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Lady Wolverines open season in Wilmington, NC

WILMINGTON, NC, March 5, 2001--The Grove City College softball team opened its 2001 season on the North Carolina coast last weekend, dropping a pair of games to Greensboro College (NC) by final scores of 5-3 and 13-9.  The opener on March 2 marked the earliest start in the program's 22-year history.

Despite the losses, third-year head coach Michelle Santom was encouraged by the play of the 13 Lady Wolverines who made the trip.  Ten of the 13 were freshmen and sophomores.  None had practiced outside this year prior to the flight south.

Freshman Allison Atwood (Warren, PA/Warren) reached base in seven of eight plate appearances, going 4-for-5 with three walks.  Atwood pitched a complete game in Friday's two-run loss, striking out two and walking none, and started at second base on Saturday.  Freshman pitcher/right fielder Molly Forney (Annville, PA/Annville-Cleona) collected three hits in four at-bats, including a double.  Sophomore first baseman Rachel Russell (Shelbina, MO/South Shelby) reached base safely four times, banging out two hits, walking once and getting hit by a pitch.  Senior left fielder Jessie Renaldo (Brookville, PA/Brookville) recorded a pair of hits, including a two-bagger, while junior pitcher Laura LeVake (Faribault, MN/Faribault) also had two hits.  Sophomore center fielder Ellie Smith (Grove City, PA/Grove City) singled, walked twice and scored three runs.   Senior right fielder Megan Wittenwyler (Des Moines, IA/Dowling), sophomore catcher Karen Sundberg (Erie, PA/Fairview), freshman catcher Jayne Mincey (Grove City, PA/Grove City) and freshman shortstop Sheila Mattes (Concord, NC/First Assembly) contributed a hit each.

Mattes blasted a two-run double to left center in the second game, sparking a three-run third that gave the Lady Wolverines a 7-6 lead.  Greensboro came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 9-7.  Grove City knotted the game 9-9 with two runs in the fifth, but the Pride crossed the plate four times in the sixth to post the four-run victory.

The Lady Wolverines opened the trip with an 11-0 loss to Louisburg, a junior college from North Carolina.  According to NCAA regulations, only games against four-year schools may be counted in a team's won-loss record and season statistical reports.

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