Windsor, N.J. -- According to Head Coach Ryan Zegarski, from
fall and winter practices through the end of the season in
May, he got 100 percent from his players. While every season
has its unknowable factors, Zegarski was sure he could count
on his four sophomores: catcher Angela Marinos, infielder
Mary Rossi, outfielder Brittany Szafran, and infielder Jamie
Scanella. And they delivered.
With a final season record of 26-15, Zegarski is especially
satisfied, given the numbers on the roster - there was not
a player to spare. "Every player played in every game,"
he said, noting that five women played in positions that were
new to them, which required continuing adjustments as they
tested themselves in different parts of the field.
The up side for the players and the team was that with so
much time on the field, "they got better with every game,"
Zegarski said. "And on defense, they showed significant
improvement by the end of the season."
At the end of the regular season, the Vikings proved their
mettle by winning the play-in round versus Raritan Community
College on April 28 to secure their spot in the Region 19
Final Four. They eliminated Raritan by winning both games
consecutively (3-1 and 7-5) in the double elimination tournament.
The Vikings entered the Final Four, played at Morris County
College, as the no. 4 seed and first faced the tournament's
eventual winner Del Tech, the no. 1 seed, , losing 4-12. Then
they beat Morris, the no. 2 seed, 5-0, but lost to Burlington
"Del Tech was an all-around strong team," Zegarski
said. Against Burlington, Zegarski says the team came up against
a very good pitcher. "We just couldn't get the big hits
when we needed them."
Marinos led the offensive attack again this season, earning
a .507 average. She is now Mercer's all-time leader with 125
career hits and her two-year.477 batting average ranks her
second after 2007 grad Mailee Paselio. In addition to Marinos,
other key hitters were Rossi, Szafran and freshman Chelsea
Arnold, who led Mercer with 50 RBIs. Arnold and freshmen pitchers
Stephanie Canulli, with a record of 15-7, and Cynthia Page,
with a record of 11-8, will be looked to as team leaders next
year is different. This team had a tremendous work ethic.
They had a lot of practice and worked really hard. It was
every girl, every game. We kept everyone happy with plenty
of action, but they also wore down," Zegarksi said.
In the annual list of the Top 10 Players in Region 19, Marinos
was named no. 2 and Brittany Szafran was named no. 8. Marinos
and Szafran were also selected to the First Team All-Region,
while Rossi and Canulli were selected to the second team.
All four players were selected to the All Garden State Conference
six new faces are expected to join the roster for next year
and all of the freshmen are expected to return. While recruitment
for next season is basically finished, Zegarski says he will
be scouting high school juniors at summer league games for
the 2014 season.
Zegarski was assisted this year by Danielle Brossoie, a player
from the 2007 Vikings team, and John Rooney, who, with ten
years of coaching experience, was a great addition to the
Scanella took care of third base.