WHEELING - If there's one thing Caitlin Jividen learned while playing softball at Wheeling Park High School, it was that personal success doesn't trump that of the team.
Jividen, the daughter of David and Betsy Jividen, has taken that same attitude to Central Ohio where she is a key cog in the Ohio Dominican University softball program.
''The team is doing really well,'' Jividen said following practice Thursday. ''We've started out in the conference strong. It's been a lot of fun.''
The Panthers, members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC), stand at 14-20-1 overall and 9-3 in conference play, good enough for third place behind Grand Valley State and Northwood.
Ohio Dominican is currently in the midst of a three-school road trip. The Panthers visit Lake Erie for a twinbill Saturday afternoon.
Jividen was 2-for-4 with an RBI in Wednesday's 2-1 triumph against Notre Dame. She is batting .358.
''I have a lot of goals this year, but not a lot of personal ones,'' she said. ''I'd like to see us finish in the top 3 in the GLIAC.''
Earlier this season, the shortstop was named GLIAC Softball Player of the Week after help guide the Panthers to a comeback victory against Concordia. She drove in four runs, including a three-run homer to center field.
''I honestly had no idea I was up for the award,'' she said. ''It's a big honor and it was really surprising to me.''
Jividen credits her coaches and her father for her success, as well as the late Ben Taylor, who was her travel team coach.
''We have a tough stretch coming up,'' she said. ''We just have to stay focused.''
Jividen is one of two OVAC alums playing softball for a GLIAC school this season. The other is Edison High School's Kayla Marcus, who plays for Walsh University.
The transition from high school to college can be a difficult one for some. But Marissa Bosley is making it look seemless.
Bosley, who spent the last four years as the anchor behind the plate for the Magnolia High School softball team, is enjoying a fine freshman season for Bethany College.
The former standout for Coach Mark Batton, who is batting .267, leads the Bison with triples (two) and is second in games played (23). She is also fifth in slugging percentage (.400), runs scored (10) and total bases (24).
Bethany (14-10, 5-1), winners of four straight, is locked in a battle for the top spot in the Presidents' Athletic Conference with Geneva (12-8, 6-0). The two teams met Wednesday, but weather stopped the contest with one out in the seventh with the score tied at 2-2. The contest will resume at 5 this afternoon at Bethany. The teams will play again immediately following.
Nogay Piling Up Honors
While Bethany and Geneva are currently battling for the top spot in PAC softball, Washington and Jefferson stands currently stands alone atop the conference in baseball.
Helping lead the way is Madonna graduate Eddie Nogay. The junior is the ace of the Presidents' pitching staff with a 5-0 record and a 3.25 earned run average. He's recorded 29 strikeouts and walked nine this season en route to being named PAC Pitcher of the Week twice (March 11 and April 2).
A standout student, Nogay was selected as the PAC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Scholar-Athlete for the Month of March. The English major has a 3.58 grade point average.
The Presidents (15-5, 11-1), winners of seven straight, return to the home diamond at 4 this afternoon against Thiel (13-9, 7-1).
Speaking of the Nogay family, Max Nogay continues to have a hand in the West Virginia University baseball team's growth this season.
Nogay, the former Madonna three-sport standout, is batting .192 in 14 games for the Mountaineers (18-16).
Magnolia grad Justin Fox has played in 15 games and is batting .267
Baynes Making Impact
Former Wheeling Park High School standout Errin Baynes is starting to make his presence know at Southern Cal.
The former West Virginia state champ was ninth (6-6) in the high jump on the final day of The Trojan Invitational.
Ohio State, West Virginia will be having their spring football games during the next two weeks.
The second spring season for Coach Urban Meyer with the Buckeyes concludes at 1 p.m. Saturday with the annual Scarlet and Gray Game. The game will be played at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati as Ohio Stadium is in the midst of renovations.
Coach Dana Holgorsen's West Virginia Mountaineers will play their annual Blue-Gold Game at 2 p.m. April 20 at Milan Puskar Stadium.
That same afternoon, Coach Roger Waialae's West Liberty Hilltoppers will conduct their spring game.
Rick Thorp can be reached via email at email@example.com