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Raptors of the Week: Natalie Powell and Mike Fox

Monday, April 30, 2007

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and Mike Fox (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley Reg.)

Sophomore softball pitcher Natalie Powell and junior track star Mike Fox share Raptor of the Week honors after posting outstanding performances during the week for their Rutgers-Camden teams. Powell went 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA to spark the Lady Raptors’ 4-0 week in softball. She allowed only two earned runs in 17.1 innings, hurled 5.1 innings of shutout relief in a comeback win over Rowan April 24 and won both ends of a doubleheader at Rutgers-Newark April 28. Fox, meanwhile, beat out a field of 56 runners to win the 800 meters at the Lions Invitational April 28, setting a Rutgers-Camden program record in the process with a 1:52.76 clocking.

SOFTBALL (27-13/13-5 NJAC)

Tues. 24* Rutgers-Camden 6-2, Rowan University 5-1
Sat. 28* Rutgers-Camden 15-5, Rutgers-Newark 1-2 (first game 6 innings)

Upcoming Games


Tues. 1 NJAC playoffs First Round: vs. William Paterson Univ. (at Rutgers-Camden, 4 p.m.)

NJAC playoffs at Montclair State University
Sat. 5-Sun. 6 TBA

The defending New Jersey Athletic Conference and Division III national champion Lady Raptors ended their regular season in style, going 4-0 during the week to nail down the third seed for the upcoming NJAC playoffs. Rutgers-Camden rode the strong pitching led by sophomore Natalie Powell (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and a powerful offense, led by senior Autumn Millett (Richwood, NJ/Clearview Regional) to sweeps over Rowan University (6-5 and 2-1 April 24 in Camden) and Rutgers-Newark (15-1 in six innings and 5-2 April 28 in Newark).

Powell went 3-0 with a 0.81 ERA during the week, while Millett continued her season-long assault on the record books by adding

In the sweep at Rutgers-Newark, Millett set the Rutgers-Camden single-season RBI record, tied the program’s season hit record and ripped her fourth grand slam of the season in the opening game, and Powell won both ends of the doubleheader.

In the opening game, Millett went 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a sixth-inning grand slam and six RBIs, lifting her season total to 49 RBIs, a new program record. The old mark of 45 was set last season by two-time All-American Michelle Schlichtig.

Millett’s three hits tied Schlichtig’s single-season program record of 59 hits, also established during the Lady Raptors’ national championship season in 2006. The doubles gave her 12 for the season and she stretched her single-season and career home run records to 13 and 36, respectively. The eight total bases raised her single-season program mark to 110 total bases.

Powell, meanwhile, hurled five innings of one-hit ball, allowing one earned run and one walk. The one hit was a leadoff home run by freshman left fielder Elena Morge in the second inning. Powell struck out six before sophomore Marissa Van Cleef (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough) pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the Raptors. The contest was stopped after six innings by the eight-run mercy rule after the Lady Raptors exploded for nine runs in the top of the sixth. In that eight-hit inning, Van Cleef had a pair of singles and Millett clubbed an RBI double and her fourth grand slam of the season, a shot to left-center field.

Van Cleef went 3-for-3 with three runs scored for the Raptors, who pounded out 16 hits.

The second game was a pitchers’ duel between Powell (12-3) and Morge (7-11), with both hurlers crafting a five-hitter. Powell allowed two runs (one earned) and one walk, while striking out one. Morge, who had a no-hitter going until Amber Parker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) followed a walk with a bunt single to open the fifth inning, allowed five runs (four earned) and three walks. She struck out three.

Four of those Raptor runs came in that fifth inning as Rutgers-Camden rallied from a 2-1 deficit. Senior shortstop Alaina Giles (Willingboro, NJ/Holy Cross) put the Raptors in front for good with a two-run single through the right side of the infield. They added two more runs on RBI singles by freshman left fielder Kate Braun (Audubon, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) and freshman third baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ/Sterling).

Giles went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs in the game for Rutgers-Camden, while Morge went 2-for-3 with one run for Rutgers-Newark.

