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March 2011 Archives

Baseball: Warriors Rally Late, 6-5

Cannata caps comeback with game-ending RBI double in ninth


Saturday, April 2: Game 2

vs. Plymouth State - 3:15 p.m.


MANSFIELD, Conn. - Batting ninth in the lineup, senior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington) doubled his season RBI total with a game-ending double that scored senior centerfielder Joe Cousineau (Newington) from first base with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and propelled the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 6-5 non-conference win over Roger Williams University Thursday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At right: Chris Cannata

Cannata's second RBI of the season capped a come-from-behind win for Eastern (13-3), which scored single runs in the final three innings to overcome a two-run deficit and defeat Roger Williams (9-11) for the seventh time in this eight-game series. Eastern is ranked No. 1 in New England No. 7 nationally in Division III.

In a tie game, Cousineau was hit on the first pitch from losing pitcher Chris Anderson with one out in the ninth, and Cannata drove the first pitch he saw on one hop to the fence in left. The relay from leftfielder Zach Porter to shortstop Mike Thomas was dropped in shallow left field as Cousineau crossed the plate standing up.

Trailing 5-3 after the visitors scored four runs in the seventh on a walk and five consecutive hits, Eastern got one back in the seventh in driving freshman starting pitcher Chris Fumasoli  from the box on sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski's (Berlin) RBI single to right. The Warriors left the bases loaded in the inning but were able to tie the game in the eighth on junior rightfielder Steve Cammuso's (Rutland, MA) two-out RBI single to left that sent home senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) from second.

Roger Williams wiped out a 3-1 deficit with four runs in the seventh on Porter's two-run, game-tying single and back-to-back doubles from cleanup hitter Tony Trafecanty and Thomas.

Of Eastern's runs, three scored by batters who walked and another by a batter who was hit by pitch. Two Roger Williams pitchers threw six wild pitchers, walked seven and hit three batters and the Hawks also commited three errors and that led to an unearned run.

Cannata reached base four times in the game. He was hit by a pitch twice and singled in the fourth before sending home Cousineau with the winning run in the ninth.

A catcher by trade, Cammuso made his first career start in right field and senior Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) started his first career game at second base. Cammuso had two hits and his relay to Kingsley cut down a runner at the plate during the Hawks' four-run seventh inning. Kingsley handled six chances in the field without an error.

Balowski joined Cammuso and Cannata with two hits each while Perry reached safely three times with two walks and an infield hit and scored two runs.

The top seven starters in the Roger Williams order hit safely, with leadoff hitter Mike Pascarella singling in each of his final three at-bats, Porter driving in two runs and Trafecanty and DH Trevor Sybertz also recording two hits each.

First-year sophomore transfer Mike Riemer (Ellington) won his second game in as many decisions by keeping the game scoreless in the top of the ninth. Pascarella singled to open the ninth, but Riemer got two ground balls and a foul out to end the inning. Freshman Greg Porter (Mystic) pitched 4 2/3 innings for the second time in two career starts but did not figure in the decision. Porter allowed only one run on five hits while fanning four and walking two. He was lifted with two out and a runner on third base and Eastern leading 2-1 in the fifth.

Senior first baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) extended his hitting streak to 14 with  third-inning infield single, and Balowski hit safely in his 12th straight.

Eastern opens Little East Conference play Saturday at noon when it hosts Plymouth State University in a doubleheader.



W-Lacrosse: Warriors Pull Away for Win

After ten-day layoff, they never trail in 17-11 victory over MHC


SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -  Eastern Connecticut State University's defense limited Mount Holyoke College to one goal over the final  12 minutes as the Warriors started and finished strong in a 17-11 non-conference women's lacrosse victory Wednesday afternoon.

At right: Rachel Meotti

With a ten-day rest, Eastern (2-4) raced to a 5-0 lead after 13 minutes and later used a 5-1 run over the final 14 minutes to defeat Mount Holyoke (3-5) for the third time in four meetings in the series.

Freshman  Erin Conn (Moriches, NY), sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and junior Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) scored four goals apiece for the Warriors, who were outshot by two in the match and had eight less draw controls.

Mount Holyoke matched Eastern's fast start by answering with five straight goals of its own.
The teams went back-and-forth in the early stages of the second stanza, with neither side leading by more than two goals. An unassisted strike by Brianne Phelan cut the Lyons' deficit to 10-9 midway through the second half before the Warriors took control for good by outscoring the hosts  7-2 down the stretch. Conn figured in on three of the goals, scoring two and assisting on another.

First-year sophomore Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) picked up six of Eastern's 22 ground balls and caused five turnovers, with Conn winning four draws and converting four of her five shots. Sophomore goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) stopped 14 shots.

Eastern visits Wellesley College Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. for only its third match in a span of 25 days.

Rathbun Serves Notice: She's Back

All-America throws third no-hitter in opener and hits three HRs in sweep

rathbun_72pitchinghitting_3700 copy.jpgMIDDLETOWN, Conn.  - Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched her third no-hitter in her last 16 starts and belted a grand slam in the opener and added two home runs in the nightcap to power the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to a 7-0, 11-3 sweep of Wesleyan University Wednesday afternoon. The second game was halted due to darkness after six innings.

Above and inset: Molly Rathbun

Rathburn (4-0)  celebrated her 50th career pitching win with her third career no-hitter and also hit a fourth-inning grand slam in the team's northern opener.  Rathbun set down the first ten batters in order before walking No.2 hitter Tori Redding with one out in the fourth. Redding was the only batter to reach base. Rathbun (50-9) struck out seven and did not allow a ball out of the infield until Talia Bernstein flew out to center to end the game.

Rathbun had missed her last start after being struck in the right knee with a line drive a week ago against the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) and senior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) all had two hits in the first game. Rathbun homered to center field to drive in four runs and cap a five-run fourth inning that broke the game open.

In the second game, Rathbun hit her 15th and 16th career home runs with a two-run shot in the first  and solo blast to cap another five-run outburst in the second and freshman centerfielder Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA) hit her first in an 11-hit attack to complete the sweep. Jobin and rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) both had three hits, with Alicea doubling and tripling. Jobin drove in three runs with a second-inning single and two-run home run in the third and scored twice while Alicea drove in two runs with a second-inning triple and scored twice. Paterson extended her hitting streak to eight with a sixth-inning RBI single. Jobin made her first two starts of the season in center field.

Sophomore Christine Akcer (Milford) pitched a complete-game three-hitter with five strikeouts and one walk in the second game.

Behind Paterson and Soychak, Eastern did not have an error in either game. Paterson handled 18 chances at first and Soychak 13 behind the plate. Freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) was perfect on ten chances.

After pitching ten one-hitters, Rathbun recorded her first no-hitter a week apart in post-season play a year ago. She allowed only one baserunner (walk) May 7 in a 10-0, five-inning no-hit win over Rhode Island College in the second round of the Little East Conference Tournament. A week later, she walked three in a 2-0 no-hit victory over Rivier College in the second round of the NCAA Division III regional tournament. In a 3-0 win  over Bowdoin College nine days ago, Rathburn had a perfect game spoiled with one out in the seventh and settled for her 13th one-hitter in  55 career starts.

The complete-game no-hitter was the 29th in the program's 35-year history. Rathbun moved into a tie for fhird all-time with her third no-hitter. Christia Mohan hurled nine in a four-year career ending in 1990 and Kim Durocher five in a two-year career in 1985 and 1986.

On Sunday, Eastern faces Tufts University at 1 p.m. and Wellesley College at 3 p.m. at Wellesley, Mass. Eastern is the second-ranked New England team in the NFCA national poll, ranking 12th.

Baseball: No. 7 Warriors Stumble, 12-9

In home-opener, four errors present Valiants with six unearned runs

Thursday vs. ROGER WILLIAMS, 3:15 p.m. LISTEN LIVE


MANSFIELD, Conn. - On the day the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team was rewarded with a No. 7 national ranking on the heels of an eight-game winning streak, the Warriors gift-wrapped a 12-9  victory to Manhattanville College Tuesday afternoon in the home-opener at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Above: Joe Cousineau's strike to third baseman Joe Balowski cuts down Manhattanville's Matt Petrunti trying to advance on a third-inning fly ball.

Having fielded at nearly .970 through the first 14 games, Eastern (12-3) commited four errors that led to six unearned runs as the Warriors kicked away a 7-2 lead in losing to Manhattanville (10-4) for the first time in five games in this series.

The loss comes two days after Eastern had posted a perfect 8-0 record in Arizona that lifted it into the No. 1 ranking in the first New England poll and  No. 7 rating in the first ABCA national poll, and vaulted it from 24th to 13th in the fifth weekly national rankings.

Trailing 7-2, the Valiants stunned Eastern with a six-run fifth inning. A leadoff error got things going for the visitors, and  junior first baseman Chris Nardozzi  applied the key blow with a bases-clearing double that cut the Warriors lead to 7-6.  Nardozzi later scored the tying run on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Johnny LoVetere and a ground ball plated senior second baseman Alex Braverman with the go-ahead run.

Eastern answered by tying the game with a run in the bottom of the inning on senior rightfielder Shane Kingsley's (Beacon Falls) two-out RBI double, but the Valiants snapped an 8-all tie by scoring four times in the ninth on five hits and Eastern's fourth error of the game. Four consecutive singles followed the first out of the inning.

Batting eighth, freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) drove in four runs for Eastern with a two-run triple in Eastern's five-run second and two more in the third with a single that upped the Warriors' lead to 7-2. Senior DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) led Eastern with three hits to improve his average to  .458, with Kingsley, senior first baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich), sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) and O'Connell all had two in Eastern's 13-hit attack. Schult also walked to reach safely four times and Balowski walked and scored three runs. 

In his first start at Eastern, first-year  sophomore righty Andrew Merritt (Norwalk) did not allow an earned run through the first four innings before  a hit, two walks, and a sacrifice fly led to his undoing in Manhattanville's six-run fifth.  Sophomore righty Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) was the most effective of five Eastern pitchers. Purnell was inserted as the third pitcher in the fifth and pitched 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit and only one walk. He fanned four.

After raking Manhattanville starter A.J. Marini for seven runs on eight hits through three innings, the Warriors were limited to five hits and two runs over six innings by relievers Donny Pitasi and Alex Mason. Mason was recipient of his team's four-run ninth inning and gained his third win without a loss by tossing the final two innings.

Every hitter in the Manhattanville lineup contributed to the 13-hit Valiants' attack, with eight batters scoring a run.

Eastern hosts Roger Williams University Thursday at 4 p.m.

M-Lacrosse: Warriors Overcome to Win

Eastern kills nine of ten penalties, emerges with 12-11 win over Conn


Saturday, April 2 vs. Southern Maine -12:55 p.m.


MANSFIELD, Conn. - In a game where neither team scored more than two unanswered goals, Eastern Connecticut State University  scored four of the final six  to post a 12-11 men's lacrosse victory over Connecticut College Tuesday night in a non-conference match at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Mike Sullinger (at right) battles Clay Hillyer of Conn College in the second half of Tuesday night's 12-11 win. Sullinger's only goal with 34 seconds left proved to be the game-winner.

Eastern (5-2) was assessed the first eight penalties of the match and ten of 13 in the gamed but emerged with the win when junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) set up junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) for the deciding goal with 34 seconds left.

Sullinger's game-winning goal was the final one in a contest which featured eight ties and five lead changes. The Warriors never led by more than one goal but trailed by three midway through the second quarter. The Warriors never trailed, however, after senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) tied the match at 9-all with his second goal on a pass from Sullinger with 2:31 left in the third quarter.

Eastern, which evens the all-time series at 2-2 (none of the matches have been decided by more than four goals), successfully killed off the first seven penalties of the match before Connecticut College (2-5) converted its only extra-man opportunity in ten tries to take a two-goal lead with 3:25 left in the first half. The goal is the only one allowed by Eastern's man-down team on 18 chances in the last two matches.

Leading 4-2 late in the first quarter, Conn couldn't pad its margin despite having a three-man advantage beginning in the final seconds of the quarter.  Behind the effort of senior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington), Eastern was able to clear the ball out of  its own end of the field while playing three men down and held the Camels without a shot in that time.

Bolivar's second goal of the match with six minutes left pushed Eastern into an 11-10 lead before Conn  senior midfielder Mark Mangano  tied the match for the final time by scoring his sixth goal (four came in the first half when he scored all of his team's goals) with 4:14 left. Eastern sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) initially caught the shot in his stick but couldn't control it as it bounced in.

Sullinger's  team-leading 23rd point (tenth goal) on a feed from Bolivar shot the Warriors back into the lead with 34 seconds left. Conn sophomore midfielder Brendan Schrader won the ensuing faceoff when junior defenseman Nick Rodricks was credited with the ground bal. Conn called a timeout with 24.5 seconds left, and after Eastern's defense neutralized senior attack Ryan Hayes, senior midfielder Eric Duran  took a shot that sailed wide. The Camels re-gained possession with 0.4 seconds left but could not get an attempt off before the final horn.

Vasil, the national leader in ground balls and faceoff percentage, won 17 of 26 faceoffs and controlled 12 ground balls. Bolivar had four ground balls and matched Albertson, Eric Kluge (North East, MD), a sophomore midfielder, and freshmen midfielders Mike Devine (Cheshire) and Tyler Fresen (Newington) with two goals each.  Fresen had scored only one goal through the first six matches but struck twice in the final 2:21 of the first half to help the Warriors re-gain momentum and pull into a 6-6 tie at halftime.

