March 22, 2012

Wolverines run streak to 4

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team opened the home portion of the 2012 schedule Thursday afternoon by taking both ends of a non-conference doubleheader with visiting Houghton. Grove City earned a 5-1 win in Game One and then took the second game 10-0 at College Field. The Wolverines have won four straight games.

Junior pitcher Lauren Clarke (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of the opener and finished with a three-hitter. She struck out nine and did not allow an earned run in seven innings.

Offensively, Grove City jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when freshman catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) doubled in freshman third baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) and freshman shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia).

The lead grew to 4-0 in the second inning when Rayburn belted a two-run home run, her first of the season. Rayburn also scored Grove City's fifth run in the fourth inning when she came home on an error.

Rayburn went 2 for 3 with three runs scored while Morris and Shirey also had two hits each.

In Game Two, junior pitcher Faith Jentsch (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) and freshman Caitlyn Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West) combined on a one-hit shutout over five innings. Jentsch threw three perfect innings and Vidovic struck out two in two innings, allowing just one hit.

Clarke roped a two-run single in the first inning, helping Grove City take an early 3-0 lead. Senior second baseman Sarah Young (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut) sparked the inning with a triple.

Shirey helped Grove City (6-8) double the lead in the second inning with a three-run triple. She scored Grove City's seventh run later in the inning on a Morris single. Shirey also singled in Rayburn in the third inning. In the fourth, senior left fielder Grace Murtoff (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Springs) drove in freshman center fielder Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton).

Shirey finished the game 2 for 3 with a career-high five runs batted in. Morris, Murtoff and Young also went 2 for 3. Rayburn, Shirey and Young all scored a pair of runs.

Shirey's five runs batted in are the most by a Grove City player since Christine Slater drove in five runs against Manchester March 29, 2010. This week, Shirey is hitting .769 (10 for 13) with one homer, two triples, eight runs scored and seven runs knocked in. Morris is 9 for 13 (.692) with four doubles and eight runs batted in.

Houghton, a first-year program, dropped to 0-12 overall.

Grove City will host Mount Aloysius Friday at 3:30 p.m. in non-conference play.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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