Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN - Rutgers-Camden senior shortstop Kim Zlupko (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game and Ramapo senior Marissa Marino (Wayne, NJ/Wayne) tossed a five-hitter to win the nightcap as the two teams split a New Jersey Athletic Conference softball doubleheader here Tuesday.
Rutgers-Camden won the opener, 1-0, behind a six-hit shutout from senior Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace), which snapped Ramapo’s 10-game winning streak. The Roadrunners turned the tables in the second game with a 3-1 win, snapping the Lady Raptors’ 11-game winning streak.
The doubleheader, which was a rematch of the two NJAC teams that met six times last season, including once in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship in North Carolina, leaves both teams with a 3-1 conference record in the early season. Rutgers-Camden, the defending national champion, stands at 14-8 overall. Ramapo, currently ranked No. 12 in the country, is 14-4.
The opening game saw Farrell win a tight pitchers’ duel over Ramapo junior Katie Norton (Livingston, NJ/Mount St. Dominic). Farrell (5-2) hurled a six-hit shutout with one walk and four strikeouts, while Norton (6-2) allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out two.
The Raptors scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the seventh following a one-out single to right field by Farrell. Freshman Kate Braun (Audubon, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) was inserted as a pinch-runner and advanced to second on a two-out single by junior left fielder Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken). Zlupko followed with a game-winning double to left-center, plating Braun with the only run of the game. Zlupko, a transfer from Neumann College who was playing her first home game at Rutgers-Camden, went 2-for-3 with the one RBI.
For Ramapo, junior third baseman Lauren Cascino (New Windsor, NY/Cornwall Central) went 3-for-3 for half of the hits off Farrell.
Raptor senior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) went 0-for-2 with a walk in the opener, snapping her 15-game hitting streak, which was two shy of the program record set by Celeste Chinappi in 2003. During that streak, Millett went 30-for-48 (.625) with 26 runs, 29 RBIs, six doubles and eight home runs.
Marino raised her record to 7-1 in the nightcap with a five-hitter, walking two and striking out one. She allowed only one fifth-inning run on an RBI single by Millett. Marino’s win snapped a 21-game regular-season NJAC winning streak for Rutgers-Camden, which hadn’t lost since a 1-0 defeat in the opening game at William Paterson University April 30, 2005. They tied the second game (1-1 in a darkness-shortened contest) before winning all 18 regular-season games last year and their first three NJAC contests this season.
Ramapo scored twice in the second inning, sparked by a walk to sophomore right fielder Marilee Farmer (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East) and an infield single by senior left fielder Leah Mondadori (Rutherford, NJ/Emerson). After a ground out advanced the runners, sophomore catcher Kelly Schriber (Montclair, NJ/Mount St. Dominic) singled home Farmer and pinch-hitter Gemma Chalkley (West Milford, NJ/West Milford) singled home Mondadori.
After the Raptors cut the gap to 2-1, Ramapo tacked on a run in the sixth inning following back-to-back singles by senior first baseman Beth Choma (East Brunswick, NJ/East Brunswick) and Farmer and a sacrifice by Mondadori. Choma scored on a wild pitch. Farmer went 2-for-2 with one run in the nightcap.
The Lady Raptors return to action Friday when they host the College of Staten Island in a 5:30 p.m. non-conference doubleheader. Ramapo’s next action is Saturday in a 1 p.m. NJAC twinbill at William Paterson University.