Mangano scored on his first four shots and on six of 12 in the match. Sophomore midfielder Stephen Eicher followed Mangano with three goals.

Berube made ten saves - all coming after the first quarter -to gain his fifth win in seven decisions.  Conn junior Rob Moccia sustained his his third loss in as many decisions - all coming off the bench in five matches. Moccia made five saves after being inserted in place of sophomore starter John Lenehan  to start the second half in a 6-6 tie.

Eastern opens its Little East Conference schedule Saturday at 1 p.m. by hosting the University of Southern Maine.



Baseball: No. 1 Warriors Extend Streak

In 8-4 victory, three pitchers allow 12 hits but walk only one


QUINCY, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team was out-hit 12-6but three pitchers walked only one and the Warriors capitalized on three walks and two errors to score four runs in the fifth in an 8-4 win over Suffolk University Monday afternoon at Adams Field.

At right: Tyler Turgeon

Ranked No. 1 in New England, Eastern (12-2) won its ninth straight game and defeated Suffolk (7-6) for the tenth time in 12 tries in this series.

With one hit each, senior first baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich), hit safely in his 12 straight game and  sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) extended his hitting sreak  to ten. Turgeon drove in two runs with a fifth inning single while junior DH Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA)  and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA)  each drove in two runs. Cammuso had two sacrifice flies and O'Connell had a two-run single when Eastern took a 2-0 lead in the second on unearned runs.


New England Poll No. 1.pdf

After a year's absence, the Warriors returned to the top spot in the weekly New England Division IIII baseball poll, released Monday. Based on an 11-2 start and a perfect 8-0 record in Arizona, Eastern earned the top billing in the first weekly NEIBA poll. The Warriors received five of six first-place votes and were one of three Little East Conference clubs in the ranking.

Eastern was last rated first in the final poll of 2009 after winning the Little East championship and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Warriors opened the 2010  poll at No. 3 on the strength of a 10-3 record. It was their highest ranking of the season.


Senior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) and relievers Evan Chamberlain (Amston) and Mike Riemer (Ellington) gave up 12 hits but walked only one while striking out 11. Third all-time at Eastern with 67 appearances, Wojick (3-0) carried a 6-3 lead into the sixth inning. He was lifted after loading the bases on a walk, hit batter and single. After giving up an RBI single, Chamberlain stranded the winning run by coaxing an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.

Senior centerfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacons Falls) reached four times with three hits and a walk. He scored the team's first run in the fifth and first run in the seventh.

With its fourth loss in six games,  Suffolk drops to 2-4 this season against Little East Conference teams.

Eastern opens its home schedule Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Manhattanville College.


Track: Huhn, Hultzman Second at BSU

Freshman pair are second in pole vault and high jump, respectively

huhn72front_4560.jpgBRIDGEWATER, Mass. - Freshmen Amy Huhn (Hebron) and Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) each captured a second-place finish and sophomore Cora Gingras (East Hampton) took a fourth and fifth place Saturday at the Bridgewater State University Bears' Track & Field Invitational at the Swenson Field Complex.

At right: Amy Huhn

Huhn recorded a mark of 9-0 in the pole vault and Hultzman 4-11 ¾ in the high jump. Both matched the height of the winner, but were relegated to second place on jumps.  Hultzman equaled her height of a week ago at Northeastern University which qualified her for the New England Division III Championships in May.

Gingras was fourth in the high jump (4-7 34) and fifth in the 400 meter hurdles (1:15.38) while senior Ashlee James (Franklin) was fifth in the triple jump (31-6) and seventh in the 400 hurdles (1:16.72).

Others finishing among the top eight were junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull), who was eighth (third among Division III participants) with a time of 5:07.89 in a field of 25 at 1,500 meters, and  freshman Sarah Krulicki (Torrington), who was fifth in the hammer (98-3).

A total of 13 schools competed in the non-scoring meet which including Division II, III and community college competitors and was conducted under sunny skies but in cold and windy conditions.

Eastern visits the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Saturday at 10:30 a.m.


Track: Secore, Fish Snare Firsts at BSU

At Bridgewater State Invitational, freshmen claim individual titles


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - Freshmen Brody Secore (South Windsor) and Josh Fish (Bozrah) captured individual titles when the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field team competed  in its second outdoor meet of the season Saturday the Bridgewater State University Bears' Invitational at the Swenson Field complex.

At right: Fish, Secore inset

Secore won the 800 meters in a time of 1:59.39, outdueling a field of 26 competiors and edging Eric Nygaard of Little East Conference foe UMass Dartmouth by a half-second.

Fish, who did not compete indoors this year and did not record a height in his first collegiate competition last weekend at Northeastern University, reached 12 feet to claim the individual title. His mark bested Stonehill College's Luke Byrnes by a foot.

A total of 13 schools competed in the non-scoring meet which including Division II, III and community college competitors and was conducted under sunny skies but in cold and windy conditions.

Also finishing among the top eight in an event were sophomores Alex Verrill (Hiran, ME) and Colin Whiston (Brooklyn), and senior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica). Verrill recorded jumps of 19-9 ¼ to take fifth among 21 competitors in the long jump and 5-10 in the high jump to finish seventh among  11. Whilston was eighth in a time of 2:07.09 in the 800, and Lowe was timed in 23.75 at 200 meters to claim sixth place among 41.

Eastern visits the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Saturday at 10:30 a.m.-

Baseball: Warriors a Hit in Arizona

Behind Schult, they complete perfect spring trip with 11-3 win over BVU


TUCSON, Ariz. -- The hits just keep on comin' for the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team, which completed a perfect spring trip with an 11-3 rout of Buena Vista University in a matchup of 2010 NCAA tournament qualifiers Friday morning at the Kino Sports Complex.

At right: Jim Schult
Ranked No. 24 in Division III, Eastern (11-2) won all eight of its games in Arizona for the second time in three years, scoring an average of 14 runs in each game and totalling ten or more in all but one.
Senior DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) had his third four-hit game in the last four in leading the 19-hit attack. Schult was 4-for-6 with two RBI, senior centerfielder Joe Cousineau (Newington) 3-for-5 with two RBI and senior rightfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Trailing 2-1, Eastern batted around in the fifth inning, scoring five times on five hits. Turgeon drove in two runs with a single and Schult and junior catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) contributing RBI singles.
In a battle of unbeaten pitchers, first-year junior righty Jim DImon (Seymour) outdueled senior Luke Probasco (3-1). Dimon (3-0) allowed only one earned run over the first five innings on five hits. He fanned two and walked three. Probasco, who lost by a score of 2-1 to eventual national champion Illinois Wesleyan University  in the first round of last year's regional tournament, was knocked out in the sixth inning after Schult's two-out RBI single gave Eastern a 7-2 lead.

On the trip, every batter with at least ten at-bats batted at least .300 for the Warriors, who batted .408 as a team and averaged 13.5 runs and 17.4 hits. Schult, freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA), Turgeon and Cousineau all batted over. .400, with sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) at ..394. Schult and O'Connell both batted .500, with Turgeon at .471 and Cousaineau at .409 Schult batted .591 in the last four games while Turgeon hit safely and had RBI in all eight games. He had more than one hit six times.

Eastern visits Suffolk University Monday at 3:30 p.m.



Baseball: Warriors Outslug Superior

cammusouws72_2077.jpgSac flies by Vaccarelli and Cammuso in 8th keep them unbeaten on trip

Box score.htm

TUCSON - Freshman Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott) and junior Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) hit sacrifice flies in the bottom of the eighth inning to help carry the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team back from an early five-run deficit in a 13-12 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Superior Thursday afternoon at the Kino Sports Complex.

At right: Steve Cammuso

Ranked No. 24 nationally, Eastern (10-2) remains unbeaten in seven games in Arizona, with one game remaining Friday vs. Buena Vista University at 1p.m. EDT at Tucson.

Down by a run entering the bottom of the eighth, the Warriors scored twice to extend their winning streak to seven and defeat Superior (2-5) for the second time in four days.Senior Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) was hit by a pitch to get the inning going and pinch runner Joe Cousineau (Newington) was sent to third on a sihngle by sophomore Joe Balowski (Berlin). Vaccarelli's fly ball to center plated Cousineau with the tying run, and after a single by freshman Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) advanced the runners, Cammuso followed with another fly ball to center that sent in Balowski with what proved to be the winning run.

Senior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) was credited with his second victory in as many decisions this year. Wojick was summoned while the Yellowjackets were scoring three runs in the eighth to take a 12-11 lead.

One day after pitching 4 1/3 innings for his first win, first-year sophomore righty Andrew Merritt (Norwalk) earned his first save by completing a scoreless ninth inning. Merritt was called with the tying run aboard and none out in the inning. After a sacrifice bunt and single put runners on the corners, Merritt put out the fire by inducing Tom Fairbanks to hit into a double play begun by O'Connell at short.

Eastern collected double-digit runs  for the fifth straight game and sixth time in seven Arizona games. Both teams had 14 hits but also combined for five errors.

Senior Shane Kingsley (Beacons Falls) rapped three hits for the Warriors, with Dewing and Cammuso knocking out two each and combining for five RBI. Senior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) recorded his second home run of the year - a two-run shot.


Softball: Warriors Win 7 of 10 in Florida

Wiliams wins extra-inning game after game-tying home run in seventh

Williams box.htm


UW-SP box.htm

CLERMONT, Fla. - The Eastern Connecticut State University softball team was unable to hold leads in the seventh and eighth innings in a 9-8 loss to Williams College Thursday afternoon at the National Training Center.

At right: Arielle Cooper

In its spring trip finale later in the day, Eastern (7-3) started five reserves against inter-sectional opponent University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (8-3) and sustained an 11-2 loss in five innings.

The loss to Stevens Point was the third straight for Eastern  after seven opening victories.  Ranked No. 3 nationally this year and the national third-place finisher in 2010, Eastern visits Wesleyan University for a 3 p.m. doubleheader in its northern openers.

Williams 9, Eastern 8 (8 inn.)

Eastern scored five unanswered runs to wipe out a two-run deficit after three innings, pushing across the tying runs in the top of the fourth and three go-ahead runs in the seventh to carry a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh. Williams   (6-0) forced extra innings, however, when it picked up consecutive one-out singles before getting a one-out, three-run game-tying home run from designated player Kaitlin Dinet.

The Warriors went ahead again by scoring a run in the top of the eighth on freshman  shortstop Megan Godwin's (Manchester) one-out double, but Williams won the game by scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Allison Hart and a game-ending bases-loaded single to center by winning pitcher Mary Beth Daub (3-0).

Against Eastern sophomore starter Christine Akcer (Milford) and junior Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA), the 4-5-6 hitters in the Williams lineup each had three hits, with Dinet driving in five runs. In addition to her seventh-inning home run, Dinet stroked a two-run single in the third to  break a 2-2 tie.

Trailing 4-2, Eastern tied the game in the fourth on senior catcher Rachel Soychak's (Mahopac, NY) two-out single that plated Manzo and junior centerfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford), who had drawn one-out walks and moved up on a ground ball by freshman rightfielder Stephanie Johnson (Southington).

The Warriors broke the tie with three runs in the seventh on two-out RBI singles by Alicea and Johnson. Godwin and sophomore infielder Kelly Paterson (Southington) each had three hits for Eastern, with Johnson, sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and Soychak each adding two. Cooper hit her first home run of the year with two outs in the first inning to give the Warriors the early lead.

Junior All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) missed her scheduled start after a line drive struck her right knee in Wednesday's  6-3 loss to Wisconsin-Superior. She did appear as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning and advanced a runner with a ground ball who eventually scored the go-ahead run. Her pinch runner scored the second run of the inning.

The game took two hours and 36 minutes to play and featured 13 hits by each side, 24 stranded baserunners, five extra-base hits, nine stolen bases and six sacrifice hits.

Stevens Point 11, Eastern 2 (5 inn.)

Stevens scored in four innings and ended the game with a six-run fifth inning, capped by cleanup hitter Katie Krueger's grand slam.

Trailing 5-0, the Warriors scored two unearned runs in the third on a two-out, two-run single by Paterson, who was making her first start at shortstop. The single plated Johnson (single) and pinch runner Katie Sokoloski (Eastford).

In her first start of the season, Manzo (0-2) was touched for five runs (three earned) on six hits. Defensively, Eastern commited five errors which accounted for three unearned runs.

Freshman righty Sara Babbitts (3-1) limited Eastern to four hits while striking out three and walking two in a complete-game effort.




Baseball: Warriors Overpower Hamline

In debut, Merritt pitches 4+ innings of relief for first victory at Eastern


At left: Andrew Merritt

TUCSON -Led by senior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY), six Eastern Connecticut State University batters had multiple hits in Wednesday's 13-4 win over Hamline University at Kino Sports Complex.

Schult had four hits - including a triple -- for the second straight game, drove in two runs and scored two, while senior Joe Cousineau (Newington), junior Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) and sophomore Joe Balowski (Berlin)) contributed three each. Balowski, Cousineau and Cammuso all had three hits and two runs scored, with Cousinieau and Cammuso each knocking in a run.

Senior Robert Perry (Manchester) and senior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) picked up two hits and two RBI each, with Perry tripling.
Ranked No. 24 nationally, Eastern (9-2) won its seventh straight game on its spring trip, collecting 21 hits. Hamline (1-4) dropped a 13-7 decision to the Warriors Tuesday.
 First-year right-handed sophomore transfer Andrew Merritt (Norwalk) was credited with his first win in his first outing. As the second of five Eastern pitchers, Merritt pitched 4 1/3 innings without allowing a run and only one hit. He fanned five and walked two.

