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Baseball: Schult DIII Player-of-the-Year

Senior utility player is program's third such honoree in last five yearsSchult_POY72dpi2314.jpgGRAND CHUTE, Wis. - Eastern Connecticut State University senior baseball tri-captain Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) dedicated his final season to leading his senior class to its first regional championship.

The Warriors' 13th trip to an NCAA Division III national tournament never did materialize - the club sustaining elimination in the fourth round of the Auburn, N.Y. Regional nine days ago.

However, in the process of reaching for that team goal, Schult earned the ultimate individual honor possible when the 6-foot, 200 pound utility player was honored as the 2011 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III National Player-of-the-Year. Also a first-team All-America pick at the utility position, Schult shares the national honor with 6-foot-3 inch, 220 pound right-handed pitcher Brian Gasser of Marietta College.

Schult becomes the program's fourth national Player-of-the-Year - third in five years. He joins utility player Shawn Gilblair (2007, 2009) and outfielder Basilio Ortiz (1991). Schult was named the program's 53rd All-America since 1970 - the 20th first-team pick.

A total of six players from New England achieved All-America distinction - two on the 15-player first team, two on the 16-player second team and two on the 19-player  third team. Both first-team picks from New England compete in the Little East Conference: Schult as one of three selections at the utility position and  Massachusetts Boston senior  Ryan Walsh at second base.

A four-year starter, Schult served primarily as a right-handed starting pitcher and DH and also saw action in the outfield in 2011.

Schult batted third in the order in all 47 games this year for the 34-13 Warriors, who qualified for their 13th straight NCAA tournament this spring. He led the team with a .392 batting average, 11 home runs, 138 total bases, 64 RBI, 56 runs, and 20 stolen bases in 21 tries.
As a pitcher this year, Schult was 10-1 as the team's top starter with a 3.31 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 27 walks and gave up only one home run in 87.0 innings.

In nine LEC and NCAA post-season tournament games, Schult batted .390 with a team-leading 14 RBI and team-leading 26 total bases.

Earlier this month, Schult was named New England Division III Player-of-the-Year by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA), first-team All-New England at the utility position for the second straight year, Little East Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year, first-team All-LEC at pitcher and second-team All-LEC at DH, and as Eastern's Male Athlete-of-the-Year. 

As a first-team All-New England senior, Schult is eligible to compete in the annual  New England College All-Star Game this Thursday at 7 p.m. at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA.
This year, the Warriors won 30-plus games for the 13th straight year,  captured the LEC regular-season title and qualified for  their 32nd NCAA tournament.

In his four-year career, Schult won 19 of 21 pitching decisions with 190 strikeouts in 203.0 innings and a 3.24 ERA. Offensively, he finished among the all-time Top 10 in numerous categories. He had a career .371 batting average and was fifth in hits (242), third in total bases (417), fourth in RBI (189), tied for eighth in home runs (28) and games (177) and second (by one) in doubles (63).

A Business major, Schult was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA District I All-Academic baseball team for the second straight year in 2011.

M-Lax: Vasil Excels at Senior Game

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WATCH: Post-game interview (3:22)

Senior All-America faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (above) won 14 of 20 faceoffs and picked up a game-high 11 ground balls Friday afternoon while competing in the 69th Annual USILA/LaxWorld Division III Senior All-Star Game at Beldon Field on the campus of Goucher College in Baltimore. Competing for the North all-stars, Vasil also contributed an assist early in the fourth quarter of his team's 20-15 loss to the South all-stars. Successful on a nation-leading 80.2 percent of his faceoffs this year, Vasil won ten of 13 in the second half against South all-stars Justin Tuma of Roanoke College and Patrick Cefalu of the University of Scranton. Vasil, Eastern's game, season and career leaders in faceoffs won, taken and percentage and in ground balls, claimed six of seven faceoffs in the fourth quarter - controlling the ground ball on each of his wins. Vasil became only the fifth player in program history to compete in the North-South Game and is the only player in program history to be named All-America, Academic All-America, and to the North-South game in their career.

Baseball: Schult Academic Honoree

Team's No. 1 hitter and pitcher repeats as a CoSIDA All-District pick

schult_tie_72_8048.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - For the fifth straight year, the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball program has been represented on the Capital One Academic All-District Baseball Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Senior utility player Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) has been named as a second-team choice to the 2011 District 1 College Division Team, which includes Division II and III players from institutions located in New England and New York. A right-handed pitcher, designated hitter and rightfielder, Schult repeated as a second-team selection. He was named at the DH position after being chosen as an outfielder a year ago.

Schult was only one of  13 New England Division III players - and the only one from   the Little East Conference -- chosen  to the team, which included 11 first-team selections and 11 second-team picks.  Student-athletes were nominated as either pitchers, catches, infielders, outfielders or designated hitters.

Eligible student-athletes were required to have reached their sophomore years and needed to have accumulated at least a cumulative 3.30 GPA through the fall semester.

Schult_batting722456.jpgHeading into the spring semester, Schult had earned an overall 3.70 GPA. A member of the Honors Program, Schult is majoring in Business Administration with a Marketing minor. This year,  Schult was inducted into the Marketing honor society (Alpha Mu Alpha) and Business honor society (Delta Mu Delta) A resident assistant at one of Eastern's on-campus residence halls since 2009, Schult achieved Dean's List distinction in each of his first seven semesters.

Schult has been named to the Little East Conference academic honor roll (minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA) in each of his three years of eligibility and as an Eastern/E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50) in both seasons of eligibility.

In addition to his academic accomplishments this year, Schult was named New England Division III Player-of-the-Year by the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA), first-team All-New England at the utility position for the second straight year, Little East Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year, first-team All-LEC at pitcher and second-team All-LEC at DH, and as Eastern's Male Athlete-of-the-Year.  As a first-team All-New England senior, Schult is eligible to compete in the annual  New England College All-Star Game on Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA.

As a pitcher this year, Schult was 10-1 as the team's top starter with a 3.31 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 27 walks and has given up only one home run in 87.0 innings.

A team tri-captain, Schult batted third in the order in all 47 games this year for the 34-13 Warriors who won 30-plus games for the 13th straight year,  captured the LEC regular-season title and qualified for  their 32nd NCAA tournament.. Schult served primarily as the DH and also in the outfield.  He led the team with a .392 batting average, 11 home runs, 138 total bases, 64 RBI, 56 runs, and 20 stolen bases in 21tries.

In nine LEC and NCAA post-season tournament games, Schult batted .390 with a team-leading 14 RBI and team-leading 26 total bases.

In his four-year career, Schult won 19 of 21 pitching decisions with 190 strikeouts in 203.0 innings and a 3.24 ERA. Offensively, he finished among the all-time Top 10 in numerous categories. He had a career .371 batting average and was fifth in hits (22), third in total bases (417), fourth in RBI (189), tied for eighth in home runs (28) and games (177) and second (by one) in doubles (63).

Schult follows former two-year teammate Tristan Hobbes '09 as a selection to the CoSIDA academic team. Hobbes was a first-team all-district pick in all three seasons of his eligibility, and as a senior in the  spring of  2009, was tabbed as a first-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America.

M-Lax: Vasil Sweeps National Awards

  All-America adds academic and all-star game selections to resume

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WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University senior Eric Vasil (Southington) left his imprint on the men's lacrosse program as the premier player in the program's 16-year history in both faceoffs and ground balls.

This week, Vasil has added to that legacy by becoming the first player in program history to earn the three most prestigious national awards presented by the United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA): All-America, Academic All-America and inclusion in the  Lax World Division III North-South Game.

On Monday, Vasil became only the fourth player in program history to be named to the USILA All-America team as many as two times when he repeated as an honorable mention selection. Wednesday, Vasil was one of 57 college players nationwide to be named to the USILA Academic All-America team - a team which included only ten players from New England . Also on Wednesday, Vasil became only the fifth Eastern player selected to the Lax World/USILA Division III North-South Game.

Having achieved Little East Conference academic honor roll status for the maximum third time this spring, the Business major follows John Rubano in 2000 and Jon Snedeker in 2008 by being chosen to the Academic All-America team which comprises players from all three divisions.

The 69th Annual North-South Senior Game is scheduled for this Friday, May 27 at 3 p.m. at Goucher College. Vasil was named to the 32-player North team, which will face 32 players selected to the South team. The only previous Eastern players named to the North-South Game were Shannon Sligo and John Rubano (alternative) in 2000, Jeff Reinart in 2001, Dwayne Coles in 2002 and Marc DiGiovanni in 2003.

Vasil was the only player from the Little East Conference named to either the Academic All-America Team or to the North-South Game.

A two-time team captain, Vasil led Division III in faceoff percentage (.802) and ground balls per game (15.6) for the third straight season in 2011. Vasil broke his own faceoff season records for wins (315), attempts (393) and percentage and ground balls (281)  this year for the Warriors, who won 12 of 18 matches.

In addition to  becoming the 12th Eastern All-America  in 13 years, Vasil repeated as a second-team All-New England midfielder by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) and was named to the All-Little East Conference  team at midfield for the third straight year (second time to the first team).

Vasil won the national faceoff championship by a wide margin over Norwich University sophomore Nate Fortezzo (.734) and by better than three ground balls per game over Messiah senior J.J. Miller (12.53) as the national champion in ground ball average.

Vasil concluded his four-year Eastern career as the runaway career leader in faceoffs won (986), attempted (1,361) and winning percentage (.724) and ground balls (800).   As a sophomore, he broke Eastern's season record in all three faceoff categories and in ground balls, then broke his own record in each category in each of the past two years. He also holds the game record of 26 ground balls, set March 9 at Babson College.


 

M-Lacrosse: Vasil All-America Repeater

Three-time champ in faceoff pct. and GBs an honorable mention pick

vasil_72dpiAA_3440.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Eastern Connecticut State University senior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) has repeated as an honorable mention selection at midfield to the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA)  Division III All-America team.

After leading Division III in faceoff percentage (.802) and ground balls per game (15.6) for the third straight season, Vasil was named to the All-America team for the second consecutive season.

A total of 115 players were selected to the first, second, third and honorable mention teams. Twelve players were named to each of the first, second and third teams and 79 players were named honorable mention.

None of the four All-America teams included a  pure "faceoff specialist", but rather a "short stick specialist" position was included on all but the honorable mention squad. Senior Graig Bunker of Colby College was named first-team  short stick specialist,  senior Eric Parah of SUNY Cortland second team and senior Ray Witte of Stevenson University third team.  Witte was a second-teamer last year and Bunker a third-team choice.

Bunker and Witte served as faceoff specialists for their respective teams. Bunker ranks fourth nationally in faceoff percentage (.714) and  Witte 13th (.651).

Vasil broke his own faceoff season records for wins (315), attempts (393) and percentage  this year for the Warriors, who won 12 of 18 matches.

In addition to  becoming the 12th Eastern All-America  in 13 years, Vasil repeated as a second-team All-New England midfielder by the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) and was named to the All-Little East Conference  team at midfield for the third straight year (second time to the first team).

Vasil won the national faceoff championship by a wide margin over Norwich University sophomore Nate Fortezzo (.734) and by better than three ground balls per game over Messiah senior J.J. Miller (12.53) as the national champion in ground ball average.

In the last four matches of his career -- the final regular-season match and three LEC playoff matches -- Vasil was  81-of-90 (.900). Among his most successful matches were those against Mount Ida College (19-of-21),  University of Southern Maine (16-of-18), Massachusetts Boston (14-of-16),  Salem State University (17-of-19), Massachusetts Dartmouth (24-od-26) and Keene State College (21-of-24).  In consecutive games against Plymouth State University, he won 36 of 40.

Five times, Vasil picked up at least 20 ground balls in a match, with a career-high  26 coming against Babson College.

Vasil concluded his four-year Eastern career as the runaway career leader in faceoffs won (986), attempted (1,361) and winning percentage (.724).   As a sophomore, he broke Eastern's season record in all three faceoff categories, then broke his own record each of the past two years.
 

 

 

 

Softball: Warriors Fifth in Division III

 award72dpi_1509.jpgAbove: From left, senior Rachel Soychak and juniors Molly Rathbun and Priscilla Alicea accept the regional championship award following the Warriors' fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division III national softball championship at the James I. Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.

WATCH Post-Game Interview

After splitting their first two games in the tournament, the Warriors were eliminated by No. 1-nationally-ranked Linifield College Sunday afternoon. Against a team batting just under .400, Rathbun allowed only three hits and one run through the first four innings before the Wildcats struck for four runs in the fifth and sixth on eight hits.

Trailing 1-0 without a hit, Eastern tied the game in the top of the fourth with a two-out rally when sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper doubled over the third base bag and Soychak -- the team's only senior -- rapped a 2-2 pitch to left to tie the game.

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At left: This fifth-inning fly ball eludes the leap of Eastern rightfielder Danielle Bourne and drives in the first two runs of Linifield's four-run inning that snapped a 1-1 tie in Sunday's 9-1 loss.

Eastern (35-7) sophomore Christine Akcer started on the mound in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied 1-1, hoping to provide Rathbun with a short rest. However, Akcer walked No. 9 hitter Jordan Mixsell and leadoff hitter Kayla Hubrich, necessitating Rathburn's return. Rathbun retired No. 2 hitter Jaydee Baxter on a pop up on a bunt, but the next three righthanded Linfield batters collected hits, going the opposite way each time. No. 3 hitter Emilee Lepp tripled in two runs to snap the tie (her third of four hits in the game), cleanup hitter Staci Doucette doubled in Lepp, and Emily Keagbine singled in Doucette.

Linfield (47-3) junior Lauren Harvey kept the Warriors off-balance most of the day with off-speed pitches. Harvey allowed only four hits while fanning seven without a walk. She hit one batter. 

Cooper (.556), Alicea (.545), Rathbun (.455) and sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (.429) combined to bat .500 (19-for-38) in the tournament, but the rest of the team was held to just .073 (3-for-41). Rathbun faced all but two batters in the tournament, pitching all 20.0 innings with a 5.95 ERA. She fanned 27 and walked 13 and allowed a .321 batting average by opponents.

 

Softball: At NCAAs, Warriors Re-Group

Cooper, Rathbun each drive in two runs in 4-2 victory over Messiah

rathbunHRmessiah72dpi_1313.jpg

WATCH: Post-Game Press Conference

SALEM, Va. - In the home run derby that has punctuated Eastern Connecticut State University's appearance in the 2011 NCAA Division III national tournament,  junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) had the final say Saturday morning as the Warriors avoided early elimination  with a 4-2 win over Messiah College at the James I. Moyer Athletic Complex.

Above: Molly Rathbun unloaded this tie-breaking home run in the fifth inning Saturday

Rathbun ( (24-2), who has surrendered three home runs in 15 national tournament innings after giving up only three all season long, hit the second tournament home run of her own in the national tournament to snap a 2-2 tie with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and lead  the Warriors to their first tournament victory after an opening loss Friday.

By eliminating 2009 national champion Messiah (39-7), Eastern (35-6) advances to play a second elimination game Sunday at noon against Linfield College (46-3), which had a 35-game winning streak ended in a 4-0 loss to the University of Texas at Tyler later Saturday. Linfield, the 2010 national runner-up, is the nation's top-ranked team and outscored five previous NCAA tournament opponents, 59-0.

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At left: Arielle Cooper

After giving up her third tournament home run in eight innings with one out in the top of the  first Saturday, Rathbun  was nearly untouchable the rest of the way. She allowed only two hits (one never left the infield) without a walk the rest of the way, and unloaded what proved to be the game-winning home run in the fifth - a line shot on a 1-0 pitch which barely cleared the left-center field fence. The homer was the team-leading tenth of the season for Rathbun, one shy of the season record and extended her program career mark to 23.

With the Warriors still smarting from an 8-7, eight inning loss Friday night to Christopher Newport University (Eastern led 7-1 in the seventh), Messiah No. 3 hitter Jaclyn Merkel homered off Rathbun with a runner aboard in the first to give the Falcons the early lead.

Sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic)  -- who has now reached safely six times in two tournament games - homered leading off the second to get Eastern on the board, drove in the tying run in the third with a two-out single to left, and reached on an infield single following Rathbun's home run in the fifth.

Junior centerfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) scored the tying run on Cooper's third-inning single after singling to right with one out in the inning, and moved to second on Rathbun's infield ground ball. Alicea, who has five hits and four runs scored in the tournament, was aboard when Rathbun uncorked her tie-breaking home run in the fifth that chased Messiah sophomore starter Jocelyn Hickey (13-5).  With one out, she legged out a hot smash that Messiah second baseman Abi Buchler knocked down with a dive toward first but could not control.

Rathbun, who struck out 12 but walked a career-high eight Friday, fanned eight Messiah batters to go along with the lone walk.  Rathbun retired the first batter in every inning after the first and avoided trouble in the sixth by fanning cleanup hitter Jessica Rhoads on four pitches with a runner on first in the sixth.

The top of the  Eastern lineup - No. 2 hitter, Alicea, Rathbun and Cooper - accounted for all six of Eastern's hits.

Baseball: Warriors Eliminated in NCAA

 After eliminating Clarkson, they are bounced by Brockport, 6-3

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Brockport box score.htm

Clarkson box score.htm

AUBURN, N.Y. -- After starting the day at 9 a.m. by  completing a game suspended late Thursday night,  fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University (34-13) ended its season at 2:21 a.m. Saturday morning with a 6-3 loss to fourth-seeded College at Brockport at the 2011 NCAA Division III Auburn, NY Regional tournament at Falcon Park..

The Warriors led once in the game, 2-1, but Brockport (30-13) tied the game in the fourth and took the lead for good, 5-2, with four runs on five hits and an infield error in the fifth.

Above: Chris Wojick

Trailing 6-2, Eastern got one back in the seventh on a leadoff double by junior catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) and an infield error and brought the tying run to bat in both the eighth and ninth innings.

Brockport, beaten 2-0 by Eastern Wednesday, had stayed alive earlier Friday by eliminating Farmingdale State College, 6-2. The Warriors become the fifth team eliminated in the original field of eight in the double-elimination tournament. .

Brockport was scheduled to meet top-seeded SUNY Cortland Saturday at 1 p.m. That winner will need to defeat third-seeded Keystone College, the only undefeated team remaining. Keystone routed Cortland, 13-0, in the final of the winners' bracket Friday afternoon

Eastern 6, Clarkson 1

After losing the completion of a suspended game Friday morning to SUNY Cortland, 7-6, the fifth-seeded Warriors stayed alive in with a 6-1 elimination game win over seventh-seeded Clarkson University (20-19).

