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Softball team playoff-bound; golf, tennis seasons end on high notes

Win the inning. That approach, and a focus on playing better defense, has lifted the Pennsylvania College of Technology softball team into this week’s North Eastern Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

As the second seed in the South Division, the Wildcats will host third-seeded Penn State Abington at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Elm Park.

In other action for Penn College teams over the weekend, both the men’s tennis and golf squads had several all-conference honorees as a result of their season-ending tournaments.

Last Monday in NEAC action at Wells College, the Wildcats won 11-7 in eight innings and 11-2 in six innings. In the first game, Penn College fell behind 4-0 after three innings before scoring two in the fourth, five in the fifth and pulling it out with four in the eighth on a grand-slam home run by Kylie Shreiner, of East Petersburg. Also for the Wildcats, Liz Asher, of East Stroudsburg, homered, doubled, scored twice and drove in two runs. Morgan Heritage, of New Castle, Delaware, earned the win with three innings of scoreless relief, fanning seven and improving to 5-7. In the second game, Shreiner continued her tear, rapping out three more hits and driving in six more runs, causing fourth-year coach Jackie Klahold to comment, “It was fantastic.” Kassidy Svenson, of Auburn, went five innings on the mound to earn the win as she and Heritage combined on a two-hitter.

At home in conference play on Tuesday against Lancaster Bible College, Penn College scored a 4-0 and 10-2, five-inning, doubleheader sweep. In the opener, Heritage fired a two-hit shutout, walking one and fanning eight. Taylor Krow, of Mechanicsburg, led the Wildcats’ offense with two hits and drove in one run. In the nightcap, a triple by Shayla Bickel, of Shinglehouse, plated two runs in a six-run third inning and Chelsea Gray, of Marysville, homered in the fourth to close out the scoring. Svenson, the second of three Penn College pitchers, got the win.

Literally playing for its playoff life on Saturday at College of St. Elizabeth, Penn College won the first game, 3-1, and second game, 7-1, to secure a postseason berth. In the first game, Heritage evened her pitching record at 7-7 with an eight-strikeout performance and Shreiner supplied the offense, going 3 for 3 with two RBIs. In the second game, Shreiner had three more hits, including two doubles, and drove in two runs while scoring twice and Taylor Brooks, of Cogan Station, also plated two runs. Svenson started on the mound and got the win.

Closing out its regular season Sunday at Penn State Abington, Penn College extended its win streak to 10 with a 7-0 first-game victory before falling 5-1 in the second game while improving to 21-13 overall and 13-5 in the conference. The 21 wins ties the college’s single-season win record during the NCAA era that began in 2015. In the opener, Heritage was on mark with a nine-strikeout shutout. And she got all of the offensive support she needed when Krow scored in the fifth inning on a lineout to center by Gray. The Wildcats tacked on six runs in the seventh, however, for good measure. Krow ended the game with three hits and Shreiner two. In the nightcap, two Abington pitchers limited Penn College to three hits and Svenson went to 6-2 in taking the mound loss for the Wildcats.

“It’s been good to see things starting to come together. … We had some bright spots earlier in the year and we just haven’t been able to put a lot of things together, so it’s nice to see everything starting to come together at the right time,” Klahold said.

“The offensive production has been wonderful. The girls are starting to hit their strides and starting to have a little bit more discipline at the plate, trying to get their pitch and just go up and do their job,” she said. “That’s putting some of the pitchers at ease because they’re going out there confident with the lead and making some good pitches.”

Commenting on the pitching success of Heritage and Svenson, Klahold said, “I think (Heritage) mixing in her off-speed pitches has been helping set up her other pitches. We’re seeing a little bit more of a variety of her pitches, instead of sticking to one or two.

“Kassidy likes to induce a lot of fly balls, a lot of groundouts, and she completely trusts her defense out there.”

In addition to the “one inning” concept, Klahold said stressing better defensive play has been a key.

“Our defense has been, at times, struggling. We have no rhyme or reason behind it. … So just getting more consistent. … We have to go out there and we have to be focused 100% of the time, every pitch. … Tightening up that defense has been our main goal,” the coach said.

