Penn College Softball Season Begins

Published 03.10.2013

Wildcat Weekly

It will be a busy week for Pennsylvania College of Technology athletes as the softball team starts its season, the wrestling team competes in the small-college nationals and the baseball team is in action in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

With a more experienced squad than he had a year ago, Penn College coach Roger Harris has high hopes for this season. The Wildcats begin play today Monday in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with games against Gordon College and Norwich University.

“It was a rebuilding year (in 2012, when the team went 6-24 overall and 5-11 in the Penn State University Athletic Conference), but we started to mesh and picked up toward the end of the year. We’ve got a lot of great players this year. We’ve got more pitching and some great outfielders. We’re very hopeful that this year will be a great year for us,” said Roger Harris, who is starting his 12th season as coach.

Key returning players are pitcher-first baseman Lacy Lose, of Avis; outfielder Casey Davis, of New Albany; catcher Britni Fennell, of Conyngham; first baseman Stephanie Keifrider, of Douglassville; and third baseman Stephanie Koleno, of Moshannon. Also returning are Lindsey Anderson, of Heber Springs, Ark; Cora Bova, of Port Allegany; Maggie Calkins, of Bloomsburg; Dana Ritter, of Walden, N.Y.; and Emily Yoder, of Catawissa.

Among the newcomers are third baseman-shortstop Samantha Hill, of Montgomery, a transfer from Lock Haven University; pitcher-outfielder Katie Kratzer, of Selinsgrove; pitcher Christina Mignot, of Hughesville; shortstop-outfielder Nicole Lo Furno, of Glen Mills; pitcher Karey Wolfe, of Milton; pitcher Kimberly Walter, of Beavertown; pitcher Delaney Blubaugh, of Waynesboro; and catcher Rachael Shaeffer, of Hampstead, Md.

“Lacy is throwing very well. We’re hoping she can give us a lot of good pitching. … We’ve got a five-girl rotation and we’re looking for strong performances out of them,” Harris said.

“It’s really good that we have picked up so many girls because it gives us much more depth. Last year, we went to South Carolina with just two of three pitchers … we had a bad performance. We’re looking to turn that around this year,” the coach continued.

“We want to see how they do, see where we’ve got to make adjustments and come back and make them. I can’t see any reason why we can’t at least make a run for the playoff in states and maybe make a run for nationals,” Harris added.

Penn College opens its home season March 19 hosting Elmira (N.Y.) College at Elm Park.

During each of its seasons since wrestling was resumed at the college in 2010, the team has made upward strides on the national level. Two years ago, the Wildcats tied for 42nd in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championships and, last year, they finished No. 17. They will look to improve on that Thursday through Saturday at the NCWA nationals in Allen, Texas.

“We have a couple of guys who, hopefully, are going to score really big for us, and I’m hoping that the other guys who are making their first trip (to nationals) can get points for us also,” coach Schuyler Frey said.

Representing Penn College will be Ryan Hart, of Wyalusing, at 133 pounds; Logan Gresock, of Wadsworth, Ohio, at 174; Tyler Myers, of Centre Hall, at 157; Paul Crutchlow, of Morris Plains, N.J., at 184; Austin Clark, of Elysburg, at 165; Daniel Frankenfield, of Dushore, at 174; and Alex Muller, of Sparta, N.J., at 184.

“Everyone seems to be excited and training hard. I think we’re ready to go,” Frey added, noting that the keys at this point are “staying healthy and trying to make sure the guys mentally are ready to go.

“It’s just a matter of putting together their game. If we wrestle hard for 420 seconds, good things will happen.”

Saturday at Southern Virginia University, the Wildcats opened their season with a pair of one-run losses against a team that is well into its season, 4-3 in eight innings and 6-5. In the first game, Zachary Buterbaugh, of Conestoga, went 2 for 4 at the plate with a run and stolen base. Starting pitcher Zach Yetter, of Thompsontown, went four innings, allowing two hits, two runs and recording three strikeouts. In the second game, James Simasek, of Landenberg, went 2 for 2 with a 2-run double and Cody Buterbaugh, of Conestoga, went 2 for 4 with an RBI double and one run scored. Starting pitcher Josh Longsderff, of Columbia, allowed two hits and one run with one strikeout in four innings of work.