Against Clarkson, senior righty Chris Wojick (Uncasville) did not allow a run for 5 1/3 innings en route to his sixth win against a loss, and junior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) gave up only one unearned run on two hits the rest of the way to earn his fourth save.

Senior leftfielder Rob Perry (Manchester) had a single, double and triple and drove in three runs for Eastern and senior outfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) hit in his eighth straight game with a single and double. He scored two runs and also walked and had a sacrifice bunt.

Eastern broke a scoreless game open with four runs on three hits and two walks in the fifth. Perry knocked in two runs with a triple in the inning. and senior DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) also had RBI singles.



Softball: Comeback Stuns Warriors, 8-7

At nationals, CNU ties game with six-run seventh, wins it in eighth

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Box Score.htm

SALEM, Va. -- Christopher Newport University  tied the game with six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and Chelsea Mitchell's clean single to left drove in Ashley Mani from second base with one out in the eighth as the Captains stunned the Warriors, 8-7 in eight innings on the opening day of the 2011 NCAA Division III national softball tournament at the James I. Moyer Softball Complex.

Above: Jen Tamindzija's fourth-inning single gave Eastern an early 3-1 lead Friday.
 
CNU (36-10) defeated Eastern (34-6) for the second straight year in the first game of the eight-team, double-elimination national tournament. Last year, however, Eastern All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) was in the hospital. This year, Rathbun took a four-hitter and 7-1 lead into the seventh before the Captains scored six runs on five hits and three walks to knock the Warriors into an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against Messiah College..
 
In the seventh, cleanup hitter Jessie Atkinson had a two-run triple and Jennifer Falin a two-run home run (her second homer of the game) to pull the Captains to within 7-5. Kelley Foate's two-out-two-run single tied the game.
 
Rathbun (23-2) and senior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) both flew out to the warning track in the top of the eighth. Rathbun walked  leadoff batter Ashley Mani in the bottom of the eight - her career-high eight of the game - and Falin sent Mani to second with an infield ground ball to shortstop. Mitchell then lined a 1-2 pitch into left and Mani scored standing up to complete the comeback.
 
Eastern scored three runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead highlighted by freshman second baseman Jen Tamindzija's (Malden, MA) two-run single, and moved out to a 7-1 lead in the top of the seventh when junior rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) doubled and Rathbun hit her career-record 22nd home run. Junior reserve Christine Yeoman's (Durham) two-out RBI single rounded out the scoring.

Alicea, Rathbun and sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) paced Eastern's 13-hit attack with three hits each.Rathbun had singled to lead off the fourth and her pinch runner scored as Eastern tied the game in its three-run fourth. Rathbun also doubled in a run in the fifth to make it 4-1. Paterson had an RBI double down the third base line and Tamindzija followed with her two-run single in the fourth.

Rathbun struck out 13 but surrendered ten hits, eight coming in the last three innings. 

 Friday's Games
Linfield U. 10, SUNY Cortland 0 (5)
U. of Texas at Tyler 1, Luther College 0
DePauw 2, Messiah College 1 (10)
Christopher Newport U. 8, Eastern Conn. 7 (8)
 
Saturday's Schedule
SUNY Cortland vs. Luther College, 11 a.m.
Messiah College vs. Eastern Conn., 1:30 p.m.
Linfield U. vs. U. of Texas at Tyler, 4 p.m.
DePauw U. vs. Christopher Newport U., 6:30 p.m.
.
 

 
 
 
 

 

Baseball: Warriors Fall Short in NCAA

They  leave tying run at third in ninth inning of completed game

kingsley72cortland_8609.jpgBill Holowaty Discusses Clarkson.mp3

Interview courtesy of Wayne Norman, WILI Radio

 AUBURN, N.Y. -- The fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team left the tying run on third base in the bottom of the ninth inning Friday morning in the completion of Thursday's suspended game in dropping a 7-6 decision to top-seeded SUNY Cortland in a winners' bracket game at Falcon Park.

Eastern (33-12) is scheduled to play seventh-seeded Clarkson University (19-18) Friday at 1:15 p.m. in an elimination game. That winner advances in the tournament, possibly playing Friday's late game. The loser is eliminated.

At left: Shane Kingsley

Thursday night's game was suspended  due to rain with the Warriors trailing, 7-6, in the top of the eighth inning. The game was suspended at 10:45 after a 47 minute delay  with Cortland batting with one out and a runner on first base. Eastern junior righty pitcher Mike Hepple (Newington) had just relieved senior lefty Bill Roveto (South Windsor) with a 2-0 count on  No. 3 hitter John Adornetto. Hepple continued his effectiveness of late by stranding Adornetto at second with a strikeout and outfield fly ball.

After going out in order in the bottom of the eighth, the Warriors showed life after Cortland senior lefty reliever Michael Mahay got strikeouts for the first two outs. A starter with a 7-0 record making only his second relief appearance, Mahay then surrendered a single to Eastern No. 9 hitter Chris Cannata (Southington). Senior outfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) followed with his fourth hit of the day with a single to left that sent Cammuso to third before Mahay retired No. 2 hitter Robert Perry (Manchester) on a hard liine drive to right.

Eastern reached four Cortland pitchers for 13 hits but stranded 14 runners -- eight in scoring position as the Red Dragons evened the all-time NCAA tournament series with Eastern at three wins apiece..

The Warriors were battling back from a 7-3 deficit after 4 1/2 innings when the rains came Thursday. They scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Red Dragon lead to 7-6. The Warriors chased Cortland junior ace Aaron Schuldt in the fifth, scoring their three runs on three hits, two walks, a sacrifice fly and infield error. Senior rightfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) and senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) had hits to open the inning and both later scored on freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell's (Braintree, MA) sacrifice fly and a wild pitch, respectively. Sophomore pinch hitter Drew Accomando (Berlin) later walked and scored on a throwing error for the final run of the inning.

In search of his first win in a month, Eastern junior righty starter Jim Dimon  (Seymour) started on the mound but was lifted with two out in the fourth while Cortland was scoring four times to take a 5-2 lead.

Five Eastern seniors batting 1-through-5 in the order combined for 11  of the team's 13 hits and also reached on two walks. Kingsley has four hits -- including the 50th of the season -- while seniors Perry, DH Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) and Dewing have two each. Schult moved into fifth place all-time in career hits with a third-inning RBI single that gave him 237 in his four-year career. Schult also contributed his fourth outfield assist of the season when he threw out a runner at home for the second out of the sixth inning.

Heppled allowed only one hit in getting the final six outs. As the fourth of five pitchers, Roveto struck out three without a walk and gave up two hits in two innings.

Eastern is ranked 21st nationally and Cortland sixth. The Red Dragons lost in last year's national championship game and dropped two of three to champion Eastern in the 2006 regional at Auburn.


 

 

 

Softball: Rathbun All-America 3-Peater

She becomes first Eastern player to achieve honor three straight years

Rathbun72AA2_0921.jpgComplete listing

SALEM, Va. -- Eastern Connecticut State University junior  right-handed pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) has become the first player in program history to achieve first-team All-America honors as many as three consecutive seasons when she was named a first-team Louisville Slugger National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division III All-America Thursday.

After becoming the first Eastern pitcher to be named to the NFCA all-region first team for three consecutive seasons earlier in the week, Rathbun becomes the first player in program history to be named to the NFCA All-America teams as many as three straight years. She has been voted to the first team for the last two years after earning second-team honors as a freshman in 2009.

Rathbun was one of two pitchers named to the first team and was joined by U.S. Coast Guard Academy junior righty Hayley Feindel.

Three previous Eastern players have earned All-America selection three times, but none in three straight years. They are right-handed pitcher  Christia Mohan (1987, 89-90), outfielder Leanne Shoop (1989-90 and '92) and utility player Lynn Rocheleau (1985, 88-89). Rathbun, Mohan and Shoop are the only players to be named to the first team as many as two times.

 A total of 38 Eastern players have been named to the All-America team since 1982.

In national statistics through the regional tournament, Rathbun ranks fourth in ERA and least hits allowed per seven innings (3.34)  and sixth in strikeouts per game (10.2). This season, she has thrown four no-hitters (one shy of the season record), two coming in the opening games of the Providence, R.I. Regional tournament last weekend when she fell one inning shy of the program record for consecutive hitless innings.
Rathbun this year has a 23-1 pitching record, 0.72 ERA and 253 strikeouts in 174 innings. She is also batting a team-leading .423 with eight home runs and 37 RBI.

Of the team's last 11 wins since late April, Rathbun has won ten and saved the other. She won her first 22 decisions this year before a complete-game 3-1 loss at Rhode Island College in the first game of the Providence, R.I. Regional tournament. In nine post-season games this year (LEC and NCAA), Rathbun is 8-1 with a 1.02 ERA, 83 strikeouts and nine walks in 62 innings. 

In three years, Rathbun has won 69 (against ten losses) and saved ten of the team's 99 wins.  In  538 1/3 innings, she has 764 strikeouts and a 0.75 ERA, with batters hitting .140 against her. Heading into the national tournament, Rathbun is the program's all-time leader in strikeouts, is tied for first in saves, and is second in wins, winning percentage (.873), ERA (0.75) and shutouts (34).
 
Eastern (34-5) has won 27 of 29 games since returning from a 7-3 Florida trip and opens play in the NCAA Division III national tournament Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Christopher Newport University. The Captains are led by two-time first-team All-America senior third baseman Jessie Atkinson, the 2011 team leader with 15 home runs.
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Softball: Nationals Open Friday

For second straight year, Warriors meet CNU in opener at 6:30 p.m.

rathbun_mound_72_3710.jpgTournament Web Site

Live Stats (EC-CNU)

SALEM, Va. - Eastern Connecticut State University and Christopher Newport University square off in the NCAA Division III national softball tournament for the third time in two years Friday at 6:30 p.m. on the opening day of the 2011 eight-team, double-elimination tournament at the James I. Moyer Softball Complex.

Last year, Eastern (34-5) eliminated Christopher Newport (35-10) in the semifinals after being mercied in the opening round, 8-0 in five innings while All-America pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) was hospitalized due to illness.

This time, Rathbun (23-1, 0.72) is healthy and may be opposed by CNU sophomore righty Whitney Haller (18-4, 1.99). A junior, Rathbun was named to the All-America team for the third straight time Thursday night while Haller is a third-team All-South Region selection. Haller steps in this season as the CNU ace for Kristen Rowe, who pitched all 12 innings against Eastern in last year's national tournament.

Half of last year's tournament field return from a year ago. Joining Eastern and Christopher Newport are 2010 national runner-up Linfield University (45-2) and DePauw University (31-9-1). Last year's national champion, East Texas Baptist University, was eliminated in two games in the Tyler, Texas regional.  Rounding out this year's field are Luther College, SUNY Cortland, University of Texas at Tyler and Messiah College.

A win puts Eastern into a winners' bracket contest Saturday against the Messiah-DePauw winner at 6:30 p.m. With a loss, the Warriors will play an elimination game against the Messiah-DePauw loser Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

In addition to Rathbun, three additional Eastern players return from the starting lineup from the Warriors' 5-2 win over CNU last May: three-time all-region outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford), sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and junior utility player Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA). Manzo started that game at second base but has played exclusively in the outfield this year.

In nine Little East Conference and NCAA post-season games this year, three Eastern freshmen are among the team's top five hitters: leftielder Stephanie Johnson (Southington) is batting .407, second baseman Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) .353, and shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) .333. In those nine games, Rathbun is 8-1 with a 1.02 ERA and is batting a team-leading .420, and sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) is batting .364.

The Captains won 16 straight games through the first two days of the America South Tournament two weeks ago before dropping both games of the championship round to Shendandoah University, 4-1, 4-2. After gaining an at-large bid to the tournament, CNU won four straight in the Salisbury, M.D. Regional to earn a second straight national tournament berth. The Captains routed Shendandoah, 19-3 in six innings in the final.

Two-time first-team All-America senior third baseman Jessie Atkinson bats a team-leading .433 for CNU, with freshman outfielder Kristina McLaughlin at .346, all-region outfielder Ashley Mani (who had three of her team's six hits off Rathbun in last year's semifinals) at .333 and all-region infielder Jennifer Falin at .329.

 

 

 

Baseball: Schult NE Player-of-the-Year

Utility player joined on All-NE baseball team by Perry and Turgeon

schult_running722176.jpgLISTEN: Bill Holowaty on NE Player-of-the-Year Jim Schult.mp3

LISTEN: Bill Holowaty on his NEIBA All-Star Game selections.mp3

Interviews courtesy of Wayne Norman, WILI Radio

WELLESLEY, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University senior utility player Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) has been selected as the Warriors' third New England Player-of-the-Year in the last five years and is joined on the 2011 New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Division III All-New England team by classmates Robert Perry (Manchester) and Tyler Turgeon (Norwich).

At left: Jim Schult
 
Schult, a right-handed pitcher who has also played right field and served as designated hitter, was named to the All-New England team for the third time while Perry and Turgeon were first-time selections. Schult was a first-team pick at the utility spot for the second straight year after garnering second-team accolades in the outfield as a sophomore in 2009. Perry joined Schult on the first team while Turgeon was a second-team choice.

Yesterday, Schult was named Little East Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year, first-team all-conference pitcher and second-team DH. Perry was a first-team All-LEC outfielder and Turgeon a second-team All-LEC first baseman.

Previous Eastern selections as New England Player-of-the-Year were left-handed  pitcher/DH Shawn Gilblair in 2007 and 2009 and centerfielder Dwight Wildman in 2004.

As first-team seniors, Schult and Perry are eligible to compete in the annual  New England College All-Star Game on Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, MA. Last year at Fenway Park, the College Division team led the Division I all-stars, 2-0, before rain cancelled the rest of the game.

Following Wednesday's 2-0 NCAA tournament victory over the College at Brockport - where he pitched his first career shutout -- Schult is 10-1 as the team's top starter with a 3.31 ERA, 92 strikeouts and 27 walks and has given up only one home run in 87.0 innings.

A team tri-captain, Schult has batted third in the order in all 44 games this year for the 33-11 Warriors, serving primarily as the DH and also in the outfield.  He leads the team with a .394 batting average, 11 home runs, 132 total bases, 62 RBI, and 19 stolen bases in 20 tries. Schult needs one win to become the 13th 20-game winner in program history. He is 19-2 lifetime with two saves and a 3.24 ERA.

Copy of perry_72_5220.jpgAt left: Robert Perry

A third-year transfer, Perry  rebounded from an injury-plagued 2010 season to start 42 of this year's  44 games - 41 in left field and 41 as the team's No. 2 hitter in the order. He is batting .354 - third behind Schult and Turgeon. During the season, he hit safely in 24 straight games - seven behind the program record - and has managed at least one hit in all but three games. The left-handed hitter had a hit in the team's first 12 games, and after going 0-for-9 in the next two games, began his 24-game hitting streak which extended into the LEC tournament, In one seven-game stretch, he was 17-for-35 (.486) with nine runs and nine RBI. Defenstively, he has a .976 fielding average on 82 chances.

A second-year Division I transfer, the left-handed hitting Turgeon has played first base, third base, outfield and DH and has served as the team's cleanup hitter in all but seven games. He is batting .358  this year - more than 30 percentage points above his 2010 average - with three home runs, 46 RBI,  87 total bases and a .438 on-base percentage.

After going hitless in the first two games of the season, Turgeon hit safely in the next 27 - just four shy of the program record.   Five times during the year, he has had three or more hits in a game.

Turgeon_72dpi1957.jpgTyler Turgeon follows father Mike as an All-New England selection from Eastern. Mike Turgeon  was a two-time first-teamer (1976-77) as a a switch-hitting shortstop before signing a professional contract as the sixth-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs following his junior season in 1977

At left: Tyler Turgeon.

Since the selection of NEIBA all-region teams in 1984, Eastern has had 122 selections - 56 first-teamers, 40 second-teamers, and 26 third-teamers. In addition to four Player-of-the-Year selections the Warriors have had two Pitcher-of-the-Year honorees since those awards were first presented in 2004.

Fifth-seeded Eastern faces top-seeded SUNY Cortland Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the second round of the Auburn, NY Regional tournament at Falcon Park.



 

Baseball: Warriors Open with Victory

schultpitch72dpiCROPPED_9233.jpgIn regional, Schult throws first shutout, Kingsley drives in only runs

 Schult post-game interview.mp3

Interview courtesy of Wayne Norman, WILI Radio

Regional Web Site

AUBURN, N.Y. - Senior right-hander Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) tossed his first career shutout and senior outfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) drove in the only two runs of the game with an eighth-inning single as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team defeated the College of Brockport Wednesday morning in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Auburn, NY Regional at Falcon Park.

Fifth-seeded Eastern (33-11) advances to play Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the winners' bracket of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament against top-seeded host SUNY Cortland (34-8), which trimmed eighth-seeded Mitchell College (23-10-1), 3-1, later Wednesday. Brockport (27-13) faces Mitchell in an elimination game  Thursday at 10 a.m.

Schult (10-1), the 2011 New England Player-of-the-Year and Little East Conference Pitcher-of-the-Year, recorded the first shutout and sixth complete game in 30 career starts. He walked four and hit a batter over the first four innings but carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning. All five hits that he allowed in the game were singles. He struck out 12 and walked five and hit a batter en route to his eighth straight victory.

Undefeated as a starter this season, Schult left seven runners in scoring position in recording his 19th career win against two losses and cementing the team's first shutout in 44 games this season. With the game scoreless, a strikeout left Brockport runners on second and third in the bottom of the first, outfield fly balls stranded the bases loaded in the third and two on base in the sixth, and a strikeout kept the go-ahead run 90 feet away in the seventh.

Unable to get the ball out of the infield in his first three at-bats, Kingsley dumped a two-out single to center with the bases loaded in the eighth for the only runs that Schult needed.

After senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) singled to open that eighth inning, sophomore second baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) reached on a sacrifice bunt when Dewing beat Eagle first baseman Max Zimmerman's throw to second hoping for a forceout. Freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) then successfully executed only his second sacrifice bunt of the season to move both runners into scoring position and a two-out walk to No. 9 hitter Mitch Plourde (Ellington) loaded the bases. Kingsley then drove in his 19th and 20th runs of the game with his single to center.

Facing an Eastern team which features a team .325 batting average, Brockport senior right-handed ace Kyle Smith (8-2) cruised through the first seven innings. He gave up only one hit without a walk in facing the minimum 18 batters over the first six innings. Both of Eastern's hits through seven innings were infield hits.

Smith pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts and a walk through eight innings before giving way to freshman righty Justin McCarthy.

