Raptor of the Week: Megan Farrell
Monday, May 7, 2007
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Senior pitcher Megan Farrell hurled every inning at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Softball Championship during Rutgers-Camden’s run to the 2007 title. Farrell went 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 28 innings, while also leading the team with a .556 batting average and a .714 on-base percentage. Farrell also won Raptor of the Week honors on April 23.
SOFTBALL (31-13/13-5 NJAC)
Tues. 1 NJAC playoffs First Round (at higher seed)
NJAC playoffs at Montclair State University
Fri. 4 Game 4: #6 Rowan 8, #5 Stockton 0
Sat. 5 Game 7: #6 Rowan 3, #4 William Paterson 1 (William Paterson eliminated)
Sun. 6 Game 10: #3 Rutgers-Camden 4, #6 Rowan 1 (Rowan eliminated, Rutgers-Camden wins title)
During its run of excellence in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, the Rutgers-Camden softball team had posted numerous accomplishments, but there was a new one the Lady Raptors added this season en route to winning the NJAC title May 6 at Montclair State University.
For the first time in program history, Rutgers-Camden swept through the NJAC Softball Championship as it successfully defended its conference title with a 4-1 victory over Rowan University. The victory gave Rutgers-Camden its third NJAC championship in four years, a span which also saw them win the title in 2004 and 2006, and finish as the conference runnerup in 2005.
Despite that incredible run, Rutgers-Camden had to play a winner-take-all game on the way to its previous two NJAC titles, even with last season’s team which went on to capture the NCAA Division III crown. The 2007 Lady Raptors, however, completed their four-game sweep through the NJAC’s as senior pitcher Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) tossed a three-hitter. She allowed only one earned run and two walks, while striking out five to raise her record to 13-5.
During the Raptors’ four NJAC playoff games, Farrell went 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA while hurling all 28 innings.
The conference title gives Rutgers-Camden the NJAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, where it will try to defend its 2006 national title. The selections and pairings for the tournament will be announced May 7.
Rutgers-Camden scored all the runs it needed in the second inning when Farrell reached on an infield single with one out. One out later, junior first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston) ripped a shot to right-center field for her seventh home run of the season.
The Lady Raptors added another run in the third inning after sophomore center fielder Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) reached on an infield single, her 98th career hit. She advanced to second on a single by senior catcher Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) and scored on a two-out double to right by Farrell.
Rowan broke Farrell’s bid for her second shutout in two days with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Senior left fielder Stacy Haas hit her first home run of the season to cut the gap to 3-1. Farrell, however, hurled shutout ball the rest of the way, allowing only a single and a double by Rowan junior third baseman Kristin Wallace.
Rutgers-Camden, however, got that run back in the top of the seventh when Van Cleef and senior right fielder Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) reached on back-to-back walks. Baney dropped down a sacrifice bunt and Van Cleef scored on a sacrifice fly by junior designated player Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken).
Farrell and Baney each went 2-for-3 for the Lady Raptors, while Van Cleef scored twice and Dreitlein had two RBIs.
Rutgers-Camden also produced another milestone as senior shortstop Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) notched two assists to tie the program career record of 249 set by Michelle Schlichtig from 2004-06.
The third-seeded Raptors reached the title game with a 4-0 victory over second-seeded Ramapo College on May 5. Farrell hurled a two-hit shutout and freshman third baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) went 4-for-4 with two runs and one RBI as the Raptors eliminated the Roadrunners, who were ranked No. 20 nationally.
For the second straight day, the pitching matchup pitted Farrell against Roadrunner junior Katie Norton, and for the second time Farrell picked up the win. She allowed only a pair of singles in hurling her fourth shutout of the year. She didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.
Norton worked 6.1 innings, allowing 10 hits, four earned runs and three walks, while striking out four.
Rutgers-Camden scored the only run Farrell needed after Skroski stroked a one-out single in the second inning. She scored on a double to left by Dreitlein.
