Softball 2013 Season Review

 

Devon Barber
The Mules' all-time leader with 115 runs scored, Barber ranks third in CC history with 67 career stolen bases.
The number 31 is integrated into the Baskin Robbins logo, and after the 2013 softball season, the number 31 also is part of the Muhlenberg College record book.

The softball team set a school record for all sports by winning 31 games, finishing with a record of 31-9-1. The Mules broke the long-standing mark set by the 1992 volleyball team (27-6) by winning the second game of a doubleheader at Franklin & Marshall; their victory in the first game broke another long-standing record for wins by the softball team, set when the 1991 team went 26-9.

In the regular season, Muhlenberg won its first nine games and its last 10, reaching the 30-win mark with a sweep of Scranton. The Mules defeated six teams that would go on to earn NCAA Tournament berths and received votes in the national poll for the first time in more than 20 years.

Picked fifth in the Centennial Conference preseason poll, Muhlenberg went 14-2 in the league to finish in first place by a record-tying four games and earn the right to host the conference tournament for the first time ever.

Unlike a Baskin Robbins ice cream cone after a meal, the playoffs did not produce a sweet ending, however. The Mules dropped their first game to eventual champion Washington and were eliminated a game short of the championship round.

But Muhlenberg should be back to not only compete for a CC championship but also threaten the newly established record: Of the record-tying seven players who earned All-CC honors, only one was a senior and four – including CC co-pitcher of the year Kelsey Jones – were freshmen and sophomores.

Angie Sisco
Sisco finished her career tied for 10th in program history with 23 wins.
The Mules set the tone for their magical season with some late-inning magic on their first-ever 8-0 Florida trip. Five of the wins came by one run, all in their final at-bat, three in extra innings. In back-to-back games against Marywood and Thiel, Muhlenberg won despite trailing heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Reigning CC player of the year Kelly Kline delivered several dramatic hits, including a walkoff single against Misericordia and a two-run eighth-inning home run against Elizabethtown. Kline would go on to hit .412 with six home runs and 42 RBI, extending her school record for career home runs (21) while becoming the program’s all-time leader in extra-base hits (53) and RBI (118). She was named to the All-CC second team and All-East Region third team.

Freshman Taylor Trifiolis and junior Chelsea Benjamin also produced walkoff hits. Trifiolis’ came in an 8-7 win against Coe, which would go on to be ranked in the top 25 all season, finishing with a record of 34-8. Trifiolis ended her rookie season with a .280 batting average and 19 RBI, earning All-CC honorable mention.

The three games that didn’t come down to the wire all were significant for other reasons. In the opening 6-0 win against Johnson & Wales, senior Angie Sisco scattered eight hits for her fourth career shutout. She finished the year with a career-best 9-4 record.

In a 5-1 win against Lebanon Valley, Jones outdueled the defending Division II national pitcher of the year, a transfer from Kutztown. It was a sign of things to come for Jones: The sophomore was spotless in CC regular-season play, winning all nine of her starts and compiling a 1.42 ERA. Overall, she finished with a 17-4 record and a 2.51 ERA, setting school records for wins and innings pitched (150.1) in a season and tying the mark for complete games (20).

The final game of the trip was a 10-2 win against Finlandia in which junior Erica Wenzel hit a grand slam and drove in six runs. Wenzel ended the season with a .273 batting average and 23 RBI (third on the team) to land on the All-CC first team.

Back up north, the team continued to roll and took command of the CC race with a home doubleheader sweep of defending champion McDaniel. In the first game, freshman Brittany Dzieciolowski broke up a perfect game with a leadoff home run in the fifth, and the Mules went on to a 5-2 win. The nightcap featured more late-inning dramatics, with junior Colleen O’Donnell hitting a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the 10th for a 4-3 walkoff win.

Jessica Costa
Senior Jessica Costa had her best season as a senior, hitting .288 and ranking third on the team with eight stolen bases.
Although Muhlenberg would go on to sweep its remaining three CC doubleheaders to run away with the regular-season title, the most memorable win came in the first game of a non-CC sweep of Misericordia, when Jones pitched the first perfect game in program history. She struck out 11 – including the last three batters on a total of 10 pitches – and allowed only one ball to be hit out of the infield in the gem.

Joining Jones, Wenzel, Kline and Trifiolis on the All-CC team were second-team selections Dzieciolowski, senior Devon Barber and sophomore Alyssa Schell.

Dzieciolowski was the Mules’ second-leading hitter, batting .359 with two home runs and 24 RBI, and hit a team-best .396 with 14 RBI in CC games. Barber hit .282 overall but .347 in CC games and tied for second in the league with 17 stolen bases. Schell sported a .324 batting average with a home run (a leadoff round-tripper against Scranton) and 14 RBI.

Muhlenberg received contributions all across the roster. Benjamin hit only .247 but led the team with 23 walks and hit two home runs, including a two-run blast in the top of the 10th for a 2-0 win at Haverford. O’Donnell led the team with nine doubles.

Freshman Alexis Giovinazzo started 19 games and was impressive with her glove on the left side of the infield. She also drove in 13 runs on only 10 hits. Sophomore Jaimie Klotz hit .314 in 25 games, while freshman outfielders Amie DeFeo (.313) and Nicole Iannarone (.296) saw considerable action as pinch-runners.

Senior Elizabeth Sullivan backed up Dzieciolowski at catcher and hit .333 over her final 10 games. Sophomore Heather Porrini pitched in 11 games, starting six, and went 4-1 with a team-leading 2.42 ERA (less than half of her freshman-year ERA of 4.94) in 52 innings.