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 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 Harris, who is starting his 12th season as coach.
Key returning players are pitcher-first baseman Lacy Lose, outfielder Casey Davis, catcher Britni Fennell, first baseman Stephanie Keifrider, and third baseman Stephanie Koleno. Also returning are Lindsey Anderson, Cora Bova, Maggie Calkins, Dana Ritter, and Emily Yoder.
Among the newcomers are third baseman-shortstop Samantha Hill, a transfer from Lock Haven University, pitcher-outfielder Katie Kratzer, pitcher Christina Mignot, shortstop-outfielder Nicole Lo Furno, pitcher Karey Wolfe, pitcher Kimberly Walter, pitcher Delaney Blubaugh and catcher Rachael Shaeffer.
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 can get points for us also," coach Schuyler Frey said.
Representing Penn College will be Ryan Hart at 133 pounds, Logan Gresock at 174, Tyler Myers at 157, Paul Crutchlow at 184, Austin Clark at 165, Daniel Frankenfield at 174 and Alex Muller 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 went 2 for 4 at the plate with a run and stolen base. Starting pitcher Zach Yetter went four innings, allowing two hits, two runs and recording three strikeouts. In the second game, James Simasek 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 allowed two hits and one run with one strikeout in four innings of work.
TWO coaches retire
Last week it was announced that cross country coach Mike Paulhamus and women's volleyball coach Bambi Hawkins were retiring from their positions.