Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Monday, March 13, 2006
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Nicole Washburn For the third time in her career, junior Nicole Washburn of the Muhlenberg softball team has been named pitcher of the week by the Centennial Conference.

Washburn went 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA on the Mules’ season-opening trip to Florida. She pitched a five-hitter against Bethany for her fourth career shutout and stopped 2005 NCAA Tournament participant Misericordia on four hits in a 3-1 victory. Washburn also picked up a win by allowing only one hit in four innings in the first game of the Kings Point doubleheader.

In her four starts, Washburn walked only two and struck out 18 in 24 innings.

Washburn earned CC pitcher-of-the-week honors once in each of her first two seasons.

After a pair of five-win seasons, the Muhlenberg men’s tennis team, armed with a new head coach, is looking to take advantage of its experience, its depth and its new motto – have fun – to make its
Brad Gutwillig
Gutwillig leads active Mules with 44 combined career wins.
mark in the Centennial Conference.

“The atmosphere of the team is more about having fun,” said senior Adam Nodiff. “We feel we will play better this year because of that attitude. Our goal is to win matches and be competitive, but we always want to have fun.”

Jeff Schmitt, who returns to his alma mater, will manage a team nearly twice as big as it was two seasons ago.

“It’s an advantage because you get to play with many different styles in practice,” said Nodiff of the depth of the team. “It’s important for variability and for more playing time for people that aren’t at the top of the line.”

Muhlenberg’s two seniors, Brad Gutwillig and Nodiff, will fit into the top two spots, respectively. Gutwillig was 7-5 at No. 2 last season, and Nodiff won four times at fourth singles. Sophomore Jesse Kirschenbaum, 6-5 at No. 5 a season ago, is slated for the third spot and is a co-captain along with Gutwillig.

Junior Michael DiVita, sophomores David Yaron and James Goldman and newcomers will battle for the final three singles spots.

For doubles, the seniors will be matched up in the No. 1 spot. The Mules’ depth allows for several possibilities for the other two doubles spots. Kirschenbaum and sophomore Doug Wayne will join with some of the newcomers to start the season.

Besides having fun, the Mules are also looking to be more competitive and possibly surprise a few teams that were expecting an easier match.

“The matches were always very close,” said Nodiff of the previous two years. “Our lack of experience was a weakness. Now that we have experience, that becomes a strength. Our freshmen from last year have experience under their belt. We probably will surprise a few teams. We might not beat the top ones, but at least we will give them a scare.”

Muhlenberg opens its season on Tuesday with a 3:30 home match against Moravian. After a pair of non-conference road matches, the Mules travel to Washington on March 25 to open up their Centennial Conference schedule.

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Last updated March 13, 2006