As they have all week long, the Warriors continued to score late runs. Leading 8-2, Eastern tacked on five runs in the top of the ninth to pull away.
Eastern faces U. of Wisconsin-Superior Thursday at Tucson.


Softball: Wisconsin Proves Superior

 Line drive sidelines Rathburn in third inning; Yellowjackets win, 6-3

Elmhurst box.htm          UW-Superior box.htm         

godwinelm72_4224.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- Sophomore righty Christine Akcer (Milford) allowed only one earned run in pitching into the sixth inning and freshman shorstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) drove in two runs when the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team edged Elmhurst College, 6-5, in the first of two games played by the Warriors Wednesday at the National Training Center.

Above: Megan Godwin

Shooting for her 50th career win against nine losses, Eastern (7-1) senior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) was knocked out of the game when a line drive off the bat of Taylor VanDamme, struck her in the right knee in the third inning as the Warriors dropped a 6-3 dcision to the University of Wisconin-Superior in Wednesday's second game.

Rathbun (3-0) left the game with the score tied, 2-2 and was scheduled to have X-rays taken at a local hospital Wedneday night. She is not expected to pitch when the team wraps up its Florida trip Thursday with two games.

Eastern 6, Elmhurst 5

Eastern led 6-1 before Elmhurst (2-7)  scored four times in the sixth. Junior Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) came on to get the last out of the sixth on a fly ball and Rathbun struck out the side in the seventh to earn her second save. Akcer is 4-0 this year, 10-2 lifetime in two years.

Senior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) had three hits and junior centerfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) and Manzo two in Eastern's 11-hit attack.  Alicea had an RBI triple and sophomore third baweman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) doubled.

Wis.-Superior 6, Eastern Conn. 3

Eastern led 2-0 and 3-2, but the Yellowjackets went ahead for good, 4-3, with two runs off Akcer  in the fifth and tacked on two more in the sixth in handing Eastern its first loss of the year.

Rathbun pitched the first three innings and Akcer (4-1) allowed seven hits and four runs over the final four. Neither pitcher walked a batter.

UW-Superior (10-4)  junior Amanda LeBard (7-2) won her second game of the day with a complete game, She was touched for seven hits and gave up only one earned run while fanning three walking four.  The Yellowjackets went ahead for good with two runs in the fifth on two hits, two stolen bases, an error and a suicide squeeze. Five of UW-Superior's nine hits in the game never left the infield.

Eastern led 2-0 by scoring unearned runs in the first and second on singles from  Cooper and Rathbun in the first and a bunt single by Manzo and RBI ground ball by Rathburn. Akcer's two-out double in the fourth followed Cooper's one-out single and Alicea's sacrifice bunt and put the Warriors up for the second and last time, 3-2.

Thursdsay, Eastern faces Williams College at 11:30 a.m. and Wis.-Stevens Point at 3:30 p.m. 




Men's Lacrosse: Warriors Deflated, 12-7

They make run after early deficit but four-game streak halted


AMHERST, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University's top attacking line was held in check throughout and the Warriors couldn't complete a comeback from five goals down in a 12-7 loss to Amherst College Tuesday afternoon that ended a four-game winning streak.

At right: Mark Vincent

Ranked No. 20 in Division III and coming off a 10-3 win over nationally-ranked Connecticut College in its home opener Saturday, Amherst (4-1)  scored the first five goals of the game and limited the Warriors' top attacking line to a single goal and one assist. The Warriors had won their last four this year - scoring double-digit goals in each - and had upended Amherst, 14-12 a year ago at home.

Down 5-0 after 17 minutes (five different Amherst players scored goals), Easgtern later made it a three-goal match by the end of the third quarter, but the Lord Jeffs got quick goals from freshman Devin Acton and junior Cole Cherney that restored the five-goal advantage with ten minutes left in the game.

Acton led all players with four goals and junior Evan Redwood was credited with five assists. Junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) and freshman midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) each had two goals for Eastern, and sophomore transfer midfielder Eric Kluge (North East, MD) had a goal and three assists.

Eastern sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) made 17 saves and senior All-America midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) won 16 of 22 faceoffs against a pair of Amherst opponents, and picked up 12 ground balls Eastern's man-down unit excelled, stopping the hosts on all six of their extra-man opportunites..

Amherst junior Sam Jakimo won his fourth game in as many decisions in net, stopping 13 shots over the first 59 minutes.

Eastern hosts Connecticut College Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Baseball: Eastern Rocks Hamline, 13-7

Middle of order inflicts most of damage; team still unbeaten in AZ


 TUCSON, Ariz. - The heart of the Eastern Connecticut State University order reached safely ten times with eight hits and two walks in leading the Warriors to a 13-7 baseball win over Hamlin University Tuesday afternoon at the Kino Sports Complex.

Ranked No. 24 nationally, Eastern (8-2) remained undefeated in five games this week in Arizona. In those games, the Warriors are batting .405 and averaging 14.2 runs and 17 hits.

At left: Jim Schult

For the second straight game, Eastern recorded 18 hits, Tuesday's total coming against five Hamline (1-3) pitchers. Hamline opened its season this week after losing its first 13 scheduled games in a three-week period because of the collapse of the Metrodome roof.

Batting 2-3-4 in the order, seniors Rob Perry (Manchester), Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) combined for eight hits and two walks, drove in seven runs and scored four. Schult reached safely all five times with a triple, home run, two singles and a walk, while Perry had two hits and two RBI and scored a run and Turgeon two hits and scored once.

Schult sparked a three-run first inning with a two-run triple, drove  in one of the team's two runs in the second, singled in the fourth, hit his first home run (18th of his career) of 2011 leading off the seventh off new pitcher Rannon Arch, and walked in the seventh.

Perry has now hit safely in all nine games in which he has appeared this year, while Turgeon extended his current streak to eight. Perry has had at least two hits in five of his last six games.

The Warriors scored runs in seven of nine innings.

Junior righty Mitch Furber (Oakdale) pitched the first six innings to gain the win. Furber (1-1) allowed six hits and three runs while fanning four and walking one. He hit four batters, one shy of the record set seven years ago. In his debut as the third of four Eastern pitchers, righty Pat Barnett (Windsor), a 6-foot-6 inch freshman, retired all four batters he faced, fanning two of them. Hamline scored four of its runs in the ninth inning when Perry was inserted in order to preserve the pitching staff.

Eastern and Hamline meet Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT at Tucson.








Baseball: Eighth Inning Lifts Warriors

Warriiors score nine in eighth after two are out to overcome UW-Superior

Perry_72uwsup2297.jpgTUCSON -- Senior Robert Perry (Manchester) fueled a nine-run eighth-inning with an inside-the-park home run to power the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 17-8 win over the University of Wisconsin-Superior Monday afternoon at Kino Sports Complex.

At left: Robert Perry

Trailing 4-3, Eastern  (7-2) scored nine runs after there were two out and one runner on in the eighth on eight hits. Senior Joe Cousineau (Newington) tied the game with an RBI single and Perry put the Warriors ahead for good with his inside-the-park home run.

First-year sophomomre Mike Riemer (Ellingfon), son of 1978 Eastern first-team All-America Mark Riemer, gained his first win at Eastern in relief in his pitching debut.  Freshman righty Greg Porter (Mystic) started in his first collegiate appearance, pitching into the fifth inning before giving way to sophomore lefty Dave Cloutier (Chicopee, MA) with two runners aboard in a tie game. Porter retired the first two batters of the fifth was surrendered two walks and a game-tying RBI single. Cloutier walked the bases loaded, but junior righty Andrew Petrucci (Branford) left the sacks full with a strikeout of  Joe Ahrens.

Eighteen of the game's runs came over the final three innings, with the Warriors getting the better end by scoring 14 of those runs. After its nine-run eighth-inning uprising, Eastern tacked on five more in the ninth on five hits and a Yellowjacket error.

Porter scattered seven hits, and one one of the three runs charged to him were earned. He walked one and struck out one. Riemer, a Division I transfer, was touched for only one hit in two innings while fanning one and walking one.

Eastern collected 18 hits in the game. Senior Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and sophomore Joe Balowski (Berlin) both had three hits. Balowski had a double, eighth-inning triple and drove in three runs and Dewing plated two runs. Junior Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) and Perry eadch had two hits. Cammuso drove in four runs, Perry two.

The first six hitters in the Eastern order reached savely 19 times with 12 hits and seven walks. They also scored 13 runs and drove in nine.

In its four Arizona wins this week, Eastern is batting .392 as a team, fielding at .974 with a 4.00 staff ERA. Senior Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) tops six batters with .350 averages, batting a team-leading .600, with freshman Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) at .583, Dewing at .474, Perry at .389, sophomore Drew Accomando (Monroe) at .375, and Balowski at .353. Turgeon has accounted for 15 total bases, Dewing and Perry 13 each and Balowski 12.

Eastern faces Hamline University  Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT at Tucson


Softball: Warriors Now 6-0 After Sweep

All-America Rathbun fires one-hitter, drives in only run against Bowdoin

rathbunbow72dpi_3700.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) tossed a complete-game one-hitter and drove in the only run of the game with a first-inning double to propel the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team to a 1-0 win over Bowdoin College Monday afternoon at the National Training Center.

At left: Molly Rathbun

Eastern (6-0) completed its third sweep in as many days on the spring trip when sophomore righty Christine Akcer (Milford) and Rathbun, both 3-0,  combined on a six-hitter in a 4-2 victory over the University of Chicago (2-4) Monday night.

Eastern pitching walked only one batter in two games and struck out 15.

Rathbun perfect game spoiled  

For the second consecutive year in Clermont, Bowdoin  (4-5) leftfielder Caroline Dewar broke up Rathbun's bid for a perfect game by legging out an infield single to Eastern third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) with one out in the seventh inning.

Last year, Dewar bunted to the left side as the only batter to reach base before Rathbun got swinging strikeouts to preserve Eastern's 3-0 wictory.

Monday,, Dewar chopped a 1-0 pitch to Cooper and beat the throw by a step. Eastern sophomore leftfielder Courtney Weber (Groton) then flagged down a hard line drive near the left field line off complete-game losing pitcher Kara Nilan for the second out . After Dewar moved into scoring position by stealing second base, Rathbun walked  Toni DaCampo on a 3-2 pitch. On a 1-2 pitch, Rathbun induced an infield fly ball from Molly Nestor  to end the game.

Eastern junior All-New England centerfield Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) singled to third base to lead off the bottom of the first inning and later scored the only run. She stole second, moved to thrd on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore second baseman Amanda Palmieri (Southington), and rode home on Rathbun's double through the right-center field gap.
 Rathbun (3-0) outdueled Nilan for the win. Rathbun fanned nine and issued the lone seventh-inning walk. Nilan (2-2) allowed five hits and struck out 12 Eastern batters and did not walk a batter.

For the fourth game this year, Eastern did not commit an error.

Against Chicago, Warriors capitalize early again


 Eastern scored all of its runs in the first two innings and sophomore Christine Akcer (Milford) and Rathbun.combined on a six-hitter.

Six hitters had one hit each for Eastern, which scored three times in the second inning on two hits, a walk, error, and wild pitch. After the first run of the inning scored on an error, Alicea drove in No. 8 hitter Weber from third wit a single, and the third run scored on a wild pitch on a strikeout.

 A third inning RBI double and wild pitch in the sixth accounted for both runs off Akcer (3-0). Rathbun, who beat Bowdoin College on a one-hitter earlier in the day, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for her first save.

Chicago managed baserunners in each of the first three innings against Akcer but came away with only one run. By that time, the Warriors had built a comfortable 4-0 lead. Akcer's best work came in the sixth. THe Maroons came up with their second run of the game but Akcer returned three in a row to prevent further damage and strand a runner at third. Feshman shortstop Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA) snared a line drive on her knees for the first out and Akcer got a foul out and ground ball to end the threat.

Wednesday, Eastern meets Elmhurst College at 1:30 and UW-Superior at 5:30 p.m. (that game originially scheduled for 3:30 p.m.)




Baseball: Warriors Blast Williams, 15-3

 Wojick pitches seven innings; Warriors blow game open in ninth


CHANDLER, Ariz. -- In his second career start, senior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville)  scattered six hits over seven innings and the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team scored nine runs in the ninth in a 15-3 victory over Williams College Sunday afternoon at Snedigar Park.

At right: Chris Wojick

Ranked third all-time with 65 career appearances, Wojick (1-0) fanned three and walked two and allowed two runs in his fourth appearance of the season.
In the ninth, Eastern broke from a 6-2 lead by sending 13 batters to the plate, collecting four htis, four hit batters and two walks. Senior DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) led off the inning with a triple and senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) later contributed an RBI triple.
Schult was 3-for-4 with two stolen bases and Dewing drove in three runs and scored three with his triple and a double.  Senior rightfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) also drove in three runs with two hits. Sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) hit his first career home run -- a solo shot in the fourth.

The Warriors staked Wojick to a 3-0 lead before he took the mound by clipping sophomore Jimmy Ray (0-1) for four hits. Senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) doubled in the first run of the game, Dewing plate two more with a double, and Turgeon's run-scoring single upped the lead to 4-0.
Eastern faces UW-Superior Monday at 4 p.m. EDT at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson.



Softball: Warriors Chop Tommies, 6-4

 All-America Rathbun fires seven-hitter in 6-4 victory over St. Thomas

soychak_head_72_9240.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- Junior All-America righty Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched her 47th career complete game in 48 starts with a seven-hitter as the No. 3 nationally-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team downed the University of St. Thomas (MN), 6-4, Sunday night at the National Training Center.

