April 3, 2012

Grove City sweeps Chatham

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team improved to 2-2 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference Tuesday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of visiting Chatham at College Field. Grove City earned a 3-1 win in the opener and then secured a 6-3 victory in the second game.

Grove City (13-11 overall) took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first in Game One. Freshman third baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) cracked a leadoff single and scored on a single from freshman shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia). The lead grew to 2-0 when senior second baseman Sarah Young (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut) scored on a groundout by freshman catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton).

Chatham (8-12, 0-4 PAC) cut the lead in half with a run in the fifth but Grove City added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Rayburn singled, stole second and scored on a Morris single. Rayburn finished 2 for 3. Grove City had just four hits. 

Junior pitcher Lauren Clarke (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) earned the victory by throwing a three-hitter. She struck out nine in seven innings.

The Wolverines assembled another fast start in Game Two, scoring three first-inning runs. Rayburn led off with a single and came home on Morris's sacrifice fly. Shirey also singled and scored on a single by senior left fielder Grace Murtoff (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Springs) to give Grove City a 2-0 lead.

Murtoff scored the third run of the inning when Clarke tripled down the right-field line.

Grove City, the visiting team in Game Two, added three more runs in the top of the second. Rayburn singled and scored on a Young single. Shirey then belted a two-run homer, her fourth home run of the season.

Chatham pulled to within 6-3 in the sixth but the Wolverines snuffed out the rally.

Rayburn went 3 for 4 while Shirey finished 2 for 3. Shirey and Young both scored twice.

Junior pitcher Faith Jenstch (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) earned the win after allowing just one earned run in seven innings. She struck out five and walked none.

Shirey's four home runs this year match the single-season record set by Brittany Young in 2009. Shirey is hitting .622 (28 for 45) over Grove City's last 14 games. Morris leads the league with 24 runs batted in. As a team, Grove City leads the conference with 31 stolen bases.

The Wolverines will visit archrival Geneva Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in conference play.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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