Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, February 27, 2003
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Softball, Baseball Teams Headed to Florida
Baseball Optimistic After Record 2002 Season

The Muhlenberg baseball team will begin its 2003 season a week later than expected when it travels to Florida for eight games in eight days, beginning Saturday with a contest against Becker.

The Mules traditionally open up the weekend before Spring Break with a series at
Kevin Komeshok
Komeshok’s first appearance of the 2003 season will be the 47th of his career, tying a school record. He needs five saves to break the record of 11 in a career.
Washington & Lee, but that was wiped out by the snow, leaving the team anxious as ever to play ball.

“It’s been kind of rough practicing indoors for six or seven weeks,” said senior outfielder Justin Graf. “We usually use [the Washington & Lee] games to prepare for the season, and get a feel for how our pitching staff and lineup are going to work out.”

Even without those games, the returning players can’t help but feel that a good season is in store. The Mules set a school record for wins last year with a 23-17 record. They finished fourth in the Centennial Conference and advanced to the championship series of the CC playoffs before dropping a pair of games to Johns Hopkins by a total of three runs.

Muhlenberg returns six starting position players and three starting pitchers who had winning records last year.

“We should have a real good team,” said Graf. “Our pitching staff is excellent, and we have some good bats in the lineup. We definitely have the talent and ability to compete for the conference championship.”

Heading the returning starting pitchers are a pair of lefties, junior Chris O’Connor and sophomore Gregg Burkhart. O’Connor was 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA in his first season as a regular in the rotation and was second on the team with 62 innings pitched. Burkhart came on strong at the end of the season, finishing with a 2-1 record at 2.91 ERA and recording more strikeouts (27) than hits allowed (24).

Right-hander Aaron Regensburg had a solid first season, going 5-4 to tie the school record for wins by a freshman.

Backing up the starting pitchers will be senior closer Kevin Komeshok, who set a school record with 21 appearances in 2002 and saved six games.

Muhlenberg will look to its two corner outfielders for offensive spark. Both are named Justin and both had exceptional seasons last spring.

Graf earned All-CC second-team honors after hitting .303 with six home runs, 30 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He set a school record with 42 runs scored and finished just short of the school marks for extra-base hits (19) and total bases (81). It was the first full season of baseball for the left fielder since his senior year in high school.

“I learned a lot about myself last year,” said Graf. “I was really able to concentrate on working on my weaknesses this winter. I’m looking forward to an injury-free year.”

Fellow senior Justin Rubenstein hit a career-best .316 in 2002 and became only the fourth player in team history to get 50 hits in a season. He was third on the Mules with 31 runs scored and hit .394 with 16 RBI in CC games.

Returning starters in the infield are senior second baseman Ben Carr, who hit .281 with a team-leading 31 RBI, and senior third baseman Steve Rohn, a .264 hitter with 10 RBI.

Junior Adam Sadler enters his second season as the starting catcher. He hit .239 and drove in 18 runs last year.

After coming back from Florida, Muhlenberg may be looking at more time indoors while waiting for the snow to melt. The Mules have their first home game scheduled for March 13 against Misericordia, and their first CC game is slated for March 25 at Dickinson.

Softball Hoping for Return to Health

Back in the SWING of things ... that’s the new motto for the Muhlenberg softball team’s new season.

After an injury-plagued season in which three individuals, Amanda Ibey, Ally Ogden and Becki Toth, all went down with season-ending knee injuries, the healthy teammates had to step up their game in order to maintain the primary goals of the entire team, the Centennial Conference Tournament and another trip to the NCAA Championships.

Due to the injuries, the Muhlenberg softball team now believes that a great team is one
Kelly Berg
Berg is a career .309 hitter and a three-time All-CC selection.
that deals well with adversity. That is truly what the Mules have done and they are roaring and ready to go for the upcoming season.

“After last season, we want to come back and win the conference and have an amazing season. We are talented and we have a lot of depth. We are very excited for the upcoming season, and I think we are going to be successful,” said junior Nicole Sarno.

Junior Becki Toth added, “We definitely want to win the conference. We need that back from McDaniel.”

The Mules finished 21-15 overall and 11-5 in the Centennial Conference last year, and were the fourth seed for the CC Tournament. Muhlenberg competed against McDaniel and Gettysburg in the Tournament and suffered losses to both teams, thus being eliminated.

With the three previously injured athletes returning healthy and strong, the coaching staff and players have high expectations for the season and are looking forward to an outstanding season. On returning after injury Toth says, “It is awesome to be back. I can’t wait to get back on the dirt. We are all a little nervous, but really excited.”

The Muhlenberg season begins on March 2 at the Rebel Spring Games in Osceola, Florida. The Mules will open up against Misericordia. They are scheduled to play their first CC game vs. Gettysburg on March 29 at Patriots Park. Muhlenberg will compete against three teams ranked in the NFCA Division III preseason top 25 – Ithaca (1), Moravian (20) and Cabrini (25).

Returning to the field for the Mules are three seniors – Kelly Berg, Kristen Best and Meghan Woods – who have all played together since they were freshmen and are all three-year starters for the Muhlenberg softball program.

Berg, an All-CC second team selection for three consecutive years, was a starter in the outfield for the past three seasons waiting to get the opportunity to start at first base, which she will be doing this season. She needs four hits to become the 15th member of the 100-hit club.

Best, who is also a captain for the Mule field hockey team, brings great defensive skills to the softball team in the outfield. She tied a school record for sacrifice hits in a game with three against Franklin & Marshall.

Woods, the catcher, received Player’s Player honors for the 2002 school year for being the most valuable player, decided by a team vote. She hit .323 and led the team in doubles, extra-base hits, RBI and slugging.

Another returning asset to the team is junior starting pitcher Danielle DeLucia. Delucia, an All-CC second team selection, finished last season with an 11-7 record and a 1.28 ERA. She earned pitcher of the week honors and was a three-time pitcher of the week honor roll recipient.

Other Mules to look for are Kate Dischino, who will compete for time behind the plate; Ibey at second base; Jackie Maser (All-CC second team) at third base; Sarno (All-CC second team) in the outfield; Toth (All-CC first team in 2001) at shortstop; Ogden at pitcher and Kadie Serfass in the outfield. The softball team also has seven newcomers to aid in achieving the goal of having another successful season.

Toth said, “We are all great friends, and that helps a lot because we work well together. We know what to expect from each other. The freshmen have great talent and they bring a lot to the team. They all have good attitudes and this season’s team is a great mix.”

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Last updated February 27, 2003