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Program's most prolific female pole vaulter going out on high note

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   She cares little about winning, yet has made a habit of doing that in her four-year track & field career at Eastern Connecticut State University.

She is afraid of heights, yet spends Saturday afternoons from December through May propelling herself over a ten-foot-high horizontal bar, then falling backward onto a three-foot thick vinyl landing pit.

She hates crowds, but is often the focal point as she sprints toward the plant box holding one end of a fiberglass pole roughly three times longer than her 5-foot-1 ¾  inch frame.
And in an event dominated by long legs and a long bodies, she instead has the physique required of a distance runner.

Erika Barber is an enigma in spandex and size-6 Nike spikes, who also happens to be the most consistent and successful female pole vaulter in the history of the program.

On Saturday, the diminutive 110-pound Portland native embarks upon post-season competition for the final time in her career when she grabs her 13-foot pole for  the New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Dussault Track & Field Complex on the campus of Tufts University.

Barber qualified for the New England meet in the first outdoor meet of the season outdoor season with a ten-foot vault at Solomon Track in Dedham, Mass. at the Northeastern University Husky Spring Open.

As she prepares for her final approach, she is right where she wants to be. In her most recent competition last weekend at the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships, she broke her own outdoor record for the third time in four years with a second-place vault of 10-feet-8 inches.

barber_gymnasitics72_2293.jpgAt Tufts, she returns to the site where she broke the program's two-year-old record in her second outdoor meet ever with a height of 8-2 3/4. She had begun her collegiate career in the winter of 2007 by breaking the program's indoor record in her debut with a mark of  8-4 ¼ and taking second place at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational. She bettered that record the next week and subsequently broke that as a sophomore with a mark of  10-3 ¼ -- the current indoor record.

At left: Barber hones her technique with a nighttime workout at a local gymnastics school.

In 55 collegiate indoor and outdoor meets, Barber has gone ten feet or higher 21 times. She has finished first 24 times. She won Little East and New England Alliance championships as a sophomore outdoors and finished third or higher indoors and outdoors in all but one LEC/NEA championship. She has qualified for the New England Division III meet indoors and outdoors every season, for the New England Open (Division I, II and III competitors) three times and for the ECAC Division III Championships twice.

In this weekend's New England Division III meet, Barber will need to at least equal her program record of 10-8 to extend her career into the ECAC Division III meet May 13-14. To qualify for New England Open next weekend (May 7-8), she must attain a height of 11-feet-1 inches.

Along with hurdlers Monica Mills and Sandra Brautigam, Barber is one of three four-year members of the program this season under ninth-year head coach Frank Poulin. And like Mills and Brautigam, Barber has been a staple for the program. She prepares religiously throughout the season, perfecting her craft under the tutelage of seventh-year pole vault coach Brian Batherson, sprinting, stretching, and doing extra work away from the pit to improve her flexibility and technique.

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Ironically, Barber has not been about setting records and winning competition. Those rewards have only been the by-products of dedication and hard work. Her goal instead has been to fully enjoy the total intercollegiate Division III experience in its purest form. In short, to have fun.

At right: Barber confers with pole vault coach Brian Batherson (center) during the Westfield State College Invitational early in the outdoor season.

What has impressed Batherson the most is the fact that Barber has "no heighted" only once in her outdoor career - that coming when the starting height at the 2008 New England Open Championship exceeded her personal career best to that point.  Batherson points to Barber's coachability, adaptability, mental makeup, and work ethic as vital ingredients to her success: "Her ability to overcome setbacks and mental blocks that come along with this very mental event," points out Batherson.

Batherson has witnessed and played a key role in Barber's development from "kind of timid, bashful and shy to someone who just attacks it now. She's gotten much better at big meets when the pressure is on."

In an event which is many times "all or nothing" when it comes to clearing the bar, she has continued to improve each season, but says that the nervousness and anxiety that engulfs her prior to each meet has never dissipated. It's a nervousness that stems from - as hard as it is to believe -- a fear of heights.

"I'm always terrified - I get really nervous before meets," says Barber. "Sick to my stomach nervous, because I don't like heights, and the thought of having to go up high freaks me out. I know it's a terrible thing to be a pole vaulter and not like heights, but... I try not to think about it. I look at that bar and I say 'oh my God, I'm going to be throwing my body that high'. I just stare at the (plant) box. I try not to look at the bar because it just makes me uneasy. I think it's worse now than when I first started pole-vaulting."

"I just try and relax. I'm really nervous before the first jump, but then I just try and relax after that. I just try and have fun. I try not to stress out about winning and losing. I don't care about winning, but I want to do my best. I have to be happy about (my performance). Some people really get in the 'zone' and don't want to talk to anybody, but I can have conversations in-between my jumps - whether it be about my last jump or what we did last week. I don't like to focus on my jumps, which sounds really bad, but that creates anxiety, and I don't like that."

Until this season, Barber was the only fulltime female pole-vaulter in the program. When it came time to practice, she was just "one of the guys" along with former male jumpers Rory Maxell and Matt Pyne. During competition, she was a one-person team, preparing and competing on her own and absorbing the center spotlight. On one hand, she enjoyed the isolation that stemmed from training and competing as the program's only female pole-vaulter. But with that isolation came the spotlight when it was her turn to perform.

"I don't' like an audience,"Barber admits. "I think that I'm used to being my myself. I definitely don't like it when all of my teammates stand around and watch me (during meet). I need my mental space."

Batherson describes Barber's demeanor during competitions as "ideal". He will sometimes offer her advice between jumps, "but at this point, she knows what she needs to do, although she's open to suggestions."

In her final season this year, Barber was joined by sophomore newcomer Maggie Gibeault, daughter of the former Eastern pole vault recordholder, Dave. With Gibeault, Barber has enjoyed the interaction and social aspect, sharing training techniques with the first-semester sophomore.

"I used to feel separated from the girls' team, because I'm always with the guys, doing pole-vaulting stuff," noted Barber. "But now I have Maggie this year - at last we have another girl.It's nice to have someone to warm up with."

BarberFeatureLO.jpgGrowing up in Portland, Barber was introduced to the sport by her maternal grandfather, Keith Rumsey and uncle, Mark Rumsey. Keith, now in his late 80s, constructed a rudimentary box and pole vault pit in the Barber backyard which re-directed his granddaughter's interest from cross country and distance running to the pole vault.

At right: Keith Rumsey, Barber's materinal grandfather, tests the makeshirt pole vault pit he built for his granddaughter at her Portland home.

With girls' pole vaulting still in its infancy in the early years of the decade, Barber initially tried several different events at Portland High School before finally settling upon the pole vault, where she learned the basics under Portland HS assistant coach Arnie Liscomb. It was Liscomb who spent hours in practice and on weekends working with Barber, who also ran cross country at Porland under Eastern track alumnus Dave Kraszewski.

"I didn't take it very seriously at first in high school," admits Barber, who still stays in touch with Liscomb. "I would go to practice and jump for about a half-hour, and leave. I didn't really warm up or practice sprinting. I look back on it now and realize that I really should have focused on my event. But I liked the social aspect. I just went out and had fun. After my sophomore year (in high school), I focused on it more, but I never really worked on sprinting or owned a pair of spikes until I got to college."

After winning  two state championships in record-breaking fashion at the Class "S" high school, Barber was initially leaning toward attending Eastern, but ultimately chose Little East Conference rival University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the fall semester of 2006 - in part to satisfy her desire to attend college farther away from home. From the outset, however, the fit wasn't right, so she returned to her home state in December and enrolled at Eastern in time for the start of the spring semester.

While Barber may not have the prototypical pole vaulter's physique, she makes up for it by working hard on her technique and in the weight room.
"It's not the typical pole-vaulter figure, I guess," says Barber. "Typically, if you're taller, you have a higher plant, but if you're shorter, you have to work to have the higher plant. So, it's kind of like physics working against you, but it's not impossible. We're just little bundles of energy, I guess," she says with a laugh.

During the fall semesters, Barber has worked at a variety of on-campus and off-campus jobs in order to help defray the cost of her tuition. This past fall, she has moved back home with her mother, Linda, and makes the 35-minute commute to Eastern each morning. Since January, the English/Early Childhood Education major has been student teaching at the second grade level at Horace W. Porter School in nearby Columbia.

Barber says that she first got involved in track and field as a middle school student because it was fun. With her college career winding down, that hasn't changed.

"I've always tried to make it fun, especially this year because it's my last year. I'm really focusing on just having fun, and not necessarily winning. I want to do well for myself, but I just want to enjoy it, because who knows if I'll ever do it again."

W-LAX: BRIDGEWATER ENDS HEX

Bears get out quickly in each half  to pull away from Warriors, 20-10

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -  The Bridgewater State College women's lacrosse team scored six WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgunanswered goals within six minutes early in the first half and used a similar scoring burst to open the second half in posting a 20-10 non-conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Thursday afternoon.

The Eastern (6-9) loss was its first against Bridgewater (12-4) since 2001, when the host Bears captured an 9-8 overtime decision. Eastern had won the previous six meetings.

Coming off consecutive Little East Conference victories, Eastern dropped to 2-8 in non-conference games. Bridgewater, the two-time defending champion of the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA), won its ninth straight game and improved to 8-1 at home.

Four of Bridgewater's goal in its early first-half rush came on free position attempts, the Bears connecting on six of eight of those shots in the game. The Warriors never led in the game, as two of their top four scorers were shut out until the final six minutes.

Sophomore Kristin White and junior Jenny Jones outscored Eastern by one goal, combining for 11 strikes and two assists.

Led by senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) and junior defender Paige Booth (Hollis, NH), Eastern claimed half of the game's 30 draws.Sophomore defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) each had four ground balls.

Eastern closes out the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m., hosting Rhode Island College in a Little East Conference match. With Plymouth State University having upset LEC leader Keene State College Thursday, the Warriors will finish with a share of their fourth straight regular-season title with a triumph over Rhode Island. Depending how the conference interprets the tie-breakers, however, Eastern could be seeded third in the LEC tournament, necessitating its first appearance in a first-round game since defeating Western Connecticut, 13-7, on the road in 2004.

 

 

 

 

EASTERN SOFTBALL REGAINS NO. 1 RANKING IN NE COACHES' POLL

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Behind New England Pitcher-of-the-Week Molly Rathbun (Hebron), Eastern Connecticut State University defeated Brandeis University last Thursday as part of a 6-1 week that helped the Warriors regain the No..1 ranking in the sixth weekly NEISCA poll. The top ranking is the fourth in the last five weeks of the poll for Eastern, ranked 19th nationally. Named to the weekly pitching honor for the third time in five weeks, Rathbun (17-1) was 5-0 last week with a 1.09 ERA and 59 strikeouts and eight walks in 32 innings. Rathbun defeated Brandies, 3-2, pitching a complete-game two-hitter with 13 strikeouts over the then-No. 1-ranked Judges. The Warriors batted .303 in last week's seven games, led by sophomore DP Kassondra Silva (Hamden), freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and Rathbun. Silva batted .455, Cooper .381 and was perfect in the field on 19 chances, Sullivan .375 and Rathbun .348 with four home runs, nine RBI and 21 total bases.. Sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) batted .320 with six runs scored and 13 total bases. The Warriors host defending Little East Conference champion Rhode Island College Saturday at 1 p.m. Eastern leads the LEC with a 9-1 record.

 

EASTERN BASEBALL WINS 25TH GAME FOR 16TH STRAIGHT YEAR

 Backed by 14-hit attack, freshman pitcher Church subdues Manhattanville

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgPURCHASE, N.Y. -- Freshman righty Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA) remained unbeaten with his fourth win on the mound and sophomore catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) highlighted a 14-hit attack with three hits - including his first home run of the season - as Eastern won its 25th game in a season for the 16th straight year and 20th time in the last 21 years Wednesday afternoon.

Above: Steve Cammuso

A winner of six straight, Eastern (25-8) expanded a 2-1 lead by scoring three times in the top of the fifth, then put the game away with a four-run seventh. Junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) had a two-out,two-run double in the fifth and the Warriors opened the seventh with four straight hits, a two-run double by senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) chasing reliever Bashir Masani.

Six of Eastern's hits were doubles. Cammuso, batting ninth, gave Eastern a 1-0 lead with a solo home run with two out in the third. He doubled to ignite a two-out rally in the fifth and scored the first run of the inning, and singled and scored in the seventh.

Church dropped his ERA under 4.00 to 3.68 by allowing only one (earned ) run on five hits through the first six innings.He struck out five and walked four.

Batting leadoff, senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield) joined Cammuso with three hits. He scored twice and drove in two runs. The top three hitters in the lineup - Park, Bass and Schult - all drove in two runs. Junior centerfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacons Falls) had two hits and scored two runs.

The top-ranked New England team in both the ABCA (20th) and D3Baseball.com (15th) polls, Eastern won for the fifth time in as many meetings in this series with Manhattanville (16-18-1). The Valiants had lost only four of their previous 14 games after starting off the season 7-13.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday for a noon Little East Conference doubleheader.

 

 

W-LAX: EASTERN BREEZES

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  Warriors make case for second place in LEC by blasting UMass Dartmouth by 17-2 score

 NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Eastern LEClogo-1WEB.jpgConnecticut State University set the tone early and cruised to a 17-2 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in a Little East Conference women's lacrosse match at Cressy Field Tuesday afternoon.

Above: Taylor MacDonald (Kevin St. Pierre photo)

The win is the fourth straight in conference play following an opening loss for Eastern (6-8, 4-1 little east) and marks the Warriors' eighth straight over UMass Dartmouth (3-7, 1-4 little east). With the triumph, Eastern pulls into a two-way tie for second place in the conference with Plymouth State, a half game behind Keene State College (4-0 LEC). Keene's key contest at Plymouth Saturday was postponed due to rain.

If Eastern and Plymouth share second place in the final conference standings, the Warriors will be given the No. 2 seed and first-round tournament bye in next week's conference playoffs, due to their 17-10 victory over the Panthers 17 days ago.

Nine different players found the back of the net for Eastern, led by a game-high four goals by freshman midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange).  Senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) was also a key contributor, scoring three goals and notching a pair of assists after scoring a career-high eight goals in Saturday's 17-14 win over the University of Southern Maine.

Freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) stopped nine shots to earn her sixth win for Eastern. and senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) corraled five ground balls, won four draws and caused four turnovers to complement two goals and an assist.

The Warriors scored the game's first eight goals before junior attack Gillian Carey got the Corsairs on the board on a free position shot with 13:12 remaining in the first half.  Three minutes later, junior attack Samantha Wonson took a feed from freshman midfielder Heather Masse and scored to draw the Corsairs to within 8-2 and round out UMass Dartmouth's scoring for the day.  

The Warriors recovered and scored the game's final nine markers.  The Corsairs trailed 12-2 at halftime. 

Eastern faces host Bridgewater State College Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

 

 

 

BASEBALL: JUMBO VICTORY, 19-5

Behind 19-hit attack, Warriors drub New England's top-ranked team

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  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMEDFORD, Mass. -- Eastern Connecticut State University scored early and often on their  way to earning a 19-5 victory at Tufts University in non-conference college baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Huskins Field. The Warriors finished with 19 hits and took advantage of five errors and five wild pitches.

Above: Chris Cannata 

Senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) improved his two-year Eastern record to 13-1 with a four-hitter through seven innings and senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) extended his Eastern (24-8) career home run record to 45  and drove in four runs to lead Eastern over New England's No.1 ranked team. Eastern is ranked fourth

Junior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington) was 3-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBI and hit his first career home run. Senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield) had three hits including a double and triple and scored three runs and drove in three and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA)  hit his sixth home run of the year and drove in three runs .

A winner of five straight, Eastern (24-8) defeated Tufts (21-5) for the third straight time, handing the Jumbos their first home loss of the season after eight wins. Tufts has lost two straight after 11 consecutive victories.

Eastern visits Manhattanville College Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

SOFTBALL: EASTERN SWEEPS

Rathbun wins 14th straight, Cooper homers in each game against Trinity

cooper_raw_5551.jpgHARTFORD, Conn. - Sophomore righty

WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg Molly Rathbun (Hebron) won her 14th straight game  and extended her consecutive shutout streak to 22 1/3 innings and freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) homered in each game as the No. 19 Eastern Connecticut State University softball team swept Trinity College in a non-conference doubleheader, 5-0, 6-2 Tuesday afternoon

Above: Arielle Cooper.

Rathbun (17-1) tossed her eighth shutout in 15 starts this year in the opener, winning her14th straight decision.  She pitched a two-hitter  with eight strikeouts and Cooper drove in three runs with a three-run home run in the sixth.

In the second game, senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull), Rathbun and Cooper all homered and four Eastern (24-4-1) pitchers combined on the mound  as the Warriors improved their record to 16-2-1 since returning from Florida.

Ranked No. 2 in New England, Eastern scored five runs in the top of the seventh in the second game to erase a one-run deficit and Rathbun struck out the side in the bottom of the inning. Freshman pinch hitter Kelly Paterson (Southington)  led off the top of the seventh with a double and  freshman pinch runner Courtney Weber (Groton) tied the game on an infield error. Sullivan and Rathbun followed with home runs, Sullivan's giving the Warriors a 4-2 lead.

In the sweep, Cooper drove in four runs and had two hits to extend her hitting streak to six. Sophomore Kassondra Silva (Hamden), who did not figure in the decision as the second-game starter, had three hits in the twinbill, and Sullivan had three hits, two RBI and two runs scored.

Freshman righty Christine Akcer (Milford) won her sixth game in eight decisions in relief in the second game. She allowed only two hits and no runs before giving way to Rathbun to start the seventh. Ratbhun has not allowed a run in her last five appearances. The streak began when she pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in an 8-3 win at the University of Southern Maine three days ago.

Eastern visits Bridgewater State College in a non-conference doubleheader Thursday at 3:30 p.m

 

 

 


 

 

M-LAX: EASTERN DUMPS WESTERN

Warriors clinch second place and bye in next week's LEC playoffs

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- Western Connecticut State University went scoreless for 26 minutes after scoring three of the game's first four goals as Eastern Connecticut State University remained unbeaten against the Colonials with its ninth victory in the series, a 14-6 Little East Conference win that secured the No. 2 slot in next week's conference playoffs.

