2011 MSA Sports Sweet 16 WPIAL Softball Players of the Week

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Thursday, June 30, 2011 | 12:00 AM


This is the 2011 MSA Sports Sweet 16 Page continued from the MSA Sports Sweet 16 Main Page with the Sweet 16 Softball Players of the Week.

 

* 2011 MSA Sports Sweet Sixteen Softball 'Player of the Week in AAAA/AAA'

Week of May 9-14 2011

"Sweet 16" Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
CARLY BONK – VALLEY VIKINGS – JUNIOR – FIRST BASEMEN
AND
DEANNA HILEMAN – BELLE VERNON AREA LEOPARDS – SOPHOMORE – LEFT FIELDER

The final two players chosen during the inaugural season of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA as Players-Of-The-Week suit up for a pair of 2011 Section Champions. They are Valley High School junior first basemen Carly Bonk and Belle Vernon Area High School sophomore left fielder Deanna Hileman. This is the first time that either Carly or Deanna has received the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA as Players-Of-The-Week suit up for a pair of 2011 Section Champions. They are Valley High School junior first basemen Carly Bonk and Belle Vernon Area High School sophomore left fielder Deanna Hileman. This is the first time that either Carly or Deanna has received the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W honor although both of these student-athletes have been named to our program's Weekly Honor Roll this season. Ms. Bonk was named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA weekly honor roll for the week of April 11-16 2011. Ms. Hileman was named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's weekly honor roll twice this season (for the weeks of April 11-16 and April 18-23 2011) before breaking through to earn the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W for the first time.

Carly Bonk becomes the second Valley player to get selected the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA
P-O-T-W this season. The other Vikings standout to be so recognized is senior pitcher Caitlin Nealer who received that distinction twice. The Section 5 AAA Champion Valley Vikings were able to only play one game this week and it was a 6-2 victory over the Knoch Knights on Monday. Carly hit a solo homerun and had (2) RBI. Her glove at first base is so stellar that it provides the other infielders the confidence that no matter where they throw the ball she will come up with it. Valley head coach Carol Perroz is a strong proponent of her players being able to "flash the leather" on defense. Carly gives her all in everything she does and this week she was inducted into Valley High School's National Honor Society. She carries a 4.1 GPA while playing softball and participating on a travel volleyball team. The Vikings (9-1 11-1 overall) begin their quest for another WPIAL Championship on Tuesday afternoon (Valley won the WPIAL Class AA title last season) when they face Thomas Jefferson at 4:00 pm. at Fairhaven Park in Kennedy Township. A game that will be broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network.

Deanna Hileman is the fourth Belle Vernon Area player to receive the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA
P-O-T-W recognition in 2011. She joins a BVA teammates sophomore shortstop Natalie Bashada her sister junior pitcher/shortstop Haley Bashada and junior second basemen Courtney Seman. The left-handed hitter bats third and is the team leader in several offensive categories this year. The Leopards also only played one game this week and it was a big win on the road at Section 2 AAAA Champion Franklin Regional 5-4 on Tuesday. Deanna went 3 for 4 with (2) singles and (1) two-bagger. "Dee" leads the Leopards with a .537 batting average hits (29) doubles (8) RBI (17) and walks (7). Hileman also has demonstrated a sharp eye at the plate as she has only fanned (3) times all year. Deanna is a versatile player for head coach Tom Rodriguez as she also plays first base and is the number 2 pitcher. "Dee" is a 2-year starter and has a 3.70 GPA. The Section 3 AAA Champion Leopards (8-2 13-4 overall) take their first steps towards a possible WPIAL Class AAA Title on Tuesday against Highlands at 4:00 pm. at Woodland Hills High School.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
None
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Week of May 2-7 2011

"Sweet 16" Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
JAYNE OBERDORF – GREENSBURG-SALEM GOLDEN LIONS – SOPHOMORE – PITCHER
TAYLOR MEHAN -GREENSBURG-SALEM GOLDEN LIONS – SOPHOMORE – CATCHER
AND
COURTNEY SEMAN – BELLE VERNON AREA LEOPARDS – JUNIOR – SECOND BASEMEN