Against Cortland in NCAA play, the Warriors have won three of five meetings. In the 2006 Auburn regional, Eastern rebounded from a 9-0 second-round loss to the Red Dragons to win the regional with 9-5, 10-7 triumphs over Cortland in the championship round.

First-year junior righty Jim Dimon (Seymour) is a candidate to start Thursday's game. Dimon is 5-1 with a 4.17 ERA. Dimon did not figure in the decision in his last start against Rhode Island College in the Little East Conference opener a week ago. The Anchormen reached him for 12 hits and four runs (three) while fanning two and walking two in Eastern's eventual 6-4 loss. His last win came in his only complete game in 11 starts this season, a three-hitter against Rhode Island in the team's 3-2 regular-season victory nearly a month ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Softball: Five are All-Region Selections

Rathbun first pitcher named to first team for three straight  seasons

coopergodwin72dpi_0987.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- .Eastern Connecticut State University juniors Molly Rathbun (Hebron) and Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) earned a three-peat to the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division III All-New England Region team, headlining a list of five selections from the 2011 regional champions.

At left: Left-side infielders Megan Godwin (far left) and Arielle Cooper earned All-NE Region honors for first time.

Rathbun becomes the first Eastern pitcher to be named to the first team for three consecutive seasons (pitcher  Christia Mohan was a first-team selection  in 1987, '89 and '90), while Alicea was selected as one of three outfielders on the first team following second-team honors as a freshman in2009 and third-team mention in 2010.

Earning recognition for the first time for Eastern were sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), senior DH/catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) and freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester). Cooper was named to the second team and Soychak and Godwin to the third. All were "at-large" selections.

Eastern and Little East Conference opponent Western Connecticut led all teams with five picks each, while LEC teams Rhode Island College and Keene State College were represented with two picks each to give the conference over 30 percent of all selections. All four teams are ranked among the New England Top 10.

A total of 19 institutions were represented with at least one selection to the first, second or third team,, with a total of 45 individuals named. The first and second teams were chosen by position, with three  players chosen "at-large" to round out those teams. The entire 15-player third team was chosen on an "at-large" basis.

Rathbun  also repeated first-team honors  to the New England Intercollegiate Softball Coaches' Association (NEISCA) All-New England team, while Alicea was named for the first time as a second-team selection. Coast Guard junior pitcher Hayley Feindel was named NEISCA Player-of-the-Year on the basis of a 37-4 pitching record, 0.56 ERA and 457 strikeouts in 261 1/3 innings. Last year's NEISCA Player-of-the-Year, Rathbun this year batted a team-leading .423 with eight home runs and 37 RBI to go along with her 23-1 pitching record, 0.72 ERA and 253 strikeouts in 174 innings. Feindel did not bat this season.

Eastern's All-New England selections led the Warriors to their second straight Little East Conference regular-season and tournament titles and their second consecutive regional championship. Eastern has won 27 of 29 games since returning from a 7-3 Florida trip and opens play in the NCAA Division III national tournament Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Christopher Newport University.

In national statistics through the regional tournament, Rathbun ranks fourth in ERA and least hits allowed per seven innings (3.34)  and sixth in strikeouts per game (10.2). This season, she has thrown four no-hitters (one shy of the season record), two coming in the opening games of the Providence, R.I. Regional tournament last weekend when she fell one inning shy of the program record for consecutive hitless innings.

Alicea is the team's starting rightfielder who has batted either first or second in the order all season long.She leads the team with 39 runs scored and 13 stolen bases (in 14 attempts) and is second to Rathbun with a .373 batting average. She brings a career .401 average into the national tournament.

Cooper is a two-year starter at third base who is batting .320 with seven home runs , 27 RBI and seven stolen bases. She leads the team with 81 assists and is feidling a .968.

The team's only senior, Soychak has split time at catcher and DP this year and has hit in five different spots in the order. She  is fourth on the team with a .354 batting average after batting  a combined .167 the last two years following knee surgery. Defensively, she has a .975 fielding percentage on 121 chances.

One of five freshmen regulars in the lineup, Godwin has started 36 games at shortstop and has batted in seven different spots in the order (mostly second). She is third on the team with a .370 batting average and has 22 RBI and 54 total bases.  She is second to Cooper with 51 assists.

Eastern's five all-region selections are its most since six were named (four to the first team) in 1993

Rathbun, Godwin, Cooper and Soychak were all named to the regional all-tournament team this past weekend. Earlier this month, Rathbun repeated as Little East Pitcher-of-the-Year and joined Alicea as a first-team all-conference selection for the third straight year. Godwin was named LEC Rookie-of-the-Year.

In nine post-season games this year (LEC and NCAA), Rathbun is 8-1 with a 1.02 ERA, 83 strikeouts and nine walks in 62 innings. Godwin is batting .333, Cooper .286 (with a team-leading 16 assists and only one error), Soychak .238 and Alicea .231.


 

Baseball: Six are Chosen All-Little East

Schult named Pitcher-of-the-Year, Holowaty Coach-of-the-Year

schultpitch72dpi_9233.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  For the second straight year, Eastern Connecticut State University senior Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) has been named to the All-Little East Conference team at two different positions,  as released today as part of the conference's season-ending awards program.

At left: Jim Schult

In addition to being voted to the first team as a right-handed pitcher and to the second team as a designated hitter, Schult became Eastern's fifth selection since 2001 as Pitcher-of-the-Year.

The LEC regular-season champion, Eastern led all conference teams with six all-conference selections. Senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) joined Schult on the first team and  senior first baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich), junior catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) joined Schult on the second team. Perry, Turgeon, Cammuso and O'Connell were recognized for the first time in their careers.

From top: Cammuso, O'Connell, Perry, Turgeon

cammuso_jersey_72_8091.jpgFor the third time in the 15-year history of conference baseball competition,  43rd-year head coach Bill Holowaty was named Coach-of-the-Year.

The 24-person all-conference team and major award-winners are selected in a balloting  of the eight conference head coaches and the tabulation is done prior to the start of the LEC tournament.

Schult was named to the all-conference team for the third straight year. As a sophomore, he was a second-team outfield choice and last year was oconnell_jersey_head72dpi_8065.jpgtabbed as a first-team outfielder and second-team pitcher.

This year, Schult leads the staff in most every pitching category. He is 9-1 with a 3.69 ERA, 80 strikeouts and 22 walks and has given up only one home run in 78.0 innings, and sits atop the conference individual standings in innings, strikeouts, and wins, while ranking fifth in earned run average.

In LEC regular-season games, he was 6-0 with a 2.80 ERA, 50 strikeouts and eight walks (1.6 per game), pitching at least six innings in all six perryr_jersey_72_8047.jpgstarts and pitching two complete games.

Schult clinched the LEC regular-season title for Eastern on the final weekend of the regular season by beating Keene State College, 12-6, pitching six innings. He won his only start in the LEC tournament, pitching a complete-game eight-hitter in an 8-4 second-round win over 2010 tournament champion Massachusetts Boston.

Schult struck out at least ten batters in three of his last six LEC regular-season starts, including a career-high 13 in a complete-game two-hitter in turgeon_jersey_72dpi_8115.jpga 9-1 win over Plymouth State University April 2. He pitched a complete-game three-hitter with eight strikeouts in an 8-1 regular-season verdict over LEC tournament champion Rhode Island College.

A team tri-captain, Schult has batted third in the order in all 43 games this year for the 32-11 Warriors, serving primarily as the DH and also in the outfield.  He leads the team with a .398 batting average, 11 home runs, 131 total bases, 62 RBI, and 19 stolen bases in 20 tries. In  five games in last weekend's LEC tournament, he batted a team-leading.435 with two home runs, 19 total bases, 12 RBI and a .500 on-base percentage. In a semifinal-round win over Keene State, Schult had a grand slam, two-run home run and seven RBI.

Heading into NCAA play Wednesday, Schult needs two wins to become the 13th 20-game winner in program history. He is 18-2 lifetime with two saves and a 3.39 ERA.

A third-year transfer, Perry  rebounded from an injury-plagued 2010 season to start 41 of this year's  43 games - 40 in left field and 40 as the team's No. 2 hitter in the order. He is batting .356 - including a team-high .431 in 14 LEC regular-season games. During the season, he hit safely in 24 straight games - seven behind the program record - and managed at least one hit in all but three games. The left-handed hitter had a hit in the team's first 12 games, and after going 0-for-9 in the next two games, began his 24-game hitting streak which extended into the LEC tournament, In one seven-game stretch, he was 17-for-35 (.486) with nine runs and nine RBI. Defenstively, he has a .975 fielding average on 80 chances.

A second-year Division I transfer, the left-handed hitting Turgeon has played first base, third base, outfield and DH and has served as the team's cleanup hitter in all but seven games. He is batting .366 this year - more than 30 percentage points above his 2010 average - with three home runs, 46 RBI,  87 total bases and a .447 on-base percentage. In 14 regular-season LEC games, he batted .414 with a home run and 16 RBI.

After going hitless in the first two games of the season, Turgeon hit safely in the next 27 - just four shy of the program record.   Five times during the year, he has had three or more hits.

Cammuso has caught 19 games in a starting role this season, batting  .358 - third among regulars only to Schult and Turgeon. Defensively, he has commited only three errors on  165 chances for a .982 percentage. In 14 LEC regular-season games, he is second only to Perry with a .423 average and shares the team lead with Schult and Turgeon with 16 RBI.

O'Connell becomes only the program's third freshman shortstop to garner all-conference honors,

following Melvin Castillo in 2007 and Nick Tempesta in 1998 (both of whom went on to All-America honors in their careers). O'Connell started 41 of the 42 games in which he appeared (all at shortstop), batting .348 with 56 hits, 32 RBI, 29 runs and a team-leading 106 assists.

In 14 regular-season conference games, O'Connell was fourth among regulars with a .345 batting average  to go along with a team-leading 32 assists. In five LEC tournament games, O'Connell handled 26 chances in the field with just one error.

Holowaty led the Warriors to their eighth outright regular-season  title (they have also shared three) this year and to the championship round of the LEC tournament for the eighth time. In 15 years of LEC play, Eastern has won a conference-leading 83.4 percent of its 211 games and  also leads all LEC teams with seven conference tournament championships.

The Little East Conference is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring men's and women's basketball in 1986 as a six-member conference. The Little East has grown to its current eight-institution membership and sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate sports.



 

Softball: Warriors Clinch Regional Title

godwin_johnson_celeb_72_0986.jpg

Above: All-tournament selections Megan Godwin, Arielle Cooper and Stephanie Johnson celebrate the championship.

WATCH: Post-Tournament Press Conference


In title game, Rathbun throws three-hitter, Johnson drives in three runs

ncaalogophoto_0576.jpg

Tournament bracket

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Coming off a last-inning loss to Rhode Island College Sunday in the first game of the championship round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Providence, RI Softball Regional, Eastern Connecticut State University  told itself that it had to 'move on' in the championship game Monday morning.

And because they were able, collectively, to do that, the Warriors will be 'moving on' to the national softball tournament for the second straight year and 13th time in program history.

Eastern opens play in the 30th Annual Division III national tournament Friday at 6:30 p.m. against Salisbury, Maryland Regional champion Christopher Newport University at the James I. Moyer Softball Complex in Salem, Va. 

 In Monday's one-game, winner-take-all showdown with Little East Conference foe Rhode Island College at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex on the RIC campus,  junior All-America righty Molly Rathbun (Hebron) won her 23rd game of the year in 24 decisions and freshman leftfielder Stephanie Johnson (Southington) knocked in three of the team's runs with two singles and scored the team's fourth as the Warriors rebounded from Sunday's two-run loss to win their fourth tournament game in five days by a score of 4-1.

"After Sunday's loss, we knew that we had to move on," said Johnson, one of  four freshman starters in the lineup, "and we felt confident going into the game (Monday)."

bondy_rathbun72dpi_0943.jpg

At right: Freshman catcher Megan Bondy and junior pitcher Molly Rathbun (15).

Batting sixth in the order in Sunday's 3-1 loss to Rhode Island, Johnson was 0-for-2 with a strikeout against RIC senior ace Amanda Berard (18-7). Batting eighth in the order Monday, she collected half of the team's six hits. Her secnd-inning single up the middle plate sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) - who had doubled with one out - to give Eastern an early lead. In the fifth, Johnson led off with an infield single to short and raced home on junior All-New England Region Priscilla Alicea's (Stratford) ground ball to short.

With Rathbun holding Rhode Island (38-13) to one hit through five innings, the Warriors  virtually sealed the win on Johnson's two-out, two-run single - again a sharp ground ball through the middle -- in the sixth. Sophomore cleanup hitter Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and Paterson drew walks around a Berard strikeout and both move moved up on a sacrifice bunt by DP Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) - the team's only senior -- to set the stage for Johnson's two-run single.

Rathbun fanned six and walked one in her complete-game, three-hit performance and also had two hits. The two-time All-America and conference Pitcher-of-the-Year, Rathbun set down the first 12 batters in order before walking Chelsi Panarelli to open the fifth.

Trailing 2-0, the Anchorwomen ran themselves out of a chance to get back into the game in the fifth inning. With one out and Panarelli on second and Kristina Gingell (single) on first, Emily Johnson popped the ball up behind the second base bag. Freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) was unable to grab the pop because she

rsuhfield72dpi_0945.jpgwas shielded by Panarelli standing on the bag, as the ball fell to the ground.  Godwin was unsure if the infield fly had been called by home plate umpire Ron Vargas (it had been, thus making the batter Johnson automatically out), so she fielded the ball and fired to Cooper third base in the hope of forcing Panarelli. Unsure if  she had to head for third (which she did not) to avoid the forceout, Panarelli was caught off second on Cooper's return throw to Godwin to end the inning.

A one-out opposite field triple by No. 9 hitter Stacy Pokora - whose three-run, seventh-inning home run had lifted RIC to Sunday's 3-1 victory - and a suicide squeeze bunt by leadoff hitter Kayla Jandreau accounted for Rhode Island's run in the sixth inning.

Below: Championship game pitching adversaries Molly Rathbun (left) and Amanda Berard of Rhode Island relax during the post-tournament awards ceremonyrathbunberard72pdi_0088.jpg

Rathbun, Johnson, Cooper, Soychak and Godwin represented Eastern on the 15-person all-tournament team. In the tournament, Rathbun pitched all 34 innings with  a 0.82 ERA, 45 strikeouts and seven walks, two shutouts, with an opponent batting average of .108 (she also batted .438  (7-for-16) with five runs and five RBI) . Johnson batted .400 (6-for-15) with five RBI, Cooper .231 (3-for-13) with six runs and four RBI, a team-high eight assists and two putouts in the field; Soychak .167 (2-for-12) with three RBI and a run; and Godwin .333 (5-for-15) with four runs and an RBI, eight putouts and five assists in the field.

In six games (all played within a month and four of them at RIC) against RIC this year, Rathbun was 4-1 with a 0.91 ERA in 38 2/3 innings, 48 strikeouts and six walks and a .132 opponent batting average as the Warriors won five times. Godwin batted .353 in those games, freshman second baseman Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) .385, Paterson .350 with 35 putouts and an assist in 36 chances at first base, and Johnson and Alicea .350.

A first-round win in next weekend's nationals would move the Warriors into the winners' bracket of the eight-team, double-elimination tournament Saturday at 6:30 p.m.. against the winner of Friday's 4 p.m. first-round game between Messiah College  and DePauw University. If its loses its first game, Eastern drops into an elimination game Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against the Mesiah-DePauw loser.

The Warriors split two games with Christopher Newport in last year's national tournament, losing an opening-round 8-0 decision without Rathbun (who contracted food poisoning the night before the start of the tournament) before later eliminating the Captains, 5-2. Eastern downed DePauw, 8-1 in a third-round game last year after losing to DePauw on the 2010 Florida trip.

In other first-round games Friday, Linfield College meets SUNY Cortland at 11 a.m., and Luther College faces the University of Texas-Tyler at 1:30 p.m.

 

Baseball: Warriors NCAA At-Large Pick

For third time in six years, Warriors will compete in Auburn, NY

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Tournament Web Site

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team has qualified for its 32nd NCAA Division III tournament - equaling the most appearances of any team in this year's 55-team field - when it was selected on an at-large basis Monday afternoon.

At left:: Robert Perry

For the third time in the last six years, Eastern (32-11) will compete in the Auburn, NY Regional at Falcon Park. The fifth-seeded Warriors will face fourth-seeded College of Brockport (27-12) Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the first of four games on the first day in the eight-team, double-elimination field.

Top-seeded host and defending champion SUNY Cortland (33-8) faces eighth-seeded Mitchell College (23-9-1) in Wednesday's second game at 1:15 p.m., with third-seeded Keystone College (32-10) facing sixth-seeded Ramapo College of New Jersey (30-12) and 4:30 p.m. and second-seeded Farmingdale State College (26-15) facing seventh-seeded Clarkson University at 7:45 p.m.

With a win, Eastern will face the second-game winner Thursday at 4:30 p.m., with a first-round loss dropping it into an elimination game against the second-game loser at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The winners of eight regional tournaments throughout the country will advance to the NCAA Division III national tournament at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, WI May 27-31.

Eastern was ranked fourth in New England in the final NCAA Division III regional rankings after losing as the No. 1 seed in the championship game of the Little East Conference tournament to sixth-seeded Rhode Island College Saturday at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

The Warriors have qualified for the NCAA tournament for the sixth straight year and for the tenth time in the last 11 years. The team's last regional championship came in 2007, which capped a run of five regional titles in a six-year span.

In 2006, Eastern won the New York Regional  by rebounding from a second-round, 9-0 loss to top seed and defending champion Cortland to win five straight. The Warriors downed Cortland twice in the championship series, 9-5 and 10-7.

In its most recent appearance in the New York Regional, Eastern captured three straight games after a late-inning loss to Montclair State University to reach the championship round, where it dropped a 14-13, ten-inning decision to RPI.

This year, Eastern has faced Farmingdale State twice, splitting single games at Farmingdale, NY. The Warriors won 8-3 and lost 4-3.

In NCAA regional play since 1976, Eastern is 3-1 against Cortland State and 2-0 against Ramapo. The Warriors have met Brockport only once, edging the Eagles, 2-1, in the second round of the 2004 national tournament at Fox Cities Stadium on the way to a national second-place finish. It is the only national tournament appearance tod ate for the Eagles.

Since winning 25 of its first 29 games, Eastern has stumbled to a 7-7 mark in its last 14, with four losses coming to unranked teams.  The Warriors feature nine seniors, of whom six are starting position players. The Warriors are batting .325 as a team with a .966 fielding average and 4.50 earned run average.