At right: Eric Vasil

Eastern (10-4, 5-1 little east), which has now won at least ten matches 13 times in the program's 15-year history, clinches a bye into the LEC playoff semifinals a week from Thursday as the No. 2 seed and will host that game. Keene State College clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming LEC playoffs and at least a share of the regular-season title with a 15-7 win over visiting Plymouth State.

Eastern junior mifielder Eric Vasil (Southington), the national leader in ground balls per game and second-ranked in faceoff percentage, won 22 of 24 faceoffs against five different Western ((5-9, 3-3 little east) and picked up 17 ground balls. Senior crease attackman Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) led the Warriors with four goals and freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) made 14 saves. Vasil was this week's LEC and ECAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week and Berube the LEC Rookie-of-the-Week.

Senior attackman Adam Lanehart, Western's second-leading scorer, scored his team's first three goals and powered the Colonials to an early 3-1 advantage early in the second period. However, Lanehart was held scoreless after that until breaking through with 21 seconds left in the third period with his team trailing 10-3.

Western leading scorer Sean Macey and Eastern scoring leader Grant Albertson were both held without a goal, Macy being contained by Eastern sophomore defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) and  Albertson by Western sophomore defenseman Brandon Hall. Albertson managed two assists, Macey one.

Western capitalized on nine extra-man advantages by scoring four man-up goals, two coming in succession late in the third period after the Warriors had scored nine straight goals.

The match featured the last two LEC playoff champions in Eastern (2009) and Western (2008). The 2009 championship was Eastern's sixth.

Eastern closes out the regular season Saturday at Salem State College in a conference game at 7 p.m. The Vikings dropped two games behind Eastern in the standings with a 10-9 home loss to UMass Dartmouth.

FOUR FROM EASTERN RECEIVE LITTLE EAST WEEKLY AWARDS

Musson, Rathbun, Vasil, Berube cited for performances last week

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 NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Four members of the Eastern Connecticut State University LEClogo-1WEB.jpgspring athletic teams have been recognized with weekly honors by the Little East Conference for the week ending April 25.

At left: Will Musson

In baseball, senior right-handed pitcher Will Musson (Wethersfield) was named Pitcher-of-the-Week and in softball, sophomore All-America righty Molly Rathbun  (Hebron) received the identical honor; and in men's lacrosse, junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week and freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) was tabbed Rookie-of-the-Week.

rathbunCGA_5510.jpgMusson was honored for the first time in his two-year Eastern career, Rathbun for the ninth time in her two-year career, Vasil for the fourth time in his three-year career and Berube for the third time this season. Rathbun has been named Pitcher-of-the-Week six times in her career, Player-of-the-Week once and Rookie-of-the-Week twice. Vasil is being recognized as Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the second time this year.

At right: Molly Rathbun

Musson (3-0-1, 5.65) appeared in three of the team's games five games last week, winning one and saving one. He defeated Trinity College, 8-1, pitching the first seven innings, striking out a career-high 13, allowing three hits and three walks and one run to avenge his only loss at Eastern in 13 decisions. In a 6-5  win over Rhode Island College Saturday which moved the Warriors into first place in the LEC, the All-New England Region pitcher tossed the final inning to earn his first save of the season. He fanned 16 and walked three with a 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. Ranked fourth in New England, Eastern (23-8) visits top-ranked Tufts University Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Below: Eric Vasil

vasil 180_0748.jpgA freshman All-America, Rathbun won all six games in a 6-1 week last week - four as a starter and two in relief to equal her 16-win total (against one loss) of a year ago. During the week, she struck out 58 batters in 32 innings with only seven walks. She struck out at least ten batters in three of her four starts and  fanned nine in the other. In a 3-2 win over Brandeis University --- ranked No. 1 in New England - Rathbun pitched a complete-game two-hitter with 13 strikeouts and one walk and drove in all three runs - two coming on a first-inning two-run home run In a span of less than 24 hours, she pitched two complete games with 28 strikeouts. Saturday, she fanned 16 in an 8-3 win over Southern Maine in Gorham, ME - tying the program's 33-year-old record for strikeouts in a game, and Sunday pitched a five-hitter at Keene State College with 12 strikeouts. In 19 appearances this year, Rathbun has a 0.65 ERA with 166 strikeouts and 28 walks in 107 1/3 innings with 14 complete games in 14 starts and seven shutouts.

Offensively last week, Rathbun batted .350 with a team-high nine RBI and three home runs Berube_4900.JPGand  a .500 on-base percentage and .850 slugging percentage.  She currently leads the team with a .417 batting average and with five home runs, 52 total bases, 27 RBI and a .722 slugging percentage.

Eastern visits Trinity College Tuesday at 3 p.m. in a non-conference makeup doubleheader.

At right: Donald Berube

On Tuesday, Vasil was also named co-recipient of the ECAC New England Defensive Player-of-the-Week. In two Little East Conference wins last week, Vasil won 35 of  44 faceoffs (79.5 per cent) and picked up 28 ground balls. Against UMass Boston, he won 20 of 22 faceoffs and scooped up 20 groundballs. During the week, he exceeded 200 ground balls for the second straight season (208) - becoming the only player to have reached that total in a season in program history. Last year's national leader in ground balls per game and faceoff percentage, Vasil is currently ranked first nationally in ground balls (17.3) and second in faceoff percentage (.743)  in Division III this year.

Berube (8-3) backstopped the Warriors with a 7.01 GAA and .633 save percentage in conference wins over UMass Dartmouth and UMass Boston that improved Eastern's all-time record in conference regular-season games to 56-3. He made 19 saves in 94 minutes, a career-high 16 coming in the home win over UMass Dartmouth over the first 49 minutes.

Eastern hosts conference foe Western Connecticut Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on Seniors' Night.

EASTERN'S LOWE DOUBLE WINNER AT LITTLE EAST/NEA CHAMPIONSHIPS

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           In men's track & field, Edwardsen wins 110 hurdles in record-setting time

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Newcomers took center stage for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field program at the 13th Annual Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships Saturday.

At right: Brian Lowe

First-year junior transfer Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) won the Little East Conference and New England Alliance 100 championships and the LEC 200 meter title, freshman Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) captured the  conference and alliance 110 hurdles in program-record time, and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) qualified for  next month's New England Division III Championships  in the long jump and triple jump.

Eastern recorded a fourth-place finish among six LEC teams and was sixth in an 11-team NEA field. The University of Southern Maine won its third straight LEC title since the Warriors won the sixth of six straight crowns, and claimed its second  NEA championship in a row since unseating 11-time champ Westfield State College.

Lowe became only the third Eastern male to win both the Little East 100 and 200 events at this meet, joining David Pavia (2006) and Jason Edwards (2002). He was timed in 11.17 in the 100 and 22.60 in the 200. He topped a field of 40 to win the alliance title in the 100 and bested 31 other competitors in taking the LEC 200.

No previous Eastern male prior to Edwardsen had ever won the LEC or NEA 110 hurdles championships. He broke his own program record with a time of 15.43 in the trials, the improved on that with a winning time of 15.27 in the finals. His time qualified him for next month's ECAC Division III and New England Open Championships.

In all, Fitzpatrick earned All-NEA and All-LEC recognition in the triple jump, long jump and pole vault. In the LEC, he was second in the long and triple jump and fourth in the pole vault; in the NEA, he was fourth in the triple jump, tied for sixth in the pole vault, and was eighth in the long jump. Lowe gained All-NEA or All-LEC recognition eight times in the relays, 100, 200 and pole vault.

In addition to Edwardsen and Fitzpatrick, junior Mike D'Elia (Windham) earned a spot in post-season competition when he qualified for the New England Division III Championships in the 400 hurdles. The 4x100 and 4x400 relays also posted season-bests, improving their standings for post-season competition.

Eastern athletes earned All-LEC and/or All-NEA honors a total of 33 times, 29 of them going to first-year performers. Those honors went to the top six individuals and top two relays in LEC scoring and first eight individuals and first three relays in NEA scoring.

Eastern competes at the New England Division III Championships this weekend at Tufts University.

All-New England Alliance (14)

Mike D'Elia   400H   4th
Tyler Edwardsen  4x100   3rd
Tyler Edwardsen  110H   1st
Joshua Fitzpatrick  Pole Vault  t-6th
Joshua Fitzpatrick  Long Jump  8th
Joshua Fitzpatrick  Triple Jump  4th
Brian Lowe   4x100   3rd
Brian Lowe   100   1st
Brian Lowe   200   3rd
Brian Lowe   Pole Vault  5th
Nicholas Pates  4x100   3rd
Corey Simpson  4x100   3rd
Corey Simpson  100   5th
Corey Simpson  200   8th


All-Little East Conference  (19)

Tim Callahan  400   6th
Mike D'Elia   400H   2nd
James DiBeneditto  Discus  6th
Tyler Edwardsen  110H   1st
Tyler Edwardsen  4x100   2nd
Joshua Fitzpatrick  Triple Jump  2nd
Joshua Fitzpatrick  Long Jump  2nd
Joshua Fitzpatrick  Pole Vault  4th
Brian Lowe   200   1st
Brian Lowe   100   1st
Brian Lowe   4x100   2nd
Brian Lowe   Pole Vault  3rd
Casey McGarvey  800   6th
Nicholas Pates  4x100   2nd
Corey Simpson  100   2nd
Corey Simpson  4x100   2nd
Corey Simpson  200   3rd
Alex Verrill   Long Jump  t-3rd
Alex Verrill   High Jump  6th

 

 


 

RATHBUN STOPS KEENE AS EASTERN SOFTBALL SPLITS DOUBLEHEADER

Warriors retain two-game lead in LEC standings after second-game loss

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  LEClogo-1WEB.jpgKEENE, NH - Sophomore All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched a complete-game five-hitter with 12 strikeouts and hit her third home run in four games to lead the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to a 3-0 Little East Conference win over Keene State College in the first game of a makeup doubleheader Sunday morning at Keene Athletic Complex.

Above: Katie O'Toole

In the second game, Keene (20-11-1, 7-3 little east) handed Eastern (22-4-1, 9-0 little east) its first conference loss with an 8-2 victory that broke Eastern's overall 12-game unbeaten streak (11-0-1).

In the opener, Rathbun (16-1) stymied the Owls for the second time in as many career starts, whiffing 12 and walking two and scattering five hits to post her 14th shutout in 35 career starts and equaling her win total of a year ago. Less than 24 hours earlier, Rathbun had tied the Eastern record with 16 strikeouts in an 8-3 conference win at the University of Southern Maine. Rathbun has won the team's last seven games.

Rathbun provided the only offense Eastern would need in the first game when she poked a two-run home run to center to break a scoreless duel with Keene sophomore righty Courtney Savoie. The homer was her team-leading fifth of the season. All-region sophomore outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) was aboard on Rathbun's home run. She walked to open the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by all-region senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull). In the seventh, freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) singled, stole second and came across on Alicea's two-out single to add an insurance run that came in handy after Keene loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning. Rathbun left the bags loaded with a game-ending strikeout.

Eastern wheeled out regular leftfielder Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) to make her second start of the season on the mound in the second game, and the Owls exacted revenge. Keene collected ten hits - half for extra bases - and scored two runs in four different innings. All four Eastern pitchers saw action, with Rathbun finally restoring order by striking out the side in the sixth in her only inning of work.

Senior Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) came off the bench to knock in both Eastern runs with a pinch two-run single in the fourth that cut Keene's lead in half. Cooper and sophomore second baseman Christine Yeomans (Durham) began the two-out rally with singles and Manzo walked to load the bases for O'Toole, who drove in her 11th and 12th runs of the season.

Batting at the top of the lineup, all-conference sisters Haley and Laura Chandler of Keene combined for five hits, six runs and three RBI. Laura scored the first run of the game in the first inning and Haley made it 3-0 in the third with a leadoff home run. Haley also doubled in a run in the fourth and singled and scored in the sixth.

Eastern holds a two-game lead in the conference standings with four regular-season games to play. Defending champion Rhode Island College began the day tied with Keene with a 6-2 conference record and was hosting UMass Boston in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. The Warriors are looking for their first LEC outright title in 15 years of regular-season LEC competition.

Eastern hosts Massachusetts Dartmouth in a conference doubleheader Monday at 3 p.m. at the University of Connecticut softball field.

 

 

 

 

W-TRACK: TWO RECORDS BROKEN AT LITTLE EAST/NEA CHAMPIONSHIPS

Eastern's finishers.pdf

Mills runs fastest 400 hurdles in 26 years; Barber breaks own PV record

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Senior Monica Mills (East Hartford) broke the Eastern Connecticut State University women's outdoor track & field program's 26-year-old record in the 400 meter hurdles at the 13th Annual Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships Saturday.

At right: Monica Mills

A four-year letterwinner,  Mills was timed in 1:08.18 in placing fourth in the LEC and fifth the NEA scoring, breaking the record of 1:08.60 set by Rolande Morisseau in 1984.

Eastern registered a fourth-place finish among five LEC teams and was seventh in an 11-team NEA field. The University of Southern Maine won its 11th straight LEC title (12th in all) and claimed its tenth NEA championship - regaining that title after Westfield State College broke its nine-game winning streak last year.

Mills broke her previous personal-best of 1:10.31, set at Wesleyan University during her freshman season, and gave her automatic entrance into next month's New England Division III Championships.  In the 400 hurdles, Mills was third in LEC scoring last year and fifth in the NEA scoring.

Mills' record was one of two set by the team at the meet. She joined senior Erika Barber (Portland), who broke her own program record in the pole vault with a mark of 10-feet-8 inches, which was enough to give her second place in both the LEC and NEA scoring, improve upon her previous record of 10- 3 14, and qualify her for next month's ECAC Division III Championships.  It marked the tenth time in her career that Barber reached or exceeded ten feet. Barber had captured both the LEC and NEA titles in the event as a sophomore in 2008 and has never finished lower than third in the competition.

First-year sophomore transfer Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) won an individual championship for the Warriors, becoming the fourth Eastern runner in as many years to win the 10,000 meter run. Quinones (41:25.69), who ran to All-NEA honors in cross country last fall, outran a field of 14 in NEA competition and led six other LEC runners to post a 15 second victory over Southern Maine junior Tiffany Binette. Previous Eastern 10,000 champions were Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire) last year and Nidia Gonzalez Lopez in both 2007 and 2008.

Eastern athletes earned All-LEC and/or All-NEA honors a total of 22 times. Those honors went to the top six individuals and top two relays in LEC scoring and first eight individuals and first three relays in NEA scoring.

Eastern competes at the New England Division III Championships this weekend at Tufts University.

All-New England Alliance (7)

Erika Barber   Pole Vault 2nd
Sandra Brautigam  100H  7th
Denica Gagnon  High Jump 7th
Kristianna Ibsen  Javelin 2nd
Monica Mills  400H  5th
Amanda Quinones  10,000 1st
Amanda Quinones  5,000  3rd 

All-Little East Conference  (15)

Roxanne Atterbury  400  4th
Roxanne Atterbury  200  5th
Erika Barber   Pole Vault 2nd
Sandra Brautigam  100H  5th
Meghan Clough  High Jump t-5th
Denica Gagnon  High Jump 4th
Cora Gingras  Triple Jump 3rd
Cora  Gingras  Long Jump 5th
Melissa Healy  10,000 6th
Kristianna Ibsen  Javelin 2nd
Kristianna Ibsen  Hammer 5th
Kristianna Ibsen  Discus 6th
Monica Mills  400H  4th
Amanda Quinones  10,000 1st
Amanda Quinones  5,000  3rd 

 

 

FAST STARTS PROPEL EASTERN MEN'S LACROSSE OVER UMB, 15-7

Warriors get out quickly in first and second halves in Little East victory

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgBOSTON --  The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team used fast starts  to open the first and second halves on the way to a 15-7 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon.

At right: Brian Fechtmann

The win is the second straight - both in conference play - for Eastern (9-4, 4-1 little east) and 17th without a loss all-time against UMass Boston (4-9, 0-5 little east). The victory allows Eastern to remain a game behind conference leader Keene State College, which disposed of visiting Western Connecticut State University Saturday. Eastern and Western had begun the day tied for second in the conference.

The Warriors scored the first four goals of the match - two by junior attack Brian Fechtmann (Levittown, NY) and rolled up a 6-1 lead after one quarter. Leading 7-3 at the half, Eastern got out of the gates quickly in the second half, with senior attack Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) scoring two of the team's first three goals to push Eastern's lead to 10-3.

Now 56-3 in ten years of regular-season conference competition, Eastern was successful on all but four of its 39 clears, scored three extra-man goals and more than doubled UMass Boston's shot total.

Junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) won 20 of 22 faceoffs and scooped up 18 of the team's 35 ground balls. Ranked first nationally in ground balls per game and second in faceoff percentage, Vasil averages 14.0 ground balls per game with a 74.3 faceoff percentage.

Freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) made three first-half saves before giving way to sophomore Jamie Tommins (Fairfield), who shared  second-half  net responsibilities with freshmen Drew Deane (Vernon) and Kyle Davenport (Colchester).

Eastern hosts Western Connecticut Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on Seniors' Night.


 

EASTERN SOFTBALL SWEEPS, REMAINS PERFECT IN LITTLE EAST

Rathbun wins both ends of doubleheader for third time, ties K-record

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgGORHAM, Maine - The Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team extended three streaks Saturday following an 8-3, 6-5 Little East Conference doubleheader sweep of the University of Southern Maine at Towers Field on the USM campus.

At right: Molly Rathbun

Ranked 19th nationally and second in New England, Eastern (21-3-1, 8-0 little east) remained the only undefeated team in the Little East Conference by winning its eighth straight, extended its overall unbeaten streak this year to 11 (10-0-1) and stretched its winning streak in one-run games this year to five.

Sophomore All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) won her 30th and 31st career games in 46 appearances winning both ends of a doubleheader for the third time this season. Rathbun (16-1), who has won the team's last five decisions, pitched a complete-game three-hitter in the first game - strikeout out the first six batters she faced -- and tying the program record of 16 strikeouts set 33 years ago by Cindy Chodkowski in the ninth game in program history (Rathbun had twice previously fanned 15 in a game).She struck out four without giving up a hit over the final two innings of the nightcap and gained the win after the Warriors tied the game in the fifth and won it in the seventh.

Eastern tied the second game in the fifth on Rathbun's leadoff home run - her team-leading fourth of 2010 - and scored the go-ahead run in the  seventh on freshman third basman Arielle Cooper's (Mystic) two-out RBI double.