At left: Rachel Soychak

In the first game of the day, Eastern (4-0) broke open a tight game by scoring five runs in the fifth, sparked by senior catcher Rachel Soychak's (Mahopac, NY) two-run single to make a winner of sophomore righty Christine Akcer (Milford) in a 6-0 triumph over the University of Scranton.

In a battle of former national champions against St. Thomas (7-3), Rathbun (2-0) saved five of her six strikeouts for key spots in the final four innings, stranding five runners over those innings. Rathbun is now 48-9 in her career.

Eastern scored four runs in the top of the first inning without a hit, combining five walks a suicide squeeze and infield error. St. Thomas starter Cassie Smith was lifted after walking the first two batters of the game.

Soychak had three of Eastern's six hits, while first-year sophomore shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) had two hits and was credited with an RBI when she was walked with the bases loaded in the first.  Batting fifth in the order, Soychak reached safely in all four of her plate appearances. She walked in the first, doubled in the third and her pinch runner - sophomore Katie Sokoloski (Eastford) - later scored, singled with two out in the fourth, and stroked an opposite-field single to right in the seventh.

Having recorded over 500 strikeouts in her first two full seasons, Rathbun struck out only one batter through the first three innings against a dangerous St. Thomas lineup, but bore down to fan five over the final four innings.  With the Warriors leading 6-2 in the fourth, the Tommies got one back in the fourth on a leadoff double, infield error and suicide squeeze, but Rathbun answered with six consecutive strikes - getting St. Thomas' 8-9 batters on strikes, and inducing leadoff batter Erica Wilson on a ground ball to Godwin at short on an 0-2 pitch.

Still down by three, St. Thomas threatened again in the sixth. A single and walk brought the tying run to the plate with one out, but Rathbun preserved the lead by getting two pinch hitters on swinging strikes.

In their final at-bat, the Tommies cut the deficit to two  on a one-out RBI single by No. 3 hitter Sydney Marquardt, but Rathbun completed the important win with a called strikeout of cleanup hitter Emily Gregory (0-of-4 on the night) and fly ball to center.

A fourth-inning fielding error was the first for Eastern in four games this year.

The game pitted the only two programs to win back-to-back NCAA Division III national softball titles in the 29-year history of the championship. Eastern was the first team to accomplish the feat in 1985 and 1986 and the Tommies followed 20 years later.

In the win over Scranton (0-1),  Akcer and Rathbun combined on a five-hit shutout. Akcer fanned two and Rathbun struck out the side in the seventh. It was the team's third straight shutout in as many games this year.

Junior All-New England leadoff hitter Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) was 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.

Monday, Eastern faces Bowdoin College at 3:30 p.m. and the University of Chicago at 7:30 p.m.








W-Lacrosse: No. 7 Colby Breezes

marchittocolby72_3641.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- The Colby College women's lacrosse team got a goal or assist from 17 different players in easing to an 18-3 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Sunday afternoon at the National Training Center. Ranked No. 7 in Division III and coming off a one-goal win over No. 10 Williams College, Colby (2-0) led 12-0 at halftime before junior Ashley Prizio (Brookfield), sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and freshman Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) scored second-half goals for Eastern (1-4). Sophomore goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made four saves and collected four ground balls for Eastern, with sophomore Taylor McDonald (Ellingford) picking up three ground balls and junior Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY), Prizio, senior Lauren St. Pierre (Southington) and sophomore Christinan Rully (Orange) picking up two each. Eastern visits Mount Holyoke College a week from Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Men's Lacrosse: Warriors Cruise, 19-4

 All-America Eric Vasil wins 19 of 21 faceoffs  with 18 GBs in victory


MANSFIELD, Conn. --  Senior All-America Eric Vasil (Southington) won 19 of 21 faceoffs and scooped up 18 ground balls to power the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team to a 19-4 non-conference win over Mount Ida College Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Eric Vasil

A winner of four straight and all four matches in this series with Mount Ida (1-4), Eastern (4-1) scored the first 12 goals of the match, holding the Mustangs off the  board for the first 27 minutes.

A total of 13 players contributed a goal or assist for Eastern, which outshot Mount Ida, 64-22, and held a 40-14 advantage in ground balls. Vasil, the two-time national leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls, won 19 of 21 faceoffs and scropped up 18 ground balls.  In five starts this year, Vasil has an .828 faceoff percentage (82-of-99) and is averaging 18.8 ground balls.

Senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) led Eastern with four goals and two assists, with freshman attack Mike Jordan (Cheshire) adding three goals and junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) two goals and three assists.

Eastern visits Amherst College Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.


Baseball: Warriors Pound Springfield

In opening game in Arizona, Warriors unleash 24-hit attack in 22-4 victory


MESA, Ariz. - Senior  rightfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) became the seventh player in Eastern Connecticut State University baseball history to hit for the cycle in pacing a 24-hit attack as the Warriors opened an eight-game Arizona trip with a 22-4 victory over Springfield College Friday evening at Gene Audry Park .

At right: Tyler Turgeon

Leading 6-1, Eastern (4-2) broke the game open by chasing senior lefty Mark Grant (1-1)  by scoring ten runs on seven hits  in the sixth en route to its seventh straight win over Springfield (5-2). The Warriors sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth  and collected seven hits and were aided by three walks and a hit batter. In addition to Turgeon in that inning, sophomore second baseman Drew Accomando (Monroe) had two hits with a single and an RBI double and scored twice.

In the game, Turgeon drove in four runs and scored four and also walked in five plate appearances.  He doubled and scored in the second, walked in the fourth, singled and had an RBI triple and scored twice in the sixth  and hit a two-run home run in the seventh. He becomes the fourth player in the last five years to hit for the cycle.

Batting 7-8-9 in the order, Turgeon, Accomando and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) combined for 11 hits and ten RBI and scored nine runs in the game. O'Connell matched Turgeon with four this. He was 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs and Accomando had three hits (two doubles), three RBI and three runs scored.

The four-hit game was the third in the last 24 games for Turgeon, a second-year transfer from Quinnipiac University. With four multiple-hit games this year, O'Connell leads the club with a .579 batting average (11-for-19) and in RBI with seven, and Accomando has a team-high eight runs scored.

Four Eastern players came off the bench to record their first career hits at Eastern: sophomore Chris LoRusso (Stamford) and freshmen Brendan Lynch (Wethersfield), Ben Richards (Northbridge, MA) and Mitch Plourde (Ellington).

Senior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY), the last player to hit for the cycle two years ago against Chicago, won his 11th career game in 12 decisions as the first of three Eastern pitchers. Schult (2-0) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings, fanning five and walking one and leaving with a 16-3 lead. In his debut, freshman lefty Jose Santiago (Windham) pitched a  1-2-3 ninth inning with a strikeout.

Eastern faces No. 7 Johns Hopkins University Saturday at  12:30 p.m. ET at Snedigar Park in Chandler.


Softball: Will Silence be Golden in '11?

Defending NCAA regional champions will need newcomers to develop

teepee72 125.jpg

Head Coach Diana Pepin previews the season. (10 min., 20 sec.)

pepin_head_72_9258.jpgWATCH VIDEO 

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team has made plenty of noise in New England and beyond over the last three years,  averaging over 30 wins a year and qualifying for NCAA tournament play each season in that stretch.

In 2011, the Warriors are aiming to improve upon - or at least maintain - their winning ways, but perhaps with a different style.  Last year's ten-man band might be replaced this year by a group of Silent Assassins.

On the way to equaling the program record for wins (39-6 record) a year ago, Eastern recorded its second-highest winning percentage (.859) - highest since the 1990 national championship season. The Warriors also qualified automatically for the NCAA tournament for the first time by claiming their first Little East Conference tournament championship as the No. 1 seed after winning a program record 13 (of 14) LEC regular-season games. It was the first outright LEC regular-season title for Eastern, which shared the 2008 crown.

Eastern was ranked first in New England for four weeks last year and and appeared in the national top 20 each week beginning March 22. After winning eight of ten on the Florida spring trip, the Warriors went 20-2-1 up north prior to the conference tournament, beating every team it played at least once.

rathbun72s 123.jpgHalf of the starting lineup in the final game of last year is gone, which means that half is back.  Two-time junior All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) has returned, as has junior all-region outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford), second-team all-conference sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), senior outfielder Katie Dinihanian (Stratford), and junior utility player Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA)

At left: Molly Rathbun.

The most glaring vacancies from last year's team which won its first regional title since 1992 are right up the middle: all-region centerfielder and all-national tournament selection and leadoff hitter Ashley Sullivan, four-year shortstop starter Kim Church, and two-year catching starter Nikki Muston, as well as utility player/first baseman and cleanup hitter Katie O'Toole. In addition to the graduation losses, Eastern will be without junior pitcher/DP Kassondra Silva, who will sit out this year with a knee injury after batting .316 and appearing in 17 games on the mound in 2010.

"If you look at the veterans, no one's really loud like a Kim Church or a Sully (Ashley Sullivan)," points out tenth-year head coach Diana Pepin. "We don't yet have any all-out leaders -- we're probably going to be more quiet than anything."

Also returning are  senior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY), junior utility player Christine Yeomans (Durham), sophomore utility player Kelly Paterson (Southington) - last year's everyday second baseman - sophomore right-handed pitcher Christine Akcer (Milford), sophomore catcher Katie Sokoloski (Eastford) and sophomore outfielder Courtney Weber (Groton).

Pepin is confident that the nuts and bolts are on hand for another successful season, she feels that the intangibles -- leadership and maturity --  need to be developed in order to turn hope into reality. More than collecting hits and RBI, three of last year's graduated seniors brought stability and experience as four-year members of the program. Muston only played two seasons but joined the program at the age of 21.

"The veterans definitely want to go back (to the national tournament),  but they need to be patient with the  newcomers to guide them along," points out Pepin. "I think (the newcomers) are trying too hard. They're working hard but they're not playing instinctively. That's the biggest battle right now.  They know where we were last year (i.e. regional champions). They want to be there and be part of that, but they don't necessarily understand everything that it takes to get there."

Toting 46 career wins and a program-record 511 strikeouts into her third season, Rathbun (30-2, 0.75 in 2010) returns as one - if not the -- nation's premier hurlers. Last year's national leader in shutouts (17) and least hits allowed per game (3.007), Rathbun will be supported on the mound by Akcer (14 appearances/9 starts as a freshman) and Manzo.  The plan - in the pre-season - is for Rathbun to start the first game of a doubleheader and Akcer and Manzo to go deep into Game 2, with Rathbun available to close it out, if necessary.

"If Molly stays healthy and Christine gives us five good innings and an inning or two from Rosie and have Molly come in and close, then we will be golden, but I refuse to use Molly every inning of  every game," says Pepin." I don't think that's right; I don't think that it's fair to her and the team. It's not going to prepare us (for the tournament). I'd rather take some lumps and have a backup get experience in case something happens (to Rathbun). And I want to keep Molly healthy for post season, as well."

Soychak, who has played third base, catcher and DP in her career, may open the season as Rathbun's batterymate, with two-sport athlete Megan Godwin (Manchester) also a strong candidate to see plenty of time at either catcher or shortstop. Freshman Megan Bondy (Mystic) - one of three roster players off of Fitch High's state championship team - will also vie for the starting catcher assignment. Sokoloski will provide depth.

The outfield returns relatively intact, with minor tweaks. Alicea will move from right to take over for Sullivan in center, with Dinihanian back in left and Manzo assuming Alicea's spot in right. Weber is available to fill in at any outfield position, as is freshman Stephanie Johnson (Plantsville)

In the pre-season, third baseman Cooper (.959 fielding percentage) is the only projected returning infield starter. Paterson (.986) may open the season at first base, but could eventually see starting or regular action in the middle infield. A possible new starting double play combination may be freshman Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA) at short and first-year sophomore Amanda Palmieri (Southington). Godwin could also start at short or eventually fill that role, with Yeomans adding depth at second.

When not pitching, Rathbun (team-leading .402 average) could be the DP, with other candidates including Johnson, Akcer and Jobin. First-year sophomore Danielle Bourne (Branford) and freshman Jessica Ferle (West Greenwich, RI) may spell Cooper at third base, with Bourne also an outfield candidate. Junior transfer Jaymie Sommers (Voluntown) brings a steady glove as a first base replacement, with freshman Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) adding depth to the infield.

In the lineup, Alicea may also replace Sullivan at the top of the order, with Manzo or Palmieri batting second, Rathbun returning in the No. 3 slot, Soychak fourth and Cooper moving up from seventh to  fifth. The Eastern lineup could feature as many as five left-handed bats in Alicea, Dinihanian, Johnson, Manzo and Weber.

The schedule will be challenging again and includes the University of St. Thomas (MN) and Wellesley in Florida, Tufts, Coast Guard, Brandeis and Wellesley again on the non-conference northern slate, and Keene State, Western Connecticut and Rhode Island College on the conference docket.

"We tell the (new) players that it doesn't matter (who the opponent is)," insists Pepin. "You are playing Eastern Softball, and you should play hard every time you step on the field. On my schedule, when I give it to them,  I say 'Game 1, Game 2'. It's just a mental tool that I use to let them know that it does not matter who we are playing at the time. We're playing Eastern Softball."

An 18th NCAA tournament bid in 2011 would provide the Warriors  -- and four-year seniors Dinihanian and Soychak - their first stretch of four straight such berths since the program assembled a New England record 13 straight from 1982 through 1994.

As a member of four straight NCAA regional championship teams and the 1990 national champion as a player, Pepin knows that past success does not automatically guarantees continued or future success.