Senior DH/pitcher Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) is 9-1 with a 3.69 ERA (tops among starters) and is batting a team-leading .398 with team-leading totals of 131 total bases, 11 home runs and 64 RBI. Senior corner infielder and outfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) bats .366 with three home runs and 46 RBI, junior rightfielder/catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) .358 with 36 RBI, senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) .356 with six home runs and 34 RBI, and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) .348 with 32 RBI.

A spot starter and reliever, first-year sophomore righty Andrew Merritt (Norwalk) leads the staff with a 3.18 ERA in 34.0 innings, with sophomore righty reliever Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) at 3.45 in 28 2/3 inning and junior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) at 2-0 and three saves and a 4.19 ERA in 34 1/3 innings..  Among starters behind Schult is first-year junior righty Jim Dimon (Seymour) at 5-1, 4.17 in 73 1/3 innings.

Eastern has qualified for the tournament on an at-large basis in four of its last nine NCAA appearances, including 2002 when it went on to capture its fourth and most recent NCAA Division III national championship.

Ranked third in the NCAA New York Region, Brockport was also selected as an at-largeentry after losing the final of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) to Cortland State.  Brockport was the 2010 SUNYAC tournament champion in a rain-shortened tournament and lost its first two games in the Auburn regional. The Eagles are making their third NCAA appearance overall (2004, 2010,l 2011)

Brockport bats .290 as a team, with a .968 fielding percentage and 3.35 ERA. Jake Coleman (.360) is the team's leading hitter and Max Zimmerman its leader with 30 RBI. Senior righty Kyle Smith (8-1, 2.28 ERA) is the top starter, with freshman righty Justin McCarthy (1-0-2, 1.20) among a handful of top relievers.

The Golden Eagles are 4-4 in NCAA Tournament action, including a 3-2 record in the regional round. Brockport defeated rival Cortland and then downed Ithaca College twice in the 2004 New York Regional. In the 2004 national tournament, the Eagles were eliminated by Eastern in their second tournament game.

 Fourth-year Brockport head coach Justin Beach was an assistant on the 2004 national tournament qualifier, needing one win for 100.

 


 

Softball: Title (Remains) One Win Away

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Above: Rosie Manzo's best effort can't deny RIC's Emily Johnson this fifth-inning single.

RIC forces deciding game Monday with seventh inning home run

Tournament Central

ncaalogophoto_0576.jpgPROVIDENCE, R.I. --  Winning its first three games in the NCAA Division III Providence, R.I. Regional Tournament afforded the Eastern Connecticut State University some wiggle room heading into the championship series.

If Eastern (33-5) returns to the NCAA Division III national tournament later this week for the second straight season and 13th time overall since 1982, the Warriors will have to take full advantage of it.

Needing a victory to force a one game, winner-take-all showdown, fourth-seeded and host Rhode Island College  (38-12) proved that the fifth time was the charm against Eastern with a dramatic 3-1 win Sunday afternoon at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex on the RIC campus.

With just one hit and eight strikeouts in 13 previous plate appearances this season against junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron), freshman No. 9 hitter Stacy Pokora belted a three-run home run with one out in the top of the seventh inning to keep Rhode Island's hopes alive for a third national tournament appearance in the last five years.

aliceajumping_72dpi_0606.jpgThe winner of Monday's 10 a.m. start will open Friday in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament at the James I. Moyer Complex in Salem, VA. Luther College (IA) and Christopher Newport University (VA) have already qualified, with the other six regionals expected to conclude either today or Monday.

At left: Molly Rathbun's fifth-inning RBI single had Priscilla Alicea (at left) jumping for joy.

The home run for Pokora  - who had struck out in each of her two previous appearances in the game - was the third of her career and only the third allowed by Rathbun (22-1) in 167 innings this season. It was also the first by an RIC batter off Rathbun in five games this season, with the Warriors having compiled a  29-6 advantage in runs  in four previous wins against their Little East Conference rival.

"Rhode Island's a great team," noted Rathbun afterward. "We have a very, very tough conference, and this says something about our conference with two of our teams in the regional final. (But) we have the upper hand - they have to beat us twice. We'll be ready to go. We want to go out to (the nationals)."

Monday, Eastern and Rhode Island will be facing off for the sixth time in less than a month. Before Sunday, the Warriors had swept the regular-season conference series, 4-2, 7-3, in Providence, defeated the Anchorwomen in the final of the LEC tournament, 7-1, at Danbury, CT, and blanked RIC, 11-0, in the second round of the regionals on Friday behind Rathbun's sixth career no-hitter.

Sunday, Rathbun allowed only two hits through the first six innings and had driven in junior rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) from second with a single to right-center for the only run of the game.

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With one out in the top of the seventh, however, Emily Johnson reached safely on an infield throwing error on a difficult ground ball in the 5-6 hole. Amanda Perry then moved the tying run into scoring position with an opposite-field single to right before  Pokora drilled the go-ahead three-run home run over the left field fence.

At right: The Warriors hope to come together Monday to win their second straight regional title.

In the bottom of seventh inning, senior righty Amanda Berard retired the Warriors in order for the first time in the game -- collecting her ninth and tenth strikeouts in the process -- for her first win over Eastern this year after two losses. Berard gave up only five hits  while walking three in the complete-game victory.

The loss was only the second this year in 28 games for No. 9 nationally-ranked Eastern  since returning from Florida.

Eastern couldn't capitalize on several scoring opportunities until finally breaking a scoreless duel with a run in the fifth. With one out, Alicea legged out a swinging bunt, advance into scoring position on a wild pitch, and scored standing up when Rathbun dumped a fly ball into right-center field.

Prior to the fifth, the Warriors  stranded six baserunners in their quest to break through. Alicea doubled with one out in the first but was left at third when Berard got a ground ball and inning-ending strikeout. In the second, a walk and single by freshman second baseman Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) put two aboard with two out, but Bernard got an infield ground ball to escape. In the third, Bernard sandwiched two walks around a sacrifice bunt by Alicea, but a strikeout and comebacker quelled that threat. And in the fourth, sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) reached on an error with one out and was sacrificed to second by Tamindzija, but Berard sidestepped trouble with an inning-ending infield pop.

In five games this year against Rhode Island, Rathbun is 3-1 with a 0.88 ERA, 42 strikeouts and five walks in 31 2/3 innings and has a .450 batting average and team-leading seven RBI. Tamindzija is batting .500 in those games,  freshman Megan Godwin (Manchester) .400 and Alicea .389. The Warriors are also fielding at .973, with only four errors.

Against Eastern this year, Rhode Island is batting .176 and fielding at .944, with its three pitchers showing a 3.22 ERA.   Senior catcher Kayla Jandreau (.412) is the only player on the team batting better than .250 against Eastern.


 

Softball: Regional Title One Win Away

Eastern dumps Monks, 5-1, to move to within a win of regional crown

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 PROVIDENCE, R.I. --  The top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University softball team moved within a win of its second straight regional championship Saturday following a 5-1 victory over sixth-seeded Saint Joseph's College (ME) at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Facility on the Rhode Island College campus.

Sheila Church photo

Junior All-America righty Molly Rathbun (Hebron) had a streak of 17 2/3 hitless innings ended - one inning shy of the current program record - but won her 22nd game without a loss this season with a complete-game five-hitter in the winners' bracket final game against Saint Joseph's (37-9).

Eastern (32-4) concluded the day as the only remaining undefeated team in the original field of eight in this double-elimination tournament and has two chances to win one game beginning Sunday at 2 p.m. Its opponent will be determined after Sunday's noon game between Saint Joseph's and fourth-seeded Rhode Island College. Rhode Island wiped out a 1-0 first-inning deficit, eventually eliminating No. 2 seed U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 2-1, by scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth in Saturday's final game.

Eastern has beaten Little East Conference opponent Rhode Island four times this year - most recently behind Rathbun's  no-hitter Friday. The Warriors had edged Coast Guard, 1-0 in eight innings, in the finals of last year's Wellesley, Massachusetts Regional. The Bears were ranked No. 1 all season long in this year's New England Coaches' Poll.

The eight-team, double-elimination national tournament begins Friday at the James I. Moyer Complex at Salem, Va. Eastern finished third last year at Eau Claire, WI.

Rathbun, who had tossed consescutive no-hitters in earlier tournament wins over Husson University and Rhode Island College, won her 49th game in her last 50 decisions Saturday (the loss coming to Linfield University in last year's national semifinals and stopping a personal 27-game win streak). Rathbun struck out the side in the first and second innings Saturday before  Maria Labbe picked up the first of her two hits in the game with a single to left leading off the third.

Rathbun struck out nine and walking one against the Monks, who were coming off Friday's 4-2 upset win over Coast Guard for their second tournament victory. Saint Joseph's had won 15 of its last 16 entering the game, with the only loss in the stretch an 8-0 setback to Division I University of Maine. The Monks were making their first NCAA appearance after qualifying automatically.

Eastern scored the only run it needed against Saint Joseph's junior righty Maddie Kluna (14-4) in a three-run first inning. Rathbun drove in the first run when her ground ball was misplayed at third, and DP Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) - the team's only senior - stroked a two-out, two-run single that plated Rathbun and sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic).

Junior utility player Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) singled in a run to make it 4-0 in the second, and Cooper greeted relief pitcher Rae-Marie Copan with her seventh home run of the season leading off the sixth.

Rathbun's 22 wins this season equals the second-most victories in a season in program history behind the 30 that she posted a year ago against two losses.
 

Baseball: Comeback Bid Thwarted

  Warriors' run through the losers' bracket ends in Little East finals

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 MANSFIELD, Conn. - Sophomore No. 9 hitter Kevin Carey  tripled in the tying run and junior shortstop and leadoff hitter Kyle  Allaire plated the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in a two-run fifth inning as Rhode Island College became the first sixth seed to win the Little East Conference Baseball Tournament with a 7-5 win over top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Above: Jim Schult is tagged out by Rhode Island third baseman J.P. Stone in his effort to advance from first to third base on a wild pitch in the fifth inning Saturday. (Stephen Goomrigian photo).

 With the victory, Rhode Island (21-18) qualifies on an automatic basis  for the NCAA tournament for the second time. As the No. 5 seed in 2005, the Anchormen defeated No. 4 seed Western Connecticut State University, 6-1, in the championship game at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Eastern (32-11) needed two wins over Rhode Island to claim its eighth tournament title after dropping a 6-4, 12-inning decision to the Anchormen in Wednesday's opener. It marks the first time in eight championship round appearances that the Warriors did not win. RIC has won both times when reaching the finals.

Rhode Island overcame deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 with timely hitting, capitalized on five Eastern errors, and turned double plays in the fourth, fifth and seventh that limited the Warriors to one total run in those innings.

After winning two elimination games Friday, Eastern led 3-1 Saturday but the Anchormen scored single runs in the third and fourth. RIC tied the game 3-3 in the fourth without a hit, pushing across the tying run on a walk, hit batter and infield error. After  sophomore DH Joe Balowski's (Berlin) RBI single gave Eastern a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth,  the Anchormen scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom of the inning when Carey plated senior catcher Justin Corso with a triple through the gap in right-center, and scored what proved to be the winning run on Allaire's sacrifice fly to right when just beat the throw from  senior rightfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY).

Rhode Island commited only one error in the game, while Eastern  made five errors. The Anchormen capitalized on errors in scoring their single runs in the second, third and fourth. In the second, an infield error, walk and key catcher's interference on what appeared would be a 5-2-3 double play allowed RIC to cut a run off Eastern's early 3-1 lead.

Junior righty Rob Rushton pitched  4 2/3 innings of one-run, two-hit relief to gain his fourth win in five decisions. Rusthon replaced junior righty starter Mike DeWald while Eastern was scoring the go-ahead run in the fifth on Balowski's second RBI single. Facing his first batter, Rushton got an inning-ending 5-3 double play started by junior third baseman J.P. Stone to help RIC escape further damage.

Down by three, Eastern scored its only run off Rushton on a leadoff home run in the eighth by senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) to cut the gap to two, but Rushton retired the final six in order - allowing only one ball out of the infield.

Corso had three of his team's ten hits, scored twice and drove in a run and senior leftfielder Ronnie Bracchi had two hits, scored two runs and drove in one with a two-out double in the third.

Rhode Island senior Gary Levesque was voted the team's Most Outstanding Player with a complete-game pitching win over No. 3 seed UMass Dartmouth Thursday, and an opening save against Eastern that ended a 15-game losing streak at the hands of the tournament's top seed. Although he was 0-for-5 in the final, the cleanup hitter reached safely on an infield error and scored the team's second run in the third. He had five hits, drove in two runs and scored three runs in 19 tournament at-bats. In addition to his go-ahead RBI in the seventh, Allaire led all tournament players with 25 assists.

Schult and Balowski each had two hits in the final. In five tournament games, Schult was 10-for-23 with 12 RBI and six runs scored. He plated seven runs with a grand slam and two-run home run in the team's 15-8 elimination win over fourth-seeded Keene State Friday night which moved the Warriors into Saturday's final.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W-Track: Hultzman Raises Bar Again

 

hultzman_72open_6482.jpgNEW HAVEN - Until last weekend, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's high jump record had stood for 28 years. And a week after breaking that record as part of the heptathlon event at the New England Division III Championships, freshman Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) has set the bar higher again. Saturday, at the New England Open, Hultzman jumped a half-inch higher than the previous Saturday, re-setting the record at 5-foot-3 inches. At the Open meet - which features the top Division I, II and III high-jumpers in New England -- Hultzman's mark was topped by only six competitors. She officially shared ninth place - one spot shy of achieving All-New England honors.  After the top six finishers, the next seven performers topped out at 5-foot-3 inches. Friday, junior distance runner Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) was 12th in a field of 26 at 10,000 meters in a time of 39:08.58.

 

Men's Track: Simpson 2nd at NE Open

 

simpson_ricketts300_4339.jpgNEW HAVEN -- For the second time in a week, sophomore sprinter Corey Simpson (Norwich)  has run to All-New England honors, this time placing second in a field of 25 at 100 meters at the New England Division Open Championships Friday at the Jess Dow Field on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University. Competing against the best Division I, II and III sprinters in New England, Simpson qualified for the final with a time of 11.06 in Friday trials, then outran all except Darius Velez of Division I Northeastern University with a time of 10.94 in the final. Velez won by .04 of a second. The finish caps a strong post-season for Simpson, who won the Little East Conference/New England Alliance titles two weeks ago -- setting the current record of 10.79 in the preliminaries -- then placing second in a photo-finish at last weekend's New England Division III Championships at MIT. At the Open, Simpson also clocked a 22.64 in the preliminaries of the 200 meter dash Friday. On Friday, sophomore Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) was 21st in a field of 23 with a mark of 20-5 in the long jump. The 4x100 meter relay, which finished third at last week's New England Division III Championships, dropped the baton in Saturday's race and did not finish.

Baseball: Warriors Back in LEC Final

 Schult hits two home runs, drives in seven runs in 15-8 win over Keene

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Above: Jim Schult (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior righfielder Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) drove in seven runs for the second time this year - plating six with two home runs - to spark top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University to a 15-8 victory over fourth-seeded Keene State College in an elimination game of the 2011 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament Friday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

With its third straight win after an tournament-opening loss to sixth-seeded Rhode Island College (20-18), Eastern advances to the championship round for the eighth time in the 15-year history of the championship. The Warriors will face RIC Saturday, with the Anchormen getting two tries to record one win and capture their second LEC title - first since 2005. The teams will meet at noon Saturday, with a second game scheduled for 3:30 p.m., if needed. Eastern has won six of the last ten LEC tournament titles.

Coming off a 3-2 loss to Rhode Island College earlier Friday in the finals of the winners' bracket, Keene (29-14) scored three times in the top of the first  on back-to-back home runs, but Eastern answered with three runs in its half of the inning. Trailing 6-5, the Warriors erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth to move out to a 10-6 lead, and later tacked on four in the bottom of the eighth to seal its sixth win over Keene in the last eight meetings between the teams in the tournament.

Schult, who knocked in two runs in Eastern's 6-5 elimination win over fifth-seeded University of Southern Maine earlier Friday, hit a two-run home run in the first, plated another with a ground ball in the second, singled in the fourth, socked a grand slam in the five-run sixth, and was hit by a pitch and scored in the eighth. He has 12 RBI in four tournament games. In a regular-season win over Wesleyan, Schult also drove in seven runs - three shy of the Eastern game record.

Eastern sophomore righty Matt Purnell (Stafford Springs) pitched 5 2/3 solid innings in relief of junior righty starter Mitch Furber (Oakdale), who was lifted after back-to-back home runs in the first by junior shortstop Juan Bisono and senior rightfielder Bobby Doyon . Purnell worked into the sixth and left on the short end of a 6-5 score after surrendering a two-run home run by junior centerfielder and No. 9 hitter Kyle Morrill.

Senior third baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) and freshman second baseman Mitch Plourde (Ellington) matched Schult with three hits each. Turgeon scored two runs and Plourde drove in three with a double and two-run single.

In his fifth career appearance, freshman righty Matt Schiaffino (Ellington) was credited with his first career win after getting a strikeout to end Keene's two-run sixth. After earning a relief win against Southern Maine earlier Friday, junior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) gained his third save with three scoreless innings of one-hit relief.

The top four hitters in Keene's lineup - sophomore DH Greg Bates, Bisono, Doyon and senior catcher Tyler  DiPrato - combined for ten hits, five runs and four runs.

When reaching the championship round of the tournament, Eastern has won titles all seven times..As the No. 4 seed in 2005, Rhode Island won the title in its only appearance in the championship round.

 
 
 

 


 

Baseball: Warriors Hold on for LEC Win

Warriors remain alive in tournament by eliminating Southern Maine, 6-5

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Above: Andrew Dewing

MANSFIELD, Conn. --  Top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University used a four-run fourth inning to move out to a five-run lead and held on to eliminate fourth-seeded University of Southern Maine, 6-5, on the third day of the 2011 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

The win is the second in the tournament after an opening loss to sixth-seeded Rhode Island College as Eastern (31-10) advances with the elimination round win to face once-beaten and fourth-seeded Keene State College (29-13) Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Owls lost to Rhode Island College, 3-2, earlier Friday, in the finals of the winners' bracket. Rhode Island won its only title as the No. 5 seed in 2005.

Fifth-seeded Southern Maine (22-19) was eliminated with its second straight after downing 2010 LEC Tournament champion University of Massachusetts Boston in Wednesday's tournament opener.

The Eastern-Keene winner must defeat unbeaten Rhode Island College (20-18) Saturday, which has two chances to win one game beginning at noon.

