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Penn College Softball Players Have ‘Lifetime’ Experience

In spite of the fact that his team went 0-3 in its first national competition, Pennsylvania College of Technology softball coach Roger Harris looked at the bright side.

“Sure, they were a little bit dejected that they didn’t perform better, but I told them there were 30 other teams who weren’t there and we were. That says a lot about the squad,” Harris said, as his team was returning home Sunday from the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships in Akron, Ohio.

Seeded eighth, Penn College dropped its opener Friday against top-seeded Rochester (Mich.) College, 9-1, in five innings. A home run from Michelle Goodling (Renovo) accounted for the Wildcats’ lone run in the fifth inning. The only other Penn College hit came from losing pitcher Lacy Lose (Avis).

The loss to Rochester dropped Penn College into the losers’ bracket, where the day’s second game against No. 5 Spalding (Ky.) University was rained out and rescheduled for Saturday. When the two teams finally squared off, the Wildcats managed five hits, including a double by Erin Bannon (Williamsport), but lost, 7-0, as they left eight runners on base.

“We had a couple errors that let them into the game and we just couldn’t get the timely hits when we needed them,” Harris said.

Sunday afternoon, in a game for seventh place, Penn College fell to No. 3 St. Joseph’s (N.Y.) College, 9-1 in six innings. Six Penn College players had hits including Goodling, who tripled but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 14-hit attack of St. Joseph’s.

“St. Joseph’s hit the ball well, but twice we left runners on second and third and couldn’t get them in,” Harris noted. “You can’t do that against those kinds of teams and win a national championship,” he said, as his team closed out a 14-16 season.

“I think, all-in-all, what we learned is: When you get there (national tournament), your performance level has to be where it has to be. You just can’t make mistakes. You have to bring your game to another level,” the coach said.

But playing is just part of the experience.

“It was pouring down rain on Friday and players from St. Joseph’s were caught in it and their bus driver wasn’t there. We put them on our bus (to get out of the weather) and, within five minutes, all the girls were laughing and listening to music and dancing in the aisles,” Harris related.

“While we’re all there to win a national title, it’s also about the girls having a good time experiencing the moment and making new friends. That’s something they’re going to be able to take with them and cherish for a lifetime.

“For the college to be able to send us there, and to help the girls with their scheduling, is a tribute to the college and professors. They gave these girls a lifetime experience, they really did,” Harris added.

During the three-day event, two Penn College players Trisha Moser (Watsontown) and Stacey Rupp (Gettysburg) were named to the USCAA National All-Academic Team and were among those honored at a banquet .

SCHEDULE/RESULTS Softball Overall record: 14-16 PSUAC record: 10-5 Friday, May 6 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at Firestone Stadium, Akron, Ohio, vs. Rochester (Mich.) College, L, 9-1 infive innings

Saturday, May 7 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at Firestone Stadium, Akron, Ohio, vs. Spalding (Ky.) University, L, 7-0

Sunday, May 8 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at Firestone Stadium, Akron, Ohio, vs. St. Joseph, L, 9-1 insix innings

Archery Thursday-Sunday, May 19-22 U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

(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. 38

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