"We're going to have a target on our backs -- we were the number one team in New England last year," notes Pepin. "This year, we're working on getting everyone on the same page, and it's taking a longer period of time. We've only been outside twice, and I think that this has hurt us a little bit.  So I think that it's definitely going to be game-by-game (this year).  That is what we focused on last year.  This year, we need to stay in the moment."






It's Academic: Eastern No. 1 in LEC

Twenty-eight achieve All-Academic Team status in winter seasonLEC25.jpg

ericson_head72dpi_3895.jpgAt left from top: Ericson, James, Buczek

Complete list.pdf

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - A conference-high 28 Eastern Connecticut State University student-athletes have qualified for spots on the Little East Conference All-Academic Team for the winter season, it has been announced by conference commissioner Jonathan C. Harper.

For the second season this year, james_head72dpi_3888.jpgEastern has topped the list of the conference's academic qualifiers. In the fall, the Warriors totaled a conference-best 31 academic qualifiers in a total of six intercollegiate sports. In five intercollegiate programs this winter, Eastern accumulated seven more academic selections than its nearest competitor.

All-Academic Team qualifiers must be have reached sophomore academic and athletic status, be enrolled in their current institutions for one full academic year, and show a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30buczek_head_72_7386.jpg.

Led by senior track and field and cross country athletes Sam Buczek (Milford), Ashlee James (Franklin) and Amanda Ericson (Bolton), Eastern's 28 qualifiers this winter have combined to qualify for the All-Academic Team a total of 77 times in their careers. Each member of that trio  qualified for the academic team for the maximum eighth time. Buczek is a Business major and James and Ericson are Education majors.

Additional athletes earning academic recognition a multitude of times are senior women's soccer/basketball player Lauren Hickey (Southwick, MA) and junior cross country/track athletes Ryan Hughes (Cheshire) and Joey Perucki (Newington) As a two-sport athlete, Hickey qualified for the maximum sixth time. Hughes qualified previously twice in cross country and once in indoor and once in outdoor track while Perucki attained academic status once in cross country, twice in outdoor track and once in indoor track. Hickey and Perucki are Business majors and Hughes an Education major.

Hickey was a first-team NSCAA Scholar All-America selection this past fall.

Those qualifying for the winter All-Academic Team in their first seasons of eligibility include sophomore women's basketball players Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) and Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA), sophomore men's basketball player Joe Ives (Avon), sophomore indoor track participants Tommy Balestracci (Mystic), Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury), Colin Whiston (Brooklyn), Christine Charpentier (Monroe),  and Denica Gagnon (Colchester), and sophomore swimmer Amanda Fromerth (Manchester) and senior transfer swimmer Carolyn Jenkins (Willington).

Senior indoor track participant Stephanie Noheimer (Willimantic) earned a spot on the winter academic team with her second institution and second sport. In 2008/09, Noheimer qualified for the winter All-Academic Team as a sophomore basketball player while at conference institution Rhode Island College.

As an institution, Eastern was awarded the inaugural President's Cup last year signifying the highest overall GPA among all Little East Conference institutions. In the 19 conference-sponsored championships, Eastern featured a cumulative GPA of 3.02 during the 2009/10 academic year. Eastern sponsors teams in 17 of the conference's 19 championships.

Additional conference institutions include Keene State College, Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Dartmouth, Plymouth State University, Rhode Island College, University of Southern Maine, and Western Connecticut State University.





M-Lacrosse: Warriors Rout Becker, 22-4


Above: Salieu Bolivar (34) advances the ball against Becker's Shane Balestacci

LEICESTER, Mass. -- Seventeen different players scored goals and 20 contributed a point as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team rolled past Becker College, 22-4 Tuesday afternoon at Alumni Field. The win is the third straight for Eastern (3-1), which was facing Becker (1-3) for the first time.  The Warriors scored the first 13 goals of the match, didn't allow a shot until the final second of the first quarter, and finished with a 52-13 advantage in shots. All  40 players in uniform saw action. Six Eastern players recorded their first career goals: junior Mark Vincent (Norwalk) , sophomores Carl Skaats (Lebabon) and Josh Dubinski (Woodstock) and freshmen Mike Jordan (Cheshire), Mike Gillotti (Danbury) and Tyler Fresen (Newington). Freshman Travis Pastor (Brookfield) was credited with his first collegiate point with an assist. Senior All-America Eric Vasil (Southington) was 8-of-9  in the faceoff circle to push his nation's-best faceoff percentage over 80 percent to 80.8. All three Eastern goalies saw time, with sophomore Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) playing the first quarter and recording his third win in four decisions this year. Junior Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) and sophomore Drew Deane (Vernon) saw their first work of the season between the pipes. Eastern hosts Mount Ida College Saturday at noon.

Little East: Three From Lacrosse Named

 Barrett, Conn, Vasil recognized in first weekly report for play this year


From far left: Barrett, Conn, Vasil

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Three members of the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's lacrosse programs have been cited for honors in the first weekly Little East Conference report of the season.

Senior midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) and junior defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) have been chosen as the Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the men  and women, respectively, while freshman attack Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) has been picked as women's Rookie-of-the-Week. The weekly honor is the sixth in three years for Vasil while Barrett and Conn earned their first weekly citations.

The national leader in ground balls and faceoff percentage the last two seasons, Vasil has begun 2011 by winning 79.7 percent (55-of-69) of his faceoffs in the team's 2-1 start and set a program match record of 26 ground balls in a 16-11 non-conference win at Babson College Wednesday. He is averaging 18.3 ground balls per match. In addition to 26 ground balls against Babson, he won 23 of 28 faceoffs.

Against nationally-ranked Stevens Tech March 2, Vasil won 17 of 21 faceoffs with 16 ground balls, and was 15-of-29 with 13 ground balls three days later against Gordon. Against Stevens, Vasil broke the program career record for faceoff attempts.He is a 2010 USILA All-America and two-time pre-season All-America.

In the team's 1-3 start, Megan has averaged 4.8 ground balls and caused a total of five turnovers. In a 10-8 loss to visiting Wesleyan University March 5 and a 16-10 loss to visiting Roger Williams this past Friday, she had a career-high six ground balls in each match and also caused three turnovers against Wesleyan. Barrett is a team tri-captain this season and a first-team All-LEC selection on defense a year ago.

The only freshman on the team to start all four matches for the Warriors, Conn has scored goals on nine of her 13 shots, has won half of her 28 faceoff attempts and won 17 draws. In a 19-17 home non-conference victory over Salve Regina March 8, she scored a season-high four goals, won 20 of 36 faceoffs (55.6) and claimed a season-high 12 draws herself.Three of her four goals against Salve gave Eastern two-goal leads, including one with 1:37 left that sealed the win.

The women's team faces No. 7 nationally-ranked Colby College Sunday at 2 p.m. Clermont, FL while the men visit Becker College Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Baseball: Rams Butt Warriors, 4-3

Warriors scrap back from early deficit to put tying run aboard in ninth


FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -  The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team  rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth but couldn't push across the tying run in a 4-3 non-conference loss to Farmingdale State College Sunday afternoon.

At right: Jim Schult

Trailing 4-1, Eastern (3-2) scored twice in the ninth  on two walks, a wild pitch and RBIs from sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) but couldn't push across the tying run. O'Connell was thrown out stealing after driving in freshman  first baseman Mike Vaccarelli (Wolcott) with a two-out single to end the game.

Senior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers, Falls, NY), junior righty  Michael Hepple (Newington) and  sophomore righty Matt Purnell  (Stafford Springs) combined on a four-hitter in 6 2/3 innings of relief but the Warriors couldn't bounce back from a 4-0 deficit after three innings. Making his first start of the year, junior righty Mitch Furber (Oakdale) was lifted with one out in the second inning after walking three and allowing four hits and two runs. Schult came on in the second and got a strikeout and fly ball to leave two runners aboard  Eastern's four pitchers walked ten and hit a batter. Two of those runners eventually scored.

Eastern was limited to eight hits (seven singles) by junior righty C.J. Bula and senior lefty J.R. Lott, who did walk seven batters. Lott took over for Bula with two out in the eighth and two runners aboard and got a fly ball to center to end the threat and keep Farmingdale's  (6-6) three-run lead intact.

Balowski and O'Connell each had two hits and drove in a run while senior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington) doubled and  singled and scored a run. The multiple-hit game was the third straight for O'Connell, now batting a team-leading .467.  Schult is 6-for-11 in the last three games after starting the season 0-for-6. The hits were the first of the season. Senior outfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) walked twice in the leadoff position but was stranded at second both times. Vaccarelli's run in the ninth was the first of his career.

The win is only Farmingdale's second in seven games this year against New England opponents. The Rams are e 2-3 against Little East Conference teams after splitting with Eastern (the Warriors won 8-3 Saturday) and losing twice to the University of Southern Maine by lopsided scores this weekend and defeating Keene State College, 5-1, eight days ago.

Eastern  faces Springfield College Friday at Gene Autry Park at 6 p.m. ET in Mesa, AZ  in  the first of eight games in nine days in Arizona.


Softball: Clinics are A Hit with Youth

clinic72_2570.jpgThe Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball program staged the second of its two March clinics  Sunday morning  at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium on the Eastern campus. The clinics instructed youngsters on hitting, and the basics of throwing and receiving, hitting, bunting and ground balls. In addition to tenth-year head coach Diana Pepin, clinicians included assistant coaches Tammy Schondelmayer and Pete Maneggia, as well as members of last year's New England championship team.The Warriors won last year's regional championship and finished third nationally in the NCAA Division III national softball tournament with a 39-6-1 record. They open the 2011 season Saturday against Wellesley College and D'Youville College at Clermont, FL.

Baseball: Dimon, Schult Pace Warriors

dimon72_2047.jpgFARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- First-year junior transfer Jim Dimon (Seymour) won his second decision in as many starts and the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team tied the program record with three triples in a decisive four-run sixth inning in an 8-3 win over Farmingdale State College Saturday afternoon.

At left: Jim Dimon 

Dimon (2-0), who pitched the last two seasons at Community College of Rhode Island, pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowing only three hits and two runs Saturday.. He walked eight and fanned two and left with a 6-2 lead. Dimon outdueled Farminigdale junior righty Chris Phelan (2-1), who entered the game unbeaten with a 1.06 ERA and 13 strikeout in 17 innings.

Eastern (3-1)  never trailed in the game and scored four times in the sixth to snap a 2-2 tie. Eastern tied the program record with three triples in the inning from senior DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY), senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and sophomore second baseman Drew Accomando (Monroe).Schult and Dewing opened the inning with back-to-back triples to right-center and with one out, junior catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) singled in Dewing to make it 4-2. Accomando then tripled down the right field line to plate Cammuso and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) successfully sent home Accomando with a suicide squeeze to make it 6-2.

Junior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) pitched 1 2/3 hitless innings in relief of Dimon, fanning two and walking one.

Schult was 3-for-4 with a double, triple, stolen bases, two runs scored and an RBI. Senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) and O'Connell each had two hits.

Phelan gave up nine of Eastern's 12 hits over the first six innings. He fanned six and walked one and was charged with six runs.

It is the third straight season that the Warriors have collected three triples in an inning.  In a 7-1 win over Marian College last year in Mesa, AZ, Schult and Dewing had back-to-back triples and John Parke later added the third triple of a five-run sixth inning. Dewing had two triples in that game.

Eastern faces Farmingdale Sunday at 3 p.m. Junior righty Mitch Furber (Oakdale) is expected to make his first start of the season.








Women's Lax: Warriors Can't Match RW

Hawks outscore Warriors 9-2 over final 20 minutes to post 16-10 victory

connII72dpi_1858.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Freshman attack Danielle Neagle  scored four of her five goals when the Roger Williams University women's lacrosse team outscored Eastern Connecticut State University by seven over the final 20 minutes on the way to a 16-10 non-conference victory over the Warriors Friday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex

At left: Erin Conn (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

With Eastern (1-3) leading 8-7 ten minutes into the second half,  Roger Williams (1-1) scored four times in six minutes - three by Neagle - to move out to an 11-8 lead. After the Warriors responded with two goals in a minute to cut the gap to one,, the Hawks closed out the game with five straight goals over the final 11 minutes. Neagle got the run going with an unassisted goal, and senior midfielder Claire Halliday scored twice in 42 seconds and three times in three minutes to put the game away for the visitors. After scoring three straight, Halliday assisted on the final goal of the match with six minutes left.

In a matchup of young teams which come for 26 freshmen and sophomores, Roger Williams regained the momentum early in the second half after the Warriors put together a five-goal streak in the final seven minutes of the first half, then scored the first goal of the second half to take their only two-goal lead of the game.

In addition to scoring four goals for the second time in as many matches his season, Halliday recorded three assists, with junior attack Danica Delia  registering her first four assists of the season and senior midfielder Kate Malenczak  totaling three goals and two assists.

Senior defender Nicole Papasergiou won eight of her team's 22 ground balls and senior defender Erica Palmer caused four turnovers.

Outscored 11-4 in the second half, Eastern got four goals and four draw controls from junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) in the game. Junior defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) had six ground balls and freshman midfielder Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) five ground balls and three caused turnovers and scored her first collegiate goal with eight minutes left in the first half. Freshman midfielder attack Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) won half of her 28 faceoffs. Sophomore midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) contributed two goals and two assists and won two draws. Led by Marchitto (2-for-2), Eastern connected on all four of its free position tries.