Earlier in the week, Rutgers-Camden swept Rowan University, 6-5 and 2-1, in a doubleheader in Camden April 24. The Lady Raptors rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the opening game for reliever Powell and won the nightcap behind senior Megan Farrell (Medford, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep).

The twinbill was the last regular-season home date for Rutgers-Camden and marked Senior Day for five Lady Raptors. The program honored seniors Farrell, Mo Baney (Deptford, NJ/Deptford), Giles, Millett and Kim Zlupko (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson).

Trailing, 5-2, heading to the bottom of the seventh inning of the opener, the Lady Raptors staged a big rally on two hits, three walks, an error and a game-winning sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Kathleen Dreitlein (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston).

Parker opened the frame with a single and advanced on a walk to Baney. Parker was replaced by pinch-runner Mary Beth Foley (Ventnor, NJ/Holy Spirit) and Baney was lifted for pinch-runner Jerika Burgos (Vineland, NJ/Vineland). The runners advanced on a ground out and Zlupko followed by reaching on an infield error, driving home Foley. Van Cleef walked to load the bases and Millett delivered a two-run game-tying single. Following an intentional walk to Skroski, Dreitlein’s sacrifice fly to center won the game.

The frame capped a big comeback for Rutgers-Camden, which saw Rowan score five runs in the second inning on two hits, four walks and a hit batsman. A bad-hop ground ball past shortstop, which rolled all the way to the fence for a triple by freshman right fielder Heidi Smith plated the Profs’ first run. Following a walk, Smith scored on a ground out and Raptor pitcher Farrell followed with a hit batsman and two straight walks to force home another run. Junior second baseman Lauren Navarro collected an RBI with the bases-loaded walk. Junior third baseman Kristin Wallace capped the frame with an opposite field double that kicked up chalk on the right field line.

The Profs sent 11 batters to the plate in the second, which finally ended when Powell entered the game to get the last out. She pitched 5.1 innings of three-hit shutout ball the rest of the way, walking just one, to raise her record to 10-3.

Rutgers-Camden finally got on the board in the fifth off Rowan hurler Amanda Riegel, who allowed 12 hits, six runs (two earned) and six walks in hurling all 6.2 innings. Riegel (10-7) fanned one. She lost her shutout on back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth by Baney and Giles.

For the game, Skroski, Millett, Parker, Baney and Giles each had two hits for the Lady Raptors.

BASEBALL (14-23/2-15 NJAC)

Tues. 24 Rutgers-Camden 17, John Jay College of Criminal Justice 8
Thurs. 26* Rowan University 4, Rutgers-Camden 3
Fri. 27* William Paterson University ppd. rain to April 29
Sat. 28* at Kean University (doubleheader) ppd. to April 29
Sun. 29* Kean University 5-8, Rutgers-Camden 4-7
Sun. 29* William Paterson University ppd. to May 1

Upcoming Games

Tues. 1 William Paterson University 3 p.m.
Tues. 1 Delaware Valley College 7 p.m.
Wed. 2 at Arcadia University 4 p.m.

In a week where the schedule was changed more often than the weather, the Scarlet Raptors saw their scheduled home date with William Paterson University changed twice and had a doubleheader at Kean University backed up one day by rain. The week started off with a non-conference comeback win over John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 17-8 on April 24 in Camden. Two days later, the Raptors suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 loss as Rowan University rallied for a pair of two-out runs in the top of the ninth inning of a New Jersey Athletic Conference game in Camden. The week ended with a 5-4, 8-7 doubleheader loss at Kean University April 29.

Junior catcher/right fielder Derek Gianakas collected three RBIs in each game and senior Dan Zeffiro hurled a complete game in the opener as the Kean swept Rutgers-Camden to clinch the regular-season New Jersey Athletic Conference title.

In the opening game, the Scarlet Raptors scored a pair of runs in the second as senior catcher Tom Terrill (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township) doubled home one run and scored on a single by freshman designated hitter Vince Giunta (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional). Giunta, who had two hits in the opener, also added one in the nightcap to stretch his hitting streak to eight games.