The Raptors added a third-inning run on a pair of doubles by Baney and Skroski. Skroski’s double plated pinch-runner Mary Beth Foley (Ventnor, NJ/Holy Spirit).
In the seventh, Rutgers-Camden added two runs after Farrell walked and Skroski doubled. Dreitlein had an RBI single and senior second baseman Kim Zlupko (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson) singled home another run.
In addition to Skroski, Van Cleef went 3-for-5, raising her career total to 97 hits.
Zlupko collected five assists on the day to raise her season total to 96, breaking the program mark of 92 set by Michelle Schlichtig in 2005.
In their first NJAC tournament game at Montclair State University, the Lady Raptors rode Farrell’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to a 2-1 victory over Ramapo May 4, leaving the Raptors as the last undefeated team in the tournament.
Ramapo College held a 1-0 lead entering the sixth inning of a pitchers’ duel between Farrell and the Roadrunners’ Norton.
The Roadrunners scored their run in the fourth inning after sophomore catcher Kelly Schriber hit a leadoff double and was replaced by pinch-runner Kendall Patton. Patton advanced on a fielder’s choice and scored on a ground out by senior shortstop Michele Rossi.
Rutgers-Camden rallied in the sixth after a leadoff infield single by Van Cleef. Millett ripped a double to left field and the Raptors loaded the bases when Baney walked. After the Raptors hit into a double play, forcing Van Cleef at the plate, Farrell lined her two-out, two-run single to left center field.
The Roadrunners put the tying run in scoring position in the seventh inning with a leadoff double by Rossi. She reached third base with two outs before Farrell nailed down the win with her third strikeout of the game. She allowed six hits, one earned run and two walks to raise her record to 11-5.
Norton hurled a five-hitter with two walks, two strikeouts and two earned runs.
The Raptors opened the defense of their NJAC title at home May 1 when Farrell hurled a six-hitter and helped her own cause with two hits and a pair of RBIs during a 4-1 victory over #4 William Paterson University at Rutgers-Camden Community Park.
In a game that shaped up as a tight pitchers’ duel between Farrell and Paterson junior ace Diana Schraer, the Pioneers struck quickly in the first inning. Paterson’s second batter, senior second baseman April Sardinas-Wyssling ripped the first pitch she saw to left field for her first home run of the year.
That run stood up into the fourth inning as Schraer fired no-hit ball through the first three frames. In the bottom of the fourth, the Raptors’ Baney looped a leadoff single into center field and Foley ran for her. Parker laced an opposite-field double to right, and Farrell plated the tying run with a single to center. Skroski delivered Parker with the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to left field.
Rutgers-Camden tacked on a run in the fifth on back-to-back singles by Baney and Parker and an RBI double by Farrell.
The Raptors’ final run came in the sixth on a single by Giles, a stolen base and a throwing error by Schraer on a comebacker to the mound.
Farrell, 10-5, finished with a six-hitter and no walks, while allowing one earned run. She struck out six. Two of the hits she allowed were singles by freshman left fielder Chelsea Winkelspecht. Schraer, 17-5, allowed 11 hits, one walk and four runs, three of them earned. She struck out two.
The Raptors received two hits apiece from Baney, Parker, Farrell and Dreitlein.
BASEBALL (15-24/2-16 NJAC)
Moments after being one of the Rutgers-Camden players honored on Senior Night, right-hander Greg Galbraith (Westville, NJ/Gateway Regional) went out and pitched one of the top games of his career.
Galbraith hurled a five-hit shutout over six innings the evening of May 1 as the Scarlet Raptors defeated Delaware Valley College, 6-0, in a game called in the bottom of the sixth inning due to lightning strikes.
In hurling the second shutout of his career, Galbraith walked two and struck out two, while posting his lone decision of the season. He ended his senior year 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in 27.1 innings. For the second straight year, he hurled the lone solo shutout on the Raptors’ staff. His first career shutout came in a 17-0 win at Occidental College March 12, 2006.
In addition to Galbraith, the Scarlet Raptors also honors seniors Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI), Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional), Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley Regional), Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), and Mark Wickersham (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson).