While RWU pulled away with its 9-2 scoring run in the second half, Eastern rallied from an early 5-1 deficit in the first half to post a 7-5 halftime lead. Prizio scored three of the team's six straight goals and won two draws in that burst that ended the first half, while Conn won four faceoffs, Barrett and Meotti contributed three ground balls each and Meotti won a draw and caused a turnover over those final 17 minutes of the first stanza.

Freshman goalie Meagan Connelly stopped ten shots to gain her first collegiate win. Eastern sophomore Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made six saves.

Eastern faces No. 8 nationally-ranked Colby College March 20 at Clermont, FL.


Student-Coach Finds Baseball Healing

The Bulletin of Norwich, Conn.

Jeremiah Dunnack (below)

dunnack_jersey_72_8131.jpgIt is a safe bet that when Jeremiah Dunnack pulls on the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball jersey, he is doing more than getting ready for a game or practice.

It is another reminder that he saved himself.

His dream of donning an Eastern baseball uniform was delayed almost 13 years by drug addiction. But today, there is no one more proud to wear a uniform of any kind than Dunnack is wearing the blue and white of Eastern.

"The game of baseball, to me, is everything," Dunnack said Wednesday. "It's something I wait for all year to come, and then it's gone in an instant. ... There's just (so) much adrenaline, passion and desire to play the game."

Dunnack is about to embark on his first season as the sub-varsity coach of the Eastern baseball team. This is where he needs to be -- coaching, encouraging and teaching his fellow teammates.

Last season, he was a 33-year-old catcher on the sub-varsity team.
"He's enthusiastic, he's a worker -- all the characteristics I like," coach Bill Holowaty said. "He's a Pied Piper. He's a kind of guy who kids will listen to and follow."

A part of lore


By 1988, baseball at Eastern already was a huge source of pride in Willimantic. Holowaty already had led the Warriors to the first of four NCAA championships, and a second one would follow in 1990.

At right: Although the road has been rocky, things are looking up for Jeremiah Dunnack.

To any 12-year-old Willimantic born-and-bred kid who loved baseball, who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

"The importance of baseball in my life and Eastern's success go hand-in-hand," Dunnack said. "It's the biggest level of baseball for a young man to see right here in Willimantic."

By the time he graduated high school in 1994, the dream of playing under Holowaty was real when Eastern accepted Dunnack as a student.

It lasted one day.

"I was not ready, in many ways," Dunnack said.

Unfortunately for Dunnack, what was ready was an outlet: Drugs. He had been using illegal substances experimentally since he was 14, saying it was easy to find around Willimantic. But it was around this time that Dunnack began using cocaine and alcohol with increasing regularity, even after fathering a daughter and son.

"I turned into an addict," he said. "I veered off the road."

For all of Dunnack's faults, he wasn't blind. He said he talked to his daughter, Elizza, and son, Jeremiah Jr., about getting clean. Finally, about four years ago, Elizza, then 10, said to him, "You know what, dad? I'm ready for you to change."

The next day, Dunnack checked himself into the Stonington Institute, a residential treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction. It was successful for about 100 days, Dunnack said, but he had a short relapse. He said he has now been sober for three years.

With the help of a friend, Edwin Rexach, Dunnack also began attending services at the Kingdom Life Christian Outreach Church in town. The combination of support through programs and religion, and his schoolwork, has turned his life over.

Willimantic almost destroyed Dunnack. Now it is saving him.

"Turning my life over, and seeing things in a spiritual sense, is ... I guess the only word I can come up with is scary," he said. "Things are so relevant today in my life."

One day at a time

Addicts are never fully cured. Around every corner is something that might push them backinto a downward spiral.

Dunnack knows this. Yet he surrounds himself with things he loves -- family, education, baseball -- to keep himself on the right path.

In 2012, Dunnack is set to graduate from Eastern with a degree in social work. His goal is to get into the master's program at UConn and return to Willimantic to create a youth center.
When he re-enrolled at Eastern, Dunnack tried again to realize his dream of playing baseball. He introduced himself to Holowaty -- Dunnack said Holowaty didn't recognize him at first because of his short hair -- tried out and made the sub-varsity team last season.

"He's been a very positive addition to our program," Holowaty said. "I'm excited about that. ... Our JV program is extremely important to our varsity program. I think we develop kids in that program and I think Jeremiah will develop kids in our program."

Holowaty also took notice of the way Dunnack worked with his teammates, and later atHolowaty's youth clinic in Pomfret, and appointed Dunnack the sub-varsity head coach this year.

"I found my passion working as a coach and a mentor, and just being able to give back to these kids moving forward," Dunnack said. "To see how much they enjoy the game, that's exactly what I needed to see. It gives me the passion and motivation to give back to them.

They deserve it."

Dunnack said he's lucky to be in this position.

"After your eyes are opened (and) once things are revealed, I think we have to make a choice," he said. "We always can make the choice; it's in our hands. They say your best day under the influence is just ... there's nothing compared to it when you're clean."

M-Lax: Eight-Goal Outburst Keys Win

Against Babson, Vasil wins 23 of 28 faceoffs, sets record with 26 GBs

vasil slide.jpgBABSON PARK, Mass. - Senior All-WARRIORlogo2009_72dpi.jpgAmerica midfielder Eric Vasil (Southington) won 23 of 28 faceoffs and broke the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse program record with 26 ground balls in the Warriors' 16-11 non-conference victory over Babson College  Wednesday afternoon at MacDowell Field.

At left: Eric Vasil

In improving its series record against Babson (1-2) to 11-3 with its sixth straight victory over the Beavers, Eastern (2-1) broke from a one-goal halftime lead with eight third-quarter goals to carry a 14-10 lead into the final quarter.

Already the program season and career record-holder for ground balls, Vasil broke the match record by five against Babson. The record of 21 was previously held by Ben Raccio of Southington, who set the mark in his first collegiate game April 11, 2006 in a 25-1 win at Mitchell College. As a junior last year, Vasil picked up a career-high 20 ground balls in the season-opener, then matched  it a week later in a 12-11 home win over Babson.

Vasil has led Division III in ground balls and faceoff percentage each of the past two years.

Trailing twice early by two goals, Eastern scored  four straight in a four-minute, 39-second stretch  in the second quarter to take the lead for good, then responded with five of the first six goals of the third quarter to build an 11-6 lead.  In that four-goal burst in the second quarter, senior attack Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) struck  first in the opening minutes, junior Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) tied the game three minutes later, and sophomore midfielder Eric Kluge (North East, MD) followed soon-after with the go-ahead goal. Junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) made it 6-4. 

Scoreless in the team's first two matches, Bolivar totaled three goals and two assists, with Vasil chipped in three goals and two assists for the Warriors, while Vasil had a goal and a career-high three assists and Tornatore  and  senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan)  added three goals.  Vasil contributed a career-high three assists.

Eastern sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) made 14 saves

The teams combined for 13 goals in that wild third quarter, but the Warriors scored five of the first six goals in that period to open up breathing room, Albertson had two and junior attack Jeremy Cogliano (Bedford, MA) added a key short-handed strike to make it 11-6.  After the hosts cut the gap to two, Bolivar scored back-to-back unassisted tallies in the final 88 seconds of the third to push the Warriors' lead back to four, 14-10.

Defenders Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY), a junior, and Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD), a first-year sophomore transfer, each picked up four ground balls for Eastern. In three games this year, Vasil shows a .797 faceoff percentage (55-of-69) and is averaging 18.3 ground balls per game.

Eastern visits Becker College Tuesday at 4 p.m.



W-Lax: Marchitto on Mark in 19-17 Win

She  scores on all eight of her shots to power Warriors past Salve


MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Three days after missing all nine of her shots in a two-goal loss, Eastern Connecticut State University sophomore midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange)  connected on each of her eight attempts in a two-goal, 19-17, women's lacrosse win over Salve Regina University Tuesday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At right: Daniela Marchitto

Eastern (1-2) scored the first four goals of the match, led 6-1 with seven minutes gone in the match and trailed only once for a total of 13 seconds in downing Salve (0-2) for the third time in this four-game series.

After the Warriors' early lead, the Seahawks used a 9-3 run  -- sophomore Kelly Burke and junior Sarah Livingston combining for five goals -- over 16 minutes to take their only lead, 10-9, with six minutes left in the first half.


At right: Nancy Ibrahim

With 15 minutes left in the match, Marchitto scored a key short-handed goal on a free-position attempt that gave Eastern a three-goal lead, 18-15. With Eastern clinging to a one-goal lead and playing a man down in the final three minutes, sophomore goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made a save on a shot by sophomore Megan Clancy and Marchitto won the ensuing ground ball. On Eastern's next possession, freshman Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) scored her fourth goal of the match with 1:37 left, then won the ensuing draw and Eastern ran out the clock.

One of five newcomers (four freshmen) in  Eastern's starting lineup, Conn scored four goals and also won 20 of 36 faceoffs and recorded 12 draws, while freshman Christine Lillis (Waterford)  had four goals and four assists - the first points of her career -- in her first career start. Junior Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) added a pair of goals and matched junior Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) with four ground balls In her first career start (second game), freshman Ashley Wolk (Barrington, RI) scored her first career goal, that coming five minutes into the second half..

barrett72_1488.jpgAfter Clancy capped a four-goal Salve run with a goal that gave the Seahawks their only lead with six minutes left in the first half, Prizio answered 13 seconds later with an unassisted goal that tied the match at 10-all. Marchitto's free position goal 2:43 later gave the Warriors the lead for good, and Conn struck for her  second goal of the amtch on a pass from Lillis that made it 12-10 with 14 seconds left in the first half.

At left: Megan Barrett 

Burke led Salve with four goals and an assists, Clancy adding two goals and two assists and Livingston three  goals and senior Nicole Viola chipped in three assists.  Sophomore Danielle Malconian picked up six of her team's 25 ground balls and Livingston four.Marchitto's career-high goal total equals the fifth-highest one in a match in program history and gives her 47 goals in 22 career matches in two years.

Eastern hosts Roger Williams University Friday at 4 p.m.


Women's Lacrosse: March Clinics



Saturday, March 12 * Sunday, March 13





Baseball: Youth Camp March 14-16



Monday, March 14 * Tuesday, March 15 * Wednesday, March 16


For more information, save document below, fill out, and email back. 


Baseball: Warriors Walk Away With One

Eastern scores six runs on walks; Dewing draws five to tie program record

dewingandschult72dpi_0466.jpgYAPHANK, N.Y. - Senior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) won his tenth career game in 11 decisions and drove in two runs and scored two with two hits to lead the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team to a 10-2 victory over Old Westbury Sunday morning at Baseball Heaven.

At left: Schult (far left) and Dewing

In his second start of the year, Schult (1-0) allowed only five hits and one run in six innings while fanning four and walking two. Batting third in the order, Schult walked and scored in a two-run first inning, singled in a run in a four-run second inning and had an RBI triple and scored a run in a three-run fourth inning.

Eastern (2-1) managed only five hits but was issued 13 walks by five Old Westbury (1-2) pitchers. Six of the batters who walked eventually scored, including three in the second inning.

Senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester)  reached safely three ties with a double and two walks and scored three runs, while senior rightfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) walked and singled, scored two runs and drove in one. Senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) became the first player in 14 years to walk five times in a game, tying a record.

Old Westbury (1-2) scored its only run off Schult in the fourth on a single, walk and two-out RBI double by No. 8 hitter  Ryan Blanco.

Eastern visits Farmingdale State College for single games beginning at noon Saturday and Sunday.


M-Basketball: ECAC Goes to Brandeis

Top-seeded Warriors can't recover after falling behind in opening minutes


 WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The sixth-seeded Brandeis University men's basketball team set the tempo early by scoring ten of the game's first 12 points and went on to a 65-50 victory over top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University in the championship game of the 2011 ECAC New England Tournament Sunday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At left: Senior Bill Roveto (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

After losing three starters from a team which advanced to the Sweet 16 of last year's NCAA tournament, Brandeis (19-9) completed a three-game road sweep in the eight-team ECAC tournament to claim its third ECAC title in five tournament appearances since 1974. Eastern (21-10) lost in the ECAC final for the second straight season as the top seed.

A winner of its previous six straight home game, Eastern was held to 38.1 percent shooting from the floor in the first half and missed  six of 11 free throws, and trailed by ten, 32-22, at the break.  Eastern was never able to cut the deficit to single figures after a three-pointer by sophomore guard Anthony Trapasso extended the Brandeis lead to 11 early in the second half.

Eastern was unable to capitalize when 6-foot-7 freshman center Youri Dascy got into early foul trouble which limited him to just nine minutes. Dascy was his team's leading scorer and  rebounder in the Judges' first two tournament victories (44 points and 16 rebounds), but was saddled with his second personal foul with nine minutes left in the first half. Dascy went to the bench after being whistled with his third foul four minutes into the second half and his team leading by 11. Brandeis was able to add three points to its lead during Dascy's six-minute exile, however. Dascy lasted just five seconds after returning to the floor with 9:50 left before returning to the bench after being slapped with his fourth foul.

Eastern made several modest runs in the second half, but each time, a three-pointer by Trapasso curtailed the Warriors' moment. Trapasso's first came early in the second half that restored Brandeis' 11-point lead, and the second followed a skip pass that made it 54-41 with seven minutes left. Trapasso sank three of four three-pointers and freshman guard Derek Retos came off the bench to convert two of three. The Judges were 7-of-15 from beyond the arc in the game, and also cashed in 18 of 24 free throws.

