NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (March 15, 2017) – The spring break trip to South Carolina has been anything but nice weather for the Rutgers University-Camden softball team. After seeing action rained out for two days earlier this week, the Scarlet Raptors played a pair of games here Wednesday with wind chills starting the day in the 20's and warming into the 30's at the FastPitch Dreams Spring Classic.
To make matters worse for Rutgers-Camden, the offense went cold as well, with the Scarlet Raptors collecting a total of 12 hits and four runs as they lost to Sarah Lawrence College, 3-1, and Lycoming College, 6-3. All three Raptor runs in the Lycoming game were scored in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Wednesday's results stretched Rutgers-Camden's losing streak to four games in the last two days at the FastPitch Dreams event, dropping the Scarlet Raptors to 4-6 on the young season. They are 2-4 on the spring trip in completed games, although they have another potential win in a game that was suspended by rain in the fourth inning on Monday, with the Raptors leading Wisconsin-Stout, 8-1. That game will be completed at 12:30 p.m. Friday before the two teams play a regularly-scheduled contest.
The Scarlet Raptors return to action Thursday at 1:30 p.m. with a late add to the schedule, playing a team still to be determined.
In the opening game, Sarah Lawrence (2-3), out of Bronxville, New York, scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning and handed the Scarlet Raptors their third straight defeat.
A pair of errors contributed to two unearned runs in the frame, which started with a single and a stolen bases by the Gryphons' sophomore second baseman Kelsey Copley (West Jefferson, OH/West Jefferson). Copley scored when a sacrifice bunt by senior centerfielder Erin Chafatelli (Nashville, TN/McGavock) was thrown away, allowing the batter to reach second. Sophomore shortstop Taryn Penna (Sparta, NJ/Sparta) followed with an RBI double and reached third base when junior leftfielder Sarah Shapiro (Germantown, MD/Northwest) reached on an error. With runners at first and third and nobody out, the Gryphons tried a double steal. Although Shapiro was out at second base, Penna scampered home with the third run of the frame.
That inning was more than enough for sophomore pitcher Mikayla Cunningham (Mayville, MI/Millington), who scattered five hits, struck out two and didn't walk a batter while raising her record to 2-1. She allowed only one unearned run, which the Raptors scored in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. With one out, sophomore first baseman Jessica Thompson (Pedricktown, NJ/Penns Grove) reached base when her fly to right field was dropped for an error. Freshman designated player Valorie Velasco (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) plated her with a double to left center.
In addition to Velasco's double, the Raptors had a fourth-inning triple by junior leftfielder Gabrielle Castellini (Millville, NJ/Wildwood Catholic). The other Raptor hits were singles by senior centerfielder Megan Goodspeed (Florence, NJ/Florence), junior catcher Mackenzie Mason (Penns Grove, NJ/Penns Grove) and freshman catcher Ashley Croge (Somerdale, NJ/Sterling).
In the nightcap, Lycoming junior pitcher Rachael Shady (Lock Haven, PA/Central Mountain) had a three-hit shutout and a 6-0 lead before allowing four hits and three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. She finished with three walks and six strikeouts as she raised her record to 3-0.
The Warriors, who raised their record to 5-0, collected 10 hits, including two apiece by their number 3-5 batters, freshman shortstop Kayla Kline (Mifflinburg, PA/Mifflinburg Area), senior third baseman Morgan Kunes (Beech Creek, PA/Central Mountain) and Shady.
A first-inning RBI double by Kunes put Lycoming ahead to stay. Shady singled in the Warriors' second run in the fifth inning and Lycoming plated a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Rutgers-Camden's three-run seventh inning was sparked by a leadoff double from Mason, who went 2-for-4 with one run scored in the Raptors' two games. Junior third baseman Gabby Pfeiffer (Mount Holly, NJ/Rancocas Valley) had a one-out single and advanced to second on an infield grounder. A wild pitch scored Mason and advanced Pfeiffer to third before junior shortstop Mariah Hans (Barrington, NJ/Haddon Heights) delivered a run-scoring double. Hans scored on a single by sophomore rightfielder Allie Jenkins (Delanco, NJ/Riverside) for the final Raptor run.
Jenkins went 2-for-4 with one RBI in the second game as the only Raptor to get a multi-hit game on the day. Mason, Castellini and Velasco had a hit in each game