The Raptors added another run in the third, taking a 3-1 lead on a sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Mark Wickersham (Cinnaminson, NJ/Cinnaminson).

Kean bounced back with a four-run fifth inning on three walks, two hit batsmen, a throwing error and the lone hit of the inning, a two-run single by Gianakas.

Zeffiro scattered 10 hits and two walks to allow four earned runs. He struck out six in raising his record to 7-1.

Raptor senior center fielder Nate Buchter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional) went 3-for-5 in the game, including a double in the eighth inning, to become only the sixth player in program history to reach 200 total bases for his career. With two hits, including a triple, in the nightcap, he raised his career total to 204 total bases. His five hits on the day also gave him 150 for his career, moving into fifth place on the all-time list past Tom Cusano (1991-94), who had 147.

Sophomore second baseman Dean Straga (Mullica Hill, NJ/Clearview Regional) went 2-for-3 for the Raptors.

The teams changed leads three times in the nightcap, with Kean’s three-run fourth inning finally putting the Cougars ahead to stay, 7-6.

After Rutgers-Camden scored a first-inning run, Kean countered with three in the bottom of the frame on a three-run home run by senior first baseman Aaron Richard. The Raptors bounced back with a four-run second, sparked by Buchter’s three-run triple.

Gianakas hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning for the deciding blast of the day. Gianakas finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs.

Buchter, Terrill and freshman right fielder Scott Fruits (Turnersville, NJ/Paul VI) each had two hits for the Raptors.

The Scarlet Raptors return to action Tuesday with a split doubleheader. They close their NJAC season hosting William Paterson University at 3 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. Senior Night game against non-conference foe Delaware Valley College.

In the loss to Rowan April 26, junior first baseman Rob Ritterson ripped a two-out, two-strike, two-run double into the left field corner in the top of the ninth inning, lifting the Profs to a 4-3 victory at Campbell’s Field.

The comeback made a winner out of junior southpaw Joe Cichy, who hurled a three-hitter, allowing only one earned run and two walks. He struck out nine.

With the Scarlet Raptors leading, 3-2, the Profs opened the ninth with a bloop single to center by junior left fielder Frank Hasenauer. Following a foul out on an attempted sacrifice bunt, Rowan put the go-ahead run on base when sophomore third baseman Tom Ready was hit by a pitch from Raptor freshman reliever Michael Kondrath (Medford Lakes, NJ/Holy Cross). Kondrath ran the count to 3-1 on dangerous cleanup hitter Tim Edmeads before getting a pop out, then got two quick strikes on Ritterson. On the third pitch to Ritterson, the Profs executed a double steal. After the count evened at 2-2, Ritterson pulled a shot into the left field corner that just eluded the dive of Raptor senior outfielder Mike Morris (Sewell, NJ/Washington Township), plating the deciding runs.

The Profs prevented the Raptors from putting their leadoff runner aboard in the bottom of the ninth when a hard shot up the middle by senior first baseman Butch Amato (Haddon Heights, NJ/Paul VI) was flagged down with a great diving play by Rowan sophomore shortstop Tim Barnshaw. Barnshaw recovered to get Amato at first, and Cichy finished off the 1-2-3 inning to raise his record to 6-3.

In a tight pitchers’ duel between Cichy and Raptor sophomore lefty Damien Wright (Millville, NJ/Millville), the Profs scored a first-inning run on an RBI single by Ritterson. Rutgers-Camden tied the game on a leadoff home run in the third inning by Giunta, a long shot to left field for his first collegiate homer.

After Rowan regained the lead in the fifth on an RBI single from junior center fielder Roger Turley, the Scarlet Raptors struck for a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning. With two outs and two runners aboard, an infield throwing error plated both runs.

Kondrath, who had worked 1.1 perfect innings entering the ninth, took the loss for his first collegiate decision. He finished with 2.1 innings, two hits, two earned runs and one strikeout. Wright hurled 6.2 innings of six-hit ball in his start, allowing two earned runs and seven walks, while striking out seven.

In their first game of the week, the Raptors rallied from an 8-4 deficit, aided by a seven-run fifth inning, as they outlasted John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 17-8.

