The 2005 Muhlenberg softball team enjoyed a banner day on April 16.
Playing on a sunny Saturday in front of dozens of alums and friends who
came for the dedication of their new home field, the Mules swept a
doubleheader from Washington, coming from behind in extra innings to win
the nightcap, 5-4, in the bottom of the ninth.
Senior Ally Ogden pitched a one-hit shutout against
Penn State-Behrend and tossed a six-hitter against Haverford to win her
final career start.
Unfortunately, days like that were few and far between for Muhlenberg.
After a promising 6-3 start in Florida, the Mules finished with a 14-19
and failed to qualify for the Centennial Conference playoffs for the first
The playoff race came down to the final day of the season. Muhlenberg
needed to sweep a doubleheader at Haverford to reach the playoffs, but
fell in the first game, 1-0 in nine innings. Close losses were a culprit
the entire CC season, as seven of the Mules 10 league losses were by
one run or two, three of them in extra innings.
By winning 14 games, the softball program reached double digits in
victories for the 21st consecutive year, tying the school record for all
sports achieved twice by mens basketball.
Sophomore Nicole Washburn established herself as the ace of the
staff the second half of the season, allowing no more than two earned runs
in six of her final seven starts. She went 4-3 with a 1.86 ERA during that
span, and the Mules were shut out in all three losses. Included in the
stretch were back-to-back
shutout wins, including a one-hitter against Swarthmore. Washburn
finished 5-8 with a 2.93 ERA and earned second-team All-CC honors.
Toth finished her career with 182 hits. On the
Mules all-time lists, she tied for fourth in runs scored (85) and was
ninth in batting average (.366).
Freshman Katie Vecchione had a promising season on the mound, going
4-1 with a team-leading
2.38 ERA and walking only two batters in 35.1 innings.
Shortstop Becki Toth came back for a fifth season to provide a
veteran presence on a team that was otherwise very inexperienced. She hit
.295 and earned All-CC honorable mention her fourth time on the
all-conference team. Toth became the programs all-time hits leader
when she singled leading off the Washington doubleheader and capped that
banner day by knocking in the winning run in the second game.
Junior Kristina Cartolano led the team with a .352 batting average,
while classmate Lindsay Ruhling had her best season, hitting .283
with eight doubles and 14 RBI. Junior Missy DeFrain drove in a
team-best 20 runs.
Among sophomores in their first season as starters, Hilary
Marinchak hit .270 with nine RBI, Tina Roth smacked a
team-leading nine doubles, and Katie Olson led the squad with 18