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Softball Team Moves Full Steam Ahead into April

Updated 4/18/14

West Windsor, N.J. – At 25-4, the women’s softball team at Mercer County Community College is having one of its most successful seasons in recent memory. In a poll released last week by the National Junior College Athletic Association, the Vikings were ranked no. 18 in the country.

And, according to 10th-year Head Coach Ryan Zegarski, they have no signs of slowing down.

Especially sweet were the April 3 victories over Burlington, Region 19’s defending champs. The Vikings shut out Burlington in both games, 11-0 and 8-0.

The 2014 Women's Softball Team with Head Coach Ryan Zegarski, left,
and assistant coach Danielle Brossoie, far right.

The reason for their success gets down to basics, says Zegarski.  “We are working well as a team and the players are working hard at practices,” he says.  “We are getting the job done both offensively and defensively.

Pitching is always the place to start.  “Our two starting pitchers – sophomore Stacie Denucci and freshman Kaitlyn Cegielski – are throwing strikes,” he said.  And two other pitchers, Robin Antozzeski and Erica Benedetti, are getting some productive innings as well.

The Vikings have also been hitting well.  Leading the team in hits are freshman catcher Courtney Whittaker and sophomore third baseman Alyssa Bauer. Three players are batting over .400, including Courtney Whittaker (.407), Alyssa Bauer (.475) and Courtney Clee (.469).

Zegarski says that as good as things have been going offensively, the team is even stronger defensively, with Clee at short stop and Bauer at third base setting the tone.

“We are pretty well covered.  We have only had 24 errors in 22 games,” he said.

He notes that a few injuries – almost always an issue – have not slowed the Vikings down all that much.
“We lost outfielder Dana Knapp and pitcher Kiele Eichlin to injuries, but have found ways to fill in for them,” Zegarski said.

While they are playing great as a team, Zegarski says the Vikings’ toughest stretch lies ahead.  The April calendar includes some traditionally strong competitors including Del Tech-Stanton, Del Tech0 Owens, Brookdale and Morris.

The team's next home doubleheader is against Lackawanna on Tuesday, April 15, starting at 3:30 p.m.

Click here for the full schedule and for game recaps.

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