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Local college notes

Published April 23. 2013 4:00AM

Mariners riding a wave

• The New England Collegiate Conference regular-season baseball title race is coming down to the final weekend, with Mitchell College (17-11, 12-3) chasing leader Daniel Webster (19-7, 12-2). The Mariners visit Southern Vermont (11-19, 5-9) for a three-game series starting Saturday. The Mariners had won six straight until losing to Lesley, 3-2, in 10 innings on Sunday.

Fitch graduate Drew Doyle is igniting the offense, leading the team in batting average (.393), hits (35) and doubles (10). A sophomore outfielder, he also has 19 RBI. Freshman Neftali Arroyo has a team-high 23 RBI to go with a .309 batting average while freshman Tyler Shamas (7-1, 1.89), Mike Tandy (4-3, 4.00) and Al Jordan Johnson (4.3, 4.46), a Fitch graduate, lead the pitching staff in wins.

Shamas leads the NECC in wins and strikeouts (36).

Gavin LaLima (.272, 10 RBI), a sophomore from Waterford, has been successful in all 15 stolen base attempts while New London's Nova Crespo (.279, 12 RBI) shares the team lead with two home runs.

• Junior Zachary Simmons earned his second straight NECC Player of the Week honor in men's tennis. He posted a 3-0 record in both singles and doubles action in three Mariner victories. He has 9-2 overall record in both singles and doubles and is undefeated at the No. 1 doubles spot at 7-0. The Mariners (7-5, 6-4) qualified for the conference tournament.

Highlighting the Camels

• Five of the Connecticut College men's lacrosse program's seven New England Small College Athletic Conference victories have come by one goal, including wins over Amherst, 8-7, and Bates, 9-8, last week.

The Camels (10-3, 7-2), ranked 15th in the latest Division III national poll, close out the regular season by hosting No. 18 Wesleyan (11-3, 6-3) on Wednesday. They are tied with Middlebury for first place, but the Panthers own the tiebreaker.

Senior Andrew Freedman (32 goals, 14 assists) and sophomore Chad Sawyer (27 goals, seven assists) have provided the scoring punch while senior Tyler Corcoran has four game-winning goals.

Freshman goalie Bobby Bleistein was named the NESCAC Player of the Week after making 31 saves in two wins. He owns a 6.67 goals against average, ranking him second in the conference, and a league-best .670 save percentage.

Conn will host a conference tournament quarterfinal game on Saturday. The opponent has yet to be determined.

• The women's lacrosse team finished 5-9 overall and 2-7 in the NESCAC. Junior goalie Caitlin Cataldo is fourth in the conference with 101 saves. Senior Bri Miller is fourth in goals (32) and points (42).

• Fresh off winning its first Division III league championship, the women's water polo team is heading to Michigan later this week for College Water Polo Eastern Championship.

The 12th seeded Camels will play No. 5 Brown Friday, with the winner meeting the host Wolverines, the No. 4 seed. Sophomore Nicky Jasbon, the Collegiate Water Polo Association Division III player of the year, and coach of the year JJ Addison lead the Camels (15-6), who've won 11 straight.

• The 16th-ranked coed sailing team has qualified for Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Semi-Final Championship. The Camels will compete this weekend in Hampton, Va.

Tracking the Bears

• Coast Guard Academy junior Clay Kosack earned New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference men's track athlete of the week honors. He finished fifth out of 21 competitors in Division I, II and III at the Holy Cross Decathlon last week and scored a personal best 6,098 points. He had personal bests in the 100 meters (11.36), 1,500 (4:39.20) and javelin (159-2). He also ran a 52.21 in the 400. He is ranked eighth in the nation in the decathlon.

Around the region

Rebecca Banker, a senior from Salem, is nearing the end of a terrific track and field career at UMass. She owns the fourth best indoor high jump mark in school history, clearing 5 feet, 5 inches.

Last weekend, she tied for fourth with a leap of 5-1 in the high jump at the Holy Cross Invitational. During her East Lyme High School days, she led the Vikings to indoor and outdoor Class L titles in 2007 and 2008.

• Norwich Free Academy graduate Caroline Blanchard is enjoying a successful senior season as shortstop and co-captain for the Trinity College softball team. She's batting .337 with one home run and 14 RBI and ranks first in runs scored (21) and is tied for first with 33 hits.

• Two athletes with local ties are the top hitters for the Central Connecticut State University baseball team. Junior Dylan DelaCruz, a St. Bernard graduate, leads the Blue Devils in batting average (.353) and runs scored (22). He also had 11 doubles, one home run and 14 RBI. Tyler McIntyre, who played at UConn Avery Point, is ranked second with a .349 average and leads the team in home runs (4) and RBI (28). Junior Anthony Turgeon, a Fitch graduate, has 12 RBI in 35 games.

• Freshman catcher James Annello of Waterford made his first home run of the season a special one. His solo shot in the sixth inning of game two lifted Western Connecticut State University past Purchase College, 12-11, last Wednesday. On the season, he's hitting .318 with nine RBI.

Also at Western, Nate Wilson of Norwich was named the Little East Conference men's lacrosse rookie of the week after contributing eight goals and two assists in two games. He is second on the team with 33 goals and also has nine assists. Ryan Foster of Ledyard is the top scorer with a team-high 36 goals and 16 assists.

• Junior midfielder Chelsea Phillips has been a scoring machine for the Emerson College women's lacrosse team. She's fired in 67 goals in 15 games, ranking second in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. She's third in the conference in points with 78 and also has 11 assists.

A St. Bernard graduate, she's a two-time winner of GNAC player of the week honors this season and also was recently named the ECAC player of the week.

Nolan Brown of Waterford has appeared in all 14 games for the Husson University men's lacrosse team. He has five goals and two assists.

Katelyn Sykora, a sophomore shortstop from Waterford, has started all 32 games for the Rhode Island College softball team. She is batting .262 with nine RBI.

• Sophomore Cristina Turley of Waterford went 6-for-6 with five RBI in Anna Maria College's doubleheader sweep of Wheelock last Wednesday. She has 10 RBI in 36 games.

• Eastern Connecticut State University junior Fred Hewett of New London took first in the 100 and second in the 200 while also running a leg on both winning relay teams at the Springfield College Invitational on Saturday.

• Senior catcher Brianna Strecker of Waterford has started all 30 games for the Bridgewater State softball team. She's first on the team in hits (30) and runs scored (28) and second with a .333 batting average. She also has one home run and seven RBI.

• Sophomore Hannah Benoit helped the St. Michael's College women's tennis team reached the Northeast-10 Conference Championship semifinals. In a 5-1 win over New Haven in the quarterfinals, Benoit, a St. Bernard graduate, scored the match-clinching point with a 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 4 singles.

- Gavin Keefe

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