March 20, 2014

Grove City earns split with Pitt-Greensburg

GREENSBURG, Pa.. -- The Grove City College softball team earned a split at Pitt-Greensburg on Thursday afternoon at the Pitt-Greensburg Softball Complex, falling to the Bobcats 3-1 in game one before finding their bats for an 11-8 victory in a daylight-shortened, five-inning second game.

In game one, the Wolverines (4-7), playing their first game in 13 days, struggled to find their rhythm offensively, managing just three hits against Bobcat pitcher Meghan Uher.

The Bobcats (6-6) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Sarah Giebel drew a one-out walk and later scored on a Morgan Russo single through the left side.

Pitt-Greensburg doubled its lead in the bottom of the third, as Giebel singled up the middle with two outs and then stole second, setting herself up to score on a Caitlin Tobin single up the middle.

The score would remain 2-0 until the top of the 6th inning, when junior second baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) blasted a solo home run over the left field fence. The homer was the first of the season for the Wolverines and the fourth of Rayburn's career.

That would be all the scoring for Grove City, and the Bobcats would tack on another run in the bottom of the inning to close the scoring at 3-1.

Freshman Erika Aughton (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) took the loss on the mound, allowing eight hits and three runs while striking out three over six innings.

Game two told a different tale, as the two teams combined for 23 hits and 19 runs in just five innings of action.

Grove City struck first in the nightcap, as the Wolverines strung together five consecutive singles in the top of the second inning. Junior center fielder Caitlyn Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West), freshman Katie Watts (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lakeview) and freshman Katy Gibson (Carnegie, Pa./Chartiers Valley) each hit one-out singles to load the bases, and junior center fielder Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) singled through the left side to score Vidovic and make it a 1-0 game.

Rayburn followed with a single through the right side to score Watts and make it a 2-0 game before Pitt-Greensburg turned a double-play to get out of the inning.

The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of some Grove City miscues to score five runs on four hits and take a 5-2 lead.

In the top of the third, junior shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) would lead off with a double to left center and come home to score two batters later when freshman third baseman Alaina Kunselman (New Bethlehem, Pa./Redbank Valley) doubled to right center field.

A Vidovic slow-rolling grounder allowed Kunselman to advance to third, and she was able to then score on a Watts single through the left side, closing the gap to 5-4.

That would be the last lead Pitt-Greensburg would see, as Gibson stepped to the plate and sent a ball sailing over the right field fence to give Grove City a 6-5 lead in the middle of the third.

After a quick bottom of the third, the Wolverines were able to create some distance in the top of the fourth by batting around and plating five runs. Shirey singled to lead off the innings and advanced to third on a double by junior catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton). After a pair of outs, Watts drew a walk to load the bases and Gibson drew an RBI-walk to score Shirey.

Gmuer followed with an RBI-infield single, scoring Morris, and a passed ball during the following at-bat allowed Watts to score.

Rayburn drew a walk to re-load the bases, and sophomore left fielder Megan Lynskey (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) and Shirey each drew RBI-walks, scoring Gibson and Gmuer, to increase Grove City's lead to 11-5.

The Bobcats closed the gap to 11-8 with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Once again, Giebel drew a one-out walk, stole second, and came home to score on a Jourdan Boehmer single. Following a fly-out, Jaymee Humbert hit a two-run home run to make it just a three-run game.

Kunselman reached on an error to start the Grove City fifth, but Pitt-Greensburg retired the side from there.

The Bobcats would threaten in the bottom of the fifth, as Casey Hamilton and Claire Welka led off with back-to-back singles. The Wolverines, however, got three quick outs from that point to end the inning.

The game was called after five innings due to a lack of daylight.

Freshman Aimee Wootton (Weiser, Idaho/Weiser) earned the win on the mound for Grove City, allowing eight hits and seven runs while striking out two over four innings. Watts earned the save after pitching a scoreless fifth inning.

The Wolverines are scheduled to return to action on Saturday with a non-conference doubleheader at La Roche. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.

Game One Box

Game Two Box

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