Eastern has now won at least 20 games five straight seasons and for the sixth time in the last seven years under ninth-year head coach Diana Pepin.

In the doubleheader, Rathbun gave up only three hits and three runs in nine innings with 20 strikeouts and two walks. Sophomore Kassondra Silva (Hamden) had five hits and two RBI, sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) four hits, three RBI and three runs scored and Cooper, senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull), Rathbun and senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) three hits each. Alicea also hit her first home run of the season - a three-run shot that gave the Warriors a 4-0 lead in the second inning of the nightcap. Four of Eastern's second-game runs were unearned.

Now 13-1-1 up north, the Warriors lashed 15 hits in the opener - 14 of them singles -- against complete-game loser Sarah Deroche (4-10), who also walked five without a strikeout. Silva and Sullivan each collected three hits, Church and Alicea two each. Church scored two runs and Silva drove in two.

In less than two years, Rathbun is already ranked third all-time at Eastern with 357 strikeouts, trailing only Christia Mohan (429) and Lindsay Savelle (409).

Eastern plays Keene State College in an LEC makeup doubleheader Sunday at 10 a.m. (time change from 1 p.m. due to expected rain). Keene retained a share of second place in the conference (two games behind Eastern) with defending champion Rhode Island College by sweeping visiting UMass Dartmouth 7-1 and 10-0 (in five innings) Saturday.


 

 

 

 

EASTERN SWEEPS RHODE ISLAND, RE-GAINS FIRST PLACE IN LEC

Warriors collect 26 hits, belt four home runs in 13-8, 6-5 baseball sweep

Fontaine_5362.JPGMANSFIELD, Conn. - Junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) pitched into the sixth LEClogo-1WEB.jpginning as the first game's winning pitcher and sparked a 26-hit attack with five hits on the afternoon as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team knocked Rhode Island College out of the top spot in the Little East Conference with 13-8, 6-5 victories Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Matt Fontaine pitched into the eighth inning for the first time this year.

Ranked fourth in New England and No. 20 in Division III, Eastern (23-8, 7-3 little east) takes over sole possession of first place in the conference. Eastern had begun the day sharing second place with UMass Dartmouth and Keene State, but UMass Dartmouth split with Western Connecticut and Keene  split with UMass Boston, which leaves Rhode Island, UMass Dartmouth and Keene State all sharing second place with 6-4 conference records.

The first of six pitchers in the first game, Schult allowed nine hits with five strikeouts and three walks in earning the victory. In his longest stint this year, senior righty Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) pitched an eight-hitter with five strikeouts and four walks in 7 2/3 innings of the nightcap and left on the long end of a 6-5 lead. In his first relief appearance of the year, senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) recorded the final four outs to preserve Fontaine's fourth win against a loss and earn his second save at Eastern. Musson ended the eighth inning with a strikeout after junior Greg Palmer chased Fontaine with a two-out, two-run single, and stranded the go-ahead run on second in the top of the ninth by getting a strikeout and ground ball to first to end the game.

In addition to Schult, senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield) and junior corner infielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) both had four hits. Parke reached safely six times on the day and scored five runs and plated two; Turgeon scored three times and drove in three runs. Junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) drove in three runs with three hits and scored two runs and now has a team-leading 46 RBI on the season.  After collecting two hits in the first game, Parke led off the bottom of the first inning of the nightcap with his 200th career hit - a double -- becoming the 17th player in program history to do so.

Eleven of Eastern's 26 hits on the day went for extra bases, with Parke, Turgeon, Dewing and junior centerfielder Joe Cousineau (Newingon) all hitting home runs. Schult also doubled twice.

Fontaine outdueled Rhode Island (17-12, 6-4 little east) junior righty Gary Levesque in Game 2. Levesque, who brought a 0.36 ERA into action (22 strikeouts and two walks in 25.0 innings), gave up 11 hits and all six Eastern runs over the first seven innings and departed with his team trailing 6-3. Eastern's second-game win was its 12th straight over the Rhode Island.

Freshman rightfielder Kevin Carey, sophomore third baseman John Stone and senior centerfielder Jared Rossi all had three hits for Rhode Island and Palmer, Carey, sophomore shortstop Kyle Allaire, Levesque, and senior first baseman Tim Schabowski all drove in two runs.  Levesque and Schabowski each hit home runs. Levesque backed his own second-game pitching with a two-run fifth-inning home run which pulled the Anchormen to within 4-3.

Eastern visits Amherst College Sunday at noon in a game initially rained out March 31. The start of the game was switched from 1 p.m. to noon.

 


 

COMEBACK PRESERVES EASTERN LACROSSE'S LITTLE EAST VICTORY

 Run of eight straight goals lifts Warriors over Southern Maine by 17-16

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LEClogo-1WEB.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - The most successful program in the history of the Little East Conference, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team hasn't had to play catch-up very often.

Saturday, they did.

At right: Paige Booth (Kevin St. Pierre photo)

Trailing by four goals at the outset of the game and by five in the opening minute of the second half, Eastern (5-8, 3-1 little east) scored eight consecutive goals, then salted away the final minutes of play once in possession of the lead in a 17-16 conference victory over the University of Southern Maine at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Five different players contributed to the eight-goal outburst, three coming from sophomore midfielder Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) and two from senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY). Back-to-back goals by senior midfielder Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford) and senior attack Katie Beers (Trumbull) resulted with the Warriors playing with the extra person after Southern Maine junior midfielder Jessica Martineau was whistled for  three-minute penalty with nine minutes into the second half.

Leading 16-15 with 7:36 left, the Warriors maintained possession throughout most of the remaining time to ensure their 12th win over Southern Maine (6-8, 0-3 little east) without a loss.

A key play in the final minutes came after freshman attack Shelby Turcotte's third goal of the match had pulled the Huskies to within 16-15.After the visitors regained possession with an opportunity to tie the match, Eastern junior defender Paige Booth (Hollis, NH) drew a charge, returning the ball to the Warriors. Moments later, Prizio scored an unassisted goal - her team-leading 34th of the season - to give Eastern a two-goal edge with five minutes left.

Southern Maine freshman Samantha Kiesel - the conference leader in save percentage --  stopped ten shots in the first half  and senior midfielder Jessica Knight scored six times as the Huskies dominated the first half of play. The visitors raced to a 5-1 lead and after freshman midfielder Lauren Santo's scored an unassisted goal 30 seconds into the second half, the Huskies held a five-goal, 12-7 lead.

Ranked second in the LEC in goals, Knight scored a team-leading seven for USM and Wayte of Eastern recorded a career-high eight for the Warriors. Prizio added five for the Warriors. Eastern freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) needed only two saves in the second half in limiting USM to five goals. Sophomore defender Megan Barrett (Setaucket, NY) led all players in the game with six ground balls and also caused a game-high three turnovers.  Prizio won five draws, Wayte four and freshman midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) four.

The Warriors won 20 of 35 faceoffs, with senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs) winning 16 of 26 attempts and Marchitto four of nine.

Senior midfielder Mary Vaughan and senior defender Alison Bradley were each credited with four ground balls and and freshman midfielder Haley Jordan  and Santo combined to win seven draws.

Eastern , which has won three straight conference matches, visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 4 p.m.


 

Rathbun pitches, hits Warriors past Judges; Game 2 cancelled: darkness

rathbun HR slides_9630.jpgWALTHAM, Mass. --  Behind sophomore All-America pitcher/DP Molly Rathbun (Hebron), Eastern Connecticut State University won the battle of New England's top-rated and nationally-ranked teams, edging Brandeis University, 3-2, Thursday afternoon at Marcus Field. The second game was cancelled after four innings due to darkness with the teams tied, 3-3 .

Rathbun (13-1) pitched a complete-game two-hitter with 13 strikeouts and only one walk  and drove in all three runs with a two-run home run in the top of the first and an RBI single in the third. The home run was the team-leading third of the season for Rathbun , who has won ten straight pitching decisions this year and improved to 29-8 in her two-year career. She has 131 strikeouts and 23 walks this year and has fanned at least 11 batters in six of her 12 starts.

Eastern is ranked No. 1 in New England and No. 19 in Division III; Brandeis is No. 2 in New England and No. 14 nationally. They are the only New England teams ranked in the most recent NFCA Top 25. The Warriors are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and Brandeis was 15-1-1 in its previous 17.  It was the first meeting ever between the programs.

Rathbun outdueled Brandeis junior ace Emily Vaillette (12-4), who scattered six hits and walked two in the route-going performance. Vaillette walked Eastern sophomore rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) to open the game. Alicea was sacrificed to second by senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and Rathbun knocked in her team-leading 20th and 21st runs of the game with her two-run shot. In the third, Sullivan extended her hitting streak to six games with a with a one-out, opposite field double to right and Rathbun singled her in to make it 3-0.

Facing a team with a .344 batting  average, Rathbun retired 16 in a row after issuing a leadoff walk - getting the first six outs via strikeout - before the Judges broke up her no-hit bid with a one-out single in the sixth and a two-run home run by leadoff hitter Melisa Cagar. Rathbun got successive ground balls to end the sixth and closed out with a 1-2-3 seventh that included two punchouts. Brandeis' top three hitters this season - each batting .380 or higher - were 0-for-9 and struck out five times.

Eastern is now 4-0 in one-run games this season.

In the second game which was eventually cancelled, Eastern scored three times in the top of the first but Brandeis bounced back to tie the game in the bottom of the second by scoring three unearned against sophomore righty Kassondra Silva (Hamden) on two hits and two Eastern errors.  Eastern knocked out Brandeis senior righty Allie Mussen in the first by scoring three times - the third run being driven in by senior shortstop Kim Church's (Farmington) RBI double - but left the bases loaded.

Eastern visits the University of Southern Maine Saturday for a 1 p.m. Little East Conference doubleheader.

 

W-LAX: NO. 5 TRINITY TOO MUCH

Bantams wrap 12 straight goals around halftime in rolling to 18-6 win

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. -- Trinity College scored 12 consecutive goals - the final seven of the first half and first four of the second half - to defeat Eastern Connecticut State University for the seventh time in as many meetings in this series in a non-conference game, 18-6, Thursday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Ashley Del Vecchio

Three of Trinity's (11-1) goals in that span of a dozen came in succession while an Eastern player served a three-minute penalty after being flagged for a dangerous play. Eight different Trinity players contributed at least one of those 12 straight goals and 11 players in the game had at least a goal or assist for the Bantams, ranked No. 5 in Division III.

Alison Urquhart of Trinity had three goals and won five of seven faceoffs, with Caitlin Irvine and Kaitlin Hildebrand each winning three draws. Freshman  Haley Thompson scored the first three goals of her career for the Bantams. Five different players scored a free-position goal for Trinity, which missed only one of those shots in the match.

Eastern freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made eight saves, seven coming when Trinity outshot Eastern 19-4 over the first 30 minutes. Eastern had a 14-10 edge in shots in the second half, outscoring the Bantams 7-4 over the final  17 minutes.

Sophomore midfielder Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) won four draws for Eastern and senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) won five faceoffs and three draws. MacDonald and senior attack Courtney Bedocs (Hamden) each had two goals.

Eastern's goal total was its lowest since dropping a season-opening home game by an identical score to Babson College, currently ranked tenth nationally.

Eastern returns to Little East Conference action Saturday, hosting the University of Southern Maine at 1 p.m. The Warriors have won two straight conference games after losing their season-opening and currently share second place in the LEC with Plymouth State. Southern Maine is 0-2 in conference competition.

W-BASKETBALL: COLEMAN FETED

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colemanspeaking72dpi_7211.jpgFormer Eastern four-time women's basketball All-America Allison Coleman was inducted into the Connecticut Womens Basketball Hall of Fame Wednesday night during 23rd annual induction ceremonies at the Cascade Banquet Facility in Hamden.  The Jewett City native is the only player in program history with as many as 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. The 5-foot-9 inch Coleman is the only four-time All-America in NCAA women's basketball history, earned  a spot on the select ten-player team each season between 2001 and 2004. With Coleman, the coleman72dpi7212.jpgWarriors won 101 of 118 games - their best four-year stretch in program history - and reached the NCAA Division III national championship game. Inducted into the "College Player" category, Coleman, shown at right with her presenter -- current head coach Denise Bierly -- became the fifth member of the program to receive induction honors. She joins former head coach Bob Miller and former players Patti Ferraro, Robin Gaby and Kathy Regan. Miller, Gaby and Regan are all members of the Eastern/E-Club Hall of Fame.

BASEBALL: EASTERN DECKS CARDS

Warriors score four times in last at-bat to claim wild win, 18-16

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn.  --- In a game called after eight innings due to darkness, Eastern Connecticut State University (21-8), ranked fourth in New England, scored the final six runs of the contest to post its 15th consecutive win over Wesleyan University (21-8) since 1994 in an 18-16 slugfest Wednesday.

At right: Steve Cammuso 

The Warriors took the lead for good with four runs, all with two outs, off the seventh Wesleyan pitcher of the day, junior Joe Giaimo, who began the game at first base and hit a solo home run in the second inning.  Eastern began the eighth inning down 16-14 and made two quick outs on grounders to second base.  Junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) then picked up his second hit of the game with a liner to right.  A hard grounder by senior MelvinCastillo (Danbury) was deflected by Wesleyan freshman shortstop Chris Bonti into right centerfield as it went for a double, putting runners at second and third.  Castillo finished the game 4-for-6 with six RBI as he blasted a titanic homer to left for a pair of runs in the fifth inning.  Following a walk to load the bases, sophomore Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) delivered his second hit of the game with a single up the middle to drive in Schult and Castillo, tying the game at 16-16.  Schult scored five times in the contest.  A chop infield single by senior Travis Bass (West Hartford), who went 5-for-6 with four RBI and a pair of runs, drove in the go-ahead run from third and it proved to be the game-winner.  The fourth hit of the day by junior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich)  brought in an insurance run, making it an 18-16 final.  

Wesleyan, which rallied from a 10-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the fourth  to take a 16-12 lead behind a 10-run fifth  frame, got runners to second and third with one out in the bottom of the 8th.  But senior righty Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) -- a starter throughout his career -- got out of the trouble with a strikeout and a great running catch by shortstop Bass on a bloop into shallow left field by pinch-hitter sophomore Mike Barsotti to gain his second  career save.  Each team finished the game with 18 hits and two errors and combined to employ 15 pitchers.

In scoring ten uns to erase what was a 12-6 shortcoming at the time, Wesleyan sent 14 men to the plate, producing eight hits in the fifth.  The Cardinals took the lead for the first time in the game on Bonti's RBI infield single.  Three more runs scored when sophomore Kyle Weiss walked with the bases loaded and junior Julian Sonnenfeld smacked a two-run single to right, making it 16-12.  Sonnenfeld led Wesleyan with his 4-for-5 effort along with three RBI and two runs.  Both senior Brice Kelly and junior Ryan Coffey added three hits for the Cardinals.

The seventh of eight Eastern pitchers, junior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) pitched  2 1/3 scoreless innings to gain his third win against two losses. Wojick's stint was the longest among the staff's seven relief pitchers as he gave up two hits while walking and striking out one.Wojick got the final out of Wesleyan's ten-run fifth that boosted it into a 16-12 lead and gave way to Fontaine after the first two hitters of the eighth reached safely.

Senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) went 0-for-2, ending his 13-game hitting streak.

Eastern hosts Rhode Island College Saturday at noon in a Little East doubleheader

Game account courtesy of Wesleyan University Sports Information
   

W-LACROSSE: BALANCED EASTERN EXTENDS WINNING STREAK, 19-15

Warriors now 14-0 all-time vs. Western following Little East victory

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgDANBURY, Conn. -- With a five-goal run to start the game, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team defeated Western Connecticut State University for the 14th time without a loss, 19-15, Tuesday afternoon in a Little East Conference game at at the Westside Athletic Complex.

At right: Taylor MacDonald

For Eastern  (4-7, 2-1 little east), senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) led a balanced offensive attack with three goals, followed by freshman midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange), senior midfielderTaylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA), sophomore midfielder Ashley Prizio (Brookfield), senior midfielder Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford), and junior midfielder Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield) with two goals each.  MacDonald handed out a game-high six assists for the Warriors.

For the game, Western held a 42-30 advantage in shots, 35-24 in shots on goal.  Eastern freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) gave an heroic effort making career-high 20 saves to earn the victory, while Western's Meghan Maroney had a tough night, making only five saves in defeat.

MacDonald got the scoring started for Eastern  with just over a minute played to give the Warriors a quick 1-0 lead.  Eastern kept up the offensive pressure over the next eight minutes, while also shutting out Western on the defensive end.  At the 21:32 mark, McLaughlin scored to put the Warriors up 5-0.  WestConn regrouped, scoring the next three goals, but Eastern took a 9-6 lead into the locker room at intermission.

Western (9-3, 2-2 little east) came out firing to start the second half, dominating play at both ends of the field and taking the lead for the first time in the game 11-10 on an unassisted goal by Gorman.  The Warriors then went on a run of their own that didn't stop until they had scored seven straight goals to take a commanding 17-11 lead.  Western closed to within 18-14, but could get no closer as Eastern won by a 19-15 final margin of victory.

Freshman Nicole Perrone led the offensive attack for Western with five goals.  Senior Kara Kruczkiewicz added three goals, while freshman Lindsay Gorman and freshman Kelly Brennan each scored twice.

Eastern hosts No. 1 nationally-ranked Trinity College Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
 

BASEBALL: MUSSON STOPS TRINITY

Senior righty avenges only collegiate loss with masterful three-hitter

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   MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) avenged his only collegiate WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgpitching loss by striking out a career-tying 13 batters to spark the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to an 8-1 win over Trinity College Tuesday night at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Will Musson

The game was the first between the programs since Trinity  (20-8) won the 2009 New England championship with a 5-4 win over Eastern (14-7) at the Eastern Baseball Stadium. In that game, Musson pitched seven strong innings three days after a route-going performance  against Suffolk University, but was saddled with his first loss after nine straight wins.

With ten days rest this time, the 6-foot-1 inch, 225-pounder overmatched the Bantams by equaling his career high with 13 strikeouts. He gave only one run on three hits, three walks, and one hit batsman. The 2008 national champion, Trinity hurt its own cause by commiting three errors, with five pitchers allowing nine hits, walking nine, hitting four batters and balking once.

The two nationally-ranked teams had both lost two straight entering the game, the Bantams being swept by Tufts University and Eastern dropping the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader to Plymouth State and an 11-9 decision Monday against visiting Suffolk University.

