Trib HSSN athletes of the week: Fort Cherry’s Cameron Schaub, Indiana’s Lauren Bertig
By: Don Rebel
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | 10:54 PM
School: Fort Cherry
Claim to fame: Fort Cherry had not qualified for the WPIAL baseball playoffs since 2012. However, that playoff drought ended this spring when the Rangers finished 10-5 overall and tied for second with Chartiers-Houston in Section 1-2A, one game behind Carmichaels. One of the keys to the Power Rangers' success was the play of Cameron Schaub on the hill and at the plate. Last week, Schaub hit .500 (5 for 10) with five runs, five RBIs and a pair of home runs. Schaub and his Fort Cherry teammates were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs Tuesday. Schaub was hit by a pitch twice and also pitched 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings in the loss.
How tough was it falling to Laurel in Round 1 of the playoffs?
Being that this was my first playoff experience as a Fort Cherry Ranger, the loss to Laurel was a very tough one, especially because we were right there with them most of the game. But we fought really hard, and I couldn't be more proud of the guys.
Was the team pumped in anticipation of everybody's first taste of the playoff baseball?
We were both excited for the opportunity but a little nervous as this was our first playoff game together. Hopefully, making the playoffs will become the norm for future FC teams.
Has it set in yet that your high school career has come to an end?
Yes, it was a very emotional postgame meeting. The thank you and good byes were very tough. It was even harder realizing that I wouldn't be able to play with some of my teammates that I became very close with ever again. A lot of tears were shed.
After three losing seasons, does it feel pretty good helping to put together a winning season for the Rangers?
Yes. After the first couple season I played, I knew that this year would be our only chance to make a real playoff run. I was not too sure about it in the very beginning, because practice indoors and hitting in cages is very different from being on a field for real, and we were comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores. But everyone had the same mindset of winning and we finished out my senior season strong.
What's a better feeling, pitching well and leading your team to a win or hitting a home run that leads your team to a win?
Surprisingly, I prefer pitching and leading my team to a win. Knowing that I have a lot of control over the game and seeing that control be successful doesn't compare to anything else. Getting the final out for a complete-game win is a great feeling.
Can you rank your top five favorite musical groups or singers?
I have a fairly diverse music taste. My No. 1 is the rapper Logic, No. 2 Childish Gambino, No. 3 Shinedown, No. 4 Breaking Benjamin, No. 5 Young the Giant.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
As a stereotypical teenager, I play a lot of video games. But I get real enjoyment from spending time with my family and friends. I'm trying to spend my little time left in high school with all of my friends as much as possible.
Claim to fame: In their last three games of the regular season, Lauren Bertig and Indiana yielded only two runs in victories over Butler, Homer-Center and Leechburg last week. So how did Bertig and the Little Indians feel after giving up 11 runs in a Class 4A first-round playoff game against West Mifflin? Jubilation! The Little Indians scored 13 runs to win a wild opening-round postseason contest as Indiana moves on to the quarterfinals. Down 11-6, Indiana scored five runs in the sixth to tie the game and Alley Bush hit a two-run walk-off homer in the seventh as Bertig picked up the win, her fourth straight victory in the circle. Bertig is wrapping up a successful scholastic softball career that will continue down the road next year at IUP.
In 2016, Indiana made the playoffs. Last year, the Little Indians won a playoff game. Is the next step a deep postseason run this year?
After our 2016 season, we lost two significant players, but we still had a lot of confidence in our team, and we knew we could do well. After winning the first playoff game last year, we knew that we had a tough game in the second round. Unfortunately, we were unable to win that game, but we knew that we would be back this year. After an exciting first round win against West Mifflin, we know that our second-round matchup will be very challenging again. I think we can make this a better game than last year against Yough. We know that we have to go out and play our best, but we have confidence that we can do it. As far as going deep into the playoffs this year, we don't really think about that. Our coaches and team take one game at a time.
How crazy was the first-round win over West Mifflin with 24 runs scored?
Our first-round game was exciting to say the least, but our team knows that we could have and should have played better overall. We knew going into that game, it was going to be difficult, as they are a good team, but we fought through difficulties, and came out with the win. Every player contributed in that win, and we knew that if we go down a couple of runs, we were able to come back in the bottom half of the inning. I don't think anyone expected 24 runs to be scored, but sometimes that's what happens; it's the playoffs.
What are your strengths in the circle, and what do you have to work on as you prepare for the next level?
I believe my biggest strength in the circle is being able to stay calm. I am not one to get rattled or upset, I just continue pitching and playing the game. I do not let outside factors affect me, and I take one pitch at a time. If I'm not having my best game, I stay confident in myself, and make adjusts throughout the game. Over the summer, I will continue working with a trainer to get stronger and prepare myself to pitch at the college level.
You are staying close to home for college. What are some of the reasons behind going to IUP?
I chose IUP because I believe that it was a good fit for me. After watching IUP play, being able to meet the team, and touring campus, I think it will be an exciting place to further my academic and athletic career.
You are one of two seniors on the Indiana roster. Has being a leader been easy with this young group?
Being one of the two seniors on the team this year, it has been very fun and memorable. We are all really close friends, and believe in each other. It is easy being a leader, because we all have the same mindset of going out and playing each game to the best of our abilities.
What is your favorite season?
My favorite season is summer because it is very relaxing and a time to spend with family and friends. I also play travel softball throughout the summer, and we travel to many different places, and I love traveling, especially with my teammates.
With graduation around the corner, if somebody gave you an airplane ticket to anywhere, what would be your top three choices?
Italy, the British Virgin Islands, or Florida. I would travel to the British Virgin Islands and Florida because I love warm weather, and being in the sun. I would travel to Italy, because of the culture and I am Italian and love Italian food.
Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.