March 3, 2009

Grove City goes 4-3 on season-opening trip

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Grove City College softball team opened the 2009 season last week with a seven-game trip at the National Training Center during the College's winter break. Grove City dropped the first three games of its trip before rebounding with four consecutive victories.

The Wolverines opened play February 25 with a 12-11 setback against Hanover. Later in the afternoon, Grove City fell to NAIA institution Davenport (Mich.) 16-5.

The next day, Grove City split a doubleheader with regional foe Capital. Grove City dropped the opener 2-1 but picked up a 6-3 win in Game Two. The Wolverines then improved to 2-3 February 27 with a 6-2 win over Concordia-Moorhead in the lone game of the day.

Grove City then wrapped up the trip Saturday by sweeping Anna Maria (Mass.) in a doubleheader, 4-3 and 10-1. The first game went eight innings, while the Wolverines needed just five innings to take the nightcap.

In the opener against Hanover, Grove City pounded out a dozen hits, including five extra-base hits. Sophomore Faith Piper (Greensburg, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic) tripled, doubled twice and drove in six runs to help lead the Grove City attack.

Junior center fielder Heidi Lohr (Lititz, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) went 3 for 4 with a triple while freshman shortstop Amanda Furmage (Conneaut, Ohio/Conneaut) and sophomore pitcher Lauren Pennell (Zelienople, Pa./Seneca Valley) each doubled. Senior Amy Fisher (Streetsboro, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) singled twice.

Pennell tossed a complete game, fanning six in 6 2/3 innings. Hanover's Brittany Batson cracked a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the seven to give Hanover the win.

Pennell tripled and doubled in Wednesday's nightcap against Davenport while sophomore left fielder Brittany Young (Wellsboro, Pa./Wellsboro) cracked a three-run triple. Davenport jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the third inning. Fisher pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs.

Fisher doubled in Young in the 2-1 setback against Capital February 26. Pennell allowed just one earned run in seven innings. In Game Two against Capital, Fisher tripled as part of a three-hit performance in helping the Wolverines to the 6-3 victory. Fisher also drove in three runs while Pennell and Lohr both singled twice. Pennell picked up her first win of the season by allowing two earned runs in seven innings.

Grove City earned its second win of the trip by jumping out to an early 5-0 lead against Concordia-Moorhead. Furmage, Piper and junior catcher Jessica Hodge (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) all drove in two runs in the win. Furmage also scored twice. Pennell yielded just one earned run in seven innings in the circle.

The Wolverines wrapped up the trip by sweeping Anna Maria Saturday. Lohr singled in sophomore third baseman Christine Slater (Aliquippa, Pa./Center) in the top of the eighth to break a 3-3 tie. Lohr also tripled in the win while Fisher tripled, doubled and singled. Furmage rapped three hits.

Fisher allowed three runs in six-plus innings. Pennell recorded the final six outs and received the win.

In Game Two, Grove City needed just four at-bats to pick up the 10-1 win. Lohr doubled, singled and scored three runs while Fisher doubled and drove in two runs. Furmage scored twice while going 2 for 3. Pennell notched the win by pitching five innings and allowing one run.

Fisher hit .500 for the week, including five extra-base hits. Lohr hit .440 while scoring seven runs. She also stole nine bases.

Grove City will open the northern portion of the schedule March 17 at 4 p.m. against visiting Penn State Beaver.

Hanover Box Score                                Davenport Box Score  

Capital Box Score (Game One)               Capital Box Score (Game Two)

Concordia-Moorhead Box Score

Anna Maria Box Score (Game One)        Anna Maria Box Score (Game Two)

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