Eastern threatened in every inning, putting runners on base in all eight at-bats.  The Warriors batted around in their first at-bat, scoring  three times on singles junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and earning four walks. Trinity freshman righty D.J. Goldberg faced only eight batters, getting the hook after walking in the third run of the game.

Another single by Schult and three more walks made it 4-0 in the second and Eastern boosted thelead to 7-0 in the fourth when Dewing smacked a two-run opposite-field home run  to right and No. 9 hitter Chris Cannata (Southington) poked an RBI single to center.

Musson (3-0)departed on the long end of an 8-1 lead, which was protected by junior lefty Bill Roveto (South Windsor). Roveto recorded the final six outs, giving up only one hit and fanning the final two batters. In a four-year pitching career, Musson is 15-1. He was 3-0 in two seasons at the University of Connecticut and 12-1 at Eastern.

Schult had three hits and Dewing three RBI to improve his team lead in that category to 43. Senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) walked three times and senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) reached four times with two hits and two walks and scored twice.
Guilty of five errors in the loss to Suffolk, the Warriors played perfect defense behind Musson and Roveto.

Eastern visits Wesleyan University Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

M-LAX: EASTERN BACK IN FORM

Warriors improve LEC record to 55-3 with 15-6 win over UMass Dartmouth

Berube_4900.JPGMANSFIELD, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team led by WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgfive goals as the second quarter unfolded, and killed eight of nine of Massachusetts Dartmouth's extra-man opportunities in a 15-6 Little East Conference victory Tuesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Donald Berube

The win snaps a two-game losing streak for Eastern (8-4, 3-1 little east), which defeated UMass (6-7, 2-2 little east) for the 14th time in this 14-game series. Eastern's win, coupled with Western Connecticut's 6-5 loss to visiting Salem State College Tuesday, pulls the Warriors into a two-way tie for second place in the conference with the Colonials. Keene State College won its fourth conference game without a loss with a 20-7 victory at Massachusetts Boston.

Now 55-3 in ten years of LEC regular-season competition, Eastern led 6-1 after sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) scored an unassisted goal 13 seconds into the second quarter, and the visitors never got closer than four goals thereafter. The Warriors outscored UMass 7-3 in the second quarter - striking for six in a row in a span of just nine minutes.

Team scoring leader Grant Albertson (New Canaan), a first-year junior transfer -- equaled his personal best with a game-high five goals - scoring in his 12th consecutive game - and freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) turned back a career-high 16 minutes over the first 48 minutes.

Eastern's defense stopped UMass scoring leader Andrew Foster, giving up only two shots and one assist.

Leading 14-5 after three quarters, the Warriors were flaged for five penalties over the final 12 minutes, but were able to successfully kill three of UMass's four extra-man attempts.
Junior Eric Vasil (Southington) won 15 of 22 faceoffs and picked up a game-high ten ground balls for Eastern.

Eastern visits Massachusetts Boston Saturday at 1 p.m.

SOFTBALL: EASTERN SWEEPS IN LEC

For first time in 12 years, Warriors sweep Western, win first six LEC games

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgDANBURY, Conn. - Sophomore All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched a complete-game five-hitter in the opener and  was credited with the second-game win in relief when the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team scored the final five runs for a come-from-behind win as the Warriors swept Western Connecticut State University, 4-1, 5-4, Tuesday night at Westside Field.

Above: Ashley Sullivan

Ranked first in New England, Eastern (18-3-1, 6-0 little east) has won its first six conference games for the first time since 1998, when it swept Western (12-13, 2-4 little east). That sweep of Western 12 years ago was Eastern's last sweep of the Colonials. In each of the previous two years, the Warriors split with Western after winning their first four conference games.

Rathbun (12-1) fanned nine and walked one in the first game, scattering five hits. Rathbun carried a 4-0 lead into the sixth before the Colonials ruined the shutout bid on Anna Levesque's two-out RBI double.  All-region senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) drove in three of Eastern's runs with a two-out triple in the fourth, and Rathbun plated the other. Sullivan doubled and scored to give Eastern a 1-0 lead in the first and walked in the third before giving the Warriors a 4-0 lead with her triple in the foufrth which scored sophomore Kassondra Silva (Hamden) and senior catcher Nikki Musin (Griswold).

Silva's stellar relief in Game 2 helped the Warriors erase a 4-0 lead by scoring twice in the fourth and twice in the fifth and winning the game in the bottom of the seventh on a leadoff single by Sullivan and three walks. Sullivan had singled to open the inning and Western reliever Kara Cullinane walked senior DH Katie O'Toole (Waterbury), freshman second baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington), and freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), Sullivan scoring the game-ending run with one out.

Silva spelled freshman starter Christine Akcer (Milford) with two out in the second and gave up only one hit (fanning four and walking four) before Rathbun pitched a scoreless seventh, leaving the go-ahead run on second.

astern cut Western's early 4-0 lead in half with two runs in the fourth on Paterson's two-run double and tied the game in the fifth on a two-out, two-run single by senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington).

Eastern visits Brandeis University Thursday for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader in the first meeting ever between the programs. The Warriors are ranked 16th nationally, Brandeis 20th.

BASEBALL: EASTERN FINDS SUFFOLK RAM TOUGH IN 11-9 SETBACK

Warriors twice erase deficits but leave tying runs aboard in ninth

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MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Jhonneris Mendez, , Mark Addesa and Nick Travelyn all drove in runs as the Suffolk University baseball team snapped a tie with four runs in the top of the ninth inning and held on for the 11-9 non-conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Monday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Suffolk (14-12) snaps an eight-game losing streak at the hands of Eastern (19-8). There were 11 extra-base hits in the game, including eight doubles.

At right: Joe Cousineau's afternoon included four putouts in center field and five RBI at bat. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

The Rams never trailed after the third inning but Eastern tied the game twice, the second time in the eighth inning when No. 9 hitter Steve Cammuso doubled with one out and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Jim Schult to make it 7-7. The Rams batted around in the ninth, however, scoring four times on three hits, two intentional walks and a hit batsman. With the bases loaded and one out, Mendez greeted Eastern reliever Andrew Morrison with a tie-breaking single, Addesa followed with a two-run double, and No. 9 hitter Travelyn capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to make it 11-7.

Eastern rallied in the ninth to score twice with two out and one on on doubles by Andrew Dewing and Shane Kingsley and singles by Cammuso and John Parke, but Mendez replaced left-handed starter Andrew Babb and got a fly ball to right to leave the tying runs on base.

Seven of the runs in the game were unearned as the teams combined for eight errors.

Six different Suffolk players drove in runs for Suffolk. Bobby Barrett and Babb both had two hits and two RBI for Barrett scoring three times. Joe Cousineau drove in five of Eastern's runs and scored two. Cousineau hit a game-tying three-run home run in the sixth - the second HR of his career - and also doubled in the first Eastern run in the ninth and scored the second. All-America infielder Melvin Castillo hit a solo home run leading off the second inning - extending his program-leading total to 43 - and Cousineau hit a sacrifice fly to give Eastern an early  2-0 lead, but Mark Annese and Travelyn doubled to open the third and Barrett tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

Chris Thomson of Eastern singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 12.

Eastern hosts Trinity College Tuesday at 6 p.m.  The Warriors are ranked in a tie for fifth in New England and 22nd nationally; Trinity is fourth n New England and 13th nationally.
 

EASTERN BASEBALL SPLITS LEC TWINBILL WITH PLYMOUTH STATE

   Thomson has five hits, seven RBI in opener; hosts can't rally in Game 2

thomson_jersey_300_0277.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior outfielder Chris Thomson WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg(Montville) went 5-for-5 with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI to lead the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 13-2 first-game victory over Plymouth State University and an eventual split of a Little East Conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Chris Thomson

In the second game, Plymouth (5-18, 1-6 little east) built a 5-0 lead and held on for a 5-4 win over Eastern (19-7, 5-3 little east) to end a 19-game losing sreak at the hands of the Warriors. The first game was stopped due to the ten-run rule.

Thomson, a second-year transfer, had a leadoff double in the third inning of the first game, tripled in three runs with two out in the fourth that gave the Warriors the lead for good (3-2), reached on an infield single to shortstop in the sixth, doubled home two runs in a five-run seventh and singled in two runs in a four-run eighth. His hit total was one shy of the Eastern single-game record and  RBI total three shy of the single-game RBI mark. Thomson also singled in his final at-bat in the second game to extend his hitting streak to 11. He improved his season batting average to .500 (33-for-66) after the first game.

Junior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) pitched at least seven innings for the third straight start in the opener, winning his third (straight) decision. He did not allow an earned run over seven innings, giving up four hits while fanning three and walking two.

Schult also scored three runs and drove in two runs with two doubles to back his strong pitching in the opener. Senior All-America infielder Melvin Castillo (Danbury) also had two hits, three runs and two RBI in the first win which extended the Warriors' winning streak to five.

In the second game, senior lefties Mike Tingley (Rockville) and Wes Dutton (Waterbury) combined on 5 1/3 innings of scoreless, three-hit relief with eight strikeouts and no walks (Dutton also picked off two runners), but Eastern ran itself out of two potentially big innings with baserunning blunders as the Panthers defeated Eastern for the first time in nine years.

Sophomore first baseman Matt Cappiello and junior shortstop Grant Livingston both drove in two runs for Plymouth in the nightcap with two-run singles to power the Panthers to a 5-0 lead after three innings. In the fourth, Eastern scored twice on a hit and two walks, then added two more runs in the fifth on an infield ground out by Thomson and an RBI double by junior outfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacons Falls). The Warriors had a baserunner ruled out in the fourth for missing first on an apparent RBI  triple, then had a baserunner hung up and tagged out at third on an apparent game-tying single by junior outfielder Andrew Dyer (Topsfield, MA).

Junior lefty Bryant Lausberg was credited with the second-game win in relief of junior lefty starter John Andersch. Lausberg took over for Lausberg with a 2-2 count on Castillo in the two-run Eastern fifth. He was charged with both runs in the fifth but faced only 15 batters over the final four innings, allowing three hits and a walk.

Eastern hosts Suffolk University Monday at 3 p.m.

 

M-TRACK: EDWARDSEN EXCELS

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Freshman Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard) collected 11 points in three WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgevents in leading the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field team to a share of fifth place finish at the Springfield College Invitational Saturday at Blake Track.

Edwardsen was sixth in the high jump and long jump and fourth in the 110 hurdles for the Warriors, who totaled 66 points to share fifth place in the eight-team field won by Westfield State College *167 ½).

Junior Mike DElia (Windham) and freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls) recorded the highest finish by an Eastern athlete when each placed second in the 400 hurdles and triple jump, respectively. D'Elia was time in 58.51 and Fitzpatrick jumped 41=6.

Eastern competes in the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championshp Saturday at 10:30 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmuth.

 

W-TRACK: QUINONES BREAKS MARK

For Eastern w-track, sophomore sets mark in 3000 steeplechase

quinones_726204.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull)  broke her own record in WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgthe 3000 steeplcchase Saturday after as the Eastern Connecticut State University women's track and field team took seventh place at the Springfield College Invitational at Blake Track.

At left: Amanda Quinones

Quinones break the program record for the second time in as many tries, posting a third-place time of12:33.05 for Eastern, which collected 54 points in a field of ten.  Host Springfield outdistance the field with a total of 235 points. The time qualified  Quinones for next month's New England Division III Championship.

Senior Erika Barber (Portland) equaled her program record with a mark of 10-3 ¼ in winning the pole vault for the 13th time in her four-year career.

Behind Barber (ten points), junior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester) totaled nine points with a third-place finish in the 200 and six-place finish in the 400; Senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) collected eight points by placing second in the 100 hurdles and freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton) picked up seven points. She was fifth in the high jump, seventh in the triple jump and eighth in the long jump.

Eastern competes in the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.


 

EASTERN'S ORTIZ SELECTED TO SUNDAY'S NE ALL-STAR GAME

Program's all-time 3-pt. shooter and fourth all-time scoring leader tabbed

ortiz_3952.jpgBABSON PARK, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford) will participate in the annual  New England Basketball Coaches Association (NEBCA) Division III Senior All-Star Game  tomorrow at Staake Gymnasium on the campus of Babson College.

A total of 25 institutions are represented with at least one selection for the showcase, which  benefits the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign.

Eastern's only senior, Ortiz concluded his 108-game career ranked fourth all-time with 1,438 career points. The program's all-time three-point field goal leader with 267 - more than 100 more than his nearest competitor - Ortiz broke his own season record with 79 three-pointers this season.

The game will feature many seniors who have already been named to All-America, all-region, and all-conference teams, and as their respective conference Player-of- the-Year honors. Adam Choice of Colby participated in the NABC Division III All-Star Game and was selected as an NABC and d3hoops.com All-America. He will be joined by Terrell Hollins of Brandeis, an NABC All-Star Game participant, and conference MVP's Aaron Trigg of Gordon College, Juan Maldonado of Elms College, and Rui Carmo of Green Mountain College.
Eastern's only senior, Ortiz helped the Warriors win 20 of 30 games this year, a program-record nine of which came in 14 regular-season conference games.The team was named to a post-season tournament for the first time in ten years and reached the championship game of the ECAC New England Division III Tournament as the No. 1 seed. Eastern became only the third team in the program's 68-year history to win 20 games, concluding only one win shy of the 21 victories established in 1969/70 and equaled in 1992/93.

The 6-0 inch guard shared time between point and shooting guard this year, when he repeated as a second-team conference all-star.  He averaged 13.4 points with a program-record 79 three-pointers and was second on the team in assists (66) and led the conference in three-point field goals and free throw percentage (.893) and was seventh in the LEC in three-point field goal percentage (.389).

A former LEC Rookie-of-the-Year, Ortiz recorded at least one three-point field goal in 28 of 30 games this year, with a personal-high eight coming Dec. 8 against Endicott College. He scored a team-high 17 points (5-of-7 from three-point range) in the final game of his collegiate career in a loss to Elms College in the ECAC tournament final at Geissler Gymnasium.

Ortiz becomes the tenth Eastern player since 1996 to be named to the all-star game - fourth in eight years under current eight-year head coach Bill Geitner. He is among three selections from the Little East Conference, joining Jake Grimes of Rhode Island College and Brandon Shelton of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

EASTERN'S SELECTIONS TO THE NEBCA SENIOR ALL-STAR GAME

2009/10: EDWIN ORTIZ            1999/00: Jay Wetherell
2007/08:  Leon Martin               1998/99: Rich Martin
2006/07: Mike Parker                1993/94: Bari Winner
2003/04: Michael Kipphut          1997/98: Bryan Moretti
2001/02: Rich Vega                   1995/96: Edward Silva


 

W-VOLLEYBALL: VANDERMEER IN

Accomplished coach and official accepts part-time coaching position

  vandermeerhead72_6998.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Veteran volleyball coach Fran WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgVandermeer will fill the vacancy as head women's coach at Eastern Connecticut State University. She has been named as the sixth permanent coach in the program's 35-year history and will serve in a parttime capacity.

Vandermeer succeeds Peter Viteritti, who compiled a two-year record of 32-30 in a parttime capacity over the past two years.

The head volleyball coaching position is the third in the 13-year head coaching career of Vandermeer, who has won 318 and lost 128 (.713) at Williams College and Trinity (CT) College. She compiled an overall record of 254-73 in nine seasons (2000-08) at Williams after winning 64 and losing 55 in four seasons (1996-1999) at Trinity.

At Williams, Vandermeer led the Ephs to six New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) titles, six NCAA tournament berths and one ECAC tournament appearance. The team advanced to the NCAA Elite 8 four times - including her last season in 2008 - and to the Sweet 16 once. She averaged 28.2 wins per year and had a 77.7 winning percentage and posted three (straight) 30-win seasons.

At Trinity, she directed the Bantams to three winning seasons and one ECAC tournament berth Vandermeer also served as head softball coach for three seasons and Williams and all four years at Trinity. At Williams, Vandermeer coached 17 AVCA Division III All-America selections. She was inducted into the Connecticut Scholastic and Collegiate Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1998.

A member of the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials, the Hartford native has officiated nuermous NCAA Division II national championship matches and Division I regional title matches and has regularly officiated in the Big Ten, Big East and Ivy League.

Eastern lost only one senior from a year ago, when it won 12 of 30 matches and placed sixth in the Little East Conference. The Warriors have won seven LEC tournament and four LEC regular-season titles in 15 years. Eastern won three straight LEC tournament crowns bet5ween 2005 and 2007, which qualified it for NCAA tournament play.


 

M-LACROSSE: KEENE EMERGES, 17-11

In battle of LEC elite, Owls knock off Warriors at Eastern for first time

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - Keene State College   LEClogo-1WEB.jpgsnapped a three-game losing streak at the hands of Eastern Connecticut State University, winning the battle of early-season Little East Conference men's lacrosse unbeatens with a 17-11 victory Friday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Stephen Goomrigian photo

Returning home for the first time in a month, Eastern (7-4, 2-1 little east) never led after the opening two minutes but scored three extra-man goals in a span of  eight minutes in the third quarter to make it interesting before the Owls sealed their first win ever after ten losses on Eastern's home field by scoring what amounted to three empty-net goals in the final two minutes of the match.

In a game which featured the conference's elite - but young - teams, Keene trailed only once, moving out to a 9-5 lead at halftime. The Warriors got as close as two goals twice in the second half, the final time when freshman midfielder Dan O'Reilly (Southington) scored his fifth goal of the year on an assist from senior attack Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) three minutes into the final quarter.

The Owls all but clinched the win when freshman midfielder Ian Hart scored a critical goal with just under five minutes left to re-store Keene's three-goal lead, 14-11. Conference scoring leader Griffin Meehan, a sophomore, managed only two goals through the first  58 minutes against Eastern all-conference defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY), but scored into a virtual open net three times in the final two minutes to provide the Owls with the final six-goal spread. Meehan added three assists - two coming when he set up sophomore teammate Matt Schairer for man-up goals two minutes apart in the third quarter that pushed the visitors into a four-goal lead five minutes into the third quarter. Meehan now has 36 goals and 20 assists in 11 games.

The teams, which feature 46 freshmen and sophomores, combined to score eight extra-man goals, the Warriors connecting on six of nine - three coming in an eight-minute span in the third quarter - and Keene three of five. In the game, the Warriors were never able to score more than two successive goals.