Penn College archers took home eight first-place trophies at the U.S. Collegiate Archery Regional Indoor Championships held March 2-3 at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Joseph Dowdrick III, of Lebanon; Kendel Baier, of Jersey Shore; and Rebecca Boyer, of Macungie, each earned individual titles in male bowhunter, female bowhunter and female compound, respectively, while the Wildcats took team crowns in male bowhunter (Dowdrick; Kelvin Dewalt, of Easton; and William McFadden, of New Tripoli), mixed bowhunter (Dowdrick and Baier), mixed compound (Boyer and Justus Leimbach, of Westminster, Md.), female compound (Boyer; Ashley Baker, of Coudersport; and Nicole Lapinski, of Bloomsburg) and male compound (Leimbach; Matt Cummings, of Mountville; and Jordan McGowan, of Carlisle).

Dewalt, in male bowhunter, and Leimbach, in male compound, placed second individually, as did the female bowhunter team of Baier; Cayla Easley, of Carlisle; and Brianna Batykefer, of Butler.

“I think we did fabulous, absolutely great,” coach Brian Parker said. “They stepped up and really shot very well.”

In the team’s first meet of the season, the Penn State Open Invitational on Feb. 17, Penn College had two firsts, four seconds and two thirds. Greg Foust, of Murrysville, won the male recurve and Samantha Lantz, of Ulster, captured the female recurve. Placing second were Baier, in female bowhunter; Dowdrick, in male bowhunter; Leimbach, in male compound; and Stephen Keys, of Reynoldsville, in male recurve. Former Penn College student Zach Bixby, of Gillett, won the male compound title.

Next, the team turns its attention to outdoor shooting when it travels to James Madison University on April 5 for the Adam Wheatcroft Invitational.

“We do have some work to do. We just have to tweak at this point. It’s hard to go up against people who have (shot) for years, and we have a good share of people who are brand new at it, (but) there are no real major concerns,” Parker added.

Coaches Retiring
Last week it was announced that cross-country coach Mike Paulhamus and women’s volleyball coach Bambi Hawkins were retiring from their positions. In 13 seasons, Paulhamus’ men’s and women’s teams combined to win 18 conference championships – in some years, they competed in more than one conference – while Hawkins’ teams, also over 13 seasons, won two conference titles and posted 184 wins and 113 losses.

Overall record: 13-8
PSUAC record: 5-1
Thursday-Saturday, March 14-17 – NCWA Championships at Allen, Texas, 10 a.m.

Overall record: 0-2
Saturday, March 9 – at Southern Virginia University, L, 4-3 in eight innings; L, 6-5
Monday, March 11 – vs. County College of Morris at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1 p.m.
Monday, March 11 – vs. Salem University at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 4 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 – vs. North Central Missouri College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13 – vs. Adirondack Community College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 13 – vs. Albertus Magnus at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 14 – vs. Dean College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 – host Luzerne County Community College at Logue Field (doubleheader), noon

Monday, March 11 – vs. Gordon College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 9 a.m.
Monday, March 11 – vs. Norwich University at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 – vs. Philadelphia College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 9 a.m.
Tuesday, March 12 – vs. Waldorf College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 11 a.m.
Wednesday, March 13 – vs. Albertus Magnus at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 9 a.m.
Wednesday, March 13 – vs. Daniel Webster at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 11 a.m.
Thursday, March 14 – vs. SUNY Ithaca at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 9 a.m.
Thursday, March 14 – vs. Norwich College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 11 a.m.
Tuesday, March 19 – host Elmira, N.Y., College, at Elm Park (doubleheader), 2 p.m.

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