March 18, 2015

Grove City rolls to sweep of Franciscan

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- The Grove City College softball team played its first games since returning from spring break on Tuesday afternoon, rolling to a doubleheader road sweep of Franciscan. The Wolverines took game one 13-0 in five innings and also shut out the Lady Barons 15-0 in five innings in the second game.

Senior outfielder Erica Gmuer (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) led the Wolverine offense by going 4-5 in the doubleheader with a pair of doubles while senior shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) and senior catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) each added three hits.

On the mound, sophomores Erika Aughton (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) and Katie Watts (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lake View) and junior Emily Rothbard (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) combined for 10 innings of six-hit, shutout softball.

The Wolverines (8-3) got on the board early in game one with a five-run top of the first as Aughton drove in a single run, two runs scored on errors and Gmuer belted a two-run double. Morris drove in fellow senior Caitlyn Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West) to make it a 6-0 game in the top of the second, and that lead would hold until the Wolverines brought game one to an early end with a seven-run fifth inning.

Grove City drew six walks and a seventh batter was hit by a pitch to fuel the fifth inning burst, and sophomore infielder Alaina Kunselman (New Bethlehem, Pa./Redbank Valley) added a two-run double and Morris a two-run single to put the game out of reach. Rothbard, who had come in to pitch the fourth and the fifth innings, then got three quick outs to end the game at 13-0 by the eight-run mercy rule.

Morris was 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored in the game one win while Aughton earned the win on the mound, allowing just one hit and adding a strikeout in three innings of work. Rothbard recorded a pair of strikeouts and allowed just one hit and one walk in two innings.

After the Wolverines went down in order in the top of the first of game two, Shirey led off the top of the second by blasting her second home run of the season and the ninth of her career to give Grove City a 1-0 lead. Freshman infielder Breanna Lent (Pittsburgh, Pa./Hampton) followed with a double and later scored on a single by fellow freshman Lauren Hughes (Twinsburg, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian). Hughes would score on a single by senior second baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) while Kunselman reached on an error and later scored on an error to give the Wolverines a 4-0 lead through two innings.

Grove City extended its lead to 5-0 in the top of the third when Lent scored as Hughes reached on an error, and the Wolverines would then use a 10-run fourth inning to put the game out of reach. The Wolverines took advantage of three Franciscan errors and got two-run doubles from Aughton, Gmuer and Shirey, an RBI-double from sophomore Madison Brubaker (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) and an RBI single from junior Megan Lynskey (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) to highlight the outburst.

Watts allowed just two hits in three innings of scoreless work to earn the win on the mound while Aughton permitted just two hits in two scoreless innings of relief.

The Wolverines, off to their best start since the 2004 season, are scheduled to open their 2015 home slate on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Hiram.

Game One Box Score            Game Two Box Score

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