Eastern junior scoring leader Grant Albertson (New Canaan) improve his team-leading goal total to 29 with three markers but the first-year Division I transfer never scored more than one goal in any quarter and went the final 17 minutes without finding the back of the net. Senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich) equaled his season high with three goals and tied his career high of five points on a career-high 14 shots. Malouf set up Tornatore to give the Warriors their only lead in the opening two minutes of play and Malouf's unassisted strike with 72 seconds left in the third quarter cut Keene's lead to two, 12-10, heading into the final frame.

Meehan's most damaging goal came after Malouf and sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) scored 32 seconds apart late in the second quarter to slice the Keene lead to 8-5.  The goals looked as though they would give the Warriors momentum heading into the half, but Meehan hooked up with  freshman midfielder Jonathan Rodrick as time expired in the second quarter to give Keene a four-goal halftime lead.

Eastern junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington), ranked first nationally in ground balls and second in faceoff percentage, won  23 of 31 faceoffs (74.2 percent), his win total establishing a personal game high. He also scooped up 18 ground balls - two shy of his all-time best. He improved his season faceoff percentage to .733 and his ground ball average to 14 per game

Eastern turned the ball over 27 times in the game..

Keene's Jason Lesser made nine saves to win the matchup of freshman goalies, with Eastern's  Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) making seven stops.

Senior defenseman Kyle Barnett led Keene with six ground balls.

Eastern hosts Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.


 

NO. 1-RANKED EASTERN SOFTBALL GAINS VICTORY, TIE AT WESLEYAN

Warriors score four unearned runs in opener; Cards rally in nightcap

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -  All four of the runs scored by the  Eastern Connecticut State University softball team in the 4-1 first-game win were unearned and Wesleyan University rallied for single runs in the sixth and seventh innings of the nightcap to gain a 2-2 tie in a game stopped after seven innings due to darkness.

At right: Kassondra Silva

Sophomore All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) won her tenth game of the year against a loss with a five-hitter in the opener.  She fanned seven and walked two. Trailing 4-0, Wesleyan scored its run on a solo home run with two out in the fourth by Sam Epstein. It was only the third home run allowed by Rathbun in her career.

Senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and sophomore DP Kassondra Silva (Hamden) each had two hits and drove in a run in the first game for Eastern (16-3-1), ranked No. 1 in New England and No. 16 nationally. Rathbun had a 14-game hitting streak stopped when she went hitless in four at-bats. When the Warriors were scoring two runs in the second inning, she lined out to short to end the inning.

In the second game, Wesleyan (15-10-1) scored once in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie the game, which was called due to darkness after seven innings. Chrissy Bello tied the game with a one out RBI single to left in the seventh, which drove in Meaghan Dendy. Dendy had singled to open the inning and was sacrificed to second by  Tori Redding. Eastern took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when it collected three of its seven hits in the game. Suillivan had an RBI double and scored on Kim Church's (Farmington) two-out single.

Eastern freshman Christine Akcer (Milford) carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning of the nightcap, but put the first two batters aboard with a walk and hit-by-pitch and a ground ball off sophomore reliever Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) brought home the first run. Manzo stranded the tying run at third with an inning-ending ground ball, but the Cardinals forged the tie in their final at-bat.

With the win and tie, Eastern extended its unbeaten streak to six.

Eastern visits Keene State College Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference doubleheader..

 

EIGHTEEN FROM EASTERN LEC WINTER ALL-ACADEMIC

Eastern's selections.pdf

cavanaugh_72_4293.jpg WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgEighteen Eastern Connecticut State University student-athletes in the sports of basketball,  track and field and women's swimming have been named to the Little East Conference Winter Academic Team.

Nearly half (8) of the honorees came from the women's indoor track team, led by three-time senior selections Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) and Alexis Cavanaugh (Cheshire). Cavanaugh was named to the winter team as a sophomore member of the women's basketball program in 2007/08.

Above: Alexis Cavanaugh

Additional student-athletes earning a spot on the team for the maximum third time were senior swimmers Maureen Cop (Southington), Katherine Redman (Wallingford) and Jessica Wilson (Torrington).

The Little East Conference began recognizing its student-athletes three years ago with the formation of all-academic teams in the fall, winter and spring. Selections must have attained sophomore eligilibity and have accumulated an overall 3.30 grade-point average.

EASTERN M-LACROSSE ENDS LONG ROAD TRIP ON DISCOURAGING NOTE

Warriors conclude run of six straight road games with 16-3 loss

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WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg  HARTFORD, Conn. - A four-game winning streak came to a screeching halt for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team Wednesday afternoon as the Warriors were roughed up by Trinity College, 16-3, in the final game of a stretch of six straight road encounters.

Above: Michael Sullinger

With the loss, Eastern (7-3) bookends the six-game road trip with losses to eight-time national champion Salisbury University and to Trinity (7-5). In between, the Warriors captured four close games away from home by an average of less than four goals each.

Ranked No. 10 in New England, Eastern never got off the bus Wednesday, with three goals by sophomore attack Michael Sullinger (Brookfield) standing between the Warriors and the first shutout loss in program history. The Bantams downed Eastern for the fifth straight time by using the balance of 11 different scorers. Ironically, penalties did not lead to the Warriors undoing, as Eastern was not flagged for a penalty until less than three minutes remained.

The four players who have scored double figures in goals this year came up empty on a combined total of 16 shots, with Trinity sophomore goalie Peter Johnson called upon for only five saves and freshman Dom Piselli making three saves to blank Eastern over the final 15 minutes.

Eastern looks for its fourth home with without a loss this season when it hosts Keene State College in a Little East Conference match Friday at 6 p.m. on Alumni Day in its first appearance at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex since an encouraging 14-12 win over Amherst College nearly a month ago.



 

CONN COLLEGE HAS TOO MUCH FOR EASTERN W-LACROSSE

Extended first-half scoring drought costly for Warriors in 18-9 loss

IMG_6702.JPGMANSFIELD, Conn. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team went 16 minutes between goals over the final half of the opening stanza, Connecticut College scoring five straight to pull away and down the Warriors for the seventh time in this seven-game series, 18-9, Wednesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Brooke Wayte drives to the cage.(Stephen Goomrigian photo)

During that 5-0 scoring run, Ashley Crutchfield and Hope Barone scored extra-man goals 78 seconds apart to help the Camels build an insurmountable 10-4 lead with two minutes left in the first half. In all, three of Conn's (5-5) goals in that run came on extra-man opportunities as Eastern was handed two  yellow cards over a five-minute stretch.

Katelyn Driscoll came on to take over faceoff chores from Barone and win six of nine faceoffs and Abby Hill was credited with five draw controls for the Camels, who have won two straight after losing four of five. Foiled in its attempt  to win two games in a row for the first time this year, Eastern (3-7) has lost four of five, dipping to 2-4 this year at home.

Sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) contributed to two Eastern goals in a span of 84 seconds midway through the first half by assisting on one and scoring another to pull the Warriors to within 5-4 before Conn countered with run of five straight goals, keeping Eastern off the board for 16 minutes before freshman attack Christina Rully (Orange) scored her first career goal on her third shot on  a free-position attempt with 48 seconds left in the half.

Senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) led Eastern with three goals, won six of 11 faceoffs and picked up two ground balls. Sophomore defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) picked up a team-high four ground balls and caused two turnovers.

As a team, Eastern was able to clear only 13 of 25 attempts, contributing in large part to its 27 turnovers.

Eastern visits Western Connecticut State University Tuesday at 4 p.m. for a Little East Conference match.


 

CASTILLO, DEWING HIT HOMERS IN EASTERN BASEBALL'S 7-4 VICTORY

First-year sophomore pitcher Furber hurls six strong innings to gain win

morrison jersey raw_5936.JPGMANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgcontinued his torrid hitting and extended his hitting streak to nine  and senior All-America infielder Melvin Castillo (Danbury) and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) each hit two-run home runs to power the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 7-4 victory over Bridgewater State College Wednesday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Andrew Morrison

The win is the fourth straight and eighth in 11 games for Eastern (18-6) since returning from Arizona and is the Warriors' ninth triumph in the last 11 meetings with Bridgewater (12-10). The Warriors have won six of their last seven home games since giving away their home-opener to Western Connecticut 12 days ago. Since returning from a 5-2 trip to Florida, the Bears are 7-8.

First-year sophomore right-handed pitcher Mitch Furber (Montville) allowed three runs over the first six innings in his second start to earn his second win in as many decisions. He allowed only one run through the first six innings before departing after giving up hits to the first two batters of the sixth. After the Bears closed the gap to 5-4 by scoring three runs in the seventh, junior righty Andrew Morrison (Old Saybrook) left the tying run aboard by getting an inning-ending ground ball, then got the final six outs to record his first career save. Morrison gave up a leadoff single in the eighth, but junior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington) gunned down Jake Roderick trying to steal second.

Clinging to their slim one-run lead, the Warriors scored two key insurance runs in the eighth after there were two out and none on. Thomson singled and junior No. 8 hitter Joe Cousineau (Newington) doubled and after a walk loaded the bases, senior leadoff hitter John Parke (Middlefield) singled them in.

The program's all-time home run leader, Castillo hit a two-run home run - the 42nd of his career -- to give Eastern the lead for good in the bottom of the first, 2-1, and Dewing added a two-run shot in the fourth to make it 4-1. The home run was the third of the season for both of them.

The Little East Conference Player-of-the-Week last week, Thomson is batting .586 (17-for-29) during the nine-game hitting streak and has six multiple-hit games in the last seven. Furber is now 4-0 in his college career, which includes last season at Post University in Waterbury.

No. 3 hitter Matt Greenberg had two hits and two RBI for Bridgewater and Roderick had three hits. Leadoff hitter Brian Medairos and Greenberg doubled off Furber in the first inning to give the Bears a 1-0 lead but Furber retired nine of the next ten batters.

Ranked in a tie for fifth in New England, Eastern visits Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday at noon.


 

FOUR FROM EASTERN IN THREE SPORTS HONORED BY LITTLE EAST

         MacDonald, Rathbun, Church and Thomson receive weekly kudos

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NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Four Eastern Connecticut State University athletes in three LEClogo-1WEB.jpgsports have been recognized by the Little East Conference in its weekly awards program for their play during the week ending April 11.

Veteran LEC weekly honoree Taylor MacDonald (at right)

In women's lacrosse, senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) was named Defensive Player-of-the-Week; in softball, sophomore All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron)  Pitcher-of-the-Week; and in baseball, senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) and freshman pitcher Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA)  the Player-of-the-Week and Rookie-of-the-Week, respectively.

MacDonald was selected for a weekly honor by the conference for the third time in five weeks this year and for the ninth time in her four-year career while Rathbun received her fourth honor in four weeks this year and for the eighth time in her two-year career. Thomson and Church were honored for the first time in their careers. Thomson is in his second season at Eastern.

A two-time conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year, MacDonald had eight ground balls , won ten draws and caused two turnovers for the Warriors during a 1-1 week. In Saturday's 17-10 conference win over visiting Plymouth State University, MacDonald had four ground balls, three draw controls and caused two turnovers and won ten of 21 faceoffs.

 In a 4-2 week, Thomson batted .650  (13-for-20) with 12 RBI and eight runs scored. He had four home runs - three coming in three straight games -- and two doubles for a 1.350 slugging percentage and .696 on-base percentage  and struck out only once. He hit home runs in the first three games of the week and had at least two hits in five of the week's six games. In three LEC games, Thomson was 7-for-11  with five RBI and four runs scored.

In his third career start, Church pitched a career-high seven innings  and fanned a career-high nine in a 6-2 win over Montclair State University. The 6-foot-2 inch righty allowed only two hits while walking three and was charged with only one (earned run).

Last year's conference Rookie-of-the-Year, Rathbun won three starts and had a save in four appearances in a 5-1 week. The righty completed all of her starts with a shutout and allowed only two (earned) runs in 24 2/3 innings for a 0.57 ERA. She fanned 41 and walked five and opponents batted .115 against her.

During the week, Rathbun broke her own program record by pitching 40.0 consecutive innings without an earned run over parts of seven games.  She pitched a complete-game one-hitter with 14 strikeouts and three walks in an eight-inning, 3-2 win over host Coast Guard, ranked third in New England and a 2009 NCAA tournament qualifiers. Rathbun has not allowed a triple or home run in 68 1/3 innings this year.

Offensively, Rathbun it safely in all six games to extend her hitting streak to 14 - four shy of the program record. She batted .611 (11-for-18)  with three doubles and a home run, seven RBI and three runs scored and had a .944 slugging percentage and .650 on-base percentage and handled 15 chances in the field without an error.

This week's four weekly selections give the Warriors 21 such honorees in this year's LEC weekly spring awards program: five in the sports of men's and women's lacrosse, four in softball and baseball, two in men's outdoor track and field and one in women's track and field.


 

 

 

 

 

 

BASEBALL: WARRIORS STAY HOT, DOWN REELING BABSON, 7-5

Freshman Church wins third; Parke, Dewing drive in two runs each

church72dpi_5797.jpg WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgBABSON PARK, Mass. - Freshman  righty Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA) scattered four hits over the first five innings and the top five hitters in the Eastern Connecticut State University order combined for eight hits, scored five runs and drove in five as the Warriors downed Babson College, 7-5, in baseball Monday afternoon  at Govoni Field.

Above: Benjamin Church

The win is the fifth in the last six games for Eastern (17-6). The contest was a re-match of the opening round of the 2009 New England Baseball Tournament Regionals, won by Babson (17-8). Since earning New England's top ranking a week ago, Babson has dropped  five of seven. The Warriors are rated in a tie for fifth and Babson seventh in the third weekly New England poll, released today.Eastern is ranked No. 13 nationally.

Church (3-0), announced as the Little East Conference Rookie-of-the-Week today for his pitching last week, stranded five Babson runners over the first two innings  to help the Warriors eventually move out to leads of 3-0 and 6-2. In winning his second straight start and third in four starts on the season, Church allowed three singles and a double and walked six with four strikeouts.

After Eastern scored an unearned run in the second, Church walked three batters in the second but stranded the bases loaded by getting No. 2 hitter Billy Miller on an inning-ending fly ball to junior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY).An RBI single by senior All-America infielder Melvin Castillo (Danbury) and a sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) made it 3-0 in the third. Babson scored its two runs off Church in the fourth on two hits, a walk, two stolen bases and a sacrifice fly to cut the Eastern lead to one, but the Warriors answered with a run in the fifth on a two-out RBI double by Dewing  and two in the sixth on a two-run double by senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield).

The multiple-RBI game was the team-leading 12th of the year for Dewing and Castillo's two hits gave him a team-leading 16 multiple-hit games this season. Junior third baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) singled to help the Warriors score their second-inning run to extend his hitting streak to seven. Senior leftfielder Chris Thomson (Montville), named as the Little East Conference Player-of-the-Week today, hit safely in his eighth straight game with a single in the fourth as part of the Warriors' 13-hit attack. His sacrifice fly in the second staked Eastern to its 1-0 lead.

Trailing 6-3, Babson pulled to within one by scoring twice in the eighth on three singles and  an Eastern error, but senior righty Travis Bass (West Hartford) earned his first career save in his sixth career appearance when No.9 hitter Pat Matvichuk lined to Castillo, who stepped on second for a game-ending double play.

Babson totaled 11 hits off seven Eastern pitchers but stranded 13. The Beavers were retired in order only once.

Parke, Schult, Castillo and Dewing all had two hits, and Parke and Dewing each drove in two runs.  Schult and Bass each scored twice. Schult doubled in each of his first two times up, giving him six straight hits over a two-game period (he was 4-for-4 Sunday at Western Connecticut).

Eastern hosts Bridgewater State College Wednesday at 4 p.m.

 

SOFTBALL: EASTERN EASES TO SWEEP OF PLYMOUTH, 13-0, 9-0

No. 13-ranked Warriors now only unbeaten team in Little East Conference

soychak72_6576.jpgSTORRS, Conn. - Junior DP Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) drove in five runs with a three-run home run and a two-run pinch single and the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team collected 19 hits in eight innings of at-bats in sweeping a Little East Conference doubleheader from Plymouth State University, 13-0, 9-0 Sunday at the University of Connecticut softball field. Both games were stopped after five innings on account of the eight-run rule.

Above: Rachel Soychak (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Ranked No. 1 in New England and No. 13 nationally, Eastern (15-3, 4-0 little east) is the only unbeaten team in the Little East Conference after previously unbeaten Keene State College split a Saturday doubleheader with Rhode Island College. Plymouth (6-11, 2-2) had a five-game winning streak stopped in losing to Eastern for the seventh and eighth consecutive times.

Six Eastern batters had at least two hits, seven scored at least two runs and four drove in three or more runs to back the complete-game, three-hit shutout pitching of first-game sophomore starter Molly Rathbun (Hebron) and second-game freshman Christine Akcer (Milford). Rathbun (8-1) fanned eight (six in a row) without a walk and Akcer (5-2) struck out three and walked one.

Soychak had two hits, drove in five runs and scored one; rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) had four hits (three doubles), scored three runs and drove in three runs; first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) had four hits, drove in four runs with a double and two singles, and scored twice; Rathbun had three hits, three RBI and two runs scored, recording a hit in each game to extend her hitting streak to 14; and third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) had three hits - including her first career home run with a leadoff linedrive shot to left  in the second inning of the first game. She scored three runs.

Left-handed hitting senior first baseman Kay LaBrie had two of Plymouth's six hits when she legged out infield hits in the second game.

Eastern visits Wesleyan University Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

M-LACROSSE: EASTERN STRETCHES LITTLE EAST WIN STREAK TO 16

Warriors win fourth straight road match, 12-8 over Plymouth

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   PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The combination of senior     WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgmidfielder Maxim Fantl's (West Hartford) career-high five goals, the near-perfect faceoff performance of junior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) and the team's season-low penalty total played key roles as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team won its 16th consecutive Little East Conference regular-season game with a 12-8 verdict over Plymouth State University Sunday afternoon at Panther Field.

Above: Maxim Fantl

Ranked 12th in New England, Eastern (7-2, 2-0 little east) won its fourth straight road game in what will eventually be a six-game road stretch and improved to 9-0 all-time against Plymouth State (2-6, 0-2 little east) in regular-season conference play. The Panthers were playing their first home game of the season.

