April 20, 2012

Wolverines whip Westminster

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team continues its late-season surge Friday afternoon by taking both ends of a Presidents' Athletic Conference doubleheader at league-leading Westminster. Grove City won both games by a 7-4 score, improving to 6-8 in the conference and 18-18 overall.

In the opener, Grove City collected a dozen hits, including five that went for extra bases. The Wolverines quickly assumed a 1-0 lead when freshman third baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) led off with a home run.

Grove City took the lead for good in the top of the third when freshman catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) belted a two-run double that scored junior first baseman Lauren Clarke (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) and freshman shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia).

The Wolverines then broke open the game with three runs in the top of the fourth. Clarke's two-run single scored Rayburn and freshman DP Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) while Clarke later scored on a Shirey single. In the seventh, Clarke tripled with one out and scored on Shirey's sacrifice fly.

Shirey went 3 for 3 with two doubles while Rayburn finished 2 for 3. Gmuer and Morris both had two hits. Clarke went 2 for 4 and scored three times.

Junior pitcher Faith Jentsch (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) earned the win by pitching 6 1/3 innings. She allowed two earned runs and seven hits. Clarke recorded the final two outs of the game.

Grove City took command of the second game by scoring four second-inning runs. Senior second baseman Sarah Young (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut) singled in senior left fielder Grace Murtoff (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Springs) to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. The lead then grew to 2-0 when junior DP Elsa Klingensmith (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) doubled in Young.

Rayburn then laced a two-run double to cap the inning. Rayburn's hit drove in Klingensmith and Gmuer.

Shirey singled and scored on defensive interference in the third, pushing the lead to 5-1. Rayburn doubled in Gmuer in the fourth, accounting for Grove City's sixth run. Rayburn came home on an error later in the inning, closing the Grove City scoring.

Gmuer went 3 for 3 with two runs scored while Rayburn finished with two doubles and three runs knocked in.

Clarke earned the pitching win, allowing one earned run in seven innings. Jentsch also faced one batter in relief before Clarke returned to the circle.

The sweep marks Grove City's first doubleheader sweep of Westminster since 1997, when Westminster competed in the NAIA.

The Wolverines will visit Bethany Tuesday in a conference doubleheader at 3:30 p.m.

Game One Box Score                Game Two Box Score

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