Addressing the “win the inning” concept, Klahold said, “If a run is allowed or something happens with the opposing team, how are we going to respond? How are we going to win the inning? And for the most part, for the past few weeks, we’ve been responding, we’ve been winning a lot of innings.”

“It’s intense and it’s exciting and it’s fun. That’s what this is all about,” Klahold said of the late-season run for a playoff berth.

And now it will continue in the postseason.

The winners of first-round matchups (Keuka College plays at SUNY Poly in Tuesday’s North Division game) will advance to a four-team, double-elimination tournament scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Penn State Berks. The remaining four teams will be reseeded after the completion of Tuesday’s first-round games.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host Penn State Abington (16-21 overall, 7-3 NEAC), 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Last meeting vs. Penn State Abington: Won 7-0, Lost 5-1 Sunday.

NEAC South Division standings through Sunday: Penn State Berks 10-0, Penn College 7-3, Penn State Abington 7-3, St. Elizabeth 3-7, Gallaudet University 2-8, Lancaster Bible College 1-9.

NEAC North Division standings through Sunday: SUNY Cobleskill 6-2, SUNY Poly 6-2, Keuka College 5-3, Cazenovia College 4-4, Morrisville State College 1-5, Wells College 0-6.

Statistically speaking in the NEAC Top 10: Shreiner is No. 1 with 38 runs batted in; Heritage is No. 2 with 116 strikeouts, No. 4 with a 2.18 earned run average, No. 5 with eight wins; Kyla Benner, of Bethlehem, is tied for No. 2 with one save; Brooks is No. 3 with 28 RBIs; Svenson is No. 9 with a 3.17 ERA

Men’s/women’s tennis
Three individual champions, two runners-up and the NEAC Rookie of the Year. It was a great finish for the Penn College men and first-year interim coach Jessica Bower after competition on Thursday and Friday at Birchwood Tennis Center in Clarks Summit.

Freshman Tucker Phillippe-Johansson, of Mattituck, New York, was named the conference’s top rookie after he captured the No. 2 singles crown and teamed with sophomore Will DeMarco, of Glen Mills, for the No. 2 doubles title. DeMarco also was the No. 3 singles champ and for their efforts, both were named to the all-conference first team.

Finishing second and earning NEAC second-team honors were junior Blake Whitmire, of Shickshinny, at No. 5 singles, and sophomore Joe Morrin, of Morrisville, at No. 6 singles.

“Tucker and Will really worked hard this season and it paid off in the end,” Bower said. “And Blake and Joey worked just as hard. … The men had a really good season this year. I’m proud of them all.”

No Penn College women finished among the top three in their respective flights.

In team competition, Lancaster Bible College took the men’s championship with a 5-4 win over Penn State Abington while the Abington women brought home the gold with a 5-3 win over Lancaster Bible.

After Saturday’s first day of the NEAC Championship at Foxchase Golf Club in Stevens, Penn College was fourth in an eight-team field, three strokes behind third-place Penn State Abington. On Sunday, the Wildcats rallied to end third for the second season in a row and had three individuals among the top 10 in a 39-player field.

Individually for Penn College, senior Ned Baumbach, of Elizabethtown, and sophomore Brian Whelan, of Cresco, put together rounds of 87-75 for a 162 and tied for seventh place while junior Austin Moscariello, of New Columbia, shot 87-77—164 to tie for 10th. As a result of their finishes, all three earned all-conference second-team honors. It was Baumbach’s fourth All-NEAC selection, and Moscariello and Whelan’s second all-conference nods.

Also for the Wildcats, sophomore Eli Dyer, of Wallingford, Connecticut, shot 94-76–170 to tie for 18th and senior Tyler Marks, of Beachwood, New Jersey, shot 94-79–173 to tie for 20th. Richard Stolz, of Rutgers-Camden, medaled with a 77-71–148.

Rutgers-Camden took team honors with a two-day 607 total (314-293) and was followed by Penn State Berks 334-312—646, Penn College 355-303–658, Penn State Abington 352-327—679, SUNY Cobleskill 357-329–686, Keuka College 358-341–699, Morrisville State College 384-341–725 and Lancaster Bible College 396-377–773.