This week's recipients of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Players-Of-The-Week honors are a trio of talented underclassmen from a pair of Class AAA members who have been leading their two squads to some significant accomplishments this season. Two are from the Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions and the other designee is from the Belle Vernon Area Leopards. This is the first time this season that the Golden Lions have had any players selected as the Players-Of-The-Week. This honor will not be the last time that these two upwardly rising standouts will receive this recognition. They are SOPHOMORE. PITCHER JAYNE OBERDORF AND SOPHOMORE CATCHER TAYLOR MEHAN OF THE GREENSBURG-SALEM GOLDEN LIONS. After an 0-2 start to the 2011 season the Golden Lions now (8-1 8-3 overall) have played well in the games that count the most. The reason for the team's success has been the performance of Jayne and Taylor. In their biggest game of the season on Thursday against unbeaten and the top ranked team in the MSA Sports Network's Class AAA Top Ten the Yough Cougars now (6-1 and 9-1 overall) Mehan and Oberdorf delivered the goods. And they produced against the best pitcher in the WPIAL in Yough senior left-hander Nicole Sleith. In the first of two games at Greensburg-Salem High School (the second one was the completion of a suspended game from earlier this season at Yough) the Golden Lions gave the Cougars their first defeat of the season 1-0. Greensburg-Salem scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. With two-outs Jayne Oberdorf smacked a double to left center field. Taylor Mehan followed with an RBI single up the middle to plate Oberdorf and it was 1-0 Golden Lions after the first inning. Jayne Oberdorf went the distance and fanned (10) Cougars did not issue a walk scattered (5) hits and pitched a shutout. Taylor Mehan in addition to driving home the winning and only tally of this big game off of Sleith showed her strong throwing arm in gunning down Yough center fielder Sam Shoaf who after singling with two-outs in the top of the second and advancing to second on a passed ball wandered too far from second base and Mehan's accurate throw picked her off to end the second inning. This skillful battery of Jayne Oberdorf and Taylor Mehan looks like it will develop into one of the most dangerous all-around combinations in the WPIAL.
Our third "Sweet 16" Softball Program Class AAAA/AAA Player-Of-The-Week plays for the 2011 Section 3 AAA Champion Belle Vernon Area Leopards. She was chosen the Leopards Player-Of-The-Game for her performance in a Belle Vernon game that was broadcast on the MSA Sports Network back on April 13th but it is her first time receiving the P-O-T-W recognition. She is JUNIOR SECOND BASEMEN COURTNEY SEMAN OF THE BELLE VERNON AREA LEOPARDS. In two rather large section victories last week that earned the Leopards the Section Title (shutout wins over Ringgold 11-0 and Elizabeth Forward 4-0) Courtney was clutch both offensively and defensively. Ms. Seman went 3 for 3 in the win over Ringgold and scored (3) runs. In Belle Vernon's section clinching win over Elizabeth Forward Courtney was 2 for 3 with a double and a sacrifice that led to the Leopards first run in the sixth inning. She "flashed" the leather in this contest when she made several outstanding defensive plays. The game changer was with one-out and the score tied at 0-0 and a runner on third base Courtney made an over-the-shoulder catch in short right field and fired a strike to home which resulted in a tag out to end the inning! Courtney is a three-year starter for head coach Tom Rodriguez and has a 3.65 GPA. She is the third Belle Vernon Area Leopards player to receive the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Player-Of-The-Week this season. The others are Natalie Bashada and Haley Bashada. Natalie got the award for the week of March 28-April 2 2011 and Haley received it for the week of April 4-9 2011. Belle Vernon (8-2 12-4 overall) will enter the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs riding the momentum of having won their last (5) games in a row.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
Katrina George – Valley Vikings – Junior – Catcher – Last week Katrina batted 5 for 7 in two Valley wins. She had (4) RBI and scored a run. In the Kittanning win alone George went 3 for 4 with (1) home run (1) double (1) single and drove in (3) runs. Defensively Katrina also threw out (1) would be base stealer. Ms. George plays travel ball with the Freedon and carries a 3.5 GPA. This is her second time this season being named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA weekly honor roll. The first was for the week of March 28-April 2 2011.

