KISSIMMEE, Fla. (March 6, 2009) Lake Erie College made its debut as an NCAA Division II provisional member at the Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla. March 1-6 against several talented teams at the DII level. Heading into the season-opening event, the Storm was one of the most inexperienced teams when it came to playing outdoors, having been able to leave the confines of the gymnasium on only a handful of occasions during preseason. With those factors weighing heavily on the team from the start, Lake Erie took the field in anticipation of an interesting week.
Storm Shows Growth at Rebel Games in Florida
Posted: Mar 06, 2009
Lake Erie opened the season against Kutztown University from Pennsylvania, who was playing in its ninth game of the season. The Storm was held scoreless and hitless in the outing, falling 14-0.
In game two, Lake Erie again came up short, this time against Lake Superior State University out of Michigan, 7-0. The team recorded its first three hits of the year – all singles.
On day two of the Rebel Games, Lake Erie lost in the day’s opener, 11-0 to the University of the Sciences out of Philadelphia, Pa. The Storm had just two hits that game, but five errors in the field.
In the day’s nightcap, Lake Erie plated its first runs of the season, losing to Gannon University, 11-3. The Storm was scoreless until the top of the sixth when it strung together four hits, including RBI singles by freshmen Jessica Connell (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls), Jamie Wodecki (Northfield, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel) and Lindsey Pennell (Columbus, Ohio/Westland) and a double by freshman Megan Foley (Brunswick, Ohio/Brunswick) – which marked Lake Erie’s first extra base hit of the season.
With the pressure to score its first runs as a Division II competitor now eliminated, the Storm began its third day of the trip in a much more relaxed playing state. The green and white put up two runs in the top of the second to take the lead against Edinboro University, before falling behind in the third inning and losing the contest, 4-2. Senior Brittney Binko (Warren, Ohio/John F. Kennedy) went 2-for-4 in her return from a back injury and fellow senior Katie Staats (Willoughby, Ohio/South) hit the team’s lone extra base hit of the game with a double, earning one of the team’s two RBIs.
In the final game of the afternoon, Lake Erie lost 11-3 to the California University of Pennsylvania. The Storm scored its three runs on eight hits with the freshmen trio of Kristen Robbins (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown), Britney Lopez (Defiance, Ohio/Defiance) and Foley combining for seven of the hits. Foley also tacked on two RBIs.
On the fourth day, the Storm lost to Holy Family University from Philadelphia, Pa., 5-2 before rebounding with its first win of the season against Bellarmine University from Louisville, Ky., 4-3. Against Holy Family, Lake Erie scored a run in each of the first two innings and held the lead until the bottom of the fourth. The Storm totaled four hits in the contest – two from Wodecki.
Against Bellarmine, who was playing in its 18th game of the year, the Storm won in come-from-behind fashion in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out, RBI single from Rathge. Wodecki and Foley each went 2-for-4 in the game. Foley and Robbins both hit a solo home run – the first of their collegiate careers. Freshman hurler Sam Ronde (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) earned the victory after going the distance with three strikeouts and just two earned runs. The win was only the second in program history against a Division II program. The first came last season against Findlay.
Lake Erie began the final day of the Rebel Games with a win against Clarion University, 5-3. The Storm allowed its opponents three runs in the top of the first before answering with a score of its own in the bottom of the inning, then adding four more runs in the fourth. Ronde earned her second win of the season in four innings of relief in which she struck out one. The Storm had nine hits with Wodecki and Foley again recording two apiece. Lake Erie hosts Clarion later on this year.
The Storm concluded its Florida outing with an 11-3 loss to Shippensburg University from Pennsylvania. Lake Erie totaled more hits than its opponent with nine, however, recorded more errors as well. Foley and Staats went 2-for-3.
For the week, Foley led Lake Erie with a .522 average after going 12-for-23 with six RBIs and four runs. She also led the team with five walks and two home runs. Wodecki hit .320 with an 8-for-25 effort that included four runs scored and Staats checked in at .304 with a 7-for-23 performance with three runs and three stolen bases.
On the mound, Ronde went 2-3 with nine strikeouts in five appearances and sophomore Lauren Malicki (Independence, Ohio/Independence) totaled seven strikeouts in six appearances.
The Storm (2-8) remains on the road this weekend taking on Lake Superior State and Grand Valley State in single games at Urbana University on Saturday, followed by a single contest against the host on Sunday.