Three of those seniors contributed to the Raptors’ three-run third inning, which started with a one-out double by sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional). One out later, Buchter walked and stole second. The walk was his 30th of the season, setting a new program record and helping him complete his four years at Rutgers-Camden with a career-record 83 walks. The old single-season record of 29 walks was shared by Ricky Flores (2003), Chris Godish (2002) and Chris McGovern (1987).
Both runners scored on a single by Amato, who was plated by a Morris double. The double allowed Morris to complete his career with exactly 200 total bases, making him the seventh player in program history to reach that mark. Buchter’s run was the 112th of his career, allowing him to tie Matt Calloway (2003-06) for third on the Rutgers-Camden program list. He also finished his career playing in 134 games, the third-highest total in program history.
Rutgers-Camden added an unearned run in the fourth inning when sophomore designated hitter Matt Gabrielski (Atco, NJ/St. Joseph-Hammonton) doubled and scored on an error.
The Raptors tacked on their final two runs in the fifth when Amato singled and Morris was hit by a pitch with one out. Terrill followed with a fly ball to right field that ended up scoring Amato all the way from second base for a sacrifice fly. Gabrielski singled home Morris for the final run.
For the game, Amato went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in his 95th, and final, career game. Gabrielski went 2-for-3 with one run and one RBI.
Freshman left fielder Brent Terlecky went 2-for-2 for the Aggies.
Delaware Valley College senior Chris White took the loss, scattering eight hits and two walks in five-plus innings. White, 2-4, allowed six runs, five earned, and struck out one.
Earlier in the day, senior designated hitter Ted King, junior shortstop Dan Limone and freshman left fielder Mike Guadango each went 3-for-5 to lead a 16-hit attack as William Paterson University defeated Rutgers-Camden, 12-6, in the final New Jersey Athletic Conference game of the season for both teams.
William Paterson, which won three straight games and four of its last five, closed its season at 19-15-2 overall and 6-11-1 in the NJAC. Rutgers-Camden finished at 2-16 in the NJAC.
Rutgers-Camden jumped on the board early with a three-run first-inning home run by Morris.
Paterson exploded for six unearned runs in the third inning, following a one-out error. The Pioneers sent 10 men to the plate and collected five hits, including an RBI triple by Guadango, RBI singles by King and Limone and a two-run single by senior third baseman Mike Rivera.
The Raptors cut the gap to 6-5 in the bottom of the third inning when freshman right fielder Paul Painter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) ripped a two-run homer, but Paterson broke the game open in the late innings. The Pioneers plated an unearned run in the eighth and scored five times off six hits in the ninth. The big hit in the inning was a two-run double by King.
King finished the day 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs, while Guadango was 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Limone was 3-for-5 with one RBI.
Leadoff man Rick Pignatello, the Pioneers’ senior center fielder, had one stolen base on the day to finish his career with 88, one shy of the program’s career record set by Bruce Dostal (1984-87).
Rutgers-Camden senior Jason Ronca (Eastampton, NJ/Rancocas Valley) worked eight innings, allowing 10 hits, four walks and eight runs, only one of them earned. He struck out four.
Ronca ended his career with 196 innings, fourth on the program’s list, and 170 strikeouts, tying Ray Simons (1970-72) for third place. He also was fourth in at bats (737), one shy of Tom Ford (2003-06) in third place. Ronca finished his season at 3-4 despite a 3.44 ERA.
Painter went 3-for-5 with one run and three RBIs for the Raptors, while Morris was 1-for-5 with one run and three RBIs.
Rutgers-Camden freshman catcher Vince Giunta (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) collected a fifth-inning single to extend his hitting streak to nine games, the longest on the Raptors in 2007.
5 NJAC Championships
Men: 1. The College of New Jersey, 263.50; 2. Rowan, 157.50; 3. Montclair State, 94; 4. Richard Stockton, 72; 5. Ramapo, 61; 6. New Jersey City, 50; 7. Rutgers-Camden, 38; 8. Kean, 30.