Eastern sophomore guard Mike Garrow (Terryville) provided the Warriors with a spark when he contributed nine of his team-high 11 points and four of his five rebounds in the second half. Garrow's two free throws helped Eastern cut four points off the Brandeis lead and make it a ten-point game before Trapasso's three-pointer with seven minutes left restored the lead to 13 points.

Brandeis freshman guard Ben Bartoldus was selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. In a championship game dominated by defense, Bartoldus  had eight points and four rebounds in 29 minutes and was mainly responsible for limiting Eastern junior guard and leading scorer Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) to just nine points. The team's leading scorer with an 18 point average, Nedwick  was 3-of-9 from the floor with four assists and three steals. He was held under ten points for only the third time this year (he scored nine points in each of those three games).

In his team's three tournament wins, Bartoldus had 34 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He was 13-of-19 from the floor and 5-of-8 from three-point range.

Trapasso led Brandeis with 12 points and Retos added ten. Fifteen of their points came on five three-point field goals.  Point guard Tyrone Hughes had eight points and four assists for the Judges.

The Warriors shot just 39.1 percent from the floor in the game and were outrebounded by six.

Playing in the final games of their careers, Eastern senior co-captains Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) and Bill Roveto (South Windsor) were removed from the contest with 40 seconds left. Sawyer was limited to 14 minutes after picking up his third personal foul three minutes into the second half. He had four points and three rebounds. Roveto played all but the final 40 seconds, totaling six points and three rebounds and drawing a charge. A junior, Nedwick completed the season with a team-leading 555 points -- third most in a season in the last 38 years  -- needing 422 points next year to become the program's all-time leading scorer.

Despite a roster of 13 freshmen and sophomores, Brandeis began the season with11 straight wins but had lost six of its last nine prior to the ECAC tournament.

Eastern tied the program record with 21 victories this year and has compiled a record of 41-20 over the last two seasons.


M-Basketball: Warriors in ECAC Final

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team has advanced to the championship game of the ECAC New England Division III Tournament for the second straight season as the No. 1 seed and will meet sixth-seeded Brandeis University Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

Eastern (21-9) is in search of its first ECAC title in its sixth year of participation while Brandeis (18-9) is looking to make it three titles in fith appearances.  Brandeis' last championship came when it was also the No. 6 seed, in 1992. The Warriors reached the final as the top seed last year before losing to second-seeded Elms College here. This is Brandeis' first tournament appeareance since 1995, when it was eliminated in its opener by Amherst College

Both Eastern and Brandeis have had their hands full reaching the final. The Warriors used a late burst to eliminate No. 8 Regis College, 66-58, in Wednesday's opener here, then  built a 14-point first-half lead and held on in a hotly-contested second half Saturday night to drop No. 4 Albertus Magnus College, 66-61. 

Brandeis outlasted No. 3 Keene State College, 84-77, in Wednesday's first round. Saturday night, the Judgtes rolled up a nine-point halftime lead, but seventh-seeded  Massachusetts College got back into it by scoring the first 12 points after the break. Leading by only three points with 2:46 left, Brandeis  scored the final seven points to advance, 76-66.

In Saturday's semifinals, senior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) -- shown in above photo -  had 26 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks for Eastern, and junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) 14 points and 16 rebounds Youri Dascy and Ben Bartoldus each had 20 points for Brandeis and shot 16-of 25 from the floor. Dascy led the Judges with nine rebounds and Tyrone Hughes (inset in above photo) had six points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

With Saturday's win, Eastern tied the program season win record and needs a Sunday victory to make itself the winningest team in the program's 68-year history.

Eastern and Brandeis have met only once previously when the Warriors prevailed, 86-76, at Geissler Gymnasium in the opening round of the Eastern Tip-Off Tournament. 


M-Lax: Fast Start Carries Warriors

Five opening goals give them early lift in 10-6 non-conference win


Mike Sullinger (at left)

MANSFIELD, Conn. --   For 25 minutes, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team didn't even work up a sweat racking up a five-goal lead over Gordon College in an eventual 10-6 victory.

Over the final 35 minutes, however, visiting Gordon (0-2) made sure they did, outscoring the Warriors by one after Eastern's (1-1) fast start in a non-conference match Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Coming off a 13-6 loss to No. 20 nationally-ranked Stevens Tech in its season and home opener during the week, Eastern raced to 5-0 lead Saturday midway through the second quarter before the Fighting Scots began fighting back. Gordon scored its first two goals in the final five minutes of the first half to build some momentum. Trailing by four, Gordon scored twice in a span of 1:29 in the fourth to cut the Eastern lead to two with eight minutes left before the Warriors  gained enough separation on goals by seniors Eric Vasil (Southington) and Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) to defeat the Fighting Scots in the first meeting between the programs in 14 years.

Sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) made 16 saves and picked up ten ground balls, while Gordon sophomore Houston Zemanski stopped 19 Eastern shots.

Vasil won 15 of 20 faceoffs, picked up 13 ground balls and scored his first two goals of the season. After coming for all six of the team's goals against Stevens, first-line attackers junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) and seniors Grant Albertson (New Canaan) and Tornatore combined for half of Saturday's goals. Sullinger had a hand in seven of the team's goals by scoring three and assisting on four more.  Sullinger either scored or assisted on the team's first three goals in the opening six minutes and later set up Vasil and Tornatore for the clinching fourth-quarter goals.

Contributing their first points at Eastern were freshmen Mike Devine (Cheshire) and Trevor Morrissette (Bedford, NH), and first-year sophomore transfers Eric Kluge (North East, MD) and Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD). Devin had two goals, Kluge one and Stoop and Morrissette one assist each.

Eastern visits Babson College Wednesday at 4 p.m.

W-Lax: Warriors Challenge Wesleyan

Defense shuts down Cardinals in second half of non-conference loss

connfaceoff72_1071.jpgAt left: Erin Conn (Smith photo)

MANSFIELD, Conn. --  The Eastern Connecticut State University defense kept Wesleyan University off the board for 20 minutes that allowed it to stage a second-half comeback that fell just short in a 10-8 non-conference women's lacrosse match in the 2011 home-opener Saturday morning at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

 Trailing 7-1 at halftime, Eastern (0-2) scored the first four goals of the second half to cut the gap to two and later pulled to within a goal on consecutive strikes by junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) with just over five minutes left. Wesleyan's Claire O'Brien and Prizio then exchanged goals in a span of 25 seconds inside the final minute before Wesleyan (1-0) sealed the victory on a goal from Jess Chukwu withi 47 seconds left.

The Eastern defense, led by  close defenders Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) Lauren St. Pierre (Southington) and Samantha Barone (Plainedge, NY) didn't allow a goal for 20 minutes and only one in a stretch of 37 minutes in surging back from a six-goal deficit after 21 minutes of play. Wesleyan's final goal total was its second-lowest against Eastern in this nine-game series.

Prizio led the Warriors with six goals - one shy of her career-high -- giving her five or more in 21 games at Eastern. Freshman high attacker Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) added one goal, giving her three in two collegiate games.

Barrett picked up six of Eastern's 24 ground balls and also caused three turnover, Prizio adding four ground balls. Conn won nine of 19 faceoffs.

Seven different players contributed to Wesleyan's scoring and 14 had at least one ground ball.

As a team, Eastern matched Wesleyan's shot total of 28 and forced four more turnovers.

Eastern sophomore Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made  ten saves while Wesleyan's Maggie Drowica was forced to come up with 16.

Eastern hosts Salve Regina University Tuesday at 4 p.m.


Baseball: Newcomers Shine in 7-1 Win


Jim Dimon (at left)

YAPHANK, N.Y. --  First-year junior righty Jim Dimon  (Seymour) pitched a four-hitter over the first six innings in his first start and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) had three this and two RBI in his first collegiate appearance when the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team topped Mount Saint Vincent College, 7-1, Saturday afternoon at the Baseball Heaven.

Leading 1-0, Eastern (1-0) scored four times in the third on two-run singles by senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) and O'Connell, who were batting 8-9 in the order. O'Connell had missed the team's opener against Kean University during the week due to an injury.

A community college transfer, Dimon struck out six and walked only one and allowed only one run before departing with a 6-1 lead after six. Three subsequent pitchers combined to pitch the final three scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and fanning two.

All 11 of Eastern's hits off three Mount Saint Vincen (1-3) pitchers were singles.

Senior leadoff hitter Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls), had three hits and senior third baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) matched Perry and O'Connell with two RBI. Turgeon drove in both of his runs with ground balls.

Eastern faces SUNY Old Westbury Sunday at 10 a.m.  at Baseball Heaven.

W-Basketball: Jeffs Have Too Much

Warriors' season ends in second round of NCAAs to Amherst, 76-54


AMHERST, Mass.  - Kim Fiorentino scored 16 first-half points and Sarah Leyman recorded a double-double to lead the Amherst College women's basketball team to a 76-54 win over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday evening in the NCAA Division III Tournament's second round.

Amherst (28-1) will take on either University of Rochester or Muhlenberg  College in the Round of 16 on Friday  at a time and location yet to be determined. The Warriors end their season at 21-9.

At right: Tanisha Carter

Fiorentino led all scorers with 19 points thanks to a 5-for-6 performance from behind the arc, while Leyman added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lord Jeffs. Senior Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) had 18 points and three assists for the Warriors, with sophomore Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) adding 12 points and 11 boards for her second double-double in as many games.

Amherst played tough defense and made six of its first seven shots to take an early 11-4 lead, but the Warriors would soon cut it to 13-10 on a reverse layup by senior Brittany Whitely (Windsor Locks). The Jeffs put together another 11-4 run when Fiorentino took over and knocked down three three-pointers in a span of 5:23, with her fourth of the game giving Amherst a 24-14 edge.

The Jeffs led by double digits until a Moriarty pull-up jumper with just over a minute remaining in the first half brought the score to 33-24. Kristyn Dunleavy answered for Amherst with a great drive to the basket for a tough lay-in, but the Warriors held for the last shot of the period and made it count when Piper Chapman buried a jumper from the foul line, making it a 35-26 contest at the break.

Fiorentino had 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the first half. She was a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, but the rest of the Jeffs were a combined 0-for-6 from long range. Amherst shot 51.7 percent as a team, while Eastern Connecticut shot 47.6 percent and got nine points from Moriarty.

Amherst scored the first seven points of the second half, as Fiorentino ignited another spurt with her fifth three of the contest. Moriarty stopped the bleeding with a tough layup out of a timeout, but the Jeffs pushed their lead to 19 points when Jackie Renner was fouled while knocking down a jumper. Renner hit the ensuing free throw to make it a 49-30 game with 13 minutes to play.

The hosts' lead hovered between 14 and 19 until Lem Atanga McCormick made it a 21-point game (64-43) on a three-point play with five minutes to go. Amherst led by as many as 25 and held on for the 76-54 victory. The Lord Jeffs defeated the Warriors during the regular season by a score of 79-55.

Amherst increased its home winning streak to 47 games and has now won 15 straight overall. Fellow NESCAC schools Bowdoin and Colby were also in action on Saturday, with Colby suffering a 58-53 loss to William Paterson and the Polar Bears leading Mount Saint Mary with 12 minutes remaining in the second half. 

In two NCAA games, Carter averaged 16.0 points and 15.0 rebounds and shot 61.9 percent from the floor and was 6-of-6 from the foul line. Moriarty averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds but turned the ball over 13 times. As a team, the Warriors were successful on 24-of-30 free throws.

Game account courtesy of Amherst College Sports Information-

W-Basketball: Carter Sparks Warriors

Eastern advances to second round of NCAAs with 75-65 victory

carterprofile_722554.jpgAMHERST, Mass. -- Behind sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford), the Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team turned a ten-point second-half deficit into a ten-point, 75-65 victory over Baruch College in the opening round of  the 2011 NCAA Division III tournament Friday night at LeFrak Gymnasium on the Amherst College campus.

Eastern (21-8) advances to the second round Saturday at 6 p.m. against host Amherst College

(27-1), which eliminated Husson University, 102-44, in Friday's second semifinal. Eastern was beaten at Amherst, ranked No.2 nationally in the most recent poll, 79-55, Dec. 9.

In the first meeting ever between the programs, Eastern used a 26-8 run over ten minutes to wipe out a nine-point deficit and move out to a nine-point, 70-61 lead with 4:35 left in the game. With Eastern leading by four with five minutes left, sophomore guard Jessica Blodgett (Niantic) sank a three-point field goal, and after the Bearcats missed an uncontested layup, senior guard Amanda Pierlioni (Plainville) hit a layup to make it 70-61 with 4:35 left.
Moments later, Blodgett followed a Baruch basket with another three-point field goal to up the lead to ten, 73-63, with 3:40 left.

Baruch led by ten points a minute into the second half and by nine five minutes into the half but was outscored by 18 points over ten minutes when the Warriors surged to a nine-point, 70-61 lead with just under five minutes left Over a span of nearly eight minutes, the Bearcats went scoreless from the floor -- managing only a pair of free throws. Senior guard Jessica Moriarty (East Haven) capped the Eastern run when she was fouled while sinking a three-point field goal that extended the Warriors' lead to six, 61-55 with eight minutes left.

Carter scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed a career and team-high 19 rebounds -- her sixth double-double this season. She was 9-of-15 from the floor and senior guard Brittany Whiteley (Windsor Locks) was 6-of-12 from the field en route to 14 points.  Sophomore post player Lauren Kelleher (Dartmouth, MA) came off the bench to score 12 points (5-of-8 from the floor) - her highest total since Dec. 11. Kelleher played 17 minutes, her most in over a month. Blodgett added ten points and a career-high eight rebounds and tied her career-high with six assists.