Kati Sterner – Yough Cougars – Senior – Right Fielder – Kati was 7 for 13 with (1) double in Yough's four games (3 shutout wins and 1 loss) this week. She scored (6) runs and had (5) RBI. She is the second Cougars player to be named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA weekly honor roll this season. Karlie Tomich was selected for the week of March 28-April 2 2011.
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Week of April 25-30 2011

"Sweet 16" Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
CAITLIN NEALER – VALLEY VIKINGS – SENIOR – PITCHER

This week's recipient of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Player-Of-The-Week becomes the third player from any of our participating member teams to receive the honor for a second time this season. She joins Yough High School senior pitcher Nicole Sleith and Chartiers-Houston High School junior catcher Colby Miller as two-time honorees. She is the extraordinary senior pitcher and hitter Caitlin Nealer of the number one ranked Class AAA team in last week's MSA Sports Network's AAA rankings Valley Vikings. Caitlin received her first "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W for the week of April 11-16 2011. On Tuesday Nealer was selected as the Player-Of-The-Game for her performance in Valley's 5-0 section win over Mars in a game that was broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network. The Vikings had won their first (8) games this season until Dropping their first contest on Saturday at Hampton 4-2. In two starts this week Ms. Nealer faced (49) batters struck out (26) and surrendered (2) singles. She was at the plate (7) times walking once sacrificing once and collected (4) hits. A homerun two doubles and a single. Valley's stalwart student-athlete scored (3) runs and had (3) RBI. She has verbally committed to continue her softball and academic career at Allegheny College in Meadville PA where she plans to prepare for a life as a veterinarian. Valley (7-1 in Section 5 AAA and 8-1 overall) has two section games remaining and has a (1) game lead in the loss column on second place Hampton (5-2 and 7-3 overall). The Vikings host fourth place Knoch on Tuesday afternoon on senior day and close regular season section play with a trip to last place Kittanning on Thursday.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
Jayne Oberdorf – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions – Sophomore – Pitcher
Alexis Ellin – Belle Vernon Area – Freshmen – Left Fielder

This is Jayne's third appearance this season on the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA weekly honor roll. The first year pitcher is getting better in the circle with every start. Last week she rang up some impressive numbers. Thursday against Uniontown (a 12-0 win) she struck out (10) and walked none in shutting out the Red Raiders. Saturday Jayne threw another blank job (8-0) against the Laurel Highlands Mustangs and fanned (20) and walked (2). The Golden Lions (6-0 in Section 4 AAA and 6-2 overall) have won (6) games in a row and will play a doubleheader at home on Thursday against fellow section rival and unbeaten Yough (4-0 in Section 4 AAA and 7-0 overall). Both games will be broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network.

Alexis just began starting two weeks ago because of injuries to a couple of players. In the Leopards first game this week against Thomas Jefferson and their talented pitcher Alyssa Frankenfield Ms. Ellin smashed a three-run homer and a 2-run double with (5) RBI to lead Belle Vernon to an 8-4 win. Against West Mifflin she had a double and an RBI to start their comeback from a 4-0 deficit at the time. The Leopards ended up winning the game 6-4. In a must win game on Saturday at home versus South Park for Belle Vernon to have an opportunity to win the Section 3 AAA title Alexis had another hit and RBI in the Leopards 7-0 victory over the Eagles. Ellin is Belle Vernon's freshmen pitcher and currently maintains a 3.85 GPA.

