'Crazy' Spring Weather Continues, but Wildcats Finally Get Break

Published 04.11.2011


After 16 days and more weather-related postponements than you can count on two hands (14), the Pennsylvania College of Technology baseball team finally returned to action Wednesday. Although the result atPenn StateBrandywine wasn't what it wanted, as the Wildcats dropped both games of the twin bill by scores of 2-1 and 7-3, they did get their Penn State University Athletic Conference season under way.

"I haven't always lived up here in the Northeast, but it's been the craziest spring weather I've ever seen. You would think, in a three-week span, we could get lucky on just one game," said coach Chris Howard.

Penn College's season began with back-to-back postponements before they were able to get five games in during a spring training trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they went 4-1. They returned home and won 5 of 6 before the weather took over.

"Canceled games or postponed games are part of baseball but, really, what has hurt us the most is that we haven't been able to get out on the field to practice period," Howard said, noting that his team shares a field with Loyalsock Township High School, whose team has first dibs on use.

"You go inside and you're hitting in the (batting) cage and that gets old quick. You expect to be indoors in the wintertime but, once the season starts and it's supposed to be spring, you don't expect to have to go indoors every day. It takes a toll in the guys' psyche.

"Baseball is a game you play every day. When you have a long layoff, it's tough to get back into the swing of things. It's not an easy sport where you can have a two-and-a-half week layoff and go out and try and face pitching or field ground balls. But it's something that a lot of the teams are dealing with," the coach continued.

In Wednesday's first game, sophomore Harrison Myers (Lebanon) took a 1-hitter and 1-0 lead into the seventh inning before a walk, two hits and an error proved costly. A 5-run third inning forPenn StateBrandywine was the difference in the second game.

With a forecast of more wet weather and fields here that are almost unplayable because of it, Howard said his team's schedule may be altered to take some games on the road that originally were scheduled at home. "If we have to travel to keep a game on the weekend, that's what we have to do," he said.

"You can't foresee things like this. You expect bad weather in March and you're going to have your rain showers in April, too, but what's been happening here for the past month and half it's been crazy."

On Sunday atPenn StateGreater Allegheny, the Wildcats lost two more, by scores of 4-1 and 12-3, to drop to 9-6 overall and 0-4 in the conference.

In the most recent United State Collegiate Athletic Association Coaches' Poll, Penn College is ranked No. 9.

SoftballWith the sun peeking through the clouds Wednesday morning and a weather forecast of only showers for late in the afternoon, Penn College's softball team was hopeful of getting in a pair of makeup games againstPenn StateSchuylkill. But that all went by the wayside, as rain moved into the area by noon and it only got worse as the day continued.

The result was the 18th straight postponement for the Wildcats. Thursday's twin bill with Elmira (N.Y.) College also was canceled, as were Friday's games atPenn StateBeaver and Saturday's contests withPenn StateNew Kensington, extending the streak to 24.

"I've never seen a spring as bad as this," an Elm Park groundskeeper said while trying to prep a field just before the showers began Wednesday.

"It's very frustrating. It's disheartening," coach Roger Harris said. "Donnie Phillips and his staff at Elm Park, they were out there in the rain doing everything humanly possible to get that field ready. They're all retired. They're volunteers. I just can't say enough good things about that staff. They're fantastic.

"The girls were all psyched up coming back from Myrtle Beach; it was the first time we ever got to go. And we got back and won our first two games. Now (after postponement or cancelations of 24 contests) it's getting crunch time and I worry about what's going to happen.

"The girls have to shift their schedules, they have to shift classes. Can they make the games? Will I have the squad I want to have when we have to make up these games or am I going to be missing my top squad?" Harris continued. "There is a lot of adversity that we are facing and we are probably going to have to overcome.

"We're looking at the possibility of playing four games on a Sunday, whatever it's going to take to make them up. If we can keep our main squad there, we can play four games in a row and I think we can be very competitive. "¦ If I have to play Easter Sunday, fine, I'll play Easter Sunday. Bring your family up and we'll have Easter dinner on the field afterward," the coach added.