Women: 1. The College of New Jersey, 252.75; 2. Richard Stockton, 206.25; 3. Rowan, 63; 4. Ramapo, 60; 5. Montclair State, 49; 6. Kean, 47; 7. New Jersey City, 42; 8. Rutgers-Camden, 8.
Rutgers-Camden School Records:
* Travis Stewart, 3,000 M steeplechase, 9:48.92 (Old: 10:09.71 by Stewart at the Danny Curran Invitational, March 31, 2007)
* Mike Fox, 1,500 M, 3:58.29 (Old: 4:03.78 by Fox at the Delaware Invitational, April 10, 2004)
Junior Mike Fox (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley Regional) and sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) broke their own Rutgers University-Camden track program records at 1,500 meters and the 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively, during third-place finishes and sophomore Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) led the Scarlet Raptors’ strong 800-meter contingent with a second-place finish at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship May 5 in Ewing.
The Rutgers-Camden men scored 38 points to finish seventh of eight schools, while the women scored eight points and finished eighth. Host The College of New Jersey won both titles with the Lions’ men scoring 263.50 points and the women scoring 252.75.
Fox finished third at 1,500 meters and broke his own program record by posting a 3:58.29 clocking. His old mark of 4:03.78 was set April 10, 2004 at the Delaware Invitational.
Stewart posted a time of 9:48.92 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing third and lowering his former mark of 10:09.71 set at the Danny Curran Invitational March 31.
While Fox and Stewart each collected six points in their record-setting events, Salamon sparked the Scarlet Raptors to 14 points from their 800-meter runners. Salamon collected eight points by finishing second in a time of 1:55.12, while freshman Akeem Lloyd (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City) tacked on six points for his third-place finish (1:56.73). Fox also finished 12th at 800 meters in a time of 2:05.55.
The Scarlet Raptors also received six points for a third-place finish from freshman Jon Anderson (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) in the javelin (52.50 meters).
The Raptors’ 4x400 relay team finished fifth in a time of 3:32.39 to collect four points. Members of that team were junior Patrick Eigbe Jr. (Galloway, NJ/Absegami), freshman Frank Iwanicki (Edgewater Park, NJ/Holy Cross), Lloyd and anchor Salamon.
The Raptors’ other two points came in a seventh-place finish by sophomore Brandon Gordon (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township) at 10,000 meters. Gordon ran the distance in 36:22.93.
Three other members of the Raptors had a busy day in field events, with freshman Justin Edmonds (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and junior Michael McClain (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace) both competing in the long jump and triple jump, while freshman Ian Chrzanowski (West Deptford, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) pulled double duty in the shot put and discus.
Chrzanowski finished ninth in the discus (37.70 M) and 10th in the shot put (12.44 M). Edmonds was 10th in the long jump (5.72 M) and ninth in the triple jump (12.16 M), while McClain was 10th in the triple jump (11.02 M) and 12th in the long jump (5.47 M).
On the women’s side, the Lady Raptors received four points apiece from sophomore Becca Taylor (Haddon Heights, NJ/Haddon Heights) and freshman Nancy Nkumsah (Townsend, DE/Pennsauken). Taylor earned her four points with a fifth-place finish in the discus (29.40 M). She also finished 10th in the shot put (9.09 M) and 13th in the javelin (18.26 M) in a busy day. Nkumsah, meanwhile, finished sixth in the shot put (10.14 M) to earn three points and eighth in the discus (23.13M) to earn her other point.
The other member of the Lady Raptors to compete in the NJAC Championships was freshman Ayla Maldonado (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown). She finished ninth in the long jump (4.73 M) and 10th in the triple jump (9.39 M).
Since All-NJAC honors are based on an individual's finish at the conference meet, Salamon will earn All-NJAC Second Team in the 800 meters, while the Raptors will feature four NJAC Honorable Mention athletes for third-place finishes: Lloyd (800 M), Fox (1,500 M), Stewart (3,000 M steeplechase) and Anderson (javelin).