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Week of April 18-23 2011

"Sweet 16" CLASS AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
ALEXA LARKIN – GREATER LATROBE WILDCATS – (AAAA)
Senior – Pitcher/First Basemen
AND
NICOLE SLEITH – YOUGH COUGARS – (AAA)
Senior – Pitcher

Pitching usually "rains" supreme in high school softball and that certainly is the case in week four of the 2011 season. This week's "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Co-Players-Of-The-Week are a dynamite pair of the finest hurlers not just in the "Sweet 16" but in the entire WPIAL. Our first recipient plays for the Greater Latrobe Wildcats (5-0 Section 1 and 6-1 overall) who were ranked the number 3 Class AAAA team in last week's MSA Sports Network's Top Ten rankings. She has signed a letter of intent to continue her education and softball career at the University of Pittsburgh next year where she plans to study to be a business manager. She took care of business quite well last week for the Wildcats! That student-athlete is Alexa Larkin. Monday against the Norwin Knights in a 2-1 section win Alexa was 1 for 2 at the plate with a triple and played first base. Wednesday she tossed a 2-hitter in Greater Latrobe's 7-0 section win over Albert Gallatin. Ms. Larkin struck out (15) batters. Then on the following day Larkin threw a PERFECT game striking out (10) and helping herself at the plate by going 3 for 4 in the 12-0 six inning victory once again over Albert Gallatin. Alexa is a returning All-Section pick from last season and has been on the Greater Latrobe varsity softball team for (4) years. Last summer she played for the Shamrocks a national gold level travel team. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. Alexa has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll for (5) years. Greater Latrobe is on a collision course with fellow Section 1 AAAA unbeaten Hempfield Area to determine who will be the Section 1 AAAA Champion in 2011. Alexa's stellar play will have a lot to say about who earns that top spot this season.

The second of our two "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Co-Players-Of-The-Week in Class AAAA/AAA this week is no stranger to receiving this honor. She stands out in the circle and as a hitter for the number 3 ranked Class AAA team in last week's MSA Sports Network's Top Ten rankings the undefeated Yough Cougars (3-0 Section 4 and 6-0 overall). This "shutdown Cougar" is senior pitcher Nicole Sleith. Nicole was the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Tri-Player-Of-The-Week for the week of April 4-9 2011. She spurned scholarship offers from Division One softball powers Such as the University of Georgia to sign a letter of intent with Robert Morris University for next year. You know a pitcher can "rake" when she bats in the lead-off position for her team. Last week Nicole went 5 for 8 with (2) doubles and (2) RBI while pitching (2) complete game shutouts. The first game was a no-hitter 5-0 at home against the Norwin Knights in which she struck out (18). The second contest Ms. Sleith threw a two-hitter in a 1-0 road victory at Ligonier Valley and she fanned (15). Nicole has pitched every inning of every game this season for the Cougars. She has allowed (7) hits in those six Yough wins. Nicole has been virtually unhittable so far this season and for the year has struck out (100) batters in (42) innings! That's better than two strike outs per inning. It should be an interesting match up this Wednesday in a game that will be broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network when the Yough Cougars host fellow "Sweet 16" Softball Program member and fellow Section 4 AAA unbeaten and rival Greensburg-Salem for undisputed possession of first place. You know that Nicole will definitely have her game face on come Wednesday afternoon up on Cougar Mountain.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
Deanna Hileman – Belle Vernon Area Leopards – Sophomore – Left Fielder/First Basemen – Second consecutive week that the Leopards 2-year starter has been named to the weekly honor roll. Led the team in hitting last week with a .636 average (7 for 11). Recorded (5) singles (2) doubles (1) sacrifice scored (4) runs and had (4) RBI. Deanna leads the team in RBI with (15) and is the leading hitter with a .556 batting average. The left-handed batter has hit safely in (10) out of the (11) games that Belle Vernon has played this season. The one game that she did not get a safety she was walked (3) times.
With another injury to pitcher Katie Gauden Deanna is now the Leopards back up pitcher to Haley Bashada.

