Wildcat Weekly Offers Playoff Recap

Published 05.03.2009

Wildcat Weekly

Vol. 7, No. 38

Recent Results/Upcoming Games(Through May 3)

Archery May 14-17 - National Collegiate Championships at California State University, Long Beach, Calif.

Baseball Overall record: 35-7 Final PSUAC record: 28-3 Wednesday, April 29 - at King's College, canceled Friday, May 1 PSUAC Championships at Medlar Field in University Park vs. Penn State Abington, W, 12-7 Friday, May 1 PSUAC Championships at Medlar Field in University Park vs. Penn State Brandywine, W, 6-5 Saturday, May 2 - PSUAC Championships at Medlar Field in University Park vs. Penn State Brandywine, W, 10-0 (Note: Baseball records include fall season games) Tuesday, May 12, to Thursday, May 14 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at Hampton, Va. TBA

Softball Final overall record: 15-13 Final PSUAC record: 13-9 Monday, April 27 - at Penn State Fayette, W, 1-0; L, 8-7 Wednesday, April 29 PSUAC Playoffs at Elm Park vs. Penn State Beaver, W, 6-4 Wednesday, April 29 PSUAC Playoffs as Elm Park vs. Penn State Hazleton, W, 12-2 in 5 innings Thursday, April 30 - PSUAC Playoffs at Elm Park vs. Penn State Beaver, L, 5-4 Thursday, April 30 - PSUAC Playoffs at Elm Park vs. Penn State Beaver, L, 5-4

'Cat Tales Baseball Pennsylvania College of Technology's baseball team successfully defended its Penn State University Athletic Conference championship by winning all three of its games Friday and Saturday at Medlar Field in University Park.

Penn College completed a 28-3 conference season (fall and spring) and takes a 35-7 overall record, including an 11-game win streak, into the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships May 12-14 at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Va.

In PSUAC tournament action, the top-seeded Wildcats wasted little time asserting themselves Friday when they took to the field against No. 4 seed Penn State Abington, getting a seven-run first inning and going on for a 12-7 win. Phil Woodring (Waynesboro) led the offensive outburst by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and four runs batted in. Also contributing were Devon Liquori (Hawley), who had a triple and drove in three runs; and Tom Hughes (Easton), who drove in a pair of runs. Pitcher Mark Shaffer (Hanover) got the mound win and improved to 9-2 for the season.

"Mark Shaffer pitched a great game," coach Chris Howard said. "It was raining the whole game and it was tough to play in, but all around it was a good game."

Later Friday, the Wildcats got some help in knocking off second-seeded Penn State Brandywine, 6-5, as Penn College loaded the bases and Hughes was issued what turned out to be a game-winning walk in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hughes finished 2-for-2 with two RBI, while Liquori was 1-for-2 with a RBI and Skylar Gingrich (Lititz) 1-for-4 with a RBI. Adam Thomke (South Williamsport) and Christian Worth (Williamsport) combined on a five-hitter, with Thomke (7-0) picking up the win and Worth a save.

"It got a little hairy," Howard said. "We had a few errors that kept it close, but everybody kept their composure and went back to work and we pulled one out. That's the sign of a good team when you can overcome five errors.

"It was a learning experience. We have to tighten up a little bit here and there. You can't give a team four or five outs in an inning. It always comes back to haunt you."

With the game tied at 5-all, the Penn College defense worked some magic to keep Brandywine from going ahead.

"They had runners on second and third and there was a ground ball to Devon (at first base) and he hesitated a little bit but he still got the ball home in time and (catcher) James Craft did a fantastic job of blocking the plate," Howard explained.

"It was a great block and tag and that was a momentum booster for us. It pumped us up and we got that last out. It really took the wind out of their sails."

Commenting on Worth, the coach said, "Christian has been throwing well for us. He's done a really good job. He's been that calming influence out of the bullpen."

