March 24, 2005

Grove City opens season in Florida

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Grove City College softball team opened the 2005 season with eight games at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Florida, near Orlando. Playing against some of the nation's premier programs, the Wolverines went 1-7, including a week-ending 9-7 win over 2004 NCAA Championship Tournament qualifier Ramapo (N.J.) Thursday afternoon.

Against Ramapo, Grove City rallied from a 6-2 deficit in the fifth inning for the victory. Senior shortstop Rachel Romance (East Springfield, Pa./Northwestern) put Grove City up with a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth while senior right fielder Steph Briggs (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) helped seal the win with a two-run double.

Briggs went 4-for-4 in the victory, including a pair of doubles and four runs batted in. She hit a team-best .474 (9 for 19) during the week, including five total hits Thursday. Senior second baseman Abby Moose (New Wilmington, Pa./Mercer) went 3-for-4 and scored twice in the victory. Junior first baseman Alicia Stefanak (West Middlesex, Pa./West Middlesex) went 2-for-3, part of Grove City's 13-hit attack.

Junior Sarah Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) earned the win with 4 2/3 innings of relief, allowing two earned runs. Sophomore Lauren Carlson (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) started and allowed three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Grove City opened the week with an 11-0 loss to Millikin (Ill.) Monday afternoon. Smith took the loss, yielding four earned runs in three innings. Romance had Grove City's lone hit. Later Monday, the Wolverines dropped an 8-2 decision to midwest power Wisconsin-Platteville. Moose scored both Wolverine runs.

Tuesday, Grove City fell to Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 8-0, in the first game of a split doubleheader. Briggs cracked a pair of hits in the loss. Junior Jes Flick (Boyers, Pa./Moniteau) took the loss, allowing five runs in three innings. Carlson fired four innings of relief. In the nightcap against Carthage (Wis.), sophomore center fielder Paula Rice (Fredericksburg, Ohio/Waynedale) went 2-for-3 but the Wolverines fell again 8-0.

Wednesday, Augsburg (Minn.) defeated the Wolverines 7-0 in the first game of the day. Freshman catcher Abby Greiner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) roped a pair of hits in the defeat. Carlson took the loss, firing a complete game. In the nightcap, Grove City fell to 2004 NCAA Tournament qualifier Wisconsin-Superior in nine innings, 7-3.

The Wolverines trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth but forged a 3-3 tie on run-scoring singles by Romance, Briggs and Carlson. Both Briggs and Romance went 2-for-4 in the game. However, Superior scored four runs in the top of the ninth against Smith to secure the win.

Grove City opened Thursday with a 5-2 loss to Eastern Connecticut State. The Wolverines took a 2-0 lead on a two-run single from freshman Kayla Wilson (Mount Laurel, N.J./Homeschooled) in the second inning. Flick took the loss, pitching four innings. Smith threw two scoreless innings of relief.

Moose scored a team-high five runs during the week while Briggs had a team-best five runs batted in. Romance knocked in four runs and hit .304 (7 of 23). Sophomore Kristy Bogusz (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) had six sacrifices from the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Smith struck out 27 batters in 31 1/3 innings.

Grove City will open the home portion of the schedule Thursday, March 31 against Penn State Behrend.

Millikin Box Score                    Wis.-Platteville Box Score                    Wis.-Eau Claire Box Score

Carthage Box Score                Wis.-Superior Box Score                      Augsburg Box Score

Eastern Conn. Box Score         Ramapo Box Score

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