Allison Rayburn – Valley Vikings – Senior – Second Basemen – In three Valley games last week all victories Allison went 5 for 11 with (1) double (1) triple and scored (4) runs. She moved to the lead-off spot against Kittanning and went 4 for 4. Vikings coach Carol Perroz said that "playing second base she is a stabilizing part of the infield". Allison is heading to Grove City College next year to study political science and also play on the Wolverines softball team. Ms. Rayburn has a 4.2 GPA. The (5-0 Section 5 and 6-0 overall) and number two ranked Class AAA team in last week's MSA Sports Network AAA Top Ten rankings Vikings will have their game on Tuesday afternoon at home versus Mars broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network.

Kaitlyn Kutchman – Montour Spartans – Junior – Pitcher – was chosen the P-O-T-G in Thursday afternoon's showdown victory 3-0 over the unbeaten and number 1 ranked Class AAA team in last week's MSA Sports Network's Top Ten AAA rankings Ambridge. Kutchman raised her record this season to 6-2 with (56) strike outs and a 1.09 ERA. She fanned (5) Lady Bridgers walked only (1) and held Ambridge to (2) hits Not too shabby as a hitter either as Kaitlyn in eight games played this season is batting .385 with a slugging% of .538 and (6) RBI from the number three spot in the Spartans lineup.

Sammy Sistek – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions – Third Basemen – The Golden Lions have won (4) straight games heading into their showdown with unbeaten Yough on Wednesday. Sammy in two Greensburg-Salem wins last week 4-1 against Indiana and 7-1 over Uniontown was quite productive. For the season Sistek is batting an amazing .750 and last week went 5 for 6 with (2) doubles (2) walks and (2) RBI.
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Week of April 11-16 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
CAITLIN NEALER – VALLEY VIKINGS – (AAA)
Senior – Pitcher