“The round on Saturday was rather demoralizing. … Our guys were very down on themselves early on and could never really snap out of it. The 40-50 mph gusts that we had throughout the day make for a very challenging day of golf,” coach Matt Haile said. “It was just a mentally draining day.

“But I can’t say enough about how proud I am on their bounce back. To shoot a 303 (Sunday), that’s the best score that I’ve had in my 10 years coaching for a team. … I’m just ecstatic to have them go out on such a high note.

“We finally did it. We had one day where everything clicked. Everyone was in sync and their games were firing on all cylinders. I’m ecstatic.”

Collegiate careers are over for Baumbach, Dyer and Marks, and Haile said he has big shoes to fill, then added, “With guys coming in, I’m hoping to be right there in the top of the seedings. Rutgers and Berks are going to be strong teams, but I see us building our program and being right there with them.”

Last Tuesday, the Wildcats wrapped up their regular season in the Elmira College Spring Invitational at Elmira Country Club where they finished third among 12 in team competition and Baumbach placed second individually with a 76, one stroke behind medalist Jarrett McWilliams, of SUNY Delhi. SUNY Delhi B and SUNY Oswego tied for team honors at 321 and the Wildcats finished a close third at 322. Following were: SUNY Delhi 333, SUNY Cobleskill 338, Penn State Altoona 342, Keuka College 345, Medaille College 346, Hobart College 347, Nazareth College 360, Elmira College 428 and Morrisville State College 430. Also for Penn College: Dyer finished sixth with a 79, Marks tied for 13th at 83, and Moscariello and Whelan tied for 19th at 84 in a 60-player field.

Hosting NEAC foe Penn State Abington on Tuesday, Penn College split, winning 3-2 and losing 10-3. In the opener, the Wildcats came from one run down in the second and fifth frames to force an extra inning and won it in the eighth on an RBI single by Cole Hofmann, of Newtown. Starting pitcher Nathan Holt, of Shippensburg, went the distance, allowing no earned runs, walking one and striking out eight. In the second game, Abington took advantage of four Penn College errors to earn a split. Christian Perna, of Frenchtown, New Jersey, drove in two Penn College runs with a double. Starting pitcher Devon Sanders, of Bloomsburg, took the loss.

In a NEAC doubleheader on Saturday at Gallaudet University, Penn College won 10-5 and 23-9. In the opener, Ethan Ketterman, of Biglerville, had two doubles and drove in three runs in support of Holt, who evened his pitching record at 4-4 after striking out eight and walking none. In the second game, the Wildcats fell behind early but rallied with a six-run fourth and 12-run fifth inning to take command. Ketterman added three more hits – two of them doubles — and drove in three more runs while Richard Lennon, of Morgantown, and Alex Flicker, of Topton, also each had three RBIs. Sanders started on the mound and improved to 2-4.

Picking up on Sunday where they left off the day before and wrapping up the weekend series at Gallaudet, Flicker drilled a three-run home run in a seven-run first inning and the Wildcats rolled to a 20-6 win that improved their overall record to 11-19 and NEAC mark to 8-6 and back in the running for a postseason berth. Penn College had nine multi-hitters in its 29-hit attack with Ketterman and Lennon each having four and Flicker, Perna, Jacob Carles, of Bernville, and Colton Riley, of Danville, each having three. Kittle finished with two doubles and four RBIs. Cody Nelson, of South Williamsport, the second of four Penn College pitchers, got the win and improved to 3-2. In the three-game sweep, the Wildcats rapped out 55 hits.

In North Eastern Athletic Conference action this week (records through Sunday): Host SUNY Poly (8-22 overall, 5-7 NEAC) (2), 1 p.m.; host SUNY Poly, noon Saturday.

Last meeting vs. SUNY Poly: Won 8-3 on May 6, 2017.

NEAC standings through Sunday: Penn State Abington 12-2, Keuka College 11-3, Penn State Berks 10-5, SUNY Cobleskill 8-5, Penn College 8-6, Lancaster Bible College 7-8, Wells College 6-8, SUNY Poly 5-7, Gallaudet University 2-13, Cazenovia College 2-13.