Trailing, 4-1, John Jay took a 7-4 lead with a six-run third inning, aided by six hits, including a two-run single from junior center fielder Kenneth Sepulveda. The Bloodhounds tacked on another run in the fourth to lead, 8-4, before Rutgers-Camden mounted its comeback.

The Raptors scored three times in the bottom of the fourth, aided by an RBI triple from freshman second baseman Kyle Ballay (Delran, NJ/Delran).

Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good in a wild seven-run fifth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate and collecting eight hits, including a two-run single from Buchter.

The big outburst made a winner out of freshman reliever Jordan Cohen (Rockledge, PA/Abington), who picked up his first collegiate win to even his record at 1-1. Cohen worked 4.1 innings of two-hit, shutout relief. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out two.

The Scarlet Raptors collected 17 hits in the game, including three apiece by Terrill and freshman designated hitter Paul Painter (Blackwood, NJ/Highland Regional).

Morris and Buchter each had two hits, two runs and three RBIs. Buchter also walked twice to raise his career total to 78, breaking the program record of 77 walks set by Brian Murphy (2001-4).

Freshman shortstop Dennis O’Hanlan (Riverside, NJ/Riverside), Ballay and sophomore first baseman Matt Gabrielski (Atco, NJ/St. Joseph-Hammonton) also added two hits apiece for the Scarlet Raptors.

John Jay drilled 12 hits of its own, including two apiece by senior pitcher/DH Joseph Ayala, senior second baseman James DeCesare, sophomore right fielder John Massoni, senior left fielder Richard Santana and senior catcher Gonzalo Gonzalez. Gonzalez added three RBIs for the Bloodhounds.



Thur. 26-at Penn Relays Did not compete

Sat. 28 (at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA)

Sat. 28 at Lions Invitational
(at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ)


Rutgers-Camden winners:

* Mike Fox, 800 M, 1:52.76

Rutgers-Camden School Records:

* Travis Stewart, 5,000 M, 15:26.95 (Old: 16:05.10 by Stewart at the Tuppeny Twilight Meet, May 15, 2006)

* Mike Fox, 800 M, 1:52.76 (Old: 1:55.62 by Jonathan Salamon at the Danny Curran Invitational, March 31, 2007)

Upcoming Meets


5 NJAC Championships
(at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ)

Junior Mike Fox (Hainesport, NJ/Rancocas Valley Regional) broke the Rutgers-Camden school record in the 800-meter run and sophomore Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional) broke his own school record at 5,000 meters to highlight the Scarlet Raptors’ track team effort at the Lions Invitational April 28 at The College of New Jersey.

Fox won his event in a time of 1:52.76, outlasting a field of 56 runners and breaking the program record of 1:55.62. That mark was set earlier this year by sophomore teammate Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen). It was set at the Danny Curran Invitational on March 31.

Stewart finished second in the 5,000 with a time of 15:26.95, shattering his mark of 16:05.10 set at the Tuppeny Twilight Meet May 15, 2006.

In addition to Stewart, sophomore Brandon Gordon (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township) finished 11th at 5,000 meters in a time of 16:47.68.

Salamon also passed his old mark at 800 meters, running a 1:54.58 to finish third, while freshman Akeem Lloyd (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City) finished eighth in the event at 1:58.10. Lloyd also finished fourth in the 400-meter dash (51.06), while sophomore Stefon Coleman (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove) finished 12th in the same event (52.40).

Freshman Justin Edmonds (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) and junior Michael McClain (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) each had a strong showing in the triple jump and long jump. Edmonds finished seventh in the triple jump (38-00.25) and 13th in the long jump (18-03.00), while McClain was eighth in the triple jump (35-10.00) and 15th in the long jump (17.08.25).

The Raptors also was freshman Jon Anderson (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) finish 11th in the javelin (153-02). Freshman Mark Smith (Vineland, NJ/Vineland) and junior Ian Chrzanowski (West Deptford, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) finished 15th and 16th, respectively, in the shot put (41-09.25 and 41-01.50). Chrzanowski also was 13th in the discus (126-08), while Smith was 17th (110-07) and freshman Austin Tsang (Monroe Township, NJ/Monroe Township) finished 28th (88-08).