The pace of the third week of the 2011 high school softball season began to pick up as the weather improved later in the week and as a result more games were able to be played. That was not good news for opposing hitters who played Valley High School this week. The Vikings won the Class AA WPIAL Championship last season and are legitimate contenders to compete for the Class AAA WPIAL Title in 2011 behind the consistently stellar performance of this week's Class AAAA/AAA Player-Of-The-Week senior pitcher Caitlin Nealer. Caitlin is a 4-year starter for the Vikings the Valley News Dispatch Softball Player-Of-The-Year in 2010 and a member of the Pennsylvania All-State team last season. Her record last year was 22-1 and she fanned (237) of the (556) batters that she faced while walking only (14). In the batters box in 2010 she was just as impressive. Caitlin hit (.377) with (3) round trippers and a (.558) slugging% most frequently hitting in the fifth spot in the Vikings lineup. Valley is 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Section 5 AAA so far this season and tied for first place with Highlands who is 3-0 in Section 5 AAA and 4-0 overall and who they host on Monday April 18th. Last week Valley went 2-0 and Ms. Nealer pitched a no hitter in a 6-0 home win against section rival Hampton and a one-hitter in a 2-1 road victory against AAAA Plum. In the two games Caitlin struck out (23) of the (49) batters that she faced and walked only (3). She went 3 for 7 last week as a hitter. Caitlin also excels in the classroom as she has a 3.7 GPA. Her future dreams include playing at the collegiate level studying biology and pursuing a career as a veterinarian. With the talent that Caitlin possesses it is not a dream to expect her name to be at the top of the recruiting list for a number of college coaches this year. It would be a major gaffe on their part if they are not giving Caitlin serious attention.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
Carly Bonk – Valley Vikings – Junior – First Basemen – last season she was joined in the Vikings WPIAL Class AA Championship winning lineup with her older sister senior catcher Casey. This year she is performing at a high level without her sibling. Last week Carly batted 4 for 7 overall but went 3 for 3 against AAAA Plum with a home run and scored both runs in Valley's 2-1 win. Besides softball Carly is also playing on a traveling volleyball team and maintains a 4.1 GPA.
In the summer she plays on a travel softball team and in the fall Ms. Bonk plays volleyball for the Vikings.
Jayne Oberdorf – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions – Sophomore – Pitcher – Golden Lions went 2-0 last week and Oberdorf had double figures in strikeouts in both victories. Jayne had a career-high (14) in their 14-1 win over Laurel Highlands and followed that effort up the next day with (12) more "K's" in Greensburg-Salem's 8-1 toppling of Derry Area. Offensively she hit a monster home run over the center field fence against Laurel Highlands and had a 3 for 4 day against Derry Area with a three-bagger and a double.
Taylor Mehan – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions – Sophomore – Catcher – Threw out (2) would be base stealers and hit a tape measure home run on her home field that traveled at least 250 feet. For the week Taylor went 5 for 8. Mehan is a starter on both the volleyball and basketball teams. Ms Mehan moved to catcher this season after starting at second base in 2010 when she led the Golden Lions in batting average (over .400) and extra base hits.
Deanna Hileman – Belle Vernon Area Leopards – Sophomore – Left Fielder – led the Leopards in hitting last week with a(.714) average 5 for 7. She had (4) singles (1) double (3) walks (4) RBI and a sacrifice. Dee was the only Belle Vernon player to have at least one RBI in each of their three games last week. Leads team in RBI with (11) and leading hitter with a (.520) batting average. Ms Hileman has had at least one hit in seven of the eight games the Leopards have played thus far this season. Deanna is a 2-year starter and has a 3.7 GPA.
Rachel Conrad – Greater Latrobe Wildcats – Junior – Third Basemen – Wildcats won their only game last week 3-0 at Penn-Trafford. Rachel was 3 for 4 and for the season Ms. Conrad has a (.545) batting average (.909) slugging% and (1000%) fielding percentage. Has been Greater Latrobe's starting third sacker since her freshmen year.
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Week of April 4-9 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
CARMELENA MOFFA – GREATER LATROBE WILDCATS (AAAA)
Junior – Second Basemen
HALEY BASHADA – BELLE VERNON AREA LEOPARDS (AAA)
Junior – Pitcher/Shortstop
AND
NICOLE SLEITH – YOUGH COUGARS (AAA)
Senior – Pitcher

The second week of the 2011 high school softball season again had plenty of games post-poned and/or cancelled by the wet weather in western Pennsylvania. However a trio of "Sweet 16" Softball Program student-athletes managed to shine in spite of the playing conditions and have been recognized as the Players-Of-The-Week in our AAAA/AAA classifications . The first of the three is smooth fielding junior second basemen Carmelena Moffa of the Greater Latrobe Wildcats. Carmelena is the second Wildcats player in as many weeks to receive this honor. Greater Latrobe's current record is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in Section 1 AAAA and Ms. Moffa has certainly been a significant contributor to their start. The defending Section 1 AAAA Champions garnered their first section win of the season on Thursday at home versus one of their expected challengers for the section crown in 2011 and mercy ruled the Falcons in 4 and a half innings 12-2. "Carm" who wears #7 went (2 for 3) in the victory over Connellsville with a double and a single and scored a pair of runs. In addition she flashed some leather in the game that was broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network when the Falcons had scored a pair of runs in the top of the third to tie the score at 2-2 and had runners on second and third with two outs. Moffa made a "lightening quick" dive to her right near second base to spear what would have been an RBI safety for Connellsville batter Madisyn Keller to end the inning and for all intents and purposes Connellsville's last serious scoring opportunity of the game. On Saturday in a non-section game against Peters Township Carmelena went (2 for 4) with a pair of singles. She has been a starter for the Wildcats since her freshmen year.