Eastern outscored Plymouth 9-1 to roll to a 10-3 lead after three quarters. The Warriors held the hosts scoreless throughout the 15-minute third quarter, with Fantl scoring the first three goals of the period and junior attack and team scoring leader Grant Albertson (New Canaan) adding the fourth and final goal as time expired in the frame.

Averaging nearly nine penalties per game through the first eight games, Eastern spent a total of only two minutes in the penalty box on four flags. Plymouth capitalized on just one man-up situation - that coming on the first goal of the match two minutes into action.

Freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) worked the first 50 minutes and departed on the long end of a 10-3 lead. Berube made nine saves in winning his sixth game in seven decisions - his only loss coming to eight-time national champion Salisbury University on the first game of this six-game road trip March 21. Berube improved his save percentage to .552 and lowered his goals-against average to 10.48.

Vasil, a pre-season faceoff All-America, returned to the lineup after missing most all of the last two games with a hip injury and won 15 of 16 faceoffs.

The win was Eastern's 54th in 56 regular-season conference games spanning a ten-year period. The Warriors have been unbeaten seven times in the conference regular season and have captured six conference playoff titles.

Eastern plays the last of six straight road games Wednesday at Trinity College y at 4 p.m.

BASEBALL: SCHULT PITCHES, HITS WARRIORS PAST WESTERN CONN.

         He throws CG two-hitter, drives in four runs with four hits

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  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgDANBURY, Conn. - Nine days ago, Eastern Connecticut State University junior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) came away empty-handed after pitching into the ninth inning of a ten-inning Little East Conference baseball loss to Western Connecticut State University at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Sunday at Westside Field, he brought his bat along, just for good measure, and pitched and hit the Warriors to an 11-1 victory over the Colonials in a game stopped after seven innings due to the conference's ten-run rule.

Jim Schult (above right, and below)

schult_HIT72_1004.jpgOn the mound, the right-handed Schult pitched a complete-game two-hitter without allowing an earned run. At bat, he was 4-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Included in his hits were his team-leading sixth home run of the season - a two-run blast in a three-run third that pushed Eastern's (16-6, 4-2 little east) lead to 6-0. He also had an RBI single in a three-run first and an RBI single in a four-run fourth and doubled and scored the only run of the sixth.
The complete game was the second in 13 career starts for Schult, who fanned eight and walkd three. The only hits he surrendered were a two-out single in the first and a leadoff single in the sixth. He retired seven in a row after walking in Western's (8-11, 2-4 little east) only run in the third.

Eastern senior leftfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) collected at least two hits for the fifth straight game, improving his hitting over those games to .750 (12-for-18) with nine RBI and seven runs and pulling into a tie for the team batting lead with an overall .463 average. Thomson reached safely in all four plate appearances. He was hit by pitch in the first, hit a solo home run - his fourth in the last six games - in the third, and singled runs in the fourth and sixth.

Batting ninth, junior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington) also had two hits in Eastern's 12-hit attack and also reached on a hit-by-pitch.

Ranked No. 3 in New England, Eastern visits top-ranked Babson College Monday at 3:30 p.m.


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First-year sophomore Casey McGarvey (Bozrah) (at right) posted a six-second victory at 800 meters at the Third Annual Eastern Connecticut State University Track & Field Invitational Friday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. McGarvey was among seven Eastern individuals and two relays to record first-place finishes at the non-scoriing meet which included Connecticut College and Colby-Sawyer College.Others winning individual events for Eastern were first-year senior Steve Landry (Groton), junior Mike D'Elia (Windham), first-year junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) and freshmen Tim Callahan (Portland), Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacons Falls), and Tyler Edwardsen (Ledyard). Landry won the javelin, D'Elia the 400 hurdles, Lowe the 100, Callahan the 300, Fitzpatrick the triple jump and Edwardsen the 110 hurdles. The 4x100 and 4x400 relays also placed first. Six individuals posted personal bests: Callahan at 400 meters, senior Nicholas Noheimer (Willimantic) and sophomore Bryan Jorge (Bristol)  in the 1,500,freshman Nick Miller (Norwich) in the 5,000, freshman Zacc Ouellet (Chaplin) in the 110 hurdles, and freshman Dylan Markowycz (Chaplin) in the 400 hurdles.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Goomrigian.

WOMEN'S TRACK: EASTERN TAKES FIVE INDIVIDUAL FIRSTS IN INVITE

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Eastern Connecticut State University junior Ashlee James (Franklin) (at right) perseveres through the driving rain during the 400 meter hurdles Friday night during the Third Annual Eastern Track & Field Invitational at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.At the non-scoring meet, five Eastern individuals and two relays posted first-place finishes in the meet which included the Connecticut College and Colby-Sawyer College men's and women's teams and the Mount Holyoke College womens team. Eastern's female winners included seniors Monica Mills (East Hartford), Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) and Erika Barber (Portland), sophomore Kristiana Ibsen (Shelton) and freshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton). Mills won the triple jump, Brautigam the 100 hurdles, Barber the pole vault, Ibsen the javelin and Gingras the 400 hurdles. The 4x100 and 4x400 relays also claimed first-place finishes. Mills qualified for the Division III New England Championship in the triple jump with a mark of 34-1 1/2. Individuals recording personal bests were Gingras in the 400 hurdles (she also tied her personal best in the high jump), sophomore Megan Wallace (Trumbull) in the discus, sophomore Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) in the pole vault, junior Melissa Healy (Naugatuck) in the 5,000, and senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) in the 100 hurdles.

  

Photo courtesy of Stephen Goomrigian.

EASTERN BASEBALL ROUTS KEENE TO SALVAGE LITTLE EAST SPLIT

In nightcap, Warriors bat around twice in game stopped after seven

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team racked up 14 hits off five Keene State College pitchers to post a 15-4 victory in the second  game of a Little East Conference doubleheader stopped after seven innings due to the ten-run rule Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At right: John Parke

Eastern (15-6, 3-2 little east) batted around in the second and fifth innings to back the six-inning effort of senior righty Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) as the Warriors gained a split.

In the first game, Keene (11-10-1, 2-2 little east) overcame a three-run deficit by scoring four times in the top of the fifth off three different Eastern pitchers on the way to an 11-8 win, with junior DH Peter Burgio igniting the outburst with a leadoff home run. The Owls scored three times in the inning after there were two out on a two-run single by No. 3 hitter Bobby Doyon and a run-scoring single by senior cleanup hitter Anthony Cipolla  to snap a five-game losing streak at the hands of the defending LEC playoff champion Warriors.

In the nightcap, every hitter in the Eastern lineup had at least one hit and scored at least one run and eight different players drove in at least one run to back Fontaine (3-0), who allowed five hits and four (earned runs) while fanning six and walking six.

In the eight-run second inning of the second game, junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) scored twice with a leadoff home run and a hit-by-pitch. Junior DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) singled twice and scored once, sophomore catcher Steve Cammuso  (Rutland, MA) plated a run with a sacrifice fly and senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield) and junior rightfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) each stroked RBI doubles.

In the first game, Doyon and Cipolla combined for  six hits and five RBI as seven of the Owls' 12 hits off five Eastern pitchers were good for extra bases. No. 8 hitter Greg Bates drove in three runs with a sacrifice fly and a two-run double when the visitors tacked on two key insurance runs. In addition to Burgio, senior leadoff hitter Keith Patnode homered, while Parke, Schult and Turgeon all smacked home runs for the Warriors, ranked No. 13 nationally and No. 3 in New England.

On the day, leadoff hitter Parke had five hits, including two doubles and a home run, scored five runs and drove in four. Turgeon also doubled twice and homered among his four hits. He scored four times and had two RBI. Senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) added four hits and Schult and senior shortstop Travis Bass (West Hartford) both contributed three hits and three RBI.

Eastern visits Western Connecticut State University Sunday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.

 

 

PRIZIO POWERS EASTERN LACROSSE TO LITTLE EAST CONFERENCE WIN

 Sophomore nets a career-high seven goals in 17-10 triumph over PSU

prizio_72_3572.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  Coming off the first scoreless game of WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgher Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse career, sophomore midfielder Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) responded with her most productive one, scoring a career-high seven goals in a 17-10 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Ashley Prizio

The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Eastern (3-6, 1-1 little east), downing Plymouth (3-3, 1-1 little east conference).  The conference win follows a loss a week ago which snapped Eastern's 21-game conference winning streak.

Prizio, who scored 37 goals at Division I Long Island University in 2009, was held off the board in a 9-7 loss to Wellesley College Wednesday. Saturday, she connected on seven of her eight shots. She scored six of her goals in the first half, staking the Warriors to an insurmountable 13-4 half time on the way to their season-high goal total.

The Warriors seized early momentum in the game, scoring five consecutive goals in the opening 12 minutes to take a four-goal lead. The advantage never dipped below three the rest of the way. Prizio and senior attack Courtney Bedocs (Hamden) each scored twice in that early rush.

The Warriors, three-time defending LEC regular-season champions, collected nine caused turnovers to force 26 Plymouth turnovers. Senior attack Brooke Wayte (Bellport, NY) chipped in three goals for Eastern, won four draws and picked up three ground balls, with Prizio, senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) and junior midfielder Ashley Del Vecchio (Fairfield) causing two turnovers each. MacDonald won ten of 21 faceoffs and shared team-high honors with Del Vecchio with four ground balls.

Freshman goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made nine saves for Eastern to log her first conference victory.Seven of her stops came in the second half.

Plymouth season scoring leader Kalie Judd scored the first goal of the match in the opening 90 seconds, but the Panthers trailed by 11, 16-5 before she broke through again with 19 minutes left.

Plymouth sophomore midfielder Britney Chiles  won seven of 12 faceoffs, captured five draws, caused three turnovers and scooped up two ground ball.

A total of eight yellow cards resulted in six extra-man goals, four by Plymouth.

With seven goals, Prizio extended her team-high total to 25.

Eastern hosts Connecticut College Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 


 

SOFTBALL: EASTERN NO. 1 AGAIN

Warriors win five of six games to repeat as region's top-ranked team

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team repeated as the No. 1 team in New England in the third weekly NEISCA Division III poll, and moved up one spot to No. 13 in the seventh weekly NFCA Division III Toop 25 national poll.

The Warriors swept UMass Boston and Springfield College and split with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy since the last poll, all games being played on the road. The Warriors are one of only two New England teams listed in the NFCA Top 25 this week. 

Above Molly Rathbun

Sophomore All-America right-handed pitcher/DP Molly Rathbun (Hebron) repeated as New England Pitcher-of-the-Week and also shared New England Player-of-the-Week honors. She was  also honored in both categories by the Little East Conference (in games through this past Sunday) in its weekly awards program.

The team's top pitcher and leading hitter, Rathbun batted .632 (12-for-19) in six games with two doubles, two home runs, ten RBI, a 1.053 slugging percentage and .650 on-base percentage. As a pitcher, she won four games without a loss and had a save in five appearances with a 0.51 ERA in 27 1/3 innings and broke her own program record for consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. She fanned 45, walked nine and allowed eight hits. Opponents batted .092.

In those six games, Eastern fielded at .975 defensively and outscored its opponent by a 2-to-1 margin. Sophomore all-region outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) batted .421, and senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) and senior first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) .368. O'Toole and Alicea both drove in four runs and Alicea, Church and freshman third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) all scored five.  

Eastern hosts Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader Sunday at 1 p.m. at the University of Connecticut.

EASTERN BASEBALL TEAM BOPS SPRINGFIELD BY 28-4 COUNT

Seven players  have multiple hits and eight multiple RBIs in assault

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior second baseman John Parke (Middlefield) and junior first baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) combined for seven hits, seven RBI and seven runs scored to spark a 24-hit attack off five pitchers which carried the No. 13 Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 28-4 rout of Springfield College Wednesday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At right: Tyler Turgeon

Ranked third in New England and 13th nationally in Division III, Eastern (14-5) unloaded  season-highs for runs, extra-base hits (14) and total bases (49) en route to its sixth win over Springfield (9-12) in as many seasons.

The Warriors sent eight batters to the plate it the first inning and nine in the second in racing to an 8-0 lead. An eight-run sixth inning featured five hits and was highlighted by the first of two home runs in the game by Turgeon and a bases-clearing single by junior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) (he was thrown out between first and second after falling and injuring himself while running out  a drive into the ga).  In a nine-run eighth inning, Eastern sent 13 batters to the plate. Five of its six hits were good for extra bases, with Turgeon belting a two-run home run, freshman third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) doubling twice, and freshman shortstop Drew Accomando (Monroe) tripling.

All-America senior infielder Melvin Castillo (Danbury) broke his second career record in a week, setting a new standard  for total bases. He tied Dwight Wildman's ('04) record of 447 with a two-run double in the second and set a new mark with a one-out single in the fourth. Castillo, already the career home run and RBI leader, has 448 total bases. Castillo has hit safely in his last two games after having a 16-game hitting streak snapped Monday; It marked his 15th game this year with more than one hit and eighth with more than one RBI.

Parke was 4-for-7 (his second four-hit game this year) with three RBI and five runs scored. He had two triples and a double. Turgeon was 3-for-6 with four RBI and two runs scored. He homered twice. Senior outfielder Chris Thomson (Montville) hit his third home run in as many games, giving him five home runs in his two-year Eastern career in only 87 at-bats.

Senior lefty pitcher Mike Tingley (Rockvile)  left the game with a no-hitter in the fifth inning (he walked five and hit a batter) and on the long end of a 8-1 lead, falling two outs shy of his second win of the year (pitchers need to pitch five innings of a nine-inning game in order to be credited with a win). Junior lefty Bill Roveto (South Windsor) pitched 2 2/3 middle innings of relief to gain his second win in as many relief appearances this season.

Roveto is 2-0  in seven career appearances, following his father, Rob, who was 14-0 in his two-year career in the early 1980s which also included a save in the championship game of the 1982 national tournament. Turgeon is the son of Eastern's former shortstop, Mike, who hit 12 home runs in his three-year Eastern career before signing with the Chicago Cubs as their sixth-round draft pick in 1977. Tyler Turgeon played the 2008 and 2009 seasons at Division I Quinnipiac University.

Eastern hosts Keene State College Saturday in a noon Little East Conference doubleheader.

EASTERN W-LACROSSE OFFENSE QUIET IN 9-7 LOSS TO WELLESLEY

Blue controls tempo over final 13 minutes as Warriors drop third straight

barrett72dpi_5939.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  The Wellesley College women's lacrosse team played a ball WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgpossession game throughout, scoring  the final three goals and holding Eastern  Connecticut State University off the board over the final 13 minutes in downing the Warriors for the third straight time, 9-7.

Above: Eastern's defense had its hands full with Wellesley freshman Meagan Fuchs (4), whose late goals gave the Blue the win. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Eastern turned the ball over 15 times in the second half and couldn't score again after taking a 7-6 lead with 13 minutes left. Wellesley scored the tying and go-ahead goals 22 seconds apart and Meagn Fuchs scored her team's final two goals. After senior attack Katie Bears (West Hartford) gave Eastern its final lead, 7-6, with 12;47 left, the Warriors were held to just one shot and commited nine turnovers.

There were four ties and four lead changes and neither team led by more than two goals at any point. The loss was Eastern's third straight and evens its home record at 2-2.

The Warriors hindered their chances of a comeback by playing a man down for six of the final nine minutes. With Eastern trailing by two, senior center Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) was sent off the field for pushing with just over two minutes left. MacDonald took all 18 faceoffs for Eastern, winning all six in the first half and nine of the first ten.

Eastern's four double-digit goal scorers this year combined for only four goals, with only one player managing more than one. Wellesley season goal leader Jenny Holland  was kept without a goal, but Fuchs scored four to up her season total of 17. Junior goalie Mary Mattia mad 11 saves for the winners, but was called upon for just two in the second half when the Warriors mustered only ten shots

Allison Robbins, Katie Bourque and Nicole Labbee all had four ground balls for the Blue, while MacDonald of Eastern won seven of her own faceoffs with draw controls. Eastern sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield)  did not score a goal for the first time this year but picked up a team-high five grounds. MacDonald, freshman midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and senior Dana McLaughlin (West Hartford) followed with four ground balls each.

Eastern looks for its first Little East Conference win after an opening loss when it entertains Plymouth State University Saturday at 1 p.m

EASTERN SOFTBALL OVERCOMES EARLY DEFICIT, SWEEPS PRIDE

Down by five in first inning, Warriors rally for eight unanswered runs

manzo72dpi_5486.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. -Sophomore Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) had a two-out, two-run  single to spark a four-run second inning that helped the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team climb out of an early five-run hole and post an 8-7 victory over Springfield College Tuesday afternoon and complete a sweep at Potter Field.

At left: Rosie Manzo

Trailing 5-0 after the first inning of the second game, Eastern (13-3)  scored eight unanswered runs over the span of three innings on eight hits and five Springfield (11-12) errors which paved the way for five unearned runs. The Warriors are ranked No. 1 in New England and No. 14 nationally.

Sophomore Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the first game and drove in two insurance runs in a three-run eighth inning with a two-out double after sophomore Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) plated the first run of the game with a single. Rathburn got two swinging strikeouts and an outfield foul out in the bottom of the eighth to preserve the win. Alicea had three of Eastern's six hits.

In the first inning of the first game, Springfield got consecutive two-run doubles and was aided by three walks and an error to build a quick 5-0 lead, but Eastern answered with four runs of its own in the top of the second inning on four hits, two errors and a wild pitch, tied the game in the top of the third with a run on two hits and another error, and surged ahead with three runs in the fourth on two hits, a walk and two more errors.

Batting ninth, Manzo delivered a two-run, two-out single in the Warriors' four-run second inning and opened the three-run fourth inning with a walk and later scored the go-ahead run to give Eastern a 6-5 lead.

 Rathbun (8-1) fanned 19 in 11 2/3 shutout innings in gaining a complete-game  win in the first game, and her first save of the season in the second.

Rathbun and seniors Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) all had two hits for Eastern in the second game. Freshman Christine Akcer (Miflord) gained her fourth win in six decisions as the second of three Eastern pitches, Rathbun gained the save by striking out six without a walk over the final 3 2/3 innings.

In the doubleheader, Alicia had four hits, senior Kim Church (Farmington) three hits and two runs scored and Rathbun three hits (two doubles) and three RBI. Rathbun lowered her ERA to 0.33 and upped her team-leading batting average to .465. Alicia is batting .458 and Church .333.

Eastern  hosts Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the University of Connecticut.

