1998 Lady Wolverine Review


Lynn Hubler

LADY WOLVERINES WIN 20 GAMES, PAC TITLE

Not bad for a rebuilding year.

Despite the loss of six starters, the Lady Wolverine softball team etched a place in school history with the program's first 20-win season and first Presidents' Athletic Conference title since 1990. Grove City finished with a 20-8 overall record and 9-1 mark in the PAC, placing them one game ahead of defending champion Bethany College, who finished 8-2 in the league.

The season produced six all-conference winners, including four first-team picks, as voted by the league's coaches.

Senior pitchers Lynn Hubler (Elkahart, IN/Elkhart Central) and Becky Nelson (Erie, PA/Iroquois), who comprised the region's most feared pitching tandem over the last four seasons, were each awarded places on the All-PAC First Team. Hubler posted a league-low 1.12 earned run average in 1998 and was voted PAC Pitcher of the Year, team Most Valuable Player, and All-East Third Team. Hubler, who also ranks among the nation's ERA leaders, went 10-4, raising her career record to 31-18. She shows a 1.45 career ERA with 184 strikeouts and 59 walks. Nelson, also 10-4 on the year, ranked fourth in the PAC with a 1.98 ERA. Her career record stands at 32-16 with a 2.10 ERA, 119 strikeouts and 39 walks.

Also named to the PAC First Team were sophomore first baseman Nicole Hable (Shoreview, MN/Totino-Grace) and sophomore center fielder Heather Johnson (Wadsworth, OH/Wadsworth). Hable, in her first season, led the Lady Wolverines in hitting with a .405 average third-best in the PAC and boasted a team-high .971 fielding percentage with just six errors in 205 total chances. Hable was also voted PAC Rookie of the Year and All-East Second Team. Johnson finished third on the team in hitting and fielding with .333 and .938 averages, respectively. She cracked a league-high eight doubles and four triples to finish fifth in the PAC in slugging with a .525 average.

Senior second baseman Christi Clapper (McKean, PA/General McLane) and junior shortstop Michelle Maegle (Pittsburgh, PA/Carrick) garnered PAC second team honors. Clapper, a four-year starter, hit .306 with five doubles and a home run. Maegle posted a .382 batting average, second-highest on the team and fifth-best in the PAC. She showed the circuit's third-best slugging average at .544 and also ranked third in runs batted in with 24.

The other starters who made key contributions in 1998 included sophomore third baseman Heather Oates (Delavan, IL/Delavan), sophomore left fielder Sue Jankowski (Benton, PA/Benton), junior catcher Betsy Shaffer (Wakeman, OH/Firelands), freshman right fielder Kim Hanson (Olympia, WA/Timberline) and freshman designated hitter Jessie Renaldo (Sigel, PA/Brookville). Renaldo led the group with a .340 batting average, followed by Oates at .309, Jankowski at .262, and Hanson at .231. Shaffer started every game behind the plate.

Off the bench, junior Adrienne Pauling (Milford, PA/Delaware Valley) and sophomore Hope Mattern (Knox, PA/Keystone) provided valuable depth.

Head coach Susan Roberts, in her fifth season, was named PAC Coach of the Year. Roberts last won the award in 1995 when she led the Lady Wolverines to a 12-9 record after a 3-14 finish in 1994.

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