March 27, 2012

Grove City extends win streak to 8

PITTSBURGH -- The Grove City College softball team extended its win streak to eight games Tuesday afternoon by sweeping a non-conference doubleheader at La Roche. Grove City (10-8) rolled to a 12-3 win in the opener and then held on for a 7-6 victory in the second game.

In the opener, freshman shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) helped pace the Wolverines by going 3 for 4 with a home run and three runs scored while freshman catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) homered, singled and drove in four runs.

Senior left fielder Grace Murtoff (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Springs) went 2 for 4 in the win, senior second baseman Sarah Young (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut) doubled and freshman third baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) scored three runs.

Shirey cracked a two-run homer in the top of the first and Morris belted a two-run blast in the third to give Grove City a 4-0 lead. Grove City then broke open the game with seven runs in the fourth. Young roped a two-run double to highlight the inning, which also featured four La Roche errors.

Morris drove in Rayburn with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth to close the scoring. The game went only five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule.

Junior Lauren Clarke (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) struck out five in five innings to earn the pitching win. She allowed three runs and five hits while walking just one.

Clarke and Shirey both went 3 for 4 in the nightcap to help Grove City earn its eighth straight win. Shirey hit her second homer of the doubleheader while Young also homered. Senior center fielder Elizabeth Covatto (Beaver, Pa./Beaver) added a two-run triple while Morris and junior right fielder Elsa Klingensmith (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) both had two hits. In all, six Wolverines had multi-hit efforts.

Grove City jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second when Klingensmith singled in Clarke. The Wolverines then took the lead for good with four runs in the top of the fourth as Covatto ignited the inning with her two-run triple. Covatto came home on a Rayburn groundout and Shirey capped the inning with a solo home run.

Young homered in the sixth to give Grove City a 6-1 lead. In the seventh, Clarke doubled and scored the seventh run on a Covatto single.

La Roche rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the winning run on base but Clarke came on to earn the save with a scoreless inning of relief. Junior pitcher Faith Jentsch (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) earned the win by pitching into the seventh. She allowed six runs but did not walk a batter in six-plus innings in the circle.

Clarke and Jentsch are both 5-4 this year. Clarke has two saves.

Shirey, this week's Presidents' Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week, is hitting .667 (18 for 27) during Grove City's eight-game win streak. Morris is hitting .615 (16 for 26) over that same time frame.

Grove City will visit Penn State Behrend Thursday in non-conference action at 3:30 p.m.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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