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Viking Softball Team Posts Solid Season


WEST WINDSOR –While the Mercer County Community College softball team fell one game short of winning the Region 19 championship, Coach Ryan Zegarski sees a lot of positives coming from this past season.

“We had a good year,” Zegarski said. “When all is said and done, the girls competed every day.”

The Lady Vikings finished the season with a 27-18 record and had a shot at the Region 19 crown, needing to win one out of two games against Burlington County College on the final day of the tournament May 5, a team they had defeated the day before. Burlington swept their last three games to claim the region championship.

“Burlington had all the momentum in the world,” Zegarski said. “We just couldn’t take it from them.”

In Zegarski’s nine years as coach, Mercer teams have made it to the regional finals

Viking Softball Players

Mercer softball players walk off the field following an 8-0 victory against Rairitan on April 10. Players pictured, from left: Kiele Eichlin, Morgan Cullen, Dana Knapp, Cyndi Page and Erica Benedetti. In the background are coaches John Rooney and Danielle Brossoie.

seven times and took the championship twice. This year presented some unique challenges, including injuries to key players and a 14-player roster that included 10 freshmen. But the team gelled early, and posted a solid season.

Offensively, freshman Alyssa Bauer paced the Lady Vikings’ attack, with a .465 batting average, 57 RBIs and seven home runs, followed by freshman Courtney Clee, who posted a .414 average to go along with 40 RBIs and 47 runs scored. On the mound, freshman Stacie Denucci led the team in wins with a 7-3 record to go along with a 2.85 ERA, followed by freshman Kiele Eichlin at 5-2 with an ERA of 1.83 and only nine walks versus 90 strikeouts.

Bauer, Clee, and Eichlin were joined by freshmen Brianna Castellano and Morgan Cullen as members of the All Region 19 Team and the All Garden State Athletic Conference Team. Eichlin was also named as GSAC Player of the Year.

Clee, Eichlin, Cullen and Denucci joined sophomore Chelsea Arnold and freshman Erica Benedetti as members of the All GSAC Academic Team. Clee, Arnold and Benedetti also received All Region 19 academic honors.

Zegarski is already looking forward to next season, with at least eight players returning. Thus far he knows of four, possibly six incoming freshmen ready to take the field for Mercer next year, which he sees as a good mix for a successful team.

“The (returning) sophomores will know the routine, and can be kind of like coaches for the newcomers, and the freshmen will provide some depth to the roster,” Zegarski said. “The sophomores know what they did and didn’t do well (this year), and want to get better.

“I can’t wait to get back at it again in September.”


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