. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter. Wright (0-2), meanwhile, suffered the tough loss, hurling a seven-hitter without a walk while striking out 10.
The Hawks bunched four hits in the fourth inning to do all their scoring off Wright.
The Scarlet Raptors plated their lone run in the sixth inning following a leadoff single by Midili. He advanced on a ground out and scored on a single by right fielder Morris.
Only two players in the game had multiple hits, as Roger Williams sophomore second baseman Tim Atwood and Rutgers-Camden freshman first baseman Dan Stuhlemmer (Collingswood, NJ/Camden Catholic) each had two singles.
In the nightcap, Sanchez worked 5.1 innings of five-hit ball, allowing two walks and five runs, only two earned. He struck out five as he earned his first decision as a Scarlet Raptor.
After Roger Williams scored a pair of first-inning runs on a walk, an error, two stolen bases and a pair of ground outs, Rutgers-Camden tied the game in the third. With one out, Midili singled, advanced when Park was hit by a pitch and scored on a single by Morris. Morris stole second and scored on a single by Wickersham.
Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good with a three-run fifth inning, highlighted by four hits and an error. Morris had a one-out double to spark the inning and scored the tie-breaking run on a single by Terrill. The Raptors tacked on five runs in the sixth, aided by a two-run triple from Morris and a two-run double by Stuhlemmer.
Morris finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs, missing a cycle by only a home run. Wickersham went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Stuhlemmer was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Sat. 24 Murphy Cup
Sat. 31 vs. Bryn Mawr and Susquehanna
Sat. 7 Johns Hopkins Invitational
Sat. 14- Knecht Cup
Sat. 24 at Stockton Invitational 10:30 a.m.
Sat. 31 at Danny Curran Invitational 10 a.m.
Mon. 26 York College Invitational 1 p.m.
Mon. 2 Lebanon Valley College Spring Tournament 12:30 p.m.
Thur. 5 Moravian College Spring Invitational 1 p.m.
Tues. 10 Widener Invitational II 1 p.m.
Wed. 18 Wesley College Invitational 12 p.m.
Fri. 27 RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Spring Invitational 12:30 p.m.