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Softball team looks to take next step

With seven returning starters and 12 players from last year’s team that reached the North Eastern Athletic Conference playoffs for the third straight season under coach Jackie Klahold, the Pennsylvania College of Technology women’s softball team is scheduled to open its season Saturday in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The Wildcats, 14-21 overall and 8-9 in all NEAC games a year ago, will face Notre Dame of Maryland University at 10 a.m. and Wilkes University at 2 p.m. After that, they head further south to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where they will compete in the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic, playing eight games. Their home opener is slated for March 22 with conference play beginning on March 30.

Among the returning players are three 2018 All-NEAC honorees as senior Taylor Krow, of Mechanicsburg, who had a batting average of .362 with 38 hits, was named to the first team; sophomore Morgan Heritage, of New Castle, Delaware, who was 8-8 with 126 strikeouts and a 3.49 earned run average, was named to the second team, and sophomore Chelsea Gray, of Marysville, who batted .340 with a .454 slugging percentage and 17 RBIs, was named to the third team.

“The starters that are returning have anywhere from two to three years (of experience) under their belt, not just collegiate experience but playoff experience and what it takes to get to playoffs,” Klahold said.

Having become a conference playoff regular, the Wildcats now are looking to take the next step.

“This preseason has been, honestly, one of the best preseasons we have had. … They’ve been really coming together as a team, accepting the fact that we have a competitive team whether we have returners out there or our strong first-year players that are going to be out there,” Klahold said.

“They’ve taken that motto of ‘next person up,’ and we’re taking that to ‘we have to finish.’ We were in so many close games last year wherein those last couple of innings we weren’t able to close it out, we weren’t able to finish, and that’s the difference between a championship team and a team that just makes playoffs. Our goal this year is finishing out every game,” the coach said.

Prior to the start of conference play, Klahold and her assistant coach, Jeff Tomb, will be looking to develop their first go-to team, second go-to team and third go-to team.

“We have more depth this year and it’s not just in one position, but in all positions,” Klahold said. “We’re looking to really come back (from the south) on a high note. We’re looking to compete in every game. We’re looking to finish every game and we’re looking for the girls to continue to support each other and build what they built on this preseason, which has been being there for each other, playing for each other.”

In a preseason poll of NEAC coaches, Penn College finished third with 91 points, behind defending champion Penn State Berks, with 120 points, and Keuka College, with 110 points. Behind them were Cazenovia College (81), College of Saint Elizabeth (80), SUNY Poly (76), Penn State Abington (60), SUNY Cobleskill (51), Wells College (45), Gallaudet University (43), Morrisville State College (22) and Lancaster Bible College (13).

“We’ve got to go out and show them that we’re worthy of that. Preseason polls are preseason polls but we’ve got to go out and do our job,” Klahold added.

Competing in their season opener Feb. 22-23 at the U.S. Indoor Nationals in Lancaster, Pennsylvania College of Technology archers recorded three first-place finishes, one second and two thirds. In addition, three Wildcats are ranked in the Top 10 nationally in their respective divisions.

Finishing first were Sidney Alpaugh, of Pennsdale, in male bowhunter; Rylee Butler, of Milesburg, in female bowhunter; and Trevor Quarry, of Lebanon, in male recurve.

Zachary Williamson, of Mill Hall, was second in male compound while Ryan McCrickerd, of Bethlehem, in male bowhunter, and Sapphire Naugle, of Jersey Shore, in female compound, both came in third.

Nationally, Alpaugh is ranked No. 7 while Williamson and Butler are ranked 1oth.

Also for Penn College:

  • Nathaniel Haefka, of Wyalusing, was fourth in male bowhunter.
  • David Fox, of Coburn, was fifth in male bowhunter.
  • Kayla Hoffer, of Hummelstown, was sixth in female compound.
  • Sabrina Toplovich, of Spring Creek, was seventh in female compound.
  • Kaylee Burk, of Hermitage, was seventh in female recurve.

McCrickerd is ranked 11th nationally, Haefka 12th, Naugle 13th, Fox 15th, Quarry 17th, Hoffer 24th, Toplovich 25th and Burk 32nd.

“(Assistant coach) Dustin (Bartron) and I are very pleased on the results from this past weekend and we are looking very good for the outdoor season. Most of the team shot their average with Naugle, Alpaugh and McCrickerd shooting their personal best,” coach Chad Karstetter said. “With these scores and looking into the future, we will be set up to win a few All-East and All-American honors.

College president appointed to national advisory group
Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour has been appointed to the NCAA Division III Chancellors/Presidents Advisory Group, it was announced last week.

Gilmour will serve alongside other presidents and chancellors from Division III conferences across the country who advise the Division III Presidents Council, the highest governing body in the division.

Gilmour’s two-year term begins immediately and will continue through the close of the January 2021 NCAA Convention.

Overall: 0-0
NEAC: 0-0
Saturday, March 9 – vs. Benedict College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 10 – vs. Mt. Aloysius College (2) at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 3 p.m.
Monday, March 11 – vs. The Catholic University of America at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 – vs. Stockton University (2) at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 10 a.m.
Wednesday, March 13 – vs. Wells College at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 12:30 a.m.
Thursday, March 14 – vs. Centenary, N.J., University at Myrtle Beach, S.C., 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 – at Washington College (2), 12:30 p.m.

Overall: 0-0
NEAC: 0-0
Saturday, March 9 – vs. Notre Dame of Maryland University at Virginia Beach, Va., 10 a.m.
Saturday, March 9 – vs. Wilkes University at Virginia Beach, Va., 2 p.m.
Monday, March 11 – vs. Spalding, Ky., University at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1:30 p.m.
Monday, March 11— vs. Albertus Magnus College at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 – vs. Cairn University at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12 – vs. Shawnee State University at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 14 – vs. Norwich University at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 9:30 a.m.
Thursday, March 14 – vs. Dean College at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 1:30 p.m.
Friday, March 15 – vs. Dean College at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 9:30 a.m.
Friday, March 15 – vs. Medaille College at North Myrtle Beach, S.C., 11:30 a.m.
Friday, March 22 – host Keystone College (2) at Elm Park, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 23 – host SUNY Pottsdam (2) at Elm Park, 2 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 22-23 – U.S. Indoor Nationals at Lancaster Archery Supply
Saturday-Sunday, April 13-14 – Adam Wheatcroft Memorial/U.S. Archery East Regionals at James Madison University
Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19 – U.S. National Outdoor Collegiate Championships at Darree Fields Park, Dublin, Ohio.

For more about NEAC, visit the conference website.

For more information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

No. 30

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