In Saturday's championship game, again facing PS Brandywine, Harrison Myers (Elizabethtown) tossed a five-hit, six-inning shutout to give Penn College its second straight PSUAC crown and third in four years. Backing Myers' pitching gem were Liquori (Hawley), who went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and five RBI; Hughes, who went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI; and Garrett Hornung (Emporium), who went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

"It was probably one of Myers' best outings all year. He kept the ball down. He mixed up his pitches. He threw the ball well," Howard said. Myers now is 6-1 on the season.

"We jumped on them right away (scoring three runs in the first inning) and you could tell they were beat and they knew it was coming," Howard added of Brandywine.

Next up for the Wildcats is a chance at a national title, and Howard said his team is set.

"This is what the guys have been shooting for all year (playing for a national crown). It's great to win the conference title for the second year in a row, and the guys are proud of that, but this year there was a little something extra that they wanted to do," the coach said. "The guys are motivated and they are ready."

USCAA pairings are expected to be announced later this week.

Softball Heather Ball (Mansfield) tossed a three-hit shutout in Penn College's critical 1-0 win Monday over Penn State Fayette that lifted it into the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Amanda McCoy (Jersey Shore) went 2-for-3 at the plate in that game and drove in Erica Logan (Montoursville) in the second inning with what proved to be the game-winning run. Jamye Mease (Elizabethtown) and Logan each went 2-for-4 in the second-game loss.

Going into the Penn State University Athletic Conference playoffs at Elm Park, coach Roger Harris knew his team was capable of doing well, but he was concerned about whether it would play with consistency. The consistency was there in its first two games on Wednesday as the Wildcats knocked off top-seeded Penn State Beaver, 6-4, and second-seeded Hazleton, 12-2, to advance to the championship.

In its opener, pitcher Heather Ball (Mansfield) limited Penn State Beaver to three hits. Her batterymate Samantha Mills (Harrisburg) provided the offensive spark by going 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and four runs batted in.

Against Penn State Hazleton, the Wildcats' bats erupted for 14 hits in a five-inning win. Lisa Miller (Cogan Station) and Jamye Mease (Elizabethtown) both went 2-for-4 with home runs, while Erica Logan (Montoursville) went 2-for-4 and Erin Bannon (Williamsport) 3-for-4.

"We executed very well that night. Everybody was back into the form that they started at at the end of last year and they rose to the occasion at a good time. Everything started to click for them," Harris said.

Paired again against No. 1 seed Penn State Beaver after it worked its way through the losers' bracket Thursday, Penn College battled hard, but dropped back-to-back 5-4 decisions and finished second in the conference for the second consecutive season.

In the first game, the Wildcats built a 3-0 lead after three innings and still led by that score after five frames, before Beaver came back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ball and Logan both went 2-for-3, while Lauren Fuller (South Williamsport) went 2-for-4.

With everything on the line in the second contest, Beaver opened a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Penn College took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third before Beaver tied it in the bottom half of the inning. The Wildcats again surged ahead 4-2 after five innings, but Penn State Beaver again erupted for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to claim the championship. Mease went 2-for-3 with two triples and Fuller 2-for-4.

"Both games (Thursday), we're going into the bottom of the seventh inning up by two runs with two outs. We just didn't execute defensively to get that third out and it came back to bite us," Harris said.

With the end of the season, the squad bids farewell to several players Fuller, Miller, Mease, Mills, Ball and Kristen Bernard (Mifflin) who helped put Penn College softball back on the map as, over the last four years, the Wildcats were 72-32, captured the PSUAC crown in 2007, and in their final win this year gave Harris his 100 th career victory.

"It puts a pretty big hole in our lineup and some pretty big shoes to fill for the others coming up next year," Harris said. "The level of play at Penn College has tripled in the eight years I've been here and I know that it's going to triple again because there are girls here who, if we can get them to come out, can be great players."

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college's Athletics Web site. For more information on the PSUAC, visit on the Web; more about the USCAA also is available online. )