March 6, 2012

Wolverines open season in Florida

CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Grove City College softball team opened the 2012 season last week by going 2-4 in a six-game trip to the National Training Center. Grove City opened the trip March 1 with a 7-0 setback to 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Alma. Later that day, the Wolverines fell to Ferrum, 8-3.

The Wolverines went 1-1 on each of the next two days. Grove City earned a 4-1 win over Johnson & Wales Friday before falling to Cornell (Iowa) 4-2. Grove City dropped a 10-3 decision to Berry (Ga.) Saturday and then concluded the trip with a 7-5 victory over Carroll (Wis.).

Junior pitcher Lauren Clarke (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) paced Grove City offensively by hitting .333 (5 for 15) with four runs scored. Freshman shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) hit .300 (6 for 20) with four runs scored while freshman catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) hit .297 (5 for 17) with three doubles and five runs batted in.

Grove City had just two hits in its opener against Alma. Freshman second baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) doubled for the Wolverines. Clarke pitched a complete game but took the setback. Alma broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.

Against Ferrum, Shirey tripled and singled while senior left fielder Grace Muroff (Carlisle, Pa./Boiling Springs) doubled and singled. Clark and Rayburn also had two hits each. Junior pitcher Faith Jentsch (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) allowed four earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

The Wolverines recorded their first win of the trip by breaking a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth against Johnson & Wales. Senior shortstop Sarah Young (Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut) led off with a double and then scored on a double by senior center fielder Elizabeth Covatto (Beaver, Pa./Beaver). Young went 2 for 4 in the victory.

Clarke allowed just one run in seven innings to earn the pitching win. She allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out three.

Morris and Shirey both doubled against Cornell while Murtoff drove in both runs with a first-inning single. Jentsch pitched a complete game, yielding seven hits in seven innings.

Morris highlighted Saturday's opener with Berry by doubling twice and driving in three runs. Freshman Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) also doubled and Shirey scored twice.

Clarke pitched 3 2/3 innings and took the setback. Freshman Caitlin Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West) recorded the final out of the fourth and Jentsch threw the fifth and sixth innings.

Grove City concluded the trip by jumping out to a 7-1 lead against Carroll. Murtoff went 2 for 4 and scored twice while Clarke and Morris also scored two runs. Rayburn doubled. Jentsch earned the win by allowing two earned runs in four innings. Clarke pitched the final three innings for the save.

Grove City will compete in the Salisbury (Md.) University Tournament March 16-17.

Alma Box Score            Ferrum Box Score            Johnson & Wales Box Score

Cornell Box Score         Berry Box Score               Carroll Box Score

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