Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2004
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Mules Lead Off in Florida and Georgia

In a game of runs, the Drew women’s lacrosse team had one that lasted nearly three-quarters of the game and defeated Muhlenberg, 18-4.

The Rangers (1-0), who are ranked 16th in the Division III preseason poll, scored twice in the first minute to open up a 2-0 lead. The Mules (1-1) came back to score three straight and go ahead, 3-2.

Drew then proceeded to shut down the Muhlenberg offense, scoring 16 straight goals before the Mules got on the board again late in the game.

Sophomore Courtney Tapkas notched half of Muhlenberg’s goals for her 17th consecutive multiple-goal game.

Click here for box score.

In softball, .300 is a good batting average. But in terms of championships, the Muhlenberg softball team is hitting .750, having won the Centennial Conference title three of the last four years.

The Mules will look to make it four out of five this season, and have the potential to reach that goal. They proved they can win big games, taking seven of their final ten 2003 contests, including three in the
Becki Toth
Toth enters 2004 ranked fifth in Mule history in career stolen bases (24), sixth in slugging percentage (.496), 10th in hits (110) and 13th in total bases (140).
CC playoffs and two in the NCAA East Regional.

“I think we’re starting with the momentum we left off with last season,” said senior co-captain and starting catcher Kate Dischino. “Our pitching is very strong right now.”

After fighting injuries last season, all the Mule pitchers are back. Leading the way is Danielle DeLucia, one of five seniors on the team. The ’Berg ace owns a 1.52 career ERA, good for second in Muhlenberg history, and ranks fourth all-time with 225 strikeouts and sixth with 33 wins.

Kristina Cartolano is coming off a great rookie campaign that included an ERA of 0.69 in four CC games and two wins in the CC playoffs. Junior Ally Ogden won two of her three CC starts last year and will be ready when called upon.

The Mules will need solid pitching against a tough early schedule. They’ll begin the season at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla., before facing two 2003 NCAA Tournament teams at the Leadoff Classic in LaGrange, Ga., one of Division III’s most prestigious invitational tournaments.

“We always play competitive teams,” said Dischino, whose .979 fielding percentage ranks sixth on the ’Berg career list. “We’re
CC Preseason Poll
school (#1 votes) 2003 record points
1. McDaniel (6) 24-9 61
2. Muhlenberg (2) 16-21 55
3. Gettysburg 26-11 50
4. Ursinus (1) 22-10 47
5. F&M 14-13 36
6. Washington 14-18 28
7. Dickinson 10-24 17
8. Swarthmore 6-23 16
9. Haverford 11-23-1 13
looking to be competitive and show what we have right from the start.”

The Muhlenberg offense lost players who accounted for nearly half of the team’s extra-base hits last year, but brings back four of its best five and eight of its top 10 batting averages. A large part of the Mule hitting attack holds down the left side of the infield.

Shortstop and co-captain Becki Toth is a two-time All-CC first-team selection and ranks sixth in Mule history in career batting average (.390). Fellow senior Jackie Maser, also a two-time All-CC honoree, led the Mules with 25 RBI, 14 walks and four sacrifice flies last year and ranks among the Mule career leaders in assists and extra-base hits.

Senior Nicole Sarno excels as the Mules’ centerfielder and leadoff hitter. She made just one error, led the Mules with 27 runs and struck out only nine times in 130 at bats in 2003, earning a spot on the All-CC first team. DeLucia and Cartolano are also dangerous with the bat, ranking second (.349) and fourth (.295) on the team, respectively, in 2003 hitting.

Junior Kadie Serfass established herself as the starting rightfielder last year. Several freshmen and sophomores will contend for time in the outfield and at first base and second base.

While Dischino says the Mules are focused on their trip right now, she believes that, like last year, they will be at the top of their game at the right time.

“We always get a momentum kick towards the end,” she said. “We have a good work ethic, and we tend to jell and throw it all together.”

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Last updated March 3, 2004