On the women’s side, sophomore Becca Taylor (Haddon Heights, NJ/Haddon Heights) finished 18th in the discus (95-07), 25th in the javelin (63-00) and 28th in the shot put (26-07.00).

Freshman Ayla Maldonado (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) finished 19th in the long jump (15-08.75), while freshman Nicole Racite (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) finished 29th in the 100-meter high hurdles (20.49).



Sat. 28 Atlantic Collegiate League Sprints
(Gifford Pinchot State Park, Lewisberry, PA)

Women's Varsity Four

1. North Park, 8:30.7; 2. Marietta, 8:44.7; 3. Johns Hopkins, 8:52.08; 4. Rutgers-Camden, 8:56.06; 5. University of Mary Washington, 9:02.57; 6. Washington College, 9:34.14.

(Stroke-Cynthia Burt; 3-Laura Williams; 2-Rebecca Lodge; bow-Traci Arnold; cox-Michelle Sanchirico)

Women’s Frosh/Novice Four

Heat #2

1. Rutgers-Camden, 8:38.2; 2. Washington College, 8:54.57; 3. Richard Stockton, 8:59.33; 4. Johns Hopkins, 9:06.04; 5. University of Mary Washington, 9:09.27.

(Stroke-Kathleen Malony; 3-Regina Williams; 2-Rebecca Lodge; bow-Traci Arnold; cox-Michelle Sanchirico)

Men's Varsity Four+

1. Johns Hopkins, 7:26.4; 2. Washington College, 7:26.94; 3. University of Mary Washington, 7:35.55; 4. Rutgers-Camden, 7:45.0; 5. Washington College, 8:16.72.

(Stroke-Lou Gallagher; 3-Lance Carsillo; 2-Sean Kendall; bow-Efran Cazales; cox-B.J. Ochal)

Upcoming Regattas


Sun. 6 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Crew Championships
(Occoquan, VA)

Fri. 11- Dad Vail Regatta
Sat. 12 (Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA)

The Rutgers University-Camden Women’s Novice 4 boat won its race by 16 seconds as the Lady Raptors competed in the Atlantic Collegiate League Sprints April 28 at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania.

The Novice 4 boat posted a time of 8:38.2 to outrace second-place Washington College (8:54.57) in the five-boat race.

The Novice Four boat included freshman stroke Kathleen Malony (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddonfield Memorial), sophomore 3-seat Regina Williams (Cherry Hill, NJ/home schooled), junior 2-seat Rebecca Lodge (Clarksboro, NJ/Kingsway Regional), junior bow Traci Arnold (Pitman, NJ/Pitman), and junior coxswain Michelle Sanchirico (Mt. Laurel, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep).

The Lady Raptors’ Women’s Varsity Four also competed in the Mid-Atlantic Championships, finishing fourth in its race with a time of 8:56.06. The winning boat was North Park with an 8:30.7 clocking. Members of the Raptors’ Varsity Four boat were senior stroke Cynthia Burt (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford), senior 3-seat Laura Williams (Cherry Hill, NJ/home schooled), 2-seat Lodge, bow Arnold and cox Sanchirico.

On the men’s club side, the Men’s Varsity Four finished fourth (7:45.0) in a race won by Johns Hopkins University (7:26.4). Members of that Scarlet Raptors team included senior stroke Lou Gallagher (Florence, NJ/Holy Cross), junior 3-seat Lance Carsillo (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken), senior 2-seat Sean Kendall (Haddon Township, NJ/Haddon Township), sophomore bow Efran Cazales (Bridgeton, NJ/Bridgeton) and senior cox B.J. Ochal (Cherry Hill, NJ/Camden Catholic).



Fri. 27 RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Spring Invitational cancelled, rain
(Town & Country Golf Links, Woodstown, NJ)

The RU-Camden Scarlet Raptors Spring Golf Invitational was cancelled by rain April 27. Rutgers-Camden is attempting to add one more match to its schedule, but may be finished golfing for the season.

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