May 1, 2014

Grove City closes season with sweep

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College softball team ended the 2014 season on a high note, rolling to the doubleheader sweep of Presidents' Athletic Conference foe Chatham by scores of 6-0 and 8-0 (five innings) on Thursday afternoon at College Field.

Freshman pitcher/first baseman Erika Aughton (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) threw a four-hit shutout while striking out seven batters to lead the Wolverines (12-21, 6-12 PAC) to the win in game one while freshman pitchers Katie Watts (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lake View) and Aimee Wootton (Weiser, Idaho/Weiser) combined for a three-hit shutout in the game two victory.

Grove City plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to an early lead in game one. Junior second baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) singled through the left side to lead off the inning and was moved to second on a sacrifice by sophomore left fielder Megan Lynskey (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny). Junior shortstop Kelsey Shirey followed with a double to left field to score Rayburn and give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead and then scored to make it 2-0 when junior catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) reached on an error.

Morris would then score to make it a 3-0 game when senior Baylie Jones (Conneautville, Pa./Conneaut Valley) -- playing in her final home games as a Wolverine -- drilled a triple to the center field fence.

Rayburn would once again start the Grove City offense in the fifth with a leadoff single to center field. After Rayburn advanced to second on a passed ball, Morris would hit a two-out, RBI-single through the left side to score Rayburn and extend the lead to 4-0.

The Wolverines would add two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Junior right fielder Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) hit a two-out bunt-single toward the third baseman to give Grove City a threat and then stole second base. A Chatham error would allow Rayburn to reach and move Gmuer to third, and Gmuer would then score on another Cougar error.

Lynskey would follow with an RBI-single through the left side to score Rayburn and close the scoring at 6-0.

Rayburn went 3-for-4 to lead the Wolverine offense in game one while Jones, the lone senior on the 2014 squad, went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

In the nightcap, Grove City once again jumped out to an early lead, plating two runs in the top of the first.

Rayburn started things with a leadoff single up the middle and a Watts groundout advanced her to second. An Aughton single would place runners on the corners for Shirey, who moved them both home with a two-run triple to deep center field.

After leading the bases loaded in the top of the second, Jones would hit a one-out double to left center. Sophomore outfielder Emily Rothbard (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) would reach on a fielder's choice as the Cougars chose to hold Jones at second and freshman outfielder Madison Brubaker (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) would be walked to load the bases. Freshman catcher Katy Gibson (Carnegie, Pa./Chartiers Valley) would drive a ball to deep center field, allowing Jones to score and Rothbard to advance on the sacrifice before another Chatham error allowed Rothbard to score, making it a 4-0 game.

The Wolverines took advantage of two more Cougar errors to score two runs in the top of the fourth. Watts opened the frame with a single down the left field line and advanced to second when Aughton reached on an error. A Shirey single to left center loaded the bases, and Watts then scored as Rothbard reached on a fielder's choice when the Chatham catcher was unable to hold onto the ball for the forceout at home.

Aughton would then come home to make it a 6-0 game on a Brubaker sacrifice fly to center.

Aughton would add an RBI-single and Shirey an RBI-double in the top of the fifth to extend Grove City's lead to 8-0, and Wootton retired the side in the bottom of the inning to end the game.

Watts started and scattered three hits over four shutout innings of work while Wootton allowed just a walk in a scoreless fifth inning.

Grove City closes the 2014 season having won its final four games and six of its last eight.

Game One Box           Game Two Box

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