April 22, 2015

Morris, Shirey power Grove City to sweep of Chatham

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Senior catcher Sarah Morris (Allison Park, Pa./Hampton) and senior shortstop Kelsey Shirey (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) combined for 10 hits and three home runs as the Grove City College softball team rolled to a sweep of Chatham on Wednesday evening at Varsity Field, downing the Cougars 22-2 in five innings in the opener before earning a 9-1, six-inning win in game two.

Morris went 4 for 4 with a pair of home runs and five RBI in the Game One rout while Shirey was 6 for 7 on the day with a home run, a triple, a double and seven RBI. Senior center fielder Caitlyn Vidovic (North Ridgeville, Ohio/Lutheran West) also had a strong day, going 3 for 5 with a double and four runs scored while sophomore pitcher/first baseman Erika Aughton (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) was 3 for 8 with a double and five runs scored.

In the opener, Grove City (16-9 overall, 8-6 PAC) jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the second. Shirey drew a leadoff walk and Morris and freshman third baseman Breanna Lent (Pittsburgh, Pa./Hampton) each followed with singles to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by junior left fielder Megan Lynskey (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) would score Shirey and move Morris to third, and freshman designated player Lauren Hughes (Twinsburg, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) would reach on an error to reload the bases. Morris and Lent would score on a pair of wild pitches to extend the lead to 3-0 and, after Vidovic drew a walk, Gmuer would move Hughes home on an RBI-groundout. A pair of errors would then allow Vidovic and senior second baseman Allison Rayburn (New Kensington, Pa./Valley) to both score, making it a 6-0 game.

Shirey and Morris would hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the top of the third inning and extend Grove City's lead to 8-0. Chatham (3-21) would take advantage of a pair of wild pitches to get one run back in the bottom of the third, but the Wolverines would put the game out of reach with an 11-run fourth inning.

Freshman infielder Michaela Cashmer (Weedville, Pa./Elk County Catholic) would register her first collegiate hit with a leadoff single and Chatham would commit the first of five errors in the inning to allow her to advance all the way home. Along with four additional Cougar errors in the inning, Shirey would hit an RBI-triple, sophomore outfielder Madison Brubaker (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) added an RBI double and Morris hammered her second home run of the game - a three-run shot - to push Grove City's lead to 19-1.

Grove City would add five more runs in the top of the fifth. Chatham managed to score once more in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough as the game ended after five innings via the eight-run mercy rule.

 Sophomore Katie Watts (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lakeview) earned the win on the mound for Grove City to improve to 6-4 on the season. She allowed five hits and two earned runs over five innings of work.

In the second game, Grove City's bats were much quieter, as the Wolverines needed a sixth-inning surge to break open a close game.

The Wolverines took an early 1-0 lead when Aughton scored on a Shirey RBI-single in the top of the first. Grove City's lead would grow to 2-0 in the top of the third when Aughton would double and later score on a Morris RBI-groundout.

Chatham, however, would keep it close, cutting the Wolverine lead to 2-1 with an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth.

After a scoreless fifth, Grove City would finally pull away, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by a Rayburn two-run single and a Shirey two-run double. Chatham would fail to score in the bottom of the inning, once again ending the game early by way of the mercy rule.

Aughton (10-5) would earn the game two victory on the mound, allowing just five hits and a single unearned run over six innings of work while striking out four.

With two wins today, Grove City now has eight conference wins on the season, the most for the program since 1998 when the Wolverines went 9-1 in league action to win the PAC title.

Grove City returns to action tomorrow, hosting Bethany in a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader that has significant postseason implications.

Game One Box Score        Game Two Box Score

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