Baruch turned the ball over only four times in the game but shot 28.2 percent in  the second half when it was outscored by 17 and out-rebounded by eight. Eastern's 11 turnovers were five under its season average. Led by Carter (6-of-7), the Warriors shot 56.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

Eastern has won nine of its last 11 (both losses to conference champion Western Connecticut) while the loss was only the third in the final 19 games for Baruch, the four-time defending City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) champion.

Women's Lax: Building Toward May

The glass is half full for Warriors, who hope to remain in LEC hunt in 2011


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Head Coach Christine Hutchison (at left) assesses the season ahead WATCH VIDEO

Fifth-year Eastern Connecticut State University head women's lacrosse coach Christine Hutchison has devoted an inordinate amount of time to teaching basic skills throughout this year's month-long pre-season workouts.

And for good reason.

At left: Nancy Ibrahim

For the Warriors in 2011, half of last year's 16 letterwinners are gone, as are more than half of the players who started last year's Little East Conference championship game.

Returning starters from last year's final game are sophomore goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY), Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and Samantha Barone (Plainedge, NY) at low defense this year, Daniela Marchitto (Orange) at center, and high attacker Ashley Prizio (Brookfield). Prizio and Barrett are juniors, Barone and Marchitto sophomores.

Five returning starters provide 11 newcomers with plenty of room to play pivotal roles in 2011, as the Warriors hope to remain within the upper echelon of the Little East Conference.

"We're a good two, two-and-a-half weeks behind last year," admits Hutchison, who projects her starters as commanding the vast majority of playing time at least through the first half of the year.

"We have a very good starting 12 - maybe better than last year," says Hutchison. "And everyone's on the same page. Everyone wants to win. They're all working hard, they're all helping each other It's a very different atmosphere than it's been in the past."

Although she feels that the stick skills are not where they were last year, she points out that the team's overall conditioning is ahead of last year's pace. "It is going to be a building season, but the players are working hard and improving."

Two of the team's first five matches come against teams ranked in the Division III national poll, and another nationally-ranked opponent looms in late April. The Warriors visit No. 16 Babson College Thursday to open the 16th season in program history.

Only one-goal losses in the championship game of the last two LEC tournament has stood between the program and  four straight conference tournament titles.

Thanks in large measure to a difficult non-conference schedule which produced just two wins in ten matches, the Warriors sustained their first losing season since 2000, finishing 9-10.
Still, Eastern improved its four-year conference overall record under Hutchison to 30-3 by capturing five of six regular-season LEC matches and earning at least a share of first place for the fourth time in four years under Hutchison.

Of last year's eight double-digit scorers, six are gone. Among them are two-time LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year Taylor MacDonald, who set program career records for games, starts, draw controls and ground balls and ranks second in assists, third in points and tied for tenth in goals. The other key loss is Brooke Wayte, who ranks eighth in total points despite playing only three years.

The learning curve will be a steep one this season, as only Barrett returns with more than one season as a varsity letterwinner in the program. Prizio is in her third collegiate season, however, after playing at the Division I level as a freshman in 2009, and first-year sophomore defensive midfielder Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) will help soften the sting of last year's graduation casualties. Meotti played at the Division II level in 2009.

A junior, Prizio is the team's top returning scorer (49-14-68) and joins Barrett as a returning all-conference selection. Prizio will be joined at high attack by freshmen Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) and Dana Halsey-McGuire (Noank).

Sophomores Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) and  Christina Rully (Orange) are the attacking midfielders. Marchitto is the center, and Meotti and freshman Ashley Wolk (Barrington, RI) the defensive midfielders. Barrett, Barone, and Lauren St. Pierre (Southington) - the team's lone senior - are the starting low defenders.

Two of the first players off the bench are freshmen, attacker Finley Ahearn (Wallingford) and defender Christine Lillis (Waterford).

Buchanan and Conn will take the majority of draws, with Marchitto (second to MacDonald last year in draws taken) and  Prizio expected to collect the majority of draws control.

In her first season, Ibrahim  played virtually every minute a year ago and is well-seasoned after finishing second in the conference in total saves. In Ibrahim, Eastern returns its starting goalie for the first time in four years.

"We've talked more about everyone having roles this year," offered Hutchison. "Everyone has a role."

The remaining players on the 19-person roster are all newcomers, and with the exception of senior defender Amber Petrizzo (Plainville) are all freshmen: attacking players Sarah Edelman (Stonington) and Vic San Pietro (Stratford) and midfielders Jess Bretherton (Norwalk) and Kelsea Burkhardt (Old Saybrook).

"I think that this team might be better building, building, building, and be at their best (in time for) the conference tournament in May)," notes Hutchison. "I think we'll be right there (at the end of the year), but it's going to be a little harder. Every conference game is going to be a 'game'. We're going to have to work really hard to win them."



M-Basketball: Warriors Advance, 66-58

In ECAC, they outscore No. 8 Pride 12-2 over final five minutes

sawyer72_0938.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  Sophomore center Chris Robitaille (Canton) sank two free throws  with five minutes left to spark a game-ending 12-2 run that lifted the top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 66-58 victory over No. 8 Regis College in the opening round of the 2011 ECAC New England Division III Tournament at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

At left: Broderick Sawyer (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Robitaille's first free throw created the 11th tie of the game and his second created the 18th and final lead change as Eastern (20-9) moved into the tournament semifinals against fourth-seeded Albertus Magnus College (18-10) Saturday at 5 p.m. at Geissler Gym. In Saturday's second semifinal at Geissler Gym, sixth-seeded Brandeis University (17-9) faces seventh-seeded Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at 7 p.m.

Eastern will host the Sunday championship game at 1 p.m. regardless of the outcome of Saturday's semifinals.

After going 17 years between 20-win seasons, Wednesday's victory gives the Warriors their second consecutive 20-win season under head coach Bill Geitner - one shy of the program season record set in 1969/70. The Warriors carried 20 wins into last year's ECAC title game, where they were beaten by Elms College, and finished 20-10.

Albertus Magnus went two overtimes to deny fifth-seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology, 96-95. Brandeis and MCLA upset higher seeds on the road, the Judges upending third-seeded Keene State College 84-77, and MCLA edging No. 2 Anna Maria College, 80-76.

In similar fashion to last year's ECAC tournament opening win over Wentworth, Eastern was challenged by the tournament's lowest seed. Eastern never trailed by more than two points but Regis (15-12) erased a nine-point deficit eight minutes into the game.

After missing  six of their first 14 free throws in the game, the Warriors sank several clutch ones down the stretch. Robitaille made it 56-55 with a pair with five minutes left after being fouled rebounding a missed three-pointer, and sophomore guard Joe Ives (Avon) virtually put the game away with two more that made it  65-58 with 14 seconds left.  In between, junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) hit a jumper, and after missing a free throw that would have made it a three-point play, he canned  his third three-pointer of the night  that pushed the lead to six, 61-56, with three minutes left.

Nedwick, ranked 16th all-time with 1,137 career points, scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half to help extend Eastern's season at least one more game. Nedwick came up with one of the biggest defensive plays of the game when he stole the ball near the baseline and rushed the length of the floor for a layup (he was fouled on the play but missed the free throw) to give Eastern a three-point, 58-55 lead  with 35.6 seconds left. He then tossed in his three-point after junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia) rebounded a Regis miss to make it a six-point Eastern lead with three minutes left.

Kohn amassed his third double-double in the last four games and 11th this season with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Kohn had 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half. He scored six points and senior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor) grabbed all four of his rebounds in the first seven minutes to spark the Warriors to an early nine-point lead.

Regis scored the final five points of the first half , making it a two-point margin at halftime when freshman guard Ryan Chambers connected on a three-point field goal as time expired. Chambers shot his team into its first lead since the opening minutes of the game, 32-31, in the opening minutes of the second half with another three-pointer.

Each team turned the ball over only eight times but missed a total of 12 of 32 free throws After clicking on four of nine three-pointers in the first half, Regis missed nine of 11 in the second half in its bid to advance in the tournament.

Freshman center Robert Edwards scored a team-high 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor. Senior guard Darrin Kelly added 12 points (5-of-10 from the floor)  and a team-high eight rebounds, and Chambers netted ten points, all nine of his points from the floor coming on three-pointers.



M-Lax: Stevens Finally Shakes Warriors

No. 20 Ducks score all four goals of fourth period ; Warriors drop opener

Albertson Lacrosse_72dpi5100.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - The Stevens Tech men's lacrosse team  extended a three-goal lead after three periods by scoring twice in the opening minutes of the fourth period and went on to a 13-6 non-conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Wednesday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Grant Albertson

Playing its season-opener, Eastern  bounced back from an early four-goal deficit to pull to within three goals after three periods when senior attack Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk)  scored off a pass from  freshman midfielder Tyler Fresen (Newington) in an extra-man situation with just 38 seconds left in the session.

The win is the fourth straight for Stevens (2-0) in this series against Eastern after the Warriors captured the matchup. The Ducks are ranked No. 20 in the first USILA Division III poll of the year.

Sophomore midfielder Nicolas Philippi  pushed Stevens' lead to 10-6 with his second goal three minutes into the final period, and  senior midfielder Brandon Faubert (Virginia Beach, VA) converted a man-up goal 30 seconds later after the Warriors were serving a minute penalty for an illegiate body check to give the Ducks a five-goal cushion, 11-6.

Eastern senior All-America Eric Vasil (Southington) won 17 of 21 faceoffs against five different opponents. He was successful on ten of 11 in the first half, when the Warriors trailed by only two, 6-4, at the break.

Senior midfielder Chris Laurita netted two of his three goals to help stake Stevens to an early 5-1 lead before the Warriors bounced back on a pair of goals from senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan) and one from Tornatore to cut the gap to two, 6-4, in the opening minute of the second half.  Consecutive goals from Albertson and Tornatore in that stretch marked the only time in the game that the Warriors were able to string together as many as two unanswered goals.

Seven of the goals in the match came on extra-man opportunities.  Two of Albertson's  team-high three came  with the man enjoying a man-up.

Stevens junior Eric Yando made 17 saves for his second win of the season in as many decisions. Eastern sophomore Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA) made 13 saves, seven coming when Stevens unloaded 23 of its 54 shots in its four-goal fourth period.  The Warriors unloaded 20 shots in the second period but managed to get only two past Yando.

Fresen and Albertson each had two assists for Eastern, with the points the first of Fresen's career.

Stevens junior attack Kevin Rose  contributed to five of his team's goals by scoring three and dishing off for two more.  Rose had both of his assists in the first half and all of his goals in the second.

Eastern hosts Gordon College Saturday at 3 p.m.



M-Lacrosse: Warriors Open Wednesday

Eastern returns 26 letterwinners in quest for tenth tournament


Below: Head Coach Justin Axel discusses the season


axel head tie72_9817.jpgThe Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team will be aiming for its tenth post-season tournament berth in the program's 16-year history when it opens a 15-match regular-season schedule March 2, hosting No. 20 nationally-ranked Stevens Tech.

At right: Vinny Tornatore

Eastern returns 26 letterwinners from last year's 12-5 team which posted double-figure wins for the third straight season and 14th time in program history.  Eastern won eight of its first ten, finished second in the Little East Conference regular season and second in the LEC tournament. A six-time LEC tournament champion, Eastern reached the title game for the ninth time in ten years.

Nine of the ten starters from last year's LEC title game are back, among them seniors Sean Leary (West Hartford), Eric Vasil (Southington), Ryan Schneeloch (Glastonbury), Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk), Grant Albertson (New Canaan) and Daniel Dowling (Hamden).

Other starters back from that final game are juniors Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) and Mike Sullinger (Brookfield and sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Tewksbury, MA).

Albertson, Tornatore, Sullinger and junior Jeremy Cogliano (Bedford, MA) are expected to comprise the top attacking line this year, with Vasil, juniors Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) and Michael Glennon (Walpole, MA) and first-year sophomore transfer Eric Kluge (North East, MD) the leading midfielders. A returning All-America, Vasil has been the nation's top faceoff man the last two years.

Schneeloch, Dowling, Flynn, first-year sophomore transfer Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD) and freshman Chris Brown (Cohasset, MA) are the top defensemen. Leary, Dowling and freshman Mike Fanning (Norwell, MA) will play long-stick midfield.

Berube and junior Jamie Tommins (Fairfield) will contend for regular work in net.

The team's top defensive midfielders are senior Lee Mascolo (West Hartford), junors  Mark Vincent (Norwalk), and Kyle Bainton (North Attleboro, MA), and  sophomore Jordan Munsell (Waterford).


All-Little East: Two are Repeaters

carter_72dpi1595.jpgSenior guard Jessica Moriarrty (East Haven) and sophomore forward Tanisha Carter (East Hartford) (shown above) were honored for the second consecutive year as part of the Little East Conference's season-ending awards program. Both repeated as all-conference selections and Moriarty repeated as a selection to the All-Defensive Team. Carter is a two-time second-team all-conference pick. Moriarty was a first-team selection last year. All awards are determined by a vote of the conference's eight head coaches.


All-Little East: Nedwick Repeater

nedwick_raw_yarborough_72dpi3623 copy.jpgJunior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) (shown above) repeated as both a first-team selection to the 2010/11 Little East Conference men's basketball All-Conference Team and as its Defensive Player-of-the-Year. Senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk) was selected to the all-conference team for the first time as a second-team pick. Nedwick repeated as a selection to the All-Defensive Team and was joined on the All-Defensive Team by junior guard Jamie Kohn (Columbia), a first-time pick. All awards were determined by a vote of the conference's eight coaches.COMPLETE LISTING.pdf