March 29, 2012

Wolverines split at Behrend

ERIE, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team moved to 11-9 overall Thursday by splitting a non-conference doubleheader at Penn State Behrend. The Wolverines earned a 7-6 win over Behrend in Game One but fell 6-3 in Game Two. The setback snaps Grove City's nine-game win streak.

Grove City took command of the opener by scoring five runs in the top of the fifth. Freshman shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) broke the tie with a run-scoring single that drove in freshman third baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley). The lead grew to 5-2 when freshman catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) cracked a two-run double that scored Shirey and senior second baseman Sarah Young (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut).

Morris and senior left fielder Grace Murtoff (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Springs) later came home on a two-run single from freshman right fielder Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton).

Behrend cut the lead to 7-5 in the sixth and had the tying run on base in the seventh but winning pitcher Lauren Clarke (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) worked out of the jam. Clarke earned the victory after allowing four earned runs in seven innings. Clarke struck out seven.

Rayburn and Shirey both went 2 for 4 with a double. Gmuer also had two hits while Clarke gave Grove City a 2-0 lead in the fourth with a two-run single.

In Game Two, Grove City took a 2-0 lead in the third when Young tripled in senior center fielder Elizabeth Covatto (Beaver, Pa./Beaver) and Shirey followed with a single that scored Young. However, Behrend (9-9) countered with four runs in the bottom half of the third inning and later added two insurance runs in the sixth.

Shirey opened the seventh and scored on Gmuer's double, closing the scoring. Gmuer went 2 for 3. The Wolverines stranded 10 runners on base.

Junior pitcher Faith Jentsch (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) took the defeat after allowing six runs on 5 2/3 innings. Freshman Caitlyn Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West) pitched in relief.

Grove City's nine-game winning streak marked the third-longest streak in program history. Grove City won 11 straight games in 1985 and the 1988 squad won 10 consecutive games.

The Wolverines will host Thiel Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Presidents' Athletic Conference opener.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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