Leading 2-1 against Southern Maine, seven-time tournament champion Eastern scored four times in the fourth on two hits, three walks and three hit batsmen in chasing Southern Maine sophomore lefty starter  Nick Douglass. Eastern No. 3 hitter Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) stroked a two-run double in the inning and runs were forced in on a bases loaded walk and hit batsmen.

Senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) drove in his second and third runs in the tournament for Eastern with a game-tying single in the second and go-ahead single in the third.

Southern Maine bounced back from the early five-run deficit to chase Eastern freshman righty starter Greg Porter (Mystic) in a three-run fifth that cut the gap to 6-5. It appeared that the Huskies would tie the game in the seventh when sophomore centerfielder Tucker White singled to center with the tying run on second, but senior DH Josh Mackey  got a slow start and had to hold at third. One batter later, Mackey was erased at the plate on a ground ball to senior third baseman Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) with the infield in. Inserted as the fourth pitcher at that point, freshman righty Andrew Merritt (Norwalk) got a  fly ball to right and ground ball to strand the tying and go-ahead runs.

Dewing drove in three runs for Eastern with his two singles and a hit-by-pitch and senior leadoff hitter Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) scored twice after walking and singling.

Merritt pitched 2 2/3 hitless innings to save the win for junior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston), who was accorded the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of one-hit relief.

In Southern Maine's three-run fifth, No. 3 hitter Mike Eaton and sophomore cleanup hitter Nick Grady doubled  and tripled, respectively, with one out and White ripped a two-run single to center. Dustin Stanton tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings of two-hit relief to allow Southern Maine to chip back into contention.

Softball: Rathbun Near-Perfect Again

Her second tourney no-hitter leads Warriors to 11-0 victory in NCAAs

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) threw her second no-hitter in as many days at the NCAA Division III Providence, R.I. Regional Softball Tournament Friday as  No. 1 seed Eastern Connecticut State University defeated No. 4 seed Rhode Island College, 11-0 in six innings at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Facility.

At right: Molly Rathbun

With its second tournament win, Eastern (32-4) advances in the eight-team double-elimination tournament to play Saturday at 2 p.m. against No. 6 seed St. Joseph's College, ME (37-80), which defeated No. 2 seed U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 4-3, Friday..

The no-hitter is the third this year, third in two years of NCAA regional tournament play and sixth in the career of Rathbun (21-0), who has not allowed a hit in her last 15 2/3 innings. Thursday, the righty no-hit No. 8 seed Husson University, fanning 16 and walking two.

Against Little East Conference foe Rhode Island College (34-12), Rathbun allowed only one baserunner, facing one batter over the the minimum of 18. She fanned five without a walk. Rhode Island's Chelsi Panarelli reached on an infield error leading off the second inning for her team's only baserubut was erased on a double play when Rathbun snared a line drive and doubled Panarelli off first.

Eastern had 15 hits - all singles - against two Rhode Island pitchers.

Leading 1-0 after scoring in the top of the first on Rathbun's RBI single, Eastern scored five in the fifth and five in the sixth on ten hits and two Rhode Island errors. In those two innings, sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and junior utility player Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA) each drove in two runs, senior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY), freshman outfielder Stephanie Johnson (Southington), Rathbun, and junior infielder Christine Yeomans (Durham) each drove in one run.

The top four hitters in the lineup all scored two runs. Rathbun had three hits, two RBI and two runs, Cooper two hits, two runs and two RBI and Manzo drove in her two runs after entering the game as a replacement in center field. Freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) reached safely three times with two hits and a walk and scored two runs.

 

Baseball: Warriors Alive in LEC Tourney

Schult pitches complete game, drives in go-ahead run in 8-4 win

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior pitcher Jim Schult (Wappingers Fall, NY) hurled his third complete-game and drove in the game-winning run to lift top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University to an 8-4 victory over second-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston this afternoon in Game 4 of the 2011 Little East Baseball Championship at the Eastern Baseball Stadium. With the victory, the Warriors reach the 30-win plateau for the 11th consecutive season.

Eastern Connecticut (30-10) will advance to face the loser between fourth-seeded Keene State College (28-12) and fifth-seeded University of Southern Maine (22-17) at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. The Owls and Huskies will square off later this evening in the third and final contest of Day 2. The Beacons complete the 2011 campaign with an overall record of 18-22.

The Warriors seized the momentum of the first elimination contest of the tournament in the bottom of the fourth inning. Trailing by a score of 3-2, the first three UMass Boston runners reached safely to lead off the frame. Schult bear-down to strike out the Beacons' leadoff hitter on a crafty change-up to record the first out. He then proceeded to induce a ground ball double play to keep Eastern Connecticut within a run and quell the UMass Boston rally.

The Warriors quickly capitalized on the momentum swing in the top of the fifth. Senior catcher Chris Cannata (Southington) started the rally with a one-out single to left field, while senior centerfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) reached on a Beacons' defensive miscue. Following a fly-out, Schult was able to make the error prove costly and forge a 4-4 tie with an RBI-single to left field.

Eastern Connecticut and UMass Boston each added a run in the sixth, but the Warriors regained the advantage with a pair of runs in the seventh. Kingsley greeted Beacons relief pitcher sophomore Daniel Heefner with single to left field and then stole second to put Eastern Connecticut in scoring position.  Senior right fielder Robert Perry (Manchester, CT) was able to work a full-count walk. Schult followed with his second clutch hit of the afternoon, lacing single into centerfield to score the eventual game-winning run. Classmate right fielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) gave the No. 1 seed an insurance run with a RBI-single to left. 
Schult limited the high-powered Beacons attack to just four runs on eight hits without yielding a walk. The right-hander reached double digits in strikeouts (10) for the fourth time on the campaign. He allowed just one hit over the final three innings to raise his individual record to 9-1.

His counterpart, freshman Lucas Ilges, kept the Eastern Connecticut line-up at-bay for six innings, surrendering four runs, three of which were earned, on eight hits. Heefner suffered the loss, allowing four runs on four hits over the final three innings.

The Warriors featured a well-balanced lineup as eight of the starting nine recorded at least one hit. Schult fueled the offensive attack with a 3-for-5 performance with a pair of runs batted in, while senior Kingsley posted a 2-for-4 outing. After going hitless with a walk in four previous plate appeareances, Perry extended his current hitting streak to 24 games with a two-run homer in the top of the eighth that provided a four-run cushion..

UMass Boston was limited to just eight hits, including one over the final three innings. Senior Ryan Walsh led the Beacons with a 2-for-3 performance and a pair of runs scored. The second baseman will graduate as the UMass Boston all-time leader in hits with 266. Sophomore shortstop Matt Consiglio and classmate catcher Christos Ferreira joined Walsh with a pair of base knocks. Consiglio gave the Beacons a 3-2 advantage with a two-out, bases loaded two-run scoring single in the bottom of the third. 

 

 

 

Softball: Warriors Make Splash in NCAA

They advance in regional behind Rathbun's second tourney gem

rathbun HR slides_9630.jpgPROVIDENCE, R.i. - Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) hurled her second career NCAA tournament no-hitter, striking out 16 as the top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University softball team opened defense of its 2010 regional championship with a 7-0 victory over eighth-seeded Husson University Thursday morning at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex.

Above: Molly Rathbun

With its seventh straight win and 24th in 25 games since returning from Florida, Eastern (31-4) moves into a winners' bracket game Friday at 2 p.m. against Little East Conference and fourth-seeded Rhode Island College (34-11), which defeated fifth-seeded Worcester State University, 4-1in Thursday's second game. Eastern downed Rhode Island College, 7-1, this past Saturday to win its second straight Little East championship.

Rathbun (20-0) faced only two batters over the minimum in defeating Husson (25-18) for the second time in as many years in the opening round of the regional tournament. The righty walked two, with another reaching on an infield error. She struck out every batter she faced at least once, getting six batters twice.

Rathbun struck out the side in the first, third, fifth and seventh and allowed only one ball out of the infield - a fly out to left which ended the sixth.

The no-hitter is the second in regional play, third overall this year and fifth in the career of Rathbun, who no-hit Rivier College in a 2-0 win in the second round of last year's Wellesley, Massachusetts regional.

Eastern scored all of its runs in the first two innings, getting solo home runs from freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) and Rathbun with one out in the first to knock out freshman starter Kelly Naegelin (6-5).

Leadoff singles by sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) and junior centerfielder Rosie Manzo (Hudson, MA), three walks and two wild pitches accounted for five runs in the second.

With the first-inning home run, Rathbun extended her hitting streak to 12 games.

 

Baseball: Warriors in Losers' Bracket

They tie game in ninth but lose LEC opener in 12th inning, 6-4

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 MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Mike Giustino had a two-run  single in the top of the 12th inning as sixth-seeded Rhode Island College upended top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University, 6-4 in the opening round of the 2011 Little East Conference Baseball Tournament at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Eastern shortstop Danny O'Connell applies the tag to Dan Hopkins, who was attempting to stretch a single into a double in the seventh inning of Wednesday's game.

With the win, Rhode Island College (18-19/1-0) advances to play at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in a winner's bracket game while Eastern Connecticut (29-10/0-1) will play an elimination game Thursday at noon against defending conference tournament champion UMass Boston. The  No. 2 seeded Beacons were beaten by No. 5 University of Southern Maine in Wednesday's second game.

After Eastern forced extra innings with an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth, Rhode Island ended a 13-game losing streak to Eastern - its first win since defeating Eastern in the 2005 LEC tournament en route to its only title - by scoring twice in the top of the 12th on a one-out double by Justin Corso, two walks, a wild pitch and Giustino's two-out single through the left side. Giustino was 0-for-5 with a sacrifice bunt prior to his go-ahead single.

After Eastern  Jim Schult  (Wappingers Falls, NY) tied the game in the ninth with an RBI double, the Warriors left the winning run in scoring position when reliever David Hoey got an iinfield ground ball and fly ball to center to end the inning. Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the 12th, Eastern got a leadoff double from Tyler Turgeon (Norwich, CT), but relief pitcher Gary Levesque left the tying run at the plate with a strikeout, ground ball and game-ending fly ball to center.

Rhode Island freshman lefty C.J. Tsoumakas  pitched into the ninth inning without allow an earned run on nine hits, with Hoey gaining the win with 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief.

Eastern had swept Rhode Island in Providence during the regular season, 8-2, 3-2 but has now lost  six of ten since then. The Anchormen have won six of eight since losing five straight.

Schult (8-1) is expected to start on the mound Thursday against UMass Boston.

 

Baseball: Warriors Hosting Little East

Six-team, double-elimination tourney gets underway Wednesday

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NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the second straight season, Eastern Connecticut State University has captured the regular-season crown and earned the right to host the Little East Baseball Championship. The Warriors will serve as host for the ninth time in the 15-year history of the tournament at the Eastern Baseball Stadium in Mansfield, Conn.

Easterrn (29-9, 11-3 LEC), University of Massachusetts Boston (18-20, 8-6), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (15-21, 8-6), Keene State College (27-12, 7-7), University of Southern Maine (21-17, 6-8), and Rhode Island College (17-18, 8-6) complete the six-team, double-elimination tournament in respective seeding order. The 15th Little East Baseball Championship will begin at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 and commence on Saturday, May 14. The tournament champion will earn the conference's automatic qualifier into the 2011 NCAA Division III Tournament.

The top-seeded Warriors will host the sixth-seeded Anchormen in the first contest at noon, while the second-seeded Beacons and fifth-seeded Huskies square off in a rematch of the 2010 championship game approximately three and a half hours later. The third-seeded Corsairs and fourth-seeded Owls will close out the first day of competition at approximately 7 p.m.

Keene State and Eastern Connecticut are currently ranked among the top teams in New England, according to the latest edition of the NCAA Division III Regional rankings. The Owls sit in third position with a regional record of 25-8, while the Warriors are slotted at No. 6 with a 21-7 mark. The Little East received three invitations to the 2010 NCAA Division III Tournament as UMass Boston captured the automatic berth from the No. 4 seed. A Little East member institution has fared extremely well in the regional championship, earning a berth to the national championship round in 11 of the past 17 years.

Fans unable to make the trip to Mansfield, Conn. can follow all the action on Tournament Central. Tournament Central will provide the real-time statistical and video links for each contest of the championship. For the fourth straight season, LittleEast.tv will broadcast each game of the tournament with a multiple camera shoot that includes full graphics.

The Eastern Baseball Stadium has rich tradition on the conference and regional level. Eastern Connecticut has hosted the Little East Championship nine times since 1998, as well as the NCAA Division New England Regional in 2009 and 2010.

2011 Little East Baseball Championship

Day 1: Wednesday, May 11
Game 1: #6 Rhode Island College at #1 Eastern Connecticut State University, noon.
Game 2: #5 University of Southern Maine vs. #2 University of Massachusetts Boston, 3:30 p.m.
Game 3: #4 Keene State College vs. #3 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 7 p.m.

Day 2: Thursday, May 12
Game 4: Loser Game #1 vs. Loser of Game #2
Game 5: Winner of Game #1 vs. Loser of Game #3
Game 6: Winner of Game #2 vs. Winner of Game #3
* The remaining format of the tournament will be determined by the number of teams still remaining in the field. Tournament Central will feature the updated bracket and game times.

The Little East Conference is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-11 academic year. The conference began sponsoring men's and women's basketball in 1986 as a six-member conference. The Little East has grown to its current eight-institution membership and sponsorship of 19 intercollegiate athletics sports.

Little East Honors 16 from Eastern

Four recognized with major awards in sports of lacrosse and softball

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Photos from top to bottom: Prizio, Rathbun, Vasil, Godwin

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - A total of 16 individuals from Eastern Connecticut State University in the sports of men's and women's lacrosse and softball have been honored in the Little East Conference's year-ending awards program, released today.

Junior All-America right-handed pitcher Molly Rathbun (Hebron) repeated as  the LEC softball Pitcher-of-the-Year, junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) was named the LEC's Offensive Player-of-the-Year and fifth-year head coach  Christine Hutchison Coach-of-the-Year in women's lacrosse, and freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) was selected as LEC Rookie-of-the-Year in softball.

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In softball, Rathbun and junior outfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) were named first-team all-conference for the third straight seasons, while Godwin becomes the program's third Rookie-of-the-Year, joining Rathbun in 2009 and Julia Neilson in 1999.  Prizio becomes the women's lacrosse program's  sixth Player-of-the-Year in seven years. Megan Gloster was previously named Offensive Player-of-the-Year in 2008 and Taylor MacDonald was picked as Defensive Player-of-the-Year each of the previous three seasons and Kara Bradley in 2005.

A total of five Eastern players were named to the all-conference team in women's lacrosse, while the men's lacrosse team landed seven all-conference selections - the most by any institution.

vasil_72_2807.jpgJoining  Prizio were first-teamers Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and Daniela Marchitto (Orange) and second-teamers Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) and Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury). Prizio was a second-team pick in her first season at Eastern last year, and Barrett repeated as a first-team defender. Buchanan (first team) and Marchitto (second team) were all-conference selections in the fall on the Eastern soccer team's unbeaten conference regular-season champion.

In men's lacrosse, senior faceoff specialist Eric Vasil (Southington) and junior defenseman Tommy Flynn (Mineola, NY) were named to the all-conference team for the third time. Both were first-team picks this year and were previously named once to the first team and once to the second team. Junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) joined Flynn and Vasil on the first team, while senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan), senior defenseman Ryan Schneeloch (Glastonbury), junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) and freshman midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) were second-team selections. Alberston was named to the first team in his first season at Eastern last year and Schneeloch repeated as a second-team selection this season.

godwin_72_3844.jpgIn 18 conference softball games this season (14 in the regular season, four in the tournament), Rathbun was 13-0 with a 0.62 ERA, 140 strikeouts and 12 walks in 90 2/3 innings and limited opposing batters to a .156 average. Alicea batted .322 in those 18 games with a team-high 21 runs and Godwin batted .421 with 14 RBI, six extra-base hits and handled 52 chances,

Prizio leads the LEC with a total of 60 goals this season  -- the seventh-most in a season in program history -- and leads the loop in  goals per game (3.5) and points per game (4.3). Marchitto scored 45 goals and led the Warriors with 17 assists. Prizio recorded her 100th goal in two years at Eastern this year and Marchitto registered her 100th career point in two years. Barrett led Eastern this year with 56 ground balls while Buchanan had 18 goals and added 27 ground balls. A first-year transfer from St. Michael's Meotti had 44 ground balls, won 34 draws and caused 19 turnovers.

Bolivar posted individual season bests this year in goals (33), assists (10) and points (43), while Flynn led all defensemen with  43 ground balls. For the third straight year, Vasil led the LEC and Division III in faceoff percentage (.802), and ground ball average (15.6). Albertson led Eastern in goals (38) and points (54) for the second straight season, completing his two-year career with 77 goals and 111 points. Schneeloch started all 17 matches in which he appeared and picked up 38 ground balls. Sullinger leads the LEC in assists (30) and assists per game (1.67), finishing the year with 23 goals and 53 points. One of five newcomers to see action in all 18 matches, Devine was fifth on the team in goals (29) and points (36).

The softball team (30-4, 13-1 little east)) repeated as Little East Conference regular-season and tournament champion and opens defense of its 2010 regional championship Thursday against Husson University, while the women's lacrosse team (9-8, 6-0 little east)) went unbeaten for the  fourth time in five years and claimed a share of the LEC regular-season title for the fifth straight season. The men's lacrosse team (12-6, 5-2 little east) finished third in the regular season and won consecutive LEC playoff games to reach the final for the tenth time in 11 years.