CHURCH DOMINATES MONTCLAIR STATE IN FIRST HOME START, 6-2

He pitches two-hitter over 7 innings; Thomson, Dewing drive in five runs 

church_72USE_5797.jpg

 MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Freshman righty Benjamin Church (Rochester, MA) pitched a two-hitter over  his seven-inning stint in his first home start and Chris Thomson (Montville) and Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) combined to drive in five run as the No. 13 nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team defeated Montclair State University, 6-2, Tuesday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Above: Benjamin Church (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

In his third collegiate start, Church (2-0) pitched four hitless innings after givng up a leadoff infield single in the second and a one-out double in the third. He fanned a career-high nine and walked three in the longest stint of his short career.

Thomson homered for the second time in as many games, boasting Eastern (13-5) into the lead for good, 2-1, with a two-run home run  that followed a leadoff walk by Robert Perry (Manchester). Thomson's run-scoring double made it 3-1 in the sixth, Dewing stroked a two-run double to center with two out in the seventh to make it 5-1, and Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) came off the bench to belt his fourth home run - a solo shot in the eighth - that pushed the lead to 6-1.

Thomson was the only player with more than one hit, going 3-for-4 to improve his batting average to .400. Dewing now has 32 RBI on 26 hits. Senior All-America Melvin Castillo (Danbury) reached base all four times he came to bat with a hit, two walks (one intentional) and a hit-by-pitch. He doubled into the right field corner leading off the sixth and scored on Thomson's double and drew an intentional walk and scored on Dewing's two-out double in the seventh. Castillo is now batting .500 with a .593 on-base percentage.

Against Church, Montclair (9-7) managed to hit only five balls out of the infield, none over the first three innings. The Red Hawks, scratched out the first run of the game in the second on an infield single by Kevin Bond, walk and infield ground ball. A one-out double in the third by leadoff hitter James Bionde was the team's only other  hit off Church, who retired 12 straight after that hit until issuing a one-out walk in the seventh to Michael Boggi.

Senior lefty Wes Dutton (Waterbury) fanned three over the final two innings to close out the win. He aided his own cause when Montclair was scoring a run in the ninth by picking off a runner and getting strikeouts for the other two outs of the inning.

Eastern stole five bases in the game - at least one coming in all four innings in which it scored runs. The Warriors were caught only once, that coming in the fourth when Thomson overslid second base after leading off the inning with a single.

Eastern hosts Springfield College Wednesday at 4 p.m.

EASTERN BASEBALL DRUBBED BY WESTERN NEW ENGLAND, 11-6

First-year pitcher Evan Chamberlain a bright spot for No. 11 Warriors

thomson_72dpi_5241.jpg

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team 
fell behind by nine runs and never fully recovered as Western New England College defeated the Warriors for the third straight season, 11-6, Monday at Trelease Park.

At right: Chris Thomson

Ranked No. 8 in New England, Western New England (15-4) won for the eighth time in the last nine games while Eastern (12-5) has split four games since returning from Arizona. After losing  36 of the first 38 meetings between the programs, the Golden Bears have knocked off the Warriors the last three times the programs have met.

No. 3 hitter Joe Griglun and leadoff batter Ryan Dudzinski each reached base four times and each drove  in four runs for Western New England. Griglun had two doubles, a single and hit-by-pitch and leadoff hitter Dudzinski had a bases-clearing double  in the fourth and also singled, walked and reached on an error.

Senior Chris Thomson (Montville) drove in three runs for Eastern - ranked No. 3 in New England and No. 11 nationally -- with a pinch three-run home run in a six-run sixth inning and junior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) reached safely three times with  two hits and a walk and drove in a run. The home run was the first of the season and the third of Thomson's two-year Eastern career.

First-year sophomore Evan Chamberlain (Hebron) - the third of five Eastern pitchers - pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his debut, giving up only one hit. Chamberlain allowed a single, sacrifice fly and hit a batter after being summoned in the fourth, but didn't' surrender a hit and allowed only one baserunner over the next two innings.

Western New England junior righty Zach Cloft shut out Eastern over the first five innings and was eventually charged with two runs on three hits before being lifted while the Warriors were batting around in the sixth and scoring six runs on Turgeon's RBI double and Thomson's home run, three walks and a hit batsman. He fanned five and walked five.

Eastern hosts Montclair State University Tuesday at 4 p.m.

RATHBUN KO's COAST GUARD AS EASTERN SPLITS DOUBLEHEADER

Alicea's eighth-inning single lifts Warriors to 3-2 victory en route to split

plateathome72dpi_5750.jpgNEW LONDON, Conn. - Sophomore Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) had a one-out RBI single in the top of the eighth inning and sophomore Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team edged the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 3-2,  in the first game on the way to a split of Monday's doubleheader at Nitchman Field.

Above: Eastern catcher Nikki Mustin applies the tag to Coast Guard's Anna Funk in the sixth inning of the second game of Monday's doubleheader.

In the second game, Coast Guard (17-5) scored three times in the fourth inning on three hits, a walk and an infield error on the way to a 4-2 victory.

Eastern (11-5) entered play rated No. 1 in New England and No. 14 nationally. Coast Guard is ranked third in New England. The second-game loss snapped a five-game Eastern winning streak.

Eastern broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning of the first game with what proved to be the game-winning run. With  the international tie-breaker rule in use -- which places a runner on second base to start the inning - sophomore Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) bunted freshman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) to third, and Alicea ripped a single through the right side to plate Cooper easily from third. In the bottom of the eighth, Eastern cut the tying run down at the plate when Rathbun fielded a bunt and nailed pinch runner Summer Dupler on a throw to senior catcher Nikki Mustin (Canterbury) for the second out. Dupler had moved from second to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Stacia Sarwinski before No. 9 hitter Megan Cook attempted to squeeze in the tying run.

Rathbun (7-1) pitched her third straight one-hitter and fourth in the last five starts in the opener for Eastern and hit a solo home run to give Eastern (11-3) a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning Rathbun had a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings before the Bears broke through for their only hit and both runs in the sixth. After Rathbun walked Sarwinski and sophomore Maddie Buchert, junior Amanda Frederick stroked a two-run double to right-center to tie the game.

In the second game, Coast Guard loaded the bases in the fourth inning  of a scoreless game on singles by freshman Holli Bastinck and senior Carin Sweeney and a walk to sophomore Jamie Kim. With sophomore Kassondra Silva (Hamden) on in relief of freshman starter Christine Akcer (Milford), Sarwinski bounced an infield ground ball to the left side that was booted, allowing the first two runs of the game to score. Kim later scored on an RBI single by Buchert.

Eastern got two unearned runs back in the fifth on three opening hits, a walk and error but the Bears escaped further damage by turning a sacrifice fly into an inning-ending double play. Leading by one, Coast Guard scored again to make it 4-2 in the fifth on an two-out RBI single by Sweeney. The Warriors cut down another potential pad run at the plate in the sixth when sophomore second baseman Christine Yeomans (Durham) erased pinch runner Anna Funk  trying to score from third on an infield ground ball, but sophomore winning pitcher Hayley Feindel (15-5) retired Eastern in order in the seventh.

Allowing 3.8 hits per seven innings this year, Feindel allowed seven in each game to Eastern, but fanned 11 in the complete-game opening loss and seven more in the victory.

Rathbun had two hits in each game for Eastern to improve her season average to .457. Alicea had two hits in the first game and Silva and senior Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) ad two each in the second game. Sweeney had three of Coast Guard's nine hits in the nightcap and Frederick added two, including a double.

Eastern visits Springfield College Tuesday for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader.

 

Game 1
Eastern Conn. 3, U.S. Coast Guard Academy 2, 8 inn.

Eastern Conn. (11-2)              001    100    01 -- 3 7 0
U.S. Coast Guard (16-5)         000    002    00 -- 2 1 1

Molly Rathbun (7-1) and Nikki Mustin. Hayley Feindel (14-5) and Amanda Frederick. 2B-Arielle Cooper (E), Frederick (C); 3B-Priscilla Alicea (E), HR-Rathbun (2). 

Game 2
U.S. Coast Guard Academy 4, Eastern Conn. 2

Eastern Conn. (11-3)              000    020  0 -- 2 7 1
U.S. Coast Guard (17-5)         000    310 x --  4 9 1

Christine Akcer (3-2), Kassondra Silva (4) and Nikki Mustin. Hayley Feindel (15-5) and Amanda Frederick. 2B-Frederick (C).


 

At Coast Guard Spring Invite, Amanda Quinones sets record in 3,000 SC

petrizzo_raw_4591.jpg

NEW LONDON, Conn.  - Junior Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) won the 100 and 200 meter WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgdashes and ran the anchor on the winning 4x100 meter relay for the Eastern Connecticut State University women's track and field team Saturday at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Spring Invitational.

Above: Amber Petrizzo

As a team, Eastern accumulated 92.2 points to finish in fifth place, less than ten points behind winner University of New Haven in the 11-team field.

Sophomore Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) set a program record in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, placing fifth in a time of 12:44.45 to break the former record (by 90 second), which was set exactly one year ago.

gingras_raw_4529.jpgFreshman Cora Gingras (East Hampton)  competed in four events, qualifying for New England Division III post-season competition in the high jump (4-11), long jump (15-11 ¾) and triple jump (33-3).. She was second in the long jump, fifth in the high jump and eighth in the triple jump.

At left: Cora Gingras

A total of 12 different individuals contributed points and the Warriors won four  individual events and one relay.

In addition to Petrizzo, sophomore Kristianna Ibsen (Shelton) bested the field in the javelin, senior Erika Barber (Portland) won the pole vault (9-9), and the 4x100 relay won its event. Petrizzo was first among 33 in the 200 (26.73), and first in a field of 24 when she qualified for next month's  ECAC Division III Championship in the 400 (59.89). Ibsen won the javelin for the second time in as many meets with a toss of 122-4 in a field of 18, Barber won her specialty for the 11th time in her outdoor career by pacing 13 other competitors, and the 4x100 relay was clocked in a winning time of 51.66 to pace six other competing teams. Runners on the relay were junior Roxanne Atterbury (Manchester), senior Monica Mills (East Hartford), freshman Christine Charpentier (Masuk) and Petrizzo.

Petrizzo's first-place finishes netted her 20 points, and  Gingras added 17 points in four events with Ibsen totaling 16 points. Ibsen added four points with a fifth-place finish in the shot put and two with a seventh-place finish in the discus to go along with ten points as the javelin winner.

Also adding points were senior Sandra Brautigam (Scotland) in the 100 hurdles, Atterbury in the 200, Mills in the 400 hurdles, sophomore Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) in the pole vault, and the 4x400 meter relay. Brautigam added six points (third in the 100 hurdles), Atterbury three (sixth in the 200), Mills one (eighth in the 400 hurdles) and Gibeault 2 tenths of a point (tied for eighth in the pole vault). The 4x400 relay of Atterbury, Mills, Charpentier and Petrizzo contributed five points with a fifth-place finish.

Eastern hosts its own invitational Friday at 4 p.m.

SIX FROM EASTERN M-TRACK GAIN POST-SEASON QUALIFICATION

At Coast Guard, Edwardsen sets record in winning 110 meter hurdles

edwardsen_72_4456.jpgNEW LONDON, Conn.  - Freshman Tyler Edwardsen WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpg(Ledyard) broke the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field record in winning the 110 meter hurdles at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Spring Invitational Saturday.

At left: Tyler Edwardsen

Competing in the event for only the second time outdoors, Edwardsen outran a field of 16, winning by .09 seconds in an Eastern record time of 15.45. The old record of 15.51 was set two years ago. Already having qualified for New England Division III competition earlier this season, Edwardsen qualified for next month's New England Open and ECAC Division III Championship meets.

As a team, Eastern tied for fifth place in the 11-team field, totaling 63 ½ points. Coast Guard won the team title with 165 ½ points. A total of 12 different individuals contributed points and six qualified for post-season competition.simpson72_4607.jpg

Junior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica) amassed a team-high 18 points, with Edwardsen totaling 12 ½, freshman Corey Simpson (Norwich)  ten and freshman Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) eight.

At right: Corey Simpson

In a field of 31 at 100 meters, Lowe was first and Simpson third and in a field of 48 in the 200, Lowe was second and Simpson fifth. Lowe qualified for the ECAC Championship in the 100 (10.98) and the New England Division III Meet in the 200 (22.41). Simpson (11.20) qualified for the New England Meet in the 100.

Others qualifying for the New England Meet were sophomore Nick Pates (East Haven) in the 400 and Verrill in the high jump. Pates was eighth among 41 in the 400 in a time of 51.33 and Verrill second in a field of 11 in the high jump at 6-1 ¼.

Others adding to Eastern's point total were senior  Steve Landry (Groton), freshman Joshua Fitzpatrick (Beacon Falls), junior James DiBeneditto (Enfield), freshman Zacc Ouellet (Chaplin) and the 4x400 meter relay of Pates, freshman Tim Callahan (Portland), sophomore Casey McGarvey (Bozrah) and freshman Colin Whiston (Brooklyn). In the javelin, Landry totaled six points by placing third and DiBeneditto two by taking seventh; Fitzpatrick had two points with a seventh-place finish in the long jump, and Ouellet one point with an eighth-place finish in the 400 hurdles. The relay was sixth for three points.

Eastern hosts its own invitational Friday at 4 p.m.

 

EASTERN SAAC HELPS HAITI WITH FIRST-AID AND FLIP-FLOPS DRIVE

 Items to be collected at home athletic events this week

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Eastern Connecticut State University is collecting WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgfirst-aid items and flip-flops for Haiti. These items may include home first-aid kits, flip-flops, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bar soap, deodorant, shampoo, or wash cloths.

Anyone may bring their items to any of the following home competitions during the week of April 6-11:

Tuesday, April 6
Baseball vs. MONTCLAIR STATE, 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 7
Women's Lacrosse vs. WELLESLEY  COLLEGE, 4:30 p.m.
Friday, April 9
Track and Field hosting EASTERN INVITATIONAL, 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 10
Baseball vs. KEENE STATE doubleheader, noon
Women's Lacrosse vs. PLYMOUTH STATE, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 11
Softball vs.  vs. PLYMOUTH STATE, 1 p.m. at University of Connecticut

All donations will be taken directly on May 27 and go to the Christian Haitian Outreach Children's Orphanage in Haiti.

For more information or further questions please email Courtney Bedocs at bedocsc@stu.easternct.edu.

 


 

 
 

 

ACADEMICS AND ATHLETICS: A DIFFICULT BALANCING ACT

By Alaric Robinson II 

Willimantic, CT- As a college student, the pressures of academic success often conflict with social interaction and the balance between grades and friendships.  For many, it is difficult enough to meet academic expectations without extracurricular and other engagements.  Yet many collegiate athletes are able to participate year round, sometimes participating in two different sports during the year.  After meeting with some highly competitive athletes on the Eastern Connecticut women's soccer team, I was given a quick rundown of what a typical day is like.
 

Taylor MacDonald is a senior and four year member of the women's soccer and lacrosse teams at Eastern.   During the course of a week Taylor is typically occupied Monday through Saturday by classes, her internship and an average of 12 hours of practice a week, along with game days and weekend practices.  When asked about the difficulty of balancing the workload, Taylor surprisingly replied it actually helps her with her time management skills.   As a result, she continues to spend time with her close friends, which to some would seem impossible, but for Taylor it is something she enjoys and manages to do quite often. Currently in the final season of her career one of the sports that Taylor will miss most is, lacrosse. "I will definitely miss playing next year, I am hoping I can find some other team to play for after this year."
 

Kimberly Church, a senior and member of the women's soccer and softball teams, is another student athlete whose schedule also seems a bit overextended. However, Kim maintains a 3.8 GPA while working as a tutor, attending classes, practices and games.  Keeping up this hectic pace offers a unique sense of motivation for Kim, "The busy schedule actually forces me to complete my homework and plan better." When asked how participating in sports has impacted her work ethic she compared the year round commitment to a job, "It definitely helps, you have to put in that extra effort just as you would with a job, it prepares you for life after college."  

 Lauren Hickey, a Junior and member of both the women's soccer and basketball teams identifies with the same pressures as her teammates and considers sports a huge part of daily life. "A typical day for me includes classes, a workout, practice, work and I'll probably finish around 8 or 9pm." Although her busy schedule keeps Lauren out late, she seems to appreciate the daily routine and believes it keeps her well rounded.  Because many of her close friends are on the team, practice can sometimes offer a sense of relief in her hectic day. As a junior, Lauren seems very determined to continue a demanding, yet successful career here at Eastern in athletics as well as in the classroom.
 

Talking with Head Women's Soccer Coach Chris D'Ambrosio, he provided great praise for these four young women, their work ethic, their contributions to the women's soccer program and the entire university. When asked to describe each player individually, "Coach D" stated, "Taylor gives us great effort each time, she's always ready to work hard.  With Kim as our goalie, she is very vocal and provides a solid work ethic.   Lauren is a great leader, she is one of our more fit athletes who is also key to our program."   In describing another member of his team who is also a two sport athlete with soccer and track and field,  Coach D'Ambrosio priased  Amber Petrizzo  as "another great athlete, whose participation in track helps her with conditioning." Coach D believes the commitment of these players has been beneficial to their growth as individuals.
 

For these athletes the motivation for continuing to participate throughout their four years has been the love of sport and the will to improve. Taylor proclaims that she enjoys the game and competition, while Kim has returned because her team has improved each year and she is looking to leave a lasting impact after her final season. "One of the biggest reasons I continue to play is because of our strong team, we are always improving, my teammates are awesome." Among the many strides each player has made throughout their careers, their successes in and out of the classroom have been equally impressive.

Southern Maine scores six extra-man goals but can't knock off Warriors

albertson-tornatore_72_4979.jpgGORHAM, Maine - Eighteen Eastern Connecticut State University penalties resulted in six University of Southern Maine extra-man WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpggoals, but the Warriors survived to post an 18-13 victory in the Little East Conference opener for both schools Saturday at Paula Hodgdon Field.

Above: Grant Albertson (24) and Vinny Tornatore (22) had a hand in 11 of Eastern's 18 goals.

Eastern used a fast start to take a 6-1 lead in the final minute of the first half but was never able to completely shake the Huskies, who capitalized on Eastern's season-high high total of 18 penalties to score six extra-man goals. Four of the man-up goals came in the first half, when Kayle Hamilton beat Eastern freshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) on an assist from Kyle Baker with 67 seconds left to pull Southern Maine as close as it would get, 8-6.

 Junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) recorded personal-bests with five goals, three assists and eight points to carry Eastern (6-2) to its third straight road victory. Southern Maine (2-4) lost its second home game in as many contests.

Senior attack Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) scored two of his season-high four goals in extra-man situations three minutes apart in the third quarter, and Albertson potted his second goal of the match soon after to give Eastern a 12-7 lead halfway through the third quarter.  Sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) also contributed three goals, including the first two of the match 24 seconds apart in the first minute of play.

Berube made 11 saves over the first 53 minutes and left with an 18-10 lead en route to his fifth win in net in six decisions.

Junior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) missed the match after coming off the field with a hip injury in the opening minute of Thursday's 11-6 victory at Mount Ida College.

 Eastern visits Plymouth State University Sunday at 12:30 in a conference match to be played at the Holderness School.

 

 

KEENE CATCHES EASTERN W-LAX

Warriors lose first LEC regular-season match after 21 straight wins

 

barrett_head_300_2048.jpg WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgKEENE, N.H. - The Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team found itself in an unfamiliar position after Saturday afternoon's 20-14 Little East Conference loss to Keene State College.

Second place.

At left: Megan Barrett

The three-time defending conference regular-season champion, Eastern (2-5, 0-1 little east) had a 21-game regular-season conference winning streak ended by Keene (4-3, 1-0 little east) in the conference opener for both clubs at the Owl Athletic Complex. After winning its final three regular-season conference contests in 2006, Eastern had won all six of its regular-season LEC contests over the last three seasons.

Keene (first) and Eastern (second) were the top teams in the coaches' pre-season poll after the Owls bumped off the top-seeded Warriors in overtime at Mansfield in last year's LEC title match.

Eastern freshman defender Daniela Marchitto (Orange) led Eastern with a career-high five goals, but junior midfielder Jamie Albert of Keene totaled nine points on seven goals and two assists in dropping the Warriors to 1-3 away from home this season.Keene, which had played two Division II opponents plus top Division III contender Springfield College thus far, was making its home debut.
 
Marchitto scored four consecutive goals as Eastern overcame an early 5-2 lead to take a 6-5 lead midway through the first half, but Albert answered with four of her own to push the hosts into a 10-8 halftime lead.

After having converted more than half of their 34 free-position shots this year, Eastern missed eight of 11 against Keene, which connected on six of eight.

First-year sophomore attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) netted four goals for Eastern and also won five draws, with senior midfielder Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, MA) and junior attack Ashley DelVecchio (Fairfield) winning four each. Sophomore defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) led all Eastern players with five ground balls.

Albert upped her team-leading goal total to 22. Junior attack Jill Kirk finished behind Albert in points with seven on four goals and three helpers.  Junior attack Lauren Sawyer, Keene's team leader with a conference-high 21 assists, was held without a point in the match.

Eastern hosts Wellesley College Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

 

NO. 14 WARRIORS PREVAIL IN LEC

Rathbun's arm and bat propel softball team to 9-0, 8-3 wins over UMass

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  WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgBOSTON - Whether Molly Rathbun's (Hebron) right arm or right-handed swing is more potent became a point of  discussion Saturday afternoon, when the sophomore All-America utility player pitched and hit the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to a 9-0, 8-3 sweep of the University of Massachusetts Boston  in the Little East Conference openers for both teams Saturday at the Clark Athletic Center.

Above: Molly Rathbun

Rathbun pitched a complete-game (five innings) one-hitter in the opener for her fifth win of the year and drove in two runs with two hits, then pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief for her sixth victory in the nightcap, and hit a seventh-inning grand slam home run as the No. 14 nationally-ranked Warriors  won twice in their northern and conference debut.

In the opener, Rathbun lost a no-hit bid on a bunt single for the second time this year and finished with her eighth one-hitter in 27 career stats. She fanned seven and walked three. Rathbun, senior centerfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) and junior DP Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) all had two hits and two RBI in the opening win. Soychak and senior first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) each had two-run doubles.
 
A  freshly-minted No. 1 ranking in New England didn't jinx the Warriors Saturday, but there were some anxious moments in the second game when Eastern was forced to rally from a 2-0 deficit after three innings. Eastern tied the game with two unearned runs in the fourth when the hosts commited two of their five errors, then scored five runs in the top of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie. O'Toole's RBI snapped the 3-3 tie before Rathbun unloaded a two-out grand slam - her first HR of 2010 and fifth of her career -- to make it 8-3. Rathbun fanned five and walked one as the third of three pitchers in the game, and senior shortstop Kim Church (Farmington) was 3-for-3 and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh after a leadoff double.

Freshman righty Christine Akcer (Milford) was lifted in the third inning of the second game after surrendering hits to three of the four batters she faced. First-year sophomore transfer Kassondra Silva (Hamden) stranded two runners as the Warriors escaped further damage in the third, and was replaced by Rathbun in the fifth while UMass was scoring a run to tie the game at 3-all. Rathbun got five of six outs via strikeout in the final two innings.

In the doubleheader, Rathbun was 4-for-6 with six RBI, and Church 4-for-6 with three runs. Sullivan and sophomore utility player Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) each had three hits. O'Toole drove in three runs and sophomore all-region outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) scored three runs as the leadoff hitter.

Through 12 games, Rathbun is 6-1 with a 0.16 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings. Offensively, she is batting .400 with a team-leading 11 RBI.

Eastern visits the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a 3 p.m. doubleheader Monday. The Bears were ranked No. 21 nationally two weeks ago.

With help of coach, No. 9 hitter socks game-ending, two-run double

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - Chris Cannata's (Southington) fourth hit of the game drove in the tying and winning runs with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning and lifted the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 7-6 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader and the Warriors went on to sweep the Beacons at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Two singles and an error loaded the bases for Eastern (12-4, 2-1 little east) in the bottom of the ninth, and with two out, Cannata drove a 2-2 pitch within two feet of a grand slam, the ball bouncing high off the left-center field wall and plating pinch runner Drew Accomando (Monroe) and John Parke (Middlefield) with the game-winning runs that kept righty Will Musson (Wethersfield) perfect (7-0) in two years of conference competition.

In the second game, Melvin Castillo (Danbury), Parke and Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) combined for 12 hits, nine RBI and seven runs in a 10-5 victory that was the 1,300th in the career of 42nd-year-head coach Bill Holowaty (1,300-478-6).woj_cannata_72dpi_5324.jpg

Cannata stroked his game-ending drive (above) followiing a brief conversation with veteran third-base coach Bob Wojick (at left). A veteran of 34 seasons at Eastern, Wojick noticed that the UMass catcher was tipping off the location of his pitcher's offerings by setting up well before the pitch. After Cannata missed badly on an outside breaking pitch on the third pitch of the sequence, Wojick called time to speak with the hitter, telliing him that he would give him a signal if the catcher was setting up inside prior to the pitch. Sure enough, the catcher did just that, and Wojick verbally relayed the information to Cannata, who turned on the inside fastball and drove it off the fence. 

In the second game, Castillo was 5-for-5 with four runs scored, Parke 4-for-4 with a double, grand slam home run, six RBI and three runs scored, and Kingsley 3-for-4 (he also reached on an error) with three RBI as the trio reached safely in all 13 of its at-bats.

Right-handed starter Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) improved to 6-1 lifetime against conference opponents by winning the second game. Fontaine (2-0) pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits.

holowaty_72dpi_5392.jpgOne day after blowing a five-run ninth-inning lead in a 9-6, ten-inning loss, Eastern made Musson the complete-game winner when it rallied for its two unearned runs in the ninth inning of the opener. With one out, Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and pinch hitter Kingsley singled around an UMass Boston (9-8, 0-2 little east) infield error against reliever Tony Damon. Damon got a strikeout for the second out and was up in the count to Cannata before the No. 9 hitter  turned on an inside fastball on a 2-2 count and drove it off the wall for his second double of the game.

At left: Bill Holowaty earns win No. 1,300

Castillo and Parke each had two hits in Eastern's 14-hit attack in support of Musson (2-0), who gave up seven hits and only one walk and fanned seven in recording his second career complete game at Eastern.

Trailing 4-2 in the first game, Boston surged in front by scoring three times in the sixth and tacked on an insurance run in the seventh to make it 6-4. Tim Fontaine, who hit two solo home runs in the second game, drove in two runs in the three-run sixth with a two-out single.

In addition to Fontaine's two home runs in game two, Drew Tambling socked a two-run home run and finished with two hits and three RBI for UMass.

 The winningest coach in any sport at any level in New England intercollegiate athletics, Holowaty is the winningest active coach in Division III baseball. He ranks third all-time nationally among Division III baseball coaches, trailing only Gordie Gillespie and Don Schaly. Gillespie won 1,816 games at four different schools over  a span of 51 years through 2009, while Schaly earned 1,438 wins over 40 seasons at Marietta College through the 2003 season.

 


 

In setback, All-America Castillo becomes program's all-time RBI leader

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Saturday at Mansfield

vs. UMass Boston (2), noon

Live Audio   Live Video

MANSFIELD, Conn. -- For the Western Connecticut State University baseball team, it turned out to be a good Friday, after all.

Senior shortstop Sam McNeil's two-out, three-run double in the top of the ninth inning capped a five-run rally and the Colonials scored three tie-breaking runs in the tenth on one hit, a walk, two hit batsmen and an Eastern Connecticut State University infield error in a 9-6 win in the Little East Conference opener for both schools Friday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Above: Melvin Castillo
 
Ranked No. 11 nationally, Eastern (10-4, 0-1 little east) had an eight-game winning streak snapped in losing to Western (5-7, 1-0 little east) for the sixth time in 71 meetings in its first home game of the season. Eastern was the pre-season favorite to win the conference after claiming last years LEC tournament title, Western being rated sixth.

Western scored eight of its runs in its final two at-bats. Of the eight runs, three scored after batters reached on hit-by-pitch, two after walks and one after getting aboard on an error.
 
Until the top of the ninth inning, the game was dominated by starting pitchers Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) of Eastern and Josh Murray of Western. Until the last inning, the only runs allowed by either starter were solo home runs by Eastern All-America senior third baseman Melvin Castillo (Danbury) on the first pitch he saw in the fourth and a game-tying shot by Western senior first baseman Dan Baccaro in the sixth.

Eastern broke a 1-1 tie by scoring five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-1 lead, but Western sent ten batters to the plate in the top of the ninth. Eastern pitchers allowed three hits in the inniing, walked two and hit two. Senior centerfielder Dan Amarante and senior pinch hitter John DiGiovanni drove in the first two runs of the inning before McNeil unloaded a long bases-clearing double to dead center to tie the game. In the tenth, sophomore leftfielder Anthony Ruffo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give Western a 7-6 lead and late-inning sophomore infield replacement Tim Nelson plated two more with a single.
 
With his one-out home run to right-center in the fourth, Castillo became the program's all-time leader with 196 RBI. The home run extended his program record to 41. Sophomore catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) had two doubles among his three hits for Eastern, while Castillo and junior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) each had two hits. Dewing's RBI single drove in the first run of Eastern five-run eighth inning, and Cammuso added a two-run, bases-loaded single.
 
Senior righty Steve Bainer stranded the tying run at the plate to gain the save for Western. With two outs and two on, he got left-handed-hitting junior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) on a game-ending foul fly to the catcher after Turgeon had fouled off five pitches with the count full,
 
Schult left the game in the ninth with a 6-1 lead after hitting the first two batters and getting a ground ball out. He fanned six and walked only one and gave up five hits and did not figure in the decision. In his first appearance of the season, the 6-foot-5 inch tired in the eighth after pitching seven strong innings. He allowed only four hits with six strikeouts and only one walk before hitting the first batter of the eighth, then surrendering four consecutive singles with one out.after Eastern junior leftfielder Rob Perry's (Manchester) bases-loaded RBI single made it 3-1. Senior righty Jeff Gordon of Western hit a batter to force in the third run of the inning, and Cammuso stroked the first pitch he saw into left field for two more runs to make it 6-1.

Eastern hosts the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday at noon in a conference doubleheader. Senior righties Will Musson (Wethersfield) and Matt Fontaine (Cranston, RI) are expected to open on the mound in Games 1 and 2, respectively. Musson  is 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA, Fontaine 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA.

 

 Man-down unit kills seven penalties in Warriors' win over Mount Ida

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 NEWTON, Mass. --  Senior midfielder Maxim Fantl (West Hartford) turned a Mount Ida College fourth-quarter turnover into the team's first goal after 18 scoreless minutes and the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team went on to an 11-6 non-conference victory Thursday afternoon at the Mount Ida Athletic Complex.

Above: Maxim Fantl

Mount Ida (2-4) kept Eastern (5-2) off the board in the third quarter and scored twice to cut the Warriors' five-goal halftime lead to 7-5 before Fantl ignited a quick four-goal Eastern spurt as the Warriors re-gained the momentum to post their third win over the Mustangs in as many years.

Ranked No. 11 in New England, Eastern remains unbeaten in three matches this year against New England opponents and evens its road record at 2-2. The Mustangs are six-time defending North Atlantic Conference champions.

With Eastern's offense stalled throughout the third quarter, Fantl kick-started it in the early minutes of the fourth. Two minutes into the period, Mount Ida turned the ball over in Eastern's defensive end and Fantl picked it up and raced the length of the field before beating Mount Holyoke sophomore goalie Jimmy McAllister with a low shot from the right wing inside the left pipe to end the team's extended scoring drought.

Following Fantt's lead, senior midfielder Zach Malouf (Norwich), sophomore midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) and junior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) struck for goals over the next three minutes to push the Warriors' lead to 11-5 with 8:30 left.

Mount Ida's hopes for a comeback were dashed in the final five minutes when it was unable to capitalize on a two-man advantage. First, the Mustangs commited an unforced turnover that gave Eastern a critical possession, then were flagged with their only penalty of the match with 3:38 remaining and Eastern leading by six.

berube_72dpi_5033.jpgFreshman goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) was credited with 13 saves, six coming with Eastern's offense sputtering in the third quarter and kept the hosts from pulling any closer than two goals.

At left: Donald Berube

Eastern's man-down unit played a key role in the victory, as it killed off all seven of Mount Ida's extra-man opportunities to improve its season percentage to .362.

Junior defenseman Daniel Dowling (Hamden) and freshman midfielder Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) combined to win ten of 18 faceoffs after junior faceoff ace Eric Vasil (Southiington) left the field for the remainder with a hip injury after winning the games initial faceoff. Last year's national leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls, Vasil brought a .721 success rate into the game.

Malouf and Bolivar each had three goals for Eastern, Malouf adding an assist. Albertston contributed two goals and a helper.to improve his team-leading point total to 25.

Eastern begins Little East Conference play Saturday at 2 p.m. against the University of Southern Maine at Deerfield High School in South Portland, ME at 2 p.m.

Eastern Conn. 11, Mount Ida College 6

Eastern Conn. (5-2)               4    3    0    4 -- 11
Mount Ida College (2-4)          1    2    2    1 --   6

Goals: E-Zach Malouf 3, Salieu Bolivar 3, Grant Albertson 2, Maxim Fantl, Brian Fechtmann, Vinny Tornatore; M-Nick yacuzzi, Dan Harrington, Brandon Keith, Christopher Prophete, Matthew Savage, Kevin Mulvey.
Assists: E-Albertson, Fantl, Malouf, Dan O'Reilly; M-Harrington, Yacuzzi.
Shots: E-39, M-40; Saves: E-Donald Berube 13 (6 goals allowed, 56:48 min.), Jamie Tommins 1 (0, 3:12); M-Jimmy McAllister 15.

 

 
 

 

EASTERN SOFTBALL BACK ON TOP IN NEW ENGLAND DIVISION III POLL

New England Poll.pdf          NFCA Top 25 Poll.pdf

No. 14 nationally-ranked Warriors are No. 1 in second NE rating of season

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 WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- For more than a dozen years through the mid-1990s - when it won 11 straight regional and five national chaWARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgmpionships -- the Eastern Connecticut State University softball program was a permanent resident atop the New England Division III poll.

The Warriors are officially back.

For the first time since the season-opening poll of the 1995 season, Eastern has been ranked as the No. 1 team in the region after winning eight of its first ten games in Clermont, FL. The fast start - which equals the start of the 2008 team in Florida - also made them a repeat selection as the No. 14-ranked team in the fifth weekly NFCA Division III Top 25 national poll, released Wednesday. The Warriors were ranked third in New ENgland in the first poll of the year on the strength of a 5-1 start.

Behind All-America sophomore pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron), Eastern has outscored its ten opponents to date by a 51-11 margin, has given up only five extra-base hits, and is fielding at .969. For holding her opponents without an earned run in 22 innings last week, Rathbun was named New England Pitcher-of-the-Week by the ECAC and by New England Intercollegiate Softball Coaches' Association (NEISCA) and as the Little East Conference Pitcher-of-the-Week.

Six of the remaining nine teams in the New England poll are on Eastern's schedule this year. Rathbun carried a perfect game into the team's 3-0 win over No. 9 Bowdoin College March 22. The Warriors will face No. 2 Brandeis University April 22 at Waltham, MA, No. 3 U.S. Coast Guard Academy this coming Monday in a doubleheader at New London, No. 5 Wellesley College and No. 6 Tufts University April 18 at Wellesley, MA, and No. 8 Keene State College April 17 in a Little East Conference doubleheader April 17 at Keene, NH.

Eastern is playing all of its games this season on the road while a new field at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex is in the planning stages.

Offensively for Eastern this year, all-region sophomore outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) is batting a team-high .483 with a team-high ten RBI, a .655 slugging and .483 on-base percentage, all-region senior outfielder Ashley Sullivan (Trumbull) is batting .346, and Rathbun .333.

In three games last week, Rathbun had a 2-1 record with a 0.00 ERA. In 22 innings, she allowed only six hits (five singles) and two runs while fanning 25 and walking six. She pitched a perfect game for 6 1/3  innings against Bowdoin and a no-hitter for 6 1/3 innings against Buffalo State in her two wins. Her loss came when DePauw University scored two unearned runs in the eighth inning with the international tie-breaker system. This year, Rathbun is 4-1 with a 0.19 ERA, 48 strikeouts and ten walks in 36 innings. In 34 career appearances, Rathbun is 20-8 with a 0.68 ERA and has seven one-hitters.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Massachusetts Boston.