Addison, Lauray and Grottle highlight weekend of athletics for Pitt

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Thomas Yang | Senior Staff Photographer

Pitt gymnastics finished in second place at the Towson quad meet.

By Jason Glancey, For the Pitt News

This weekend, Pitt continued its trend of standout individual performances trumping overall team results. Standout performances from junior Evan Addison and senior Greg Lauray of track and field and first-year Abby Grottle of swimming and diving highlighted the weekend.

Softball

Pitt softball kicked off its ACC pod play this weekend with five games, two against Duke and three against Virginia. Four of the five games were played in Durham, North Carolina, with the final game against Virginia played in Raleigh. Pitt only managed to win one of those five games.

Pitt began the series of games on Friday with a devastating 9-0 loss to Duke. The Blue Devils held the Panthers to only one hit. Apparently fueled by that loss, Pitt went on to beat Virginia 7-4 the same day.

Pitt played Virginia again on Saturday, looking to sweep the series. Virginia did not allow it, beating Pitt 4-2. The next loss of the weekend came in the second game against Duke. Pitt lost the game 11-3. Pitt’s last, and worst, game of the weekend came on Sunday versus Virginia. Pitt dropped the game 12-3, getting shut out five out of seven innings. Pitt’s record now stands at 1-6 overall and 1-4 in conference.

Despite the games against Duke being only five innings, Pitt allowed more runs in those games compared to others. A common factor in many of Pitt’s losses this year have been errors. In game two against Duke, Pitt recorded six errors. Over the entire weekend Pitt recorded 11. 

Pitt will look to clean up the mistakes in its next game. The Panthers will face Toledo at the Black and Orange Challenge, a tournament hosted by Mercer University, on Feb. 26.

Gymnastics

Pitt gymnastics earned a much better result than softball this weekend, finishing in second place at the Towson quad meet. Pitt ended up having the best scores of the meet on bars and beam at 48.850 and 48.750, respectively, but North Carolina’s vault and floor score catapulted the Tar Heels to the win over Pitt 195.000-193.875.

Towson finished third at the meet with a score of 193.700. Long Island University finished last with a score of 188.075.

Pitt’s record improved to 4-6-1 overall after the meet. The Panther’s next outing will be a quad meet at LIU on Feb. 28 against New Hampshire, Towson and, of course, the hosting Sharks.

Indoor Track & Field

The Panthers headed down to Clemson, South Carolina, this weekend for the Tiger Paw Track and Field Invitational.

In the women’s events, The Panthers’ first top-10 placement came from senior Nikki Scherer in the women’s 400-meter dash. She finished with a time of 55.89 seconds. Senior Ally Brunton closely followed up with fifth place in the women’s mile. First-year Emily Brown also placed in the top-10 in the mile, finishing eighth. Junior Eddita Pessima, who placed 10th in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, was the next top-10 finisher.

In the men’s track events, three Pitt athletes took top-10 placements in the 3,000-meter run. Senior Zach Lefever placed fourth, first-year Luke Henseler placed sixth and first-year Sam Otis placed eighth. Three Panthers took top 10 in the 60-meter hurdles preliminaries as well. Senior Kollin Smith took seventh, senior Daveon Finley took eighth and senior Felix Wolter took 10th. In the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, Smith finished sixth and Finley finished eighth.

In the women’s field events, Breanna Phillips took the first top-10 spot for the women in the high jump. She placed eighth with a jump of 1.62 meters. First-year Ilse Steigenga also took eighth place in her event, with a long jump of 5.82 meters.

Pitt junior Evan Addison starred in the track events for the Panthers, taking home a first place finish in the men’s mile with a time of 4:04.08. Senior Josh Higgins also placed on the podium in the mile, taking third place with a time of 4:06.44.

Pitt senior Greg Lauray highlighted the field events for the Panthers, placing first in the men’s high jump with a jump of 2.16 meters.

The ACC indoor track and field championships will be next weekend. They will take place from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27 at Clemson.

ACC Swim & Dive Championships

The ACC women’s swimming and diving championships took place over the weekend. The Panthers ended up taking 11th place, but the meet was not without standout performances.

First-year Abby Grottle’s record-breaking performance in the women’s 1,650-yard freestyle highlighted the event. Grottle finished in seventh place at 16:28.67, breaking the program record for a performance by a first-year at the ACC championships.

Virginia ended up taking home first place, becoming the 2021 ACC women’s swimming and diving champions.

The ACC men’s championship will take place from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27 in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

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