Young talent paved the way for the Muhlenberg softball team to contend for
a Centennial Conference playoff spot in 2006. Although the Mules fell
short, finishing 17-21 overall and 8-8 in the CC, they can point to a
Missy DeFrain was named to the All-CC second team for the second time in
her career. She hit .286 in CC games and finished as the Mules career
leader with a .987 fielding percentage.
Muhlenberg played its usual rigorous schedule early in the season,
including three games against nationally ranked teams on its spring trip
to Florida. Back home, the Mules acquitted themselves well in consecutive
home doubleheaders against traditional powers Cortland State, New Jersey
and Moravian, splitting with Cortland, losing one game in extra innings to
TCNJ and falling by one run in the Moravian nightcap.
Muhlenberg started out 1-3 in the CC, then reeled off six straight wins to
climb into the thick of the race. The team excelled on offense and defense
during the streak, starting it with a 10-2, 12-1 sweep of Franklin &
Marshall and wrapping it up with three straight shutouts, tossed by three
In their last six CC games, however, the Mules scored only four runs. They
finished in a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff spot but lost
Senior Lindsay Ruhling was second on the team with 15 runs scored.
Muhlenbergs strength was its pitching, led by junior first-team
selection Nicole Washburn, who was 11-7 with a 1.83 ERA. She struck
and walked only nine in 115 innings and threw three shutouts. Sophomore
Katie Vecchione also hurled three shutouts all 1-0 finals
with a 2.45 ERA, including a 1.73 ERA in CC contests. Freshman Lara
Kestenbaum blanked Swarthmore, the top hitting team in the CC, on two
The team played the season without one of its top leaders, Tara
the senior catcher who was badly injured in an auto accident in the fall.
On the field, Muhlenberg found a good replacement in freshman RiRi
Ferrigno, who hit a team-leading .303 with 22 RBI and set a school
with 16 doubles.
Samantha Crist also had a promising freshman season, hitting .291
eight doubles, 11 RBI and a team-best 19 runs scored. Sophomore
Rosenthal set a school record with four home runs, three of which came
three consecutive games.
Junior Hilary Marinchak led the Mules with 10 stolen bases and hit