Royals To Face Moravian In Opening Round of Landmark Tournament Friday Afternoon at Susquehanna University

Caitlin McHenry Jamie Shackles
Christine Capalbo Kaitlyn Frazza
Ashley Vosilla Kelly Zaccheo

The University of Scranton softball team (26-8) will have its hands full in the opening round of the 2012 Landmark Conference tournament Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. against second-seeded Moravian College (29-9) to be played at Sassafras Field on the campus of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

The double-elimination tournament begins at 11 a.m., with top-seeded Susquehanna University (24-12) hosting Catholic University (22-14).  A winner’s bracket game will also be played at 3:00 p.m.  

Action will continue Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., with games also scheduled at 11 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and, if necessary, 3:00 p.m.

Single-day tickets are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for senior citizens and non-Landmark Conference students and children.  All children under 10 accompanied by an adult and Landmark Conference students with valid identification will be admitted free.    Two-day ticket packages are available at $8.00 for adults and $6.00 for senior citizens.

Live stats will be provided at susqu.edu/athletics/livestats/xlive.htm and audio of games involving Susquehanna can be found at the following web address:  http://www.susqu.edu/wqsu-fm/index.html.  A tournament page with other relevant information can be found at http://gosusqu.com/sports/sball/2011-12/releases/champ_info_page.

The Royals enter Friday’s game against the four-time defending champion Lady Greyhounds one win shy of tying the school record for most wins in a season, which, coincidentally, was set in 2008 when current first-year head coach Mia Collarini  was a freshman and a starting outfielder.

Scranton has gotten a big boost in its lineup this year from sophomore Caitlin McHenry (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Walter Panas), who is ranked in the top 50 in four categories in the latest NCAA Division III statistics.  She is 19th in RBI (1.25 per game), 30th in slugging percentage (.798), 43rd in on-base percentage (.525), and 48th in batting average (.478).  Junior outfielder Jamie Shackles (Philadelphia, Pa./Little Flower) is also among the nation’s leader, in 40th place in sacrifice flies (3).

Besides McHenry and Shackles, four other starters are batting well over .300 for the Royals, who are now 26th in the latest NCAA rankings in scoring (6.84 runs per game) and win-loss percentage (.781) and 44th in triples per game (0.38).  

After McHenry, junior outfielder Kaitlyn Frazza (West Caldwell, NJ/James Caldwell) is next in the lineup with .400 batting average, followed by senior shortstop Kelly Zaccheo (Scranton, Pa./West Scranton) at .393, senior catcher Ashley Vosilla (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) at .376, and freshman outfielder Gabby Santarelli (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) at .312.

Senior Christine Capalbo (Mamaroneck, NY/Mamaroneck) is the Royals’ number one starter on the pitching staff and her 14 wins to date is one shy of tying Isabel Mendez’s University of Scranton single-season record of 15 victories during the 2008 season.  Like McHenry and Shackles, Capalbo is ranked among the nation’s leaders; she is 70th in victories (14) and 83rd in shutouts (4).

Under the guidance of 19th-year head coach John Byrne, Moravian College has advanced to the NCAA World Series three times in 13 NCAA Division III tournament appearances and has won 14 conference titles, including 10 in its previous affiliation with the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Corporation, more commonly known as the Middle Atlantic Conference.  He also recorded the 600th victory of his distinguished career on April 9 in the second game of a non-conference doubleheader against Delaware Valley College, 4-1, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Earlier this year, Scranton and Moravian split their Landmark Conference regular-season games played at the Jessup Youth Sports Complex in Jessup, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, April 14.  The Lady Greyhounds won the opener, 15-0 in five innings, behind a two-hitter by senior pitcher Jenna Carmon (Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central).

The Royals came back to win the nightcap in dramatic fashion, pulling out a 6-5 victory on a walk-off two-run single by Shackles in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Scranton also overcame a 3-1 deficit in the bottom of the sixth when pinch-hitter Megan Reilly (Huntington Station, NY/St. Anthony’s) drilled a three-run home run to left center field to give the Royals a 4-3 lead.

--ROYALS--

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