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LeVake un-hittable in season debut, GCC splits pair in NC

WILMINGTON, NC, March 3, 2002--The 2002 Grove City College women's softball season opened with a bang in Wilmington, North Carolina as senior Laura LeVake (Faribault, MN/Faribault) tossed her second career no-hitter, highlighting a five-day spring trip that turned wet and windy over the weekend.

LeVake faced just two batters over the minimum in an 8-1 victory over Peace College (NC) last Friday.  The right-handed power hurler coerced 12 ground-ball outs and six fly outs, while striking out three and walking one.   Peace scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first when its lead-off hitter reached on an error and later scored.  LeVake no-hit Waynesburg College on April 23 last year, facing 23 batters in a 3-0 victory. 

Junior 3B Elena Cecchini (Avella, PA/Avella) provided the necessary offensive punch, driving in four of Grove City's eight runs.  Cecchini sparked a three-run first inning with an RBI-double and keyed a five-run fifth with a bases-clearing triple. Cecchini, sophomore 2B Allison Atwood (Warren, PA/Warren) and freshman SS Rachel Romance (East Springfield, PA/Northwestern) each scored a pair of runs.

The Lady Wolverines dropped their season opener earlier in the day to Chowan College (NC), 4-1, despite a strong outing by Atwood, the 2001 Presidents' Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.  Atwood struck out seven and surrendered just six hits and one earned run in six innings.  Chowan took advantage of four Grove City errors, scoring three runs in the third and one in the fifth.  The Lady Wolverines plated their first run of the season in the top of the seventh when sophomore LF Sarah Babb (Cranberry, PA/Cranberry) laced a single up the middle, scoring junior 1B Rachel Russell (Shelbina, MO/South Shelby), who walked.

Cecchini, Babb and junior Ellie Smith (Grove City, PA/Grove City) accounted for two hits each Friday as Grove City split the only two games that will count against its overall record. 

The Lady Wolverines dropped a 7-3 decision to two-year junior college Louisburg (NC) on Saturday, but the NCAA mandates that only games against four-year institutions may be reflected in official records and statistics.  Grove City's other three scheduled games on the trip were canceled due to rain.

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