 

Little East Conference
Post-Season Awards Program

Women's Lacrosse
Ashley Prizio-5 Jr. A Offensive Player-of-the-Year  Brookfield
                                First Team All-Conference
Megan Barrett-6 Jr. D First Team All-Conference  Setauket, NY
Daniela Marchitto So. M First Team All-Conference  Orange
Taylor Buchanan So. M Second Team All-Conference  Ellington
Rachel Meotti  So. D Second Team All-Conference  Glastonbury
Christine Hutchison (5th year) -7 Coach-of-the-Year 

Men's Lacrosse
Salieu Bolivar  Jr. M First Team All-Conference  Norwalk
Tom Flynn-1   Jr. D First Team All-Conference  Mineola, NY
Eric Vasil-4  Sr. M# First Team All-Conference  Southington
Grant Albertson-2 Sr. A Second Team All-Conference  New Canaan
Mike Sullinger Jr. A Second Team All-Conference  Brookfield
Mike Devine  Fr. M Second Team All-Conference  Cheshire
Ryan Schneeloch-3  Sr. D Second Team All-Conference  Glastonbury

Softball
Molly Rathbun-8 Jr. RHP Pitcher-of-the-Year   Hebron
                         First Team All-Conference  
Megan Godwin Fr. SS Rookie-of-the-Year   Manchester
Priscilla Alicea-9 Jr. OF Frist Team All-Conference  Stratford

#-Named at the specialist position
1-Second team in 2010, first team LSM in 2009  2-First team in 2010
3-Second team in 2010  4-First team in 2010, second team in 2009
5-Second team midfield in 2010 6-First team in 2010
7-Coach-of-the-Year in 2007 and 2009  
8- First team in 2009 and 2010; Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2010; Rookie-of-the-Year in 2009 
9-First team in 2009 and 2010


   

 


 

Baseball: Homers a Highlight in Loss

Three of Warriors' five hits are HRs as they drop regular-season finale

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Little East Tournament bracket.doc

Tournament Central

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Amherst College senior righty Max McKenna stopped the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team on five hits through seven innings and freshman first baseman Taiki Kasuga drove in four runs with a triple and single to carry the Lord Jeffs to an 11-4 victory Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

Above Joe Balowski hits the first of his two home runs Saturday. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

The loss in the regular-season finale for  Eastern (29-9) is its fifth in its final nine games and evens its record against teams who are in this week's NCAA New England rankings to 3-3. Amherst (23-7), which had lost seven and tied one against Eastern in the last eight meetings between the programs, has won 17 of its last 20 since a 6-4 start.

Eastern opens play as the No. 1 seed and host  in the Little East Conference Tournament against sixth-seeded Rhode Island College Wednesday at noon. Amherst visits the University of Southern Maine of the Little East Sunday for a noon single game and faces Bates College later that day in Portland, Maine before hosting Bowdoin College in its New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament opener Friday at 3 p.m.

With the exception of junior righty starting righty Mitch Furber (Oakdale), none of Eastern's seven other pitchers Saturday threw more than one inning. In his third start of the season, Furber (1-2) couldn't protect an early 2-0 lead, giving up three runs in the third after there were two out and none on. Furber was lifted  while Amherst was collecting four hits in the inning - the big blow delivered by Kasuga with his two-run triple.

The Lord Jeffs moved out to a 6-2 lead with three more runs in the fourth - Kasuga driving in two with a single - and tacked on two more in the fifth and another in the sixth to make it 9-3.
Six Amherst hitters picked up two or more hits, with junior catcher Mike Samela  driving in two runs with singles in the third and eighth.

Eastern hit three home runs but they were all sole homers and constituted 60 percent of the team's offense.

McKenna (5-1), who now shares the Amherst staff lead in wins, fanned six and walked only one. After giving  up single runs in the first and second on senior leftfielder Robert Perry's (Manchester) fifth home run of the year and sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski's (Berlin) solo shot leading off the second, McKenna settled down to limit Eastern to three hits over the final five innings of his stint.

Balowski hit his second home run of the game with two out and none on in the fourth - his second and third of the season . Perry's home run extended his current hitting streak to 22

Softball: Warriors Open Thursday

In NCAA regional at Providence, RI, they face Husson again in opener

  Tournament Central       Regional Bracket.doc

teepeeIF_72_3742.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University softball team opens defense of its 2010 regional championship when the top-seeded Warriors face No. 8 seed Husson University in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Division III New England Regional Tournament  Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Facility on the campus of Rhode Island College.

Eastern (30-4) opens against Husson (25-17) for the second straight year in the regional, which is an eight-team, double-elimination tournament scheduled to conclude either Sunday or Monday. The winner competes in the NCAA Division III national tournament May 20-24 at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, VA.

Eastern will remain in the winners' bracket with a first-round win and will play the winner of Thursday's second game between Rhode Island College (33-11) and Worcester State University (28-9) Friday at 2 p.m. A first-round loss would drop Eastern into an elimination game Friday against the Rhode Island-Worcester loser at 10 a.m.

In the other first-round games Thursday, third-seeded Endicott College (35-6) faces No. 6 Saint. Joseph's College, ME (35-8) at 2 p.m. and secnd-seeded U.S. Coast Guard Academy  (36-2) faces No. 7 Lesley College (29-6). Each of the eight teams in the regional was selected as an automatic qualifer, with the exception of Rhode Island. The Anchorwomen were eliminated by Eastern in the first game of the  of the Little East tournament championship round Saturday.

Eastern shut out Husson in last year's regional opener, 8-0 in five innings behind Molly Rathbun's (Hebron)  three-hitter. She struck out ten without a walk for her 24th win in 25 decisions. Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) drove in two runs in teh game, as did graduated first baseman Katie O'Toole and graduated shortstop Kim Church.

Ranked first in the NCAA New England regional and 12th nationally  Eastern is 23-1 since returning from a 7-3 Florida trip.  Against the only team that it has faced in this regional field, Eastern swept Rhode Island, 4-2 and 7-3 April 22 at Providence before eliminating the Anchorwomen in the LEC tournament  two weeks later.The Warriors and Coast Guard had a doubleheader washed out a month ago. The two highest-ranked teams in New England throughout this year, Eastern and Coast Guard met in the Wellesley regional final last year, Rathbun throwing an eight-inning complete game in Eastern's 1-0 vcitory. 

The team's only loss up north came in a Little East Conference doubleheader split at Western Connecticut State University April 26 and ended a 17-game winning streak.

As many as five freshmen can be in the starting lineup this year for Eastern, which lost three starting infielders, two starting outfielders and the starting catcher from a year ago.Rathbun is 19-0 with 208 strikeouts and 19 walks in 140.0 innings with a 0.70 ERA pitching every inning of the LEC tournament. Alicea is batting .387, senior DH/catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) .381 and freshman shorstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) .376. Godwin, and classmates Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA), Stephanie Johnson (Southington), Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) and Megan Bondy (Mystic) have each started at least 15 games this year. Jobin and Johnson are outfielders, Tamindzija a second baseman and Bondy a catcher.  

Husson is led by North Atlantic Conference Player-of-the-Year Aimee Mortensen, an infielder, first-team all-conference outfielder Courtney Hill and second-teamers Kody Lyon (pitcher),  Kelly Naegelin (pitcher/DH).and Amanda Gifford (first base).

In last year's regional opener, Lyon allowed seven hits and five runs (three earned) in four innings.Lyon is 11-10 with a 3.73 ERA. Mortensen is batting .348 with 21 RBI, Hill .358 with 48 runs scored and Naegelin is 6-5 with a 2.44 ERA and a .306 batting average and Gifford is batting .289. Naegelin is a freshman.

Eastern qualified for its New England-record 18th NCAA Division III tournament (fourth straight) this weekend by winning the Little East Conference championship for the second straight year. Husson won its third straight North Atlantic Conference crown April 30 with a 6-0 win over the University of Maine at Farmington.

The Warriors won the Wellesley College regional last year and went on to a third-place finish at the national tournament at Eau Claire, WI.

M-Track: Simpson Two-Time All-NE

    At  DIII championships, he is second in 100 and third with 4x100 relay

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. --  One week after breaking the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field record at 100 meters, sophomore Corey Simpson (Norwich) finished second in that event at the New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at Steinbrenner Stadium on the campus of MIT.

At right: Corey Simpson

And if not for a faulty timing system, he might be very well be the New England champion.
Simpson, who set the current 100 meter record of 10.79 a week ago in the preliminaries en route to winning the Little East Conference and New England Alliance championships, was officially awarded second place Saturday in the eight-person final after winning his preliminary heat in a time of 10.82.

In the final, the starting gun never activated the timing system. Thus, times were not recorded and places were determined on the recollection of race officials  Simpson led through the first 60 meters of the race, but was involved in a photo finish at the tape with Wheaton College freshman Michael Read and Colby College sophomore Dominique Kone. Read was recognized as the New England champion by race officials, with Simpson second and Kone third.

The impressive finish in a field of 25 is the second at the meet in as many years for Simpson, who ran to a fifth-place finish in a time of 11.00 as a freshman in 2010.

In addition to the 100, Simpson achieved All-New England status with the 4x100 meter relay team which raced to a third-place finish in a field of 16 with a season-best time of 43.14. Competitors were junior Nick Pates (East Haven), Simpson, sophomore Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME), and senior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica). Simpson's second-place finish at 100 meters and the relay's third-place showing accounted for all 14 of the team's points at the championship.

The top eight finishers in each event are accorded All-New England honors.

Simpon, at 100 meters, and the relay have qualified for this weekend's New England Open (Division I-II-III) at Jess Dow Field on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University.

In addition to the relay, Lowe joined Simpson at 100 meters, clocking a time of 11.39 in the preliminaries.

Three additional individuals also competed this weekend as qualifiers to the championships. On Friday, Verrill placed 10th in a field of 19 in the long jump (20-9 ¼). On Saturday, sophomores Tim Callahan (Portland) and Prince-Michael Marston (Kingston, Jamaica) ran the 400 meters and first-year junior Ryan Wood (Southington) performed in the triple jump. Callahan (50.21) was 14th and Marston (50.73) 18th in a field of 23 and Wood (41-8 ½) was 13th among 20.

W-Track:Hultzman,Gingras Set Marks

Hultzman breaks 28-year-old HJ record at NE DIII Championships

hultzman_72_1317.jpgCAMBRIDGE, Mass. --  Freshman Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) broke the 28-year-old  Eastern Connecticut State University women's high jump record and sophomore Cora Gingras (East Hampton) broke the two-week-old heptathlon record this weekend at the New England Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Steinbrenner Stadium on the campus of MIT.

Above; Lauren Hultzman

As part of the heptathlon event, Hultzman established a new program record with a high jump mark of 5-foot-2 ½ inches. The old record of 5-foot-2 inches was set in 1983 by Elgitha Wilson. Hultzman broke her previous best in that event by 1 ½ inches.

Hultzman also broke her own heptathlon record of 3147 points set two weeks ago at the College of Holy Cross with a total of 3402 points Friday, but that total was bested by Gingras, who set a program record of 3477. In a heptathlon field of 20, Gingras placed 13th Friday and Hultzman 16th.  At Holy Cross, he pair became the first Eastern individuals to compete in the heptathlon, which is comprised of three track events (200, 800 and 100 hurdles,), two jumping events (high jump and long jump), and two throwing events (shot put and javelin).

By trade, Gingras competes in the hurdles and jumps and Hultzman in the throws, jumps and hurdles.

Additional Eastern performers who qualified for and competed in the championships included junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) in the 10,000, Hultzman in the high jump, junior Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) and freshman Amy Huhn (Hebron) in the pole vault, as well as the 4x100 relay team of Huhn, sophomores Denica Gagnon (Colchester) and  Christine Charpentier (Monroe), and freshman Tacia Bryant (Guilford).

Quinones was 14th in a field of 22 at 10,000 meters (39:08.56), the relay 17th of 19 (53.99), Huhn 21st (9-8) and Gibeault tied for 28th (9-2 ¼) among 33 competitors in the pole vault. Hultzman did not clear a height in the high jump after setting the program record in the high jump the previous day in the heptathlon.

In the heptathlon, Gingras tied for sixth in the high jump, was ninth in the long jump, 12th in the 800 and hurdles, 16th in the javelin, 17th in the shot put, and 18th in the 200; Hultzman was second in the high jump, seventh in the javelin, eighth in the long jump, ninth in the shot put, 19th in the 800 and hurdles, and 20th in the 200.

Quinones, who has run the third-fastest 10,000 meter race (39:14.62) in program history, is expected to compete in this coming weekend's New England Open (Division I-II-III) at Jess Dow Field on the Southern Connecticut State University campus.
 

M-Lax: Keene Answers With Title, 14-9

 Owls respond with eight unanswered goals to win LEC crown

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KEENE, N.H. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team scored three quick goals but Keene State College answered with eight of its own and never trailed thereafter as the Owls successfully defended their Little East Conference  title with a 14-9 victory Saturday night at the Owl Athletic Complex.

With its 11th straight win, Keene (14-2) qualifies  automatically for the NCAA Division III tournament, which gets underway this week. The title is the fourth in the last seven years for Keene, which becomes the first program to win as many as two straight LEC titles since Eastern (12-6) captured the first four titles (defeating Keene in two of the finals).  Keene and Eastern have now met eight times in the finals in the 11-year history of the playoff, with both sides having won four times.

Keene junior attack Griffin Meehan was named the playoff Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year after scoring six goals in the title game for the second straight season.

Eastern scored three times in three minutes in the second quarter to pull to within a pair, but Keene shut out Eastern in the third quarter to carry an 11-7 lead into the final 15 minutes. The Warriors scored the first goal of the fourth quarter on senior Sean Leary's (West Hartford) first career goal, but Keene answered with the next three to re-gain a six-goal advantage with seven minutes left.

Eastern senior Eric Vasil (Southington) closed out a storied faceoff career by winning 21 of 24 and breaking his own season records for wins (315), percentage (.802) and attempts.(393). He concludes his four-year career as the runaway career leader in all three categories.

Eastern's penalty-killing unit gave up only one goal on Keene's 13 extra-man chances, but theWarriors were scoreless on six extra-man opportunities of their own.

After losing to UMass Dartmouth April 19, Eastern reeled off five straight wins, the final one coming against the Corsairs in Thursday's LEC semifinal by a score of 14-8.


 

Softball: Warriors Repeat LEC Title

lecsbpresentation72_0156.jpgRathbun's pitching and six-run fifth inning fuel 7-1 win for title

 

Pairings for the 60-team NCAA Division III Tournament field announced Monday at noon CLICK HERE

DANBURY, Conn. -- Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) won her eighth straight game in the last two years of Little East Conference softball tournament competition, leading Eastern Connecticut State University to its second straight title, and with it, its New England-record 18th NCAA tournament berth,

Senior Rachel Soychak (middle) and MVP Molly Rathbun accept the LEC championship award from Jack Holleran, Director of Communications for the conference.

Since losing both of the team's LEC tournament games as an injured freshman in 2009, Rathbun has defeated Plymouth State, Keene State, Western Connecticut and Rhode Island College in each of the past two years in the tournament.  This year, Rathbun (19-0) tossed a four-hitter  and Eastern (30-4) erased a 1-0 deficit by scoring six times in the fifth on three hits and two Rhode Island College (33-11) errors to defeat the former four-time defending LEC tournament champion Anchorwomen Saturday afternoon in the first game of the championship round at Westside Field.

It marks the first time in 19 years that Eastern has put together consecutive 30-win seasons. Last year's team won 39 and lost 6 and won its first regional title and competed in its first NCAA national tournament since 1992.

Fourth-seeded Rhode Island had advanced to the final for the fifth time in six years  -- finishing second for the first time -- by avenging an earlier 2-0 tournament loss to Western Connecticut (27-12) by eliminating the second-seeded Colonials, 3-0, in Saturday's first game.

Eastern catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) - the team's only senior -- becomes the first Eastern player to compete in four straight NCAA tournaments in 17 years. The regional tournaments get underway Thursday - with Rhode Island College's  Dayna A. Bazar's Softball Facility serving as a regional host --  with the Warriors looking for a return trip to the NCAA Division III national tournament, where they placed third a year ago after winning the Wellesley, Massachusetts regional.

After surrendering the first run of the game Saturday in the first inning on two hits and a walk, Rathbun turned out the lights on the Anchorwomen. She faced only two batters over the minimum the rest of the way -- giving singles in the third and fifth --  while striking out eight in the game and retiring the final eight batters in order.

Still trailing by a run, Eastern rallied for six runs (three unearned) in the top of the fifth on singles by freshman leftfielder Stephanie Johnson (Southington),  sophomore first baseman and No. 9 hitter Kelly Paterson (Southington),  and junior rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford), two infield errors, two wild pitches, a passed ball, and a sacrifice fly by freshman centerfielder Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA). Paterson drove in the first run of the inning, Alicea followed with her two-run single, and Rathbun made it 4-1 when she plated Alicea on an infield error.

In four complete-game victories in this year's tournament, Rathbun fanned 38 and walked two and allowed only 26 hits (three for extra bases) with a 1.25 ERA. She is 19-0 this year with 208 strikeouts and 19 walks and a 0.70 ERA. She also batted .417 (5-for-12).in the tournament en route to tournament Most Outstanding Player honors for the second straight year.

Johnson matched Rathbun with a team-leading .417 average in the tournament, with freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester), sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), Paterson  and Soychak  all batting .333. Godwin had a double and home run and a team-leading five RBI, with Cooper homering twice and knocking in four runs in the tournament and Jobin plating four runs.

Eastern commited only three errors in the tournament, with Cooper collecting a team-high eight assists without an error.

Eastern is 23-1 since winning seven of ten in Florida. The Warriors had a 17-game winning streak ended 11 days ago in their only LEC loss, a 10-2 five-inning setback at Western Connecticut in the second game of a doubleheader.

W-Lax:In LEC Final, Keene Strikes Back

Owls return to scene of four OT loss to pull rank on No. 1 seed, 15-8

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - The Keene State College women's lacrosse team  returned to the scene of its last loss - a four-overtime thriller against Eastern Connecticut State Univeristy a month ago - and extracted a large measure of revenge with a 15-8 victory Saturday that earned the Owls their second Little East Conference championship in three years.

At right: Christine Lillis defends against Amanda Keeley of Keene in Saturday's LEC final. (Stephen Goomrigian photo).

After losing to Eastern, 15-14 at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex in early April, second-seeded Keene  (13-5) won eight straight to return to the finals, then knocked off  top-seeded Eastern (9-8) on its home field in the title game for the second time in three years. Keene,which earns a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament with the victory, is 2-1 in title games while Eastern drops to 3-6 in the championship game with its third loss in as many years.

Leading 3-2 ten minutes into the game, the Warriors were outscored 8-1 over the next 23 minutes, with Keene taking the lead for good with ten minutes left in the first half on senior attack Jill Kirk's  only goal.

Sophomore midfielder Lauren Brown scored the first two goals in the run and the last one, for Keene, which was the coaches' pre-season favorite to win the title. Brown led all players in the game with five goals en route to tournament Most Outstanding Player honors. Brown had also scored five times in a 17-1 semifinal rout of third-seeded University of Southern Maine Thursday.

Trailing 10-4 in the opening minutes of the second half, Eastern scored  twice in just over a minute to cut the gap to four, but had its momentum stopped when the game was halted for one hour and 25 minutes due to lightning. When the game resumed, Keene re-gained its momentum, scoring the first two goals after the break and five of the final six.

Keene retained possession for much of the game, doubling Eastern's shot total and forcing the hosts into six more turnovers.  Keene freshman goalie Erin Taylor made 11 saves.  Eastern sophomore Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made 15 - nine in the first half when the visitors unloaded 27 shots and took an 8-4 lead into the break.