The Wildcats finally got things going on Sunday when they swept a doubleheader atPenn StateGreater Allegheny by scores of 12-4 and 10-0 in five innings, extending their winning streak to six games. Sabrina Reynolds (Muncy) went 2 for 3 with a home run and 3 runs batted in and Amanda Baney (Williamsport) went 3 for 4 with a homer and 3 RBI in the first game. Baney went 2 for 3 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI in the nightcap and Marissa Player (Albion) and Lacy Lose (Jersey Shore) combined for a shutout as they improved to 6-6 overall, 2-0 in the PSUAC.

In the most recent USCAA Coaches' Poll, Penn College is ranked No. 12.

ArcheryPenn College archers get some "home cooking" Saturday and Sunday when they host the Eastern Regional Intercollegiate Championships on campus next to the Field House along College Avenue. Up to 75 individuals from at least seven colleges and universities are expected to compete. Action begins Saturday at 1 p.m. Head-to-head elimination rounds will begin Sunday at 8:45 a.m., followed by team rounds.

The archery team took seven first-place finishes last weekend at the Adam Wheatcroft Memorial Invitational in Harrisonburg, Va.

Individually, senior Zack Plannick (Coraopolis) and freshman Ashley Baker (Coudersport) captured the men's and women's compound divisions, respectively, while sophomore Joseph Dowdrick (Lebanon) won the bowhunter competition.

In the team competition, Plannick, along with junior Danny Wido (Shickshinny) and senior Aaron Lapinski (Bloomsburg), won in men's compound; Baker, senior Julie Cain (Bellefonte) and sophomore Kjirsten Radencic (Liberty) won in women's compound; junior Glen Thomas (Mercer), senior Tyler Gale (Kennedyville, Md.) and freshman Brandon Allison (Roaring Spring) took top honors in men's recurve; and Wido and Cain finished first in mixed compound.

Also for Penn College, sophomore Clint Hinton (Lock Haven) placed second in men's compound, as did Radencic in women's compound. Allison took second in men's recurve and Thomas third.Freshman Ashlee Mull (Williamsport) was second in women's recurve, as was freshman Kelvin Dewalt (Easton) in bowhunter.

In the team rounds, sophomore Hilary Fisher (Temple), freshman Allison Hansell (Gillett) and Mull took second in women's recurve while Thomas and Fisher placed second in mixed recurve.

SCHEDULE/RESULTS Archery Saturday-Sunday, April 16-17 host Eastern Regional Intercollegiate Championships, 1 p.m.

BaseballOverall record: 9-6 PSUAC record: 0-4Tuesday, April 5 at Penn State Scranton (2), ppd. Wednesday, April 6 at Penn State Brandywine, L, 2-1; L, 7-3 Friday, April 8 at Lock Haven University (2), canceled Friday, April 8 at Penn State Beaver (2), ppd. Sunday, April 10 at Penn State Greater Allegheny (2), L, 4-1; L, 12-3 Wednesday, April 13 at Penn State Mont Alto (2), 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17 host Penn State York (2), 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 19 at Penn State Hazleton (2), 2 p.m. Thursday, April 21 host Penn State Wilkes-Barre (2), 11 a.m. Friday, April 22 at Penn State Scranton(2), 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at Penn State Fayette (2), TBA

Softball Overall record: 6-6 PSUAC record: 2-0 Tuesday, April 5 at Penn State Scranton (2), ppd. Wednesday, April 6 host Penn State Schuylkill (2), ppd. Thursday, April 7 host Elmira (N.Y.) College Jayvees at Elm Park (2), canceled Friday, April 8 at Penn State Beaver (2), ppd. Saturday, April 9 host Penn State New Kensington at Elm Park (2), ppd. Sunday, April 10 at Penn State Greater Allegheny (2), W, 12-4; W, 10-0 in 5 innings Wednesday, April 13 host Penn State Mont Alto (2), 2 p.m. Thursday, April 14 host Luzerne County Community College (2), 2 p.m. Friday, April 15 at Penn State Harrisburg (2), 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 19 at Penn State Hazleton (2), 2 p.m. Friday, April 22 at Penn State Scranton (2), 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 host Penn State Schuylkill (2), 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 27 at Penn State Fayette (2), TBA

(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.)

Vol. 9, No. 34