Statistically speaking in the NEAC Top 10: Sanders is No. 1 with a 2.08 earned run average; Holt is No. 3 with 48 strikeouts, tied for No. 4 with four wins and No. 6 with a 3.42 ERA; Carles and Kittle are tied for No. 5 with five home runs; Kittle is tied for No. 6 with 30 RBIs; Trevor Dolan, of New Bloomfield, and Andrew Gilbert, of Yardley, are tied for No. 7 with one save.

Twenty-one inducted into athletics honor society
On Wednesday, the college Athletics Department welcomed its inaugural class of Chi Alpha Sigma National Collegiate Athletic Honor Society. Inducted were 21 student-athletes representing a variety of athletic teams, all six of Penn College’s academic schools and a grade point average of 3.769.

Youth basketball day camp scheduled for July
The 2019 Wildcat Basketball Day Camp has been scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29-Aug. 1 in the Penn College Field House, according to head men’s coach Geoff Hensley.

The camp is an opportunity for boys and girls entering grades 3-8 to learn the fundamentals, develop skills, and enjoy four days of basketball games and competitions. Every camper will receive a camp T-shirt, lunch in the college dining hall and individual instruction.

Daily activities of the camp include:

  • Games and contests
  • Shooting and ball handling
  • Team games
  • Full-court fun.

Hensley is entering his second year at Penn College and 10th year overall in college coaching. He has extensive experience in team-building and developing players to reach their maximum potential. The camp is designed to help local youth basketball players learn the game in an exciting and enjoyable experience.

For more information, contact Hensley with any questions or concerns regarding the Wildcat Basketball Camp: by email or by calling 570-320-2400, ext. 7719.

To register, visit the “Inside Athletics” tab on the Penn College Athletics website or the direct registration link.

Overall: 11-19
NEAC: 8-6
Tuesday, April 23 – host Penn State Abington (NEAC) at Bowman Field, W, 3-2 in 8 innings; L, 10-3
Saturday, April 27 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC, 2), W, 10-5; W, 23-9
Sunday, April 28 – at Gallaudet University (NEAC), W, 20-6
Tuesday, April 30 – host Juniata College (2) at Bowman Field, 1 p.m.
Friday, May 3 – host SUNY Poly (NEAC) at Bowman Field, 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 4 – host SUNY Poly (NEAC) at Bowman Field, noon
Tuesday, May 7 – NEAC playoffs begin, TBA
Friday, May 10 – NEAC Championship Tournament, TBA

Overall: 21-13
NEAC: 13-5
Monday, April 22 – at Wells College (NEAC, 2), W, 11-7 in 8 innings; W, 11-2 in 6 innings
Tuesday, April 23 – host Lancaster Bible College (NEAC, 2) at Elm Park, W, 4-0; W, 10-2 in 5 innings
Friday, April 26 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC, 2), ppd. to Sunday
Saturday, April 27 – at College of St. Elizabeth (NEAC, 2), W, 3-1; W, 7-1
Sunday, April 28 – at Penn State Abington (NEAC, 2), W, 7-0; L, 5-1
Tuesday, April 30 – host Penn State Abington in NEAC playoff at Elm Park, 3 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, May 3-4 – NEAC Final Four at Penn State Berks, TBA
Sunday, May 5 – NEAC Final Four (rain date, if necessary)

Men’s Tennis
Final overall: 6-4 (1-2 fall)
Final NEAC: 2-2
Thursday-Friday, April 25-26 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Center, Clarks Summit

Women’s Tennis
Final overall: 1-9 (0-3 fall)
Final NEAC: 1-3
Friday-Saturday, April 26-27 – NEAC Championships at Birchwood Tennis Center, Clarks Summit

Tuesday, April 23 – Elmira College Spring Invitational at Elmira County Club, finished third in a 12-team field
Saturday-Sunday, April 27-28 – NEAC Championships at Foxchase Golf Club, finished third in an 8-team field

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. 38

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