Eastern junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield), the LEC goal leader who scored six goals in the four-overtime victory over Keene last month, scored twice in a span of 15 seconds ten minutes into action but was held scoreless the rest of the way by Keene's helping defense. Prizio has 60 goals this season.

Keene senior midfielder Jamie Albert contributed to six of Keene's goals by scoring two and assisting on four. She also won 11 of 18 faceoffs and helped the Owls capture seven of the ten second-half faceoffs Senior midfielder Emily Persano led  all players in the game with five ground balls, while senior attack Lauren Sawyer  won four draws. Sawyer was the tournament's Most Outstanding Player as a sophomore in leading her team to a 9-8 overtime victory over top-seeded host Eastern in 2009.

Eastern sophomore midfielder Taylor Buchanan (Ellington) won four draws for Eastern and freshman attack Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) won nine faceoffs and three draw controls.

 

Softball: Warriors Sweep,One Win Away

In Little East, Jobin drives in three runs and Rathbun tosses CG

Jobin_72_8132.jpgDANBURY, Conn. - Freshman centerfielder Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA) drove in three runs  -- two coming on a single which gave the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team the lead for good - as the Warriors moved to within a game of their second straight Little East Conference tournament championship with a 5-3 win over Western Connecticut State University Friday evening at Westside Field.

At left: Courtney Jobin (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Top-seeded Eastern (29-4) needs one win Saturday to successfully defend its conference championship from a year ago. Second-seeded Western (29-4)  meets fourth-seeded Rhode Island College (32-10) Saturday at 11 a.m. in an elimination game. Eastern will have two chances to beat the winner of that game to win the title. The first game of the championship round is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the second game to follow.

Earlier in the day, Eastern eliminated third-seeded Keene State College (27-12-1), 7-2 for its second tournament win to remain in the winners' bracket. The Warriors had edged Keene, 1-0 in eight innings, in last year's championship game at Keene, NH.

With the score tied 1-1 against Western Friday, Eastern went ahead for good with a two-out rally. Jobin's single drove in senior DH Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) and freshman leftfielder Stephanie Johnson (Southington). Soychak had singled and moved to third on Johnson's  single.

Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) pitched a complete-game eight-hitter for her 18th win this year without a loss. Rathbun struck out seven and walked one. She took a 5-1 lead into the seventh before Western scored twice on Danielle Basciano's  double. Rathbun got a comebacker to retire the potential tying run and end the game.

Leading 3-1, Eastern opened up a four-run lead by scoring two unearned runs in the sixth  on two hits and two errors. Junior second baseman Christine Yeomans (Durham) plated both runs with a two-out single after being inserted into the lineup as a late-inning replacement.

Western junior Magen Dargon (19-5) had pitched a complete-game three-hitter over Eastern ten days ago to snap the Warriors' 17-game winning streak and hand them their only northern loss. Friday, she was touched for 11 hits in a complete-game loss. Dargon had pitched a one-hitter over Rhode Island College earlier in the day to keep her team in the winners' bracket.

In defeating Keene for the third time in six days,  Eastern took a 4-0 lead after three innings on an RBI single by Johnson and sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper's (Mystic) second home run in as many tournament games - a two-run shot in the third. Leading 4-2, the Warriors put the game away with a run in the fourth on freshman shortstop Megan Godwin's (Manchester) RBI double and two in the sixth on on singles by No. 9 hitter Kelly Paterson (Southington), Godwin (RBI) and Rathbun.

Against Keene, Rathbun pitched a complete-game eight-hitter with 12 strikeouts and no walks.

 

Baseball:Warriors Capture the LEC Flag

The outright title is their eighth and makes them Little East tourney host

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Above: Joe Balowski

Note: LEC Tournament seedings and first-round pairings listed at bottom of story

KEENE, N.H. -- Sophomore third baseman Joe Balowski (Berlin) knocked in a career-high four runs with three hits and senior rightfielder Tyler Turgeon (Norwich) had three hits -- including the 100th of his two-year career -- as the Eastern Connecticut State University baseball team clinched its eighth outright Little East Conference regular-season championship in 15 years Friday afternoon with a 12-6 victory over Keene State College in the first game of a doubleheader at the Owls Athletic Complex. Eastern (29-8, 11-3 little east) rallied from three runs back to complete the sweep with an 8-6 victory in Game 2. By winning the regular-season title, Eastern will serve as host institution for the 15th Annual LEC Baseball Tournament for the tenth time beginning Wednesday at the Eastern Baseball Stadium. The top six finishers in the regular-season standings qualify for the four-day, double-elimination tournament. In addition to eight outright titles, the Warriors have shared three additional regular-season championships. Eastern shared the regular-season title with Keene State last year. In six years between 2002 and 2007, Eastern won the regular-season title outright five times. Before this year, the Warriors had last captured the outright crown  in 2007, when they went on to the sixth of their present total of seven LEC tournament titles. Against Keene in the first game Friday, the Warriors pounded out 17 hits against five Keene pitchers, with Balowski, Turgeon, senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and freshman shortstop Danny O'Connell (Braintree, MA) each collecting three and senior leftfielder Robert Perry (Manchester) and junior catcher Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) two each. Balowski drove in his four runs with a double in the third, single in the fourth and two-run single in the fifth. The Warriors scored at least two runs in four consecutive innings beginning with the second to amass an 11-3 lead. Senior righty Jim Schult (Wappingers Falls, NY) won his sixth straight pitching decision by pitching the first six innings and junior righty Evan Chamberlain (Amston) earned his second save by working the final three innings. In the second game, the Warriors scored five runs in the eighth inning on four hits, two walks and a hit batsemen  to defeat Keene for the 15th time in the last 19 meetings. Turgeon drove in two runs in teh inning with a double and No. 9 hitter Drew Accomando (Monroe) added a two-run single with two out.  Turgeon had four hits in the game to give him 11 hits in his las 23 at-bats (.478) and drove in three runs and score two, while Perry had three hits, two runs and two RBI three hits. Both also unloaded solo home runs. Junior righty Mike Hepple (Newington) gained teh win as teh third of three Eastern pitchers. Hepple (3-1) entered the game with two out in the seventh, a runner on third and Eastern trailing 6-3. Hepple got a swinging strikeout to end the frame and allowed three hits and walked a batter in the final two innings.In the doubleheader, Turgeon was 7-for-10 with two doubles and a home run, a walkwalk, five runs scored and three RBI. Perry and O'Connell had five hits each. O'Connell also walked and scored four runs with a double and triple and drove in two and Perry had four RBI and two runs scored.   In 14 Little East games this year, Perry batted .431 with 36 total bases and 12 RBI, Cammuso .423 with 16 RBI and five walks, and Turgeon .414 with 33 total bases and 16 RBI.

:
#1 Eastern Connecticut State University (11-3)
#2 University of Massachusetts Boston (8-6)
#3 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (8-6)
#4 Keene State College (7-7)
#5 University of Southern Maine (6-8)
#6 Rhode Island College (6-8)


Wednesday, May 11

Double elimination

Game 1: #6 Rhode Island College at #1 Eastern Connecticut, noon
Game 2: #5 Southern Maine vs. #2 UMass Boston, 3:30 p.m.
Game 3: #4 Keene State vs. #3 UMass Dartmouth, 7 p.m.

 

M-Lax: Warriors Issue Timely Payback

     In LEC semis, Warriors score seven straight goals to pull away, 14-8

berube_72umdstory_5285.jpgNORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's lacrosse team is gaining momentum, and just at the right time.

At left: Donald Berube (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

In the semifinals of the Little East Conference playoffs Thursday night, third-seeded Eastern (12-5) ran off seven straight goals - including the final six of the third quarter - to pull away from second-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 14-8, at Cressy Field to move into the Little East championship game for the  for the tenth time in 11 years.

With its fifth straight victory since losing by a goal at UMass Dartmouth (13-4) 16 days ago, Eastern advances to the LEC title match for the tenth time in the 11-year history of the championship. The Warriors will face top-seeded host Keene State College (13-2), which disposed of visiting fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University, 17-6, Thursday.

After blowing an early 5-1 lead and losing to UMass Dartmouth for the first time in program history last month that eventually sentenced the Warriors to a first-ever LEC first-round contest (a 13-9 viictory over Plymouth State Tuesday), Eastern never trailed this time around. Sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Chelmsford, MA) came up with  13 saves - equaling his highest total in 11 matches - senior All-America Eric Vasil (Southngton) won 19 straight faceoffs through three quarters and  24 of 26 with 20 ground balls in the game, and Eastern's man-down unit killed off six of seven of UMass's extra-man tries.

With the game tied at 4-all a minute into the second half, the Warriors took over by outscoring the hosts 7-1 the rest of the quarter to build a six-goal lead heading into the final 15 minutes. Junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) and junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) struck for goals in the opening two three minutes of the second half to seal the verdict.

In the decisive 5-0 scoring run that ended the third quarter, freshman midfielder Mike Devine (Cheshire) scored twice and senior attackmen Vinny Tornatore (Norwalk) and Grant Albertson (New Canaan) and first-year sophomore midfielder Eric Kluge (North East, MD) once each.

Vasile won all 19 faceoff attempts through three quarters to extend his streak over three matches to 34 straight without a loss before  Jordan McPherson of UMass ended the run by corralling the faceoff that began the fourth quarter.

Little East scoring leader Nick Brett, a first-year junior transfer, unloaded 14 shots but connected on only two for UMass, with Berube saving five of those attempts. UMass freshman goalie Nick Thayer made 15 stops, eight coming when the Warriors unleashed 25 shots in the middle two quarters.

Ranked tenth in New England, Keene defeated Eastern, 19-17 in the regular-season meeting between the programs three weeks ago at Keene, NH. The teams will be meeting in the final for the  eighth time in the past nine years, with Eastern winning four and Keene three. Keene won last year over Eastern at Keene, NH, 14-10.

 

Softball: Warriors Dump Plymouth, 7-1

Rathbun fans 11, Godwin and Cooper slug HRs in LEC tourney opener

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Above: Arielle Cooper (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

DANBURY, Conn. - Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) won her 16th consecutive decision this year without a loss with a complete-game six-hitter and sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) hit a two-run home run in the first inning to lift top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University to a 7-1 victory over No. 6 Plymouth State University in the opening round of the six-team, double-elimination Little East Conference tournament Thursday afternoon.

In a re-match of last year's LEC championship game won by Eastern, 1-0 in eight innings, Eastern (27-4) advances to play No. 3 seed Keene State College (28-10-1) Friday at noon. The Owls lost a 5-3 decision to fourth-seeded Rhode Island College Thursday afternoon. If Eastern defeats Keene, it will play at 4 p.m. Friday. If it loses, it will play a 6 p.m. elimination game Friday.

Rathbun defeated Plymouth for the third time this year, the second time as a starter. She carried a 7-0 lead into the seventh before Plymouth (17-12) broke through for a run on two singles and an illegal pitch. Pinch runner Hillary Lemelin scored from third when Taylor Mancini was caught attempting to steal second by Eastern freshman Megan Bondy (Mystic). Bondy threw out two runners in the game.

Cooper's fifth home run of the year gave Eastern a 3-0 lead in the first inning and the Warriors later pushed the lead to 7-0 when  freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) belted her first career home run in the sixth - a two-run shot. In was the first time in three weeks that Eastern had slugged more than one home run in a game.

Rathbun fanned 11 - her seventh game of at least ten strikeouts this year - without walking a batter.

Cooper and junior rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) each had two hits for Eastern, which scored three of its runs on batters who reached on walks. The top four hitters in the lineup - Alicea, Godwin, Rathbun and Cooper - combined for six of the team's seven hits, six  of its seven runs and four of its five RBI.

Eastern swept Keene this past Saturday, 3-2 and 13-5 in six innings to wrap up its second straight LEC regular-season title.

W-Lacrosse: Warriors in Title Game

No. 1 seed wins fourth one-goal game this year, edges Western Conn., 9-8

meottiibrahimwcsu72_8289.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University scored  the final two goals inside the final four minutes and advanced to the championship match of the Little East Conference women's lacrosse playoffs for the ninth time in ten years with a 9-8 victory against fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University Thursday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

At left: Eastern goalie Nancy Ibrahim and defender Rachel Meotti (14) team up to stop Western scoring leader Nicole Perrone in the first half of Thursday LEC semifinal. Perrone took ten shots was managed only one goal. (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

With its  fourth one-goal victory of the year without a loss (two coming in overtime), Eastern (9-7) moves into the championship game for the ninth time in ten years (seventh straight) and Saturday at 1 p.m. will host No. 2 seed Keene State College (12-5), which eliminated No. 3 University of Southern Maine, 17-1, Thursday in the other semifinal. Keene has won eight straight since dropping a 15-14, 4 overtime decision to host Eastern a month ago.

Western (9-9) had won three  of its last four entering play, including a 13-12 verdict over  fifth-seeded Plymouth State University Tuesday in the first round. Eastern had drawn a first-round bye as one of the top two seeds.

After each team traded four-goal bursts in the first half, neither team led by more than two  goals the rest of the way. Eastern freshman attack Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) forced the third tie of the match with 3:58 left on an assisted goal that Western freshman goalie  Karli Portnoy initially saved, but could not completely control. Western junior Jessica Bouwman  won the ensuing draw, but the Colonials turned the ball over in their attacking end. Eastern clearned the zone, and conference goal leader Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) gave Eastern its only lead with 64 seconds left. Prizio couldn't control a pass from sophomore defender Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) in traffic  as the ball dropped in front of Portnoy, but reached back and swept it in before Portnoy could pick it up. Prizio scored both of her goals in the final ten minutes after going scoreless for 50 minutes. 

On the faceoff following Prizio's go-ahead goal, Eastern was awarded possession on a Western violation and the Warriors ran out the clock, with sophomore defender Samantha Barone (Plainedge, NY) maintaining possession throughout most of that final 64 seconds.

The one-goal win is the third straight and fourth this year without a loss for Eastern, which edged Western, 14-13 in double overtime  a week ago on the same field. The Warriors bring a season-best four-game winning streak into Saturday's final.

In the regular-season win over Western, Eastern also scored the final two goals, those coming in the final 50 seconds.  Conn scored the tying goal with 50 seconds left and sophomore Daniela Marchitto (Orange)  converted the winning goal with 14 seconds left.

Western scored the first four goals of the match and had three shots at making it 5-0. Eastern sophomore goalie Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) made one save and two went wide before Ibrahim then forced a turnover and fielded the ground ball to set up Eastern's first goal with 11 minutes left by freshman midfielder Ashley Wolk (Barrington, RI).

In addition to her two goals, Prizio delivered three assists 16 minutes apart.  Marchitto also had two goals, won five of seven faceoffs, captured three draws and picked up three ground balls. Machitto reached and eclipsed the career 100-point plateau with her two goals. Junior defender Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and Meotti also won three ground balls each.

Junior midfielder Lauren Poppe and sophomore attack Devon Edwards had two goals each for Western, with junior attack Kaitlyn Arconti passing for two assists. Poppe also won five ground balls and Edwards captured five draws and won nine of 14 faceoffs. Sophomore attack Nicole Perrone is ranked second in the LEC with 52  goals but was held to just one, that coming with three minutes left in the first half. That goal was the first for Western in a 13-minute stretch after the Colonials had raced to its early 4-0 advantage.

Eastern has won all 16 meetings between the programs in the 12-year series, but has won the last three by a total of only six goals.

Eastern has won three LEC playoff titles in the last six years but has lost in the final by a goal at home to Keene State in 2009 and Southern Maine last year. That 2009 meeting was the only one in the finals between Eastern and Keene. The Warriors are 3-5 in the finals, Keene 1-1..


 

Warriors Gear Up for Post Season

Both lacrosses, softball in action Thursday in Little East Conference play

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Molly Rathbun (at left) discusses the tournament ahead (2:40)AUDIO .wav

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- With the spring semester winding down, Eastern Connecticut State University athletes are gearing up for post-season play.

On Thursday, the men's lacrosse and women's lacrosse teams compete in the semifinal rounds of the Little East Conference Tournament, and the softball team opens defense of its 2010 LEC championship with a first-round tournament game. The men's and women's track and field programs gear up for the New England Division III championships Friday and Saturday.

The baseball team needs a split Friday at Keene State College to nail down another LEC regular-season championship and earn the right to host next week's six-team, double-elimination tournament at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

After winning its fifth straight LEC regular-season championship, the women's lacrosse team received a first-round tournament bye as the No. 1 seed and will host No. 4 Western Connecticut State University at 3:30 p.m. By winning, Eastern would move into the playoff final for the ninth time in ten years and would host the LEC championship game Saturday at 1 p.m.

The men's lacrosse team is seeded third and looks to avenge a regular-season loss when it visits the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for a 6 p.m. tilt. With a win, the Warriors move into the  title game for the  tenth time in 11 years. A six-time playoff champion, Eastern would visit No. 1 seed Keene State College Saturday if the Owls eliminate No. 4 Western Connecticut Thursday.

The softball team opens defense of last year's LEC championship when the No. 1-seeded Warriors face Plymouth State University  in the opening round of the six-team, double-elimination tournament at noon at Western Connecticut State University

Softball Team Looks for Repeat

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The Warriors enter the LEC tournament  as the No. 1 seed for the second straight season, but in a unique position this time - as defending champions. For the second straight year, the No. 1 Warriors face No. 6 Plymouth State  in the opening .  By winning, Eastern would play Friday at noon against the loser of Thursday's first-round game between Keene State College and Rhode Island College. A loss would set up an elimination game at 6 p.m. Thursday  against the UMass Boston-Western Connecticut loser.

At right: Megan Godwin

Eastern matched its 2010 conference-best record of 13-1 this year, splitting a doubleheader at Western  nine days ago for its only loss since returning from Florida, which snapped a 17-game winning streak. The Warriors are ranked No. 2 in New England and No. 12 nationally.

Eastern outscored 14 LEC opponents by a margin of nearly 3-to-1 this year. Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) is 9-0 with two saves in the LEC this year, with 111 strikeouts and ten walks. Opponents are batting .108 against last year's LEC tournament MVP.

Against conference opponents this year, Eastern is batting .333, with five starters at .343 or better. Rathbun leads the way with a .500 average, 34 total bases and 17 RBI, freshman shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) at  .452, freshman second baseman Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) at  .379, junior rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Trumbull)  .356 and  senior catcher Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) .343.

