First Game Box   Second Game Box                                                                                                               March 28, 2003

Hot Romance helps Lady Wolverines earn split at La Roche

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team picked up a doubleheader split Friday afternoon at La Roche College, dropping the opener 4-3 in eight innings before roaring back for a darkness-shortened 11-6 triumph in the nightcap.

Sophomore shortstop Rachel Romance (East Springfield, Pa./Northwestern) sparked the Lady Wolverines in the nightcap by belting a two-run homer, stroking a two-run triple and adding a run-scoring single. Romance finished the game with six runs batted in. In the first game, Romance cracked a two-run double that gave Grove City (3-7) a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth.

In the nightcap, which was shortened to five innings due to darkness, Grove City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Sophomore right fielder Steph Briggs (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) cracked a single to right and then advanced 60 feet on an error. Briggs then moved to third on a groundout by junior pitcher Allison Atwood (Warren, Pa./Warren). Romance followed with a two-run homer over the center field fence.

The Redhawks (15-3-1) countered with a five-run rally in the bottom of the first but Grove City took the lead for good in the top of the second. Junior Sarah Babb (Cranberry, Pa./Cranberry) and sophomore Kelly Cozad (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) opened the inning with singles. With two outs, Atwood cracked a two-run double down the left-field line. Romance drove in Atwood with a single and eventually came home on a run-scoring hit from junior Katie Gaskill (Sarver, Pa./Knoch). 

Grove City extended its lead to 10-5 in the third as senior Ellie Smith (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) scored on a wild pitch while Briggs and Atwood each scored on Romance's triple. Romance scored her third run of the game on a wild pitch. Cozad capped Grove City's scoring by coming home on a fielder's choice.

Atwood picked up the win in relief of starter Jes Flick (Boyers, Pa./Moniteau). Atwood fired 4 1/3 innings, striking out five batters.

In the opener, Smith cracked a pair of doubles and scored twice. She led off the game with a double, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Gaskill single. In the third, Smith singled and came in on an Atwood double. La Roche eventually tied the game in the sixth. In extra innings, Romance doubled in Atwood but La Roche scratched out a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth.

The teams used the international tie-breaker in extra innings, placing a runner on second base to start the inning.

Freshman pitcher Sarah Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) pitched a complete game, striking out three. At the plate, Smith added a double. 

Grove City has surpassed its win total from last season. Grove City is 2-2 against NCAA Division III teams this season. The Lady Wolverines were 2-17 last year.

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