Camden, NJ (5/1/10) – The Rutgers University-Camden
and Montclair State University softball teams split their final New
Jersey Athletic Conference doubleheader of the season here Saturday,
effectively knocking each other out of the six-team NJAC playoffs.
Rutgers-Camden captured the opener, 8-7, on an RBI single by senior right fielder Nikki DiVece (Pine Hill, NJ/Overbrook Regional) in the bottom of the seventh.
Montclair State, batting as the home team, won the nightcap in the bottom of the seventh, 1-0, on a sacrifice fly by sophomore shortstop Priscilla Camacho (Jersey City, NJ/county Prep).
Both teams needed sweeps to reach the NJAC playoffs. Montclair State finished its season with a 21-15 overall record and a 9-9 mark in the conference. The Red Hawks were in a three-way tie for fifth with Kean and Richard Stockton, but were the odd team out on the tie-breakers as the Cougars and Ospreys earned the last two playoff berths.
Rutgers-Camden closed the regular season with a 21-14 record overall and an 8-10 NJAC mark. The Lady Raptors are hoping for a chance to defend their ECAC Metro title when that post-season tourney field is announced May 10. Montclair State, which lost to Rutgers-Camden in that 2009 final, will also be among the team in consideration.
Rutgers-Camden 8, Montclair State 7
In the opening game, the Lady Raptors built a 7-0 lead, watched the Red Hawks tie the game with a seven-run fifth, and then won the game in the bottom of the seventh. The Raptors loaded the bases in the final inning on a hit batsman and a pair of singles, with two fielder’s choices mixed in to bring DiVece to the plate with two outs. She stroked the game-winning single to plate freshman designated player Kaitlyn Gaskill (Pennsville, NJ/Pennsville Memorial) with the winning run.
Rutgers-Camden looked like it had the game in hand early, scoring five runs in the first on four hits, including two-run doubles by Gaskill and sophomore right fielder Vicki D’Anduono (Lanoka Harbor, NJ/Lacey Township). Senior third baseman Steph Skroski (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) added an RBI single in that frame to drive home the 100th run of her stellar career. She is only the third player in program history with 100 career RBIs. She later scored the 99th run of her career.
The Raptors added a pair of runs in the third on RBI singles by Vicki D’Anduono and DiVece.
Montclair State came storming back with seven runs on seven hits in the fifth to tie the game. Senior catcher Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY/Clarkston North) drilled a two-run double and senior second baseman Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ/West Orange) had a two-run single in the frame.
For the game, Durkin went 4-for-4, while freshman third baseman Heather Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ/Governor Livingston) collected three hits and freshman first baseman Kelli O’Brien (Edison, NJ/Edison) added two for the Red Hawks.
Rutgers-Camden received three hits from Gaskill and two apiece from Vicki D’Anduono, DiVece, sophomore catcher Erika Drayton (Blackwood, NJ/Triton Regional) and freshman left fielder Christina Tamburrino (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown).
Senior Ashley Jimenez (Bellmawr, NJ/Triton Regional) scattered 13 hits and allowed five walks and seven earned runs to get the win. She struck out four.Freshman Jamie Miller (Spotswood, NJ/St. John Vianney) worked 6.2 innings, allowing 13 hits, two walks and eight earned runs in the loss. Miller (9-7) didn’t strike out a batter.
Montclair State 1, Rutgers-Camden 0
Camacho’s sacrifice fly plated the game’s lone run as senior Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ/Cherokee) tossed a nine-hit shutout to out-duel Jimenez. Persico (12-7) walked one and struck out three. Jimenez (14-11) allowed only four hits and three walks, but the Red Hawks opened the seventh with a single by freshman designated player Jamie Paulino (Linden, NJ/Linden), a sacrifice and a hit batsman. After a wild pitch moved up the runners, Camacho delivered her winning sacrifice fly to center field.
Vicki D’Anduono went 3-for-3 for the Raptors. Senior first baseman Amanda D’Anduono (Lanoka Harbor, NJ/Lacey Township) and Skroski each added two hits.