At Plymouth three weeks ago, Eastern rode Rathbun's arm to an easy 8-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader, but needed her bat to pull out a 5-3 victory in the nightcap. In that game, Eastern was shut down by Plymouth's Nora Galvin before finally breaking through with three runs in the seventh, keyed by Rathbun's home run. Galvin will likely be paired against Rathbun on the mound in Thursday's LEC tournament opener.

Ranked first in the most recent NCAA regional ranking, Eastern is all but assured a spot in its fourth straight NCAA tournament, regardless of this weekend's outcome.

Women's Lacrosse Chasing Ninth Title Appearance

prizio_72_6771.jpgSeeded first in the LEC playoffs after winning all six of its regular-season matches for the fourth time in five years, Eastern needs a win over fourth-seeded Western Connecticut to advance to its ninth LEC playoff championship match in ten years. The Warriors are 3-5 in finals, losing each of the last two years by a goal after winning the previous two.

At left: Ashley Prizio

The match features the top scorers in the LEC in Eastern junior attack Ashley Prizio (Brookfield) and Western sophomore attack Nicole Perrone, also a Brookfield native. Prizio has 56 goals and Perrone 52.

Eight days ago, Prizio and and Perrone were limited to three goals each when the Warriors emerged from a see-saw game with a 14-13, double-overtime win at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex. Western freshman goalie Karli Portney stopped 18 Eastern shots in that match and Eastern sophomore Nancy Ibrahim (Lindenhurst, NY) 13.

Defensively, Eastern has given up the second-most goals in the conference, but that can be attributed in large part to non-conference matches against four members of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. With one-goal victories over Western, 2010 LEC playoff champion, Southern Maine and 2011 pre-season favorite Keene State, the Warriors are 3-0 in LEC matches decided by one goal, two extending to overtime.

Eastern sophomore midfielder Daniela Marchitto (Orange) is sixth in the LEC in goals per game and Western sophomore midfielder Devon Edwards seventh.

In Saturday's 14-13 victory at Southern Maine, Prizio scored her 100th goal at Eastern and Marchitto moved to within a point of 100 points in her career.

As a team, Eastern is second in the LEC in draw controls,  and Western first in ground balls.
Eastern junior Megan Barrett (Setauket, NY) and first-year sophomore transfer Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury) have combined for nearly 100 ground balls this year, with freshman Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) having won a team-high 44 draws.

Tied with Eastern for second in the LEC pre-season poll, Western needs to defeat Eastern for the first time in 16 meetings in this series Thursday in order to reach the playoff championship game for the first time.

Men's Lacrosse Seeks Redemptionvasil_72_2807.jpg

Until this year, Eastern had never been forced to play a first-round LEC playoff match in ten seasons of the championship. That scenario unfolded when the Warriors lost two regular-season LEC matches for the first time ever. The second of those losses came by a score of 10-9 at UMass Dartmouth two weeks ago - the first loss ever after 14 consecutive victories over the Corsairs.

At right: Eric Vasil

Since that loss, the Warriors have won four in a row: the final three of the regular season and Tuesday's 12-5 LEC first-round triumph over visiting Plymouth State. Eastern shared second place with UMass Dartmouth in the final LEC standings, but was relegated to the No. 3 seed due to its head-to-head loss to UMass Dartmouth.

In Tuesday's tournament win over Plymouth, senior faceoff man Eric Vasil (Southington) and sophomore Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) combined to win all 20 faceoffs and senior Grant Albertson (New Canaan) scored four of his five goals in the first quarter. Eastern held the Panthers to one goal through the first 51 minutes.

In the regular-season loss to UMass, Eastern led 5-1 one minute into the second quarter but trailed by a goal after three quarters. In that game, Eastern's man-down unit successfully killed off all six of UMD's extra-man tries in that game, and the Warriors couldn't capitalize on their only extra-man opportunity of the game to tie the game in the final five minutes.

UMass Dartmouth has advanced to the playoff championship game only once, losing to Eastern by a score of 16-2 at Thomas Nevers Field in 2002. However, the Corsairs are in the midst of their winningest season (13-3) after starting off seven straight victories.

Eastern and UMass lead the conference in shots per game. Junior Nick Britt took one third (12) of his team's shots in UMass' regular-season win over Eastern. He managed only two goals in that match but leads the conference with 58 on the season. Josh Arsenault is ranked fifth in the conference with 21 assists. Freshman Nick Thayer has started 13 matches in net with a 9.30 goals-against average and .536 save percentage.

Albertson and junior midfielder Salieu Bolivar (Norwalk) have combined for 65 goals for Eastern, with junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) third in the LEC with 26 assists.  Vasil leads Division III in faceoff percentage (.781) and ground balls per game (14.8). Against Plymouth Saturday, he broke his own season record of 226 total ground balls.

Sophomore goalie Donald Berube (Chelmsford, MA), who is a native of the same hometown as UMD goalie Thayer, has played all but a handful of minutes in net this year. He has an 8.58 GAA and .565 save percentage.

An inability to stay out of the penalty box has been costly for Eastern this year, with the Warriors averaging more than a third-more penalties than their opponents. The Warriors' man-down unit has seen plenty of action and has limited opponents to just a 23.8 success rate on extra-man opportunites (Eastern scores 29.0 percent of the time with the extra man, but has had 36 less attempts).

Seventeen Will Participate for Track & Field

simpson_ricketts72_4339.jpgNine women and eight women have qualified for this weekend's New England Division III Outdoor Track & Field at MIT.

At left: Corey Simpson (background)

On Friday, sophomore Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and freshman Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) will compete in the heptathlon, junior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) in the 10,000, and  sophomore Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) in the long jump. All other events are scheduled for Saturday.

Additional qualifiers in individual events for the women are junior Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) and freshman Amy Huhn (Putnam) in the pole vault, Hultzman in the high jump and Gingras in the triple jump. Joining Huhn on the 4x100 and 4x400 relays are sophomores Denica Gagnon (Colchester) and Christine Charpentier (Monroe) freshman Tacia Bryant (Guilford).

quinones_72lecpreview_6601.jpgAlso competing in men's individual events are senior Brian Lowe (Kiingston, Jamaica) and sophomore Corey Simpson (Norwich) at 100 and 200 meters, sophomores Tim Callahan (Portland) and Prince-Michael Marston (Kingston, Jamaica) at 400 meters, and first-year junior Ryan Wood (Southington) in the triple jump. Junior Nick Pates (East Haven) will compete on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. He will be joined on the 4x100 by Simpson, Verrill and Lowe and on the 4x400 by freshman Brody Secore (South Windsor), Marston and Callahan.

At left: Amanda Quinones

 

 

 

 

 

 

W-Volleyball: Maneggia Interim Coach

A veteran of more than 20 years of coaching, he will lead Warriors in 2011

maneggia head 72_2547.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Peter Maneggia has been named part-time interim head women's volleyball coach at Eastern Connecticut State University, as announced by interim Director of Athletics Michael Stenko.

Having served as assistant coach the past three seasons, Maneggia returns for his  fourth season in the program in 2011. An Andover resident, Maneggia replaces Fran Vandermeer, who has resigned her part-time head coach position after one year in order to accept a full-time collegiate head women's volleyball coaching position.

In addition to his volleyball duties, Maneggia will maintain his part-time assistant coaching position in the Eastern softball program, where he is in his fourth season.

Maneggia brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to the program, with previous head softball coaching jobs at Division I College of Holy Cross and Division III St. Joseph's College of Hartford. He also was an assistant at Division I Central Connecticut State University and at Division III Trinity College, under Vandermeer, and served for one year as assistant at Eastern under former head softball coach Tom York. Maneggia has also coached at the high school level, with tenures at Coventry High School and Griswold High School.
Maneggia is a 1988 graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a B.S. Degree in Human Service Administration.

Eastern, which has qualified for 16 NCAA Division III volleyball tournaments - the most among all New England institutions - graduated four seniors from last year's 13-15 team.

M-Lacrosse: Defense Keys 12-5 Victory

Warriors allow only one goal through first 51 minutes in LEC playoff win

Dubinsky_72_3016.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. --  Playing a first-round game in the Little East Conference men's lacrosse playoffs for the first time in the 11-year history of the championship, third-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University  limited sixth-seeded Plymouth State University to one goal through the first 51 minutes in a 12-5 victory at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Above: Josh Dubinsky

With its fourth straight win this year, Eastern (11-5) advances to face second-seeded and host University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (13-3) Thursday at 6 p.m. in the playoff semifinals. In the other semifinal round match Thursday, top-seeded Keene State College (12-2) will host No. 4 Western Connecticut State University (10-6) at 3:30 p.m. . Western advanced with a 10-3 win over visiting No. 5 seed University of Southern Maine Tuesday night. The winners will move on to the championship match Saturday at the highest remaining seed.

After gaining first-round tournament byes each of the previous ten seasons, the Warriors played a first-round match this year after losing to Keene State and UMass Dartmouth in the regular season.

Senior attack Grant Albertson (New Canaan), who did not play Saturday in Eastern's 13-9 victory at Plymouth State (7-8) in the regular-season finale,  helped the Warriors score the first six goals Tuesday. Albertson  scored four of his career-tying -high five goals in the first 19 minutes.

Eastern nearly doubled Plymouth's shot total through the first three quarters and led 12-1 before the visitors scored all four of the game's goals in the fourth quarter.

Eastern senior All-America Eric Vasil (Southington) and sophomore Josh Dubinsky (Woodstock) combined to win all 20 of the game's faceoffs against five different Plymouth opponents. The national leader in faceoff percentage and ground balls per game, Vasil picked up ground balls on 13 (straight) of his 14 faceoff wins, while Dubinsky was 6-for-6 with three ground balls.

With a career-tying four assists, Eastern junior attack Mike Sullinger (Brookfield) upped his team-leading season total to 26 while Albertson took over the club lead in goals with 33. In two matches this year against Plymouth, Vasil is 35-for-39 on faceoffs with 35 ground balls.

Junior attack Teddy Akrivlellis scored twice for Plymouth and senior midfielder Drew Kirwin had two assists.

 

Baseball: Warriors Victim of Big Hits

Izzo of Tufts drives in eight runs with two home runs in No. 9 slot

Schult_72dpi2311.jpgMANSFIELD, Conn. - Tufts University No. 9 batter Nate Izzo drove in eight runs with two home runs and a sacrifice fly to power the Jumbos to a 13-9 non-conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University Monday evening in a meeting of regionally-ranked teams at the Eastern Baseball Stadium.

At left: Jim Schult

In a re-match of an NCAA regional game won by Tufts, 3-0, at the Eastern Baseball Stadium, Tufts (23-6-1) scored 13 straight runs to carry a 13-3 lead into the seventh before Eastern (27-8)  responded with six runs in its final three at-bats on ten hits.  Tufts senior righty Edward Bernstein got a strikeout with the tying run on deck to nail down the win.

Eastern,  ranked No. 2 in New England,  has dropped four of its last six while Tufts has won 20 of its last 22.

A freshman rightfielder, Izzo entered the game batting .222 with four RBI and no home runs in 36 at-bats, but smacked a three-run home run to tie the game in the third inning, then highlighted an eight-run, six-hit third inning with a grand slam to make it 11-3. Izzo plated his eighth run with a sacrifice fly in a two-run fourth inning that ballooned the lead to 13-3.

Tufts senior righty Pat O'Donnell scattered five singles through six innings after allowing Eastern senior rightfielder Jim Schult's (Wappingers Falls, NY) three-run home run in the first that gave the Warriors the early lead.

Trailing 13-3, Eastern got two back in the seventh on a two-run double by Schult and added another on senior catcher Chris Cannata's (Southington) sacrifice fly in the eighth to make it 13-6. With O'Donnell (4-0) done for the night, the Warriors rallied for three more runs in the ninth against two Tufts relievers on a two-run single by senior first baseman Andrew Dewing (Swampscott, MA) and a run-scoring single  freshman second baseman Mitch Plourde (Ellington). Bernstein, who has not allowed an earned run in 22 1/3 innnigs this season, sandwiched two strikeouts around Plourde's RBI single to end the game.

Led by Izzo, seven Tufts batters had two hits, with senior DH Chase Rose scoring three runs. Senior centerfielder Shane Kingsley (Beacon Falls) and Schult had four hits each and junior DH Steve Cammuso (Rutland, MA) had three. Schult socked his ninth home run and his 15th double and drove in his team-leading 50th run.

Eastern hosts Amherst College Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Lord Jeffs are rated No. 6 in New England.


 


 

W-Track: Six Gain Honors at LEC Meet

They earn All-New England Alliance recognition at championships

hultzman_72_6492.jpg

Complete listing of Eastern's scorers.pdf

FITCHBURG, Mass. --  Six Eastern Connecticut State University individuals --  four of them freshman - achieved all-alliance status at the  14th Annual New England Alliance/Little East Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at the Elliot Athletic Center on the campus of Fitchburg State University.

Above: Lauren Hultzman

Junior distance runner Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) and freshman high jumper Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) were among the six who earned All-New England Alliance and/or All-Little East Conference recognition at the meet. Quinones raced to a second-place finishat 5000 meters in both NEA and LEC scoring with a time of 18:59.24, and Hultzman was third in the high jump in the LEC scoring and fifth in the NEA scoring with a mark of 5-feet-1 inches.

In addition to Quinones and Hultzman, earning All-New England Alliance distinction were freshmen Alexa Palasky (Griswold) and Katie France (Portland) at 10,000 meters, and freshman Amy Huhn (Hebron) and junior Maggie Gibeault (Brooklyn) in the pole vault. Palasky was fourth in a time of 42:46.19 and France seventh (43:37.96). Huhn was sixth (9-0 ¼) and Gibeault seventh (8-6 ¼).

The first eight individuals and top three relays earn All-NEA honors while the top three individuals and top two relays are recognized as All-LEC. The top eight individuals and top eight relays score points in the NEA tabulation and the top six individuals and relays score points in the LEC tabulations.

The New England Alliance is comprised of ten  women's track  institutions --  six from the Little East Conference and four from the Masschusetts State College Athletic Conference.

Eastern placed ninth  as a team with 25 points in the NEA tanking and fifth in the LEC scoring. The University of Southern Maine won its 13th LEC crown - 12th straight - and 11th NEA championship.


 

Men's Track: Simpson Triple Winner

Sophomore wins two sprint events and relay at NEA/LEC Championships

Complete listing of Eastern's scorers.pdf

simpson_ricketts_72s4339.jpgFITCHBURG, Mass. --  Sophomore Corey Simpson (Norwich)  became the sixth Eastern Connecticut State University male athlete to win both the 100 and 200 meter dash at the 14th Annual New England Alliance/Little East Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at the Elliot Athletic Center on the campus of Fitchburg State University

At left: Corey Simpson (background in photo)

Simpson won the 100 in a meet and program record-setting time of 10.88 and the 200 in a time of 22.57. His time of 10.79 in the qualifying heat of the 100 qualified him for the New England Open and for the NCAA Division III national meet on the provisional basis and broke the 11-year old record of 10.84 set by Eastern's Jason Edwards when he was a triple winner at the 2000 championships at Fitchburg State.

The New England Alliance is comprised of 11 institutions --  six from the Little East Conference and five from the Masschusetts State College Athletic Conference.

Also claiming a championships were sophomore Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) in the long jump (21-6 ¾) and the 4x100 meter relay, which took a quarter-second off its season-best time with a mark of 43.25 which had already qualified it for New England Division III and Open championship competition. Running the relay were junior Nick Pates (East Haven), Simpson, Verrill, and senior Brian Lowe (Kingston, Jamaica). It's the seventh time that the men's relay has won either the New England Alliance or Little East championship.

Verrill won the LEC and was second in the NEA with a mark that qualified him for this weekend's New England Division III Championships,  while the relay captured both the LEC and NEA titles.

Simpson's double marks the ninth time that Eastern has won the 100 and 200 meter NEA and/or LEC men'events, and the sixth time that it has been done by the same individual. Previous double winners were Lowe (2010), David Pavia (2006),  and Edwards (1998, 2000 and 2002).

Other top performances Saturday included Lowe at 100 meters, first-year junior Ryan Wood (Southington) in the triple jump, and freshmen Josh Fish (Bozrah) in the pole vault and Brody  Secore (South Windsor) at 800 meters. Lowe was third in the LEC race and sixth in the NEA, Wood second in the LEC and fifth in the NEA, Fish second in the LEC and seventh in the NEA, and Secore third in the LEC and fourth in the NEA. Verrill qualified for this weekend's New England meet in the long jump and Wood in the triple jump (42-8 ¾).

Eastern placed eighth among 11 teams with 59 points in the NEA tanking and fourth in a field of six in the LEC scoring. Westfield State of the MASCAC  captured the NEA team title and the University of Southern Maine won its fourth straight LEC championship.

The first eight individuals and top three relays earn All-NEA honors while the top three individuals and top two relays are recognized as All-LEC. The top eight individuals and top eight relays score points in the NEA tabulation and the top six individuals and relays score points in the LEC tabulations.

Student-Athletes Cited for Excellence

geissleredmondson72_8236.jpgSTUDENT-ATHLETES RECOGNIZED AT ANNUAL  AWARDS BANQUET

Eastern's student-athletes were honored Sunday night at the annual Spring Awards Banquet for their athletic and academic accomplishments. Above are the recipients of the prestigious Bonnie J. Edmondson and Francis E. Geissler SportsPeople-of-the-Year Award. From left, Bonnie Edmondson, Stephanie Norell, Broderick Sawyer, Lauren Hickey, Barbara and Donald Geissler. Norell and Hickey shared the Edmondson award and Sawyer was recipient of the Geissler Award. Barbara is the daughter of the late Francis Geissler and Donald the son of the late Francis Geissler. The award is presented to a male and female senior student-athlete for team spirit, dedication, loyalty, leadership and academic commitment

A total of 37 scholar-athlete awards were also presented. Student-athlete with overall GPAs between 3.15 and 3.49 received an E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award and those with overall GPAs at 3.50 and higher received an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award..

Award-Winners.

Bonnie J. Edmondson SportsPerson-of-the-Year Award:

Lauren Hickey, Stephanie Norell

Francis E. Geissler SportsPerson-of-the-Year Award: Broderick Sawyer

Male Athlete-of-the-Year: Jim Schult, Baseball

Female Athlete-of-the-Year: Molly Rathbun, Softball

Individual Sport Athlete-of-the-Year: Amy Arisco

Male Rookie-of-the-Year: Danny O'Connell, Baseball

Female Rookie-of-the-Year: Megan Godwin, Soccer/Softball

Individual Sport Rookie-of-the-Year: Michelle Schapp, Swimming

Faculty Athletic Representative Team Academic Award: W Cross Country

Morrell Service Award: Chris Wojick