April 16, 2014

Wolverines earn first PAC win, split with Waynesburg

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team earned its first Presidents' Athletic Conference win of the season by rallying to defeat Waynesburg, 7-6, in game one before falling to the Jackets, 8-7, in game two on Wednesday afternoon at College Field.

Junior shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) went 5-for-7 on the day with a pair of doubles to lead the Wolverines (5-18, 1-11 PAC) while freshman Erika Aughton (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) earned the complete-game victory on the mound in the opener.

In game one, Waynesburg (7-19, 3-9 PAC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first by capitalizing on a Grove City error to score an unearned run. The Wolverines would answer, however, in the bottom of the second as Shirey and junior Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) each hit singles to put runners on the corners, and Shirey would come home to score on an Alaina Kunselman (New Bethlehem, Pa./Redbank Valley) groundout to even the game at 1-1.

The Jackets would score two runs in the top of the fourth and add three more in the top of the fifth on a Haley Payne home run to left center field to lead 6-1 in the middle of the fifth.

Grove City would counter once again, scoring four runs in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to just one run at 6-5.

Junior center fielder Catilin Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West), junior center fielder Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) and junior second baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) each hit singles to load the bases with no outs, and Vidovic would come home to score on a groundout by sophomore outfielder Megan Lynskey (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny). Another groundout by Aughton would score Gmuer, and Shirey would hit a single through the right side to bring Rayburn home, closing the gap to 6-4.

Morris followed with a double to deep center field, scoring Shirey to make it a one-run game.

After Aughton pitched a 1-2-3 top of the sixth, Vidovic hit a bomb to deep left center that bounced off the Waynesburg left fielder's glove and over the fence for a game-tying solo home run. The home run was the first of Vidovic's collegiate career.

Gmuer drew a walk and advanced to second on a Rayburn groundout before coming home to score what would prove to be the game-winning run on a Lynskey single to left center field.

Waynesburg managed a lone single in the top of the seventh but nothing more as Grove City held on for the win.

Aughton earned her second win of the year on the mound, scattering nine hits and six runs (two earned) over seven innings while striking out five with no walks.

Shirey was 3-for-3 with an RBI while Morris and Vidovic each went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Batting as the visiting team in game two, the Wolverines jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Shirey hit a leadoff double to left center field, and, after a pair of infield outs, freshman Katie Watts (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lakeview) doubled to left center to score Shirey and give Grove City a 1-0 advantage.

Vidovic would draw a walk, and Gmuer reached on an error to load the bases, setting up Rayburn for a two-run single up the middle that scored both Watts and Vidovic. A second Jacket error would allow Lynskey to reach base and Gmuer to score for the fourth run of the inning.

That lead would be short-lived, as Waynesburg batted around to score all eight of its runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Grove City nearly erased the deficit, scoring three in the top of the sixth to close the gap to 8-7. Gmuer would hit a one-out single through the left side and advance to second on a passed ball. Rayburn followed with a double to left center, scoring Gmuer, and Rayburn would advance to third on a Lynskey single before both runners advanced on a Waynesburg throwing error.

An Aughton single through the right side placed runners on the corners for Shirey, who moved Lynskey home while reaching on a fielder's choice to make it a one run game.

Kunselman reached on an error to lead off the top of the seventh, giving the Wolverines hope of a comeback. Freshman pitcher Aimee Wooton (Weiser, Idaho/Weiser) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Baylie Jones (Conneautville, Pa./Conneaut Valley) into scoring position with one out, but a flyout and a strikeout would end the game.

Watts took the game two loss, allowing eight hits and seven runs (six earned) over three and one-third innings. Wooton pitched two and two-thirds strong innings in relief, allowing just two hits and one unearned run.

Rayburn went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the losing effort to lead Grove City.

The Wolverines return to action tomorrow, traveling to Westminster for a 3:30 p.m. PAC doubleheader.

Game One Box           Game Two Box

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