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Baseball & Softball End Successful Seasons

With the end of softball and baseball season, Burlington County College (BCC) reflects on the successes of the Barons and a major first for the BCC softball team. The ladies secured the first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Softball National Championship berth in BCC’s history and the baseball team captured the Region XIX Division II runner-up position with two impressive wins in the tournament. Both teams had players named to the All-Region and All-Conference teams this year and the ladies had an All-American.

For the Lady Barons, their win at the NJCAA Region XIX Division II Women's Softball Tournament earned them a spot at the National Championship in Clinton, Mississippi for the first time in BCC’s softball team history. The ladies played well in the championship against the other 16 community colleges, but ultimately did not bring home the championship. On May 15, the ladies played number two seed Phoenix College and were defeated 9-1. The team played the elimination game on May 16 and lost 12-4 against number 10 seed Sauk Valley Community College. Number one seed Louisiana State University Eunice brought home the championship title.

Melissa Rustemeyer of Colonia was one of 13 women in the nation named to the NJCAA Division II Softball Second Team All-American. She is ranked 16th in the nation for home runs and 40th in the nation for RBIs. Rustemeyer along with Krystine Rice of Marlton were named to First Team All-Region and First Team All-Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) for Division II Softball. Gina Gryniuk of Marlton and Krystal Pearson of Sayersville were named to Second Team All-Region and First Team All-GSAC. Lisa Kosteleski of Cherry Hill, Taylor Hamliton of Willingboro, and Carolyn Griffin of Marlton made Second Team All-GSAC. Griffin, a pitcher, was also recognized as the Region XIX Division II Women's Softball Tournament MVP.

The men’s baseball team entered the Region tournament as the number three seed and defeated number two seed Lackawanna College 2-1 and number one seed Mercer County Community College 2-0 on May 10. They advanced to the finals on May 12 and fell 9-10 and 12-13 to Lackawanna. They ended their season as Region XIX Division II Baseball Runner-Ups with a 17-27 overall record. 

DeVon Hedgepeth of Mount Holly and Eddie Stiles of Lumberton were named to First Team All-GSAC and Second Team All-Region for Division II Baseball. Taylor Place, a South Carolina native, made Second Team All-GSAC.

Although the baseball season may be over for the student athletes, Scott Knazek, head coach for the men’s baseball team, has seen success as catcher in a Can-Am League, the Rockland Boulders. Knazek was named head coach in August of 2011.

The 2014 season for BCC’s men’s baseball and women’s softball will start in late February/early March.