OCHS Teams of the Century

Cindy Rau Raider Softball Player of the Century!

Gazette Staff Writer

A lot of good softball players have come through the Ocean City High School program during its 29 seasons in the 20th century. And many of the best were pitchers.

Cindy Rau gets the nod as the top Raider Player of the Century but it was a very close race. Rau pitched Ocean City to a South Jersey championship and its only championship in the prestigious Hammonton Invitational Tournament. She also lost a pitcherís battle in another South Jersey final and was beaten, 1-0, in a state semifinal. Rau still holds the school record for strikeouts in a season (110) and is the schoolís only 20-game winner.

The other three pitchers on our All-Century team include Beth Reeves, who pitched the Raiders to a state title; Sondra Reeves, who won a South Jersey title; and Wendy Burman, who pitched the Raiders to three league championships.

OCís all-century infield is equally strong. Four-year starter Tricia Shelton, who led her team in hitting twice, is at first base. Carol Calise, a strong defensive player and consistent hitter, is the starter at second. Shortstop is filled with talented athletes but the starter is Cory Picketts, who set school home run and hit records and hit over .400 twice. The third baseman is Kristie Miller, a good hitter and dynamite defender. The catcher is Tracy Smith, a smart player with a good arm. Additional infielders include Stephanie McGuirl, who holds the school record for hits in a season, and Leddy Slaughter, an aggressive and talented athlete.

The outfield is filled with versatile athletes who also excelled in other sports. Jen Blizzard was a four-year starter who led her team in hitting and was an all star in field hockey. Robyn Fortsch was a strong hitter with a great arm who scored 1,000 points in basketball. Shannon Garrity, who also was a tremendous shortstop, was the leading hitter on the state championship team and was a captain in basketball and tennis. Debbie Garvey, the leading hitter on the only American Conference champs, was a field hockey star. And Judy Gayle, as quick as they come and a good hitter, was also a basketball star.

In keeping with that, the designated hitter is Jen Frank, who was the OCHS tennis player of the Century.

The coach of the all-century team is Roland Watson who, in two tenures as Raider coach, qualified for the NJSIAA tournament nine times in 11 total seasons. His teams reached five straight South Jersey finals from 1983-87.

The Individual Team of the Century was the 1989 NJSIAA State Group 3 champions, a team that finished 20-6. Beth Reeves beat Highland with a five-hit shutout in the South Jersey final. A single in the seventh by Frank beat Colonia, 1-0, in the state semifinal. And a two-run double by Shelton beat Paramus in the state final.

The All-Century Raider Softball Team
1B Tricia Shelton (1991)
2B Carol Calise (1984)
SS Cory Picketts (2000)
3B Kristie Miller (1987)
IF Stephanie McGuirl (1995)
IF Leddy Slaughter (1979)
OF Jen Blizzard (1990)
OF Robyn Fortsch (1981)
OF Shannon Garrity (1989)
OF Debbie Garvey (1983)
OF Judy Gayle (1974)
C Tracy Smith (1988)
DH Jen Frank (1991)
P Wendy Burman (1977)
P Cindy Rau (1988)
P Beth Reeves (1991)
P Sondra Reeves (1985)
Coach Roland Watson (1981-88, 1991-93)

The 1989 Team - Best of the Century
1B Tricia Shelton
2B Karyn Tammaro
SS Shannon Garrity
3B Pam Schneider
OF Jen Blizzard
OF Sue Bloomstead
OF Marie Mohler
C Julie Allen
DH Jen Frank
P Beth Reeves
Coach Gina Zappariello

Championship Teams

State champion: 1989
South Jersey champions: 1989, 1987, 1984
CAL-American title: 1983
CAL-National titles: 1975, 1974, 1973, 1972
Hammonton Invitational champion: 1987

All-Time Coaches Records
John Bruno (7 years).....23-118 [.163]
Roland Watson (11)......159-77 [.674]
Gina Zappariello (2).......33-12 [.733]
Sue Tridico (7)..............90-32 [.738]
Sandy Corson (2)..........21-19 [.525]