The second of our three AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W is none other than the Belle Vernon Leopards versatile and talented all-around player junior pitcher/shortstop Haley Bashada. No it is not a misprint if you read about last week's "Sweet 16" Softball Program's AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W when you read the name of her younger sister Natalie Bashada. Haley was an All-Section designee last season as a shortstop but in 2011 Leopards head coach Tom Rodriguez has had to move Haley to the pitching circle this year (at least for now) and thus far the move has gone exceptionally well. Last week Ms. Bashada went 2-0 allowed (9) hits had (15) strikeouts walked none and yielded only (2) earned runs. Belle Vernon has gotten off to a 4-1 overall record and is 1-0 in Section 3 AAA. As a hitter last week Haley led the Leopards in batting with an average of .714 (5 for 7). She recorded (2) singles (1) double (2) three-baggers (3) RBI and scored (5) runs. Coach Rodriguez said "Haley is a very versatile player. She could play any position on the field including catcher". Haley is a three-year starter for Belle Vernon is a team captain and served as the team spokesperson for Belle Vernon at the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's "First Pitch" meeting on March 17 2011 at Greensburg-Salem High School. Academically Haley has a 3.99 GPA on a 4.0 scale and is one of the top (5) students in her junior class at Belle Vernon High School and is a member of the National Honor Society. Somehow I don't think that coach Rodriguez will let the bus leave this season without making sure that number "9" is seated and ready for action!

The third of our three AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W plays for last season's Section 2 AAA Champions and WPIAL Class AAA third place finishers in 2010 the Yough Cougars. She is so talented as a pitcher that she makes the ride up to "Cougar Mountain" worth the trip anytime. Arguably she might just be the best pitcher in any WPIAL classification this year. This player is senior pitcher Nicole Sleith. Nicole was selected as an All-State performer last season and an easy choice to head up the All-Section team. Ms. Sleith wears #16 and has been an All-Section choice in 2008 2009 and 2010. Last year she led the entire WPIAL in strikeouts!! Nicole has accepted a scholarship to Robert Morris University for next year. In the Cougars only game last week a 4-0 victory on the road at Laurel Highlands Nicole fanned (21 out of the 23 hitters that she faced). She pitched a (1) hit shutout with zero walks. It was an error by the Cougars defense that caused Nicole to face 2 batters over the minimum for a 7-inning game. The lone hit that she permitted came in the bottom of the seventh inning. So much for the potential impact of moving the pitching circle back three feet this season on Nicole's performance in the circle. Offensively Sleith is no slouch at the plate and bats in the cleanup spot. In addition to her magnificent pitching performance against the Mustangs Nicole went (1 for 4) with an RBI single. Yough is 2-0 overall and 1-0 in Section 4 AAA thus far. Nicole was the spokesperson for the Yough Cougars at the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's "First Pitch" meeting on March 17 2011 at Greensburg-Salem High School. Academically she has a GPA above 3.0. Nicole Sleith to paraphrase the words from the hit song by rhythm and blues group The Stylistics "has put it all together". I am confident in saying that Yough head coach Lucas Cannizzaro feels about Nicole like the tag line from the old American Express commercial he does not leave Cougar Mountain without her!

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
Angelina Masters – Valley Vikings – Senior – Shortstop – The Vikings returning All-Section player from a season ago went (2 for 3) at the plate with a walk in Valley's only game of the week (a 7-1 road win against Mars). Her two hits included one double (1) RBI (1) run scored and (1) stolen base.
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Week of March 28 – April 2 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W
NATALIE BASHADA – BELLE VERNON AREA LEOPARDS (AAA)
Sophomore – Shortstop
AND
KELSIE ZOPPETTI – GREATER LATROBE WILDCATS (AAAA)
Junior – Catcher

The first week ever in the history of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program has two players selected as the Players-Of-The-Week in our AAAA/AAA classification. The weather during the first week of the 2011 season has played havoc in allowing our teams to get onto the field but most "Sweet 16" members have managed to play at least once in the early going. The Belle Vernon Leopards are coming off of a second place finish and another playoff year in 2010. They are off to a 2-1 start this season led in part by an excellent start from their versatile and multi-talented sophomore shortstop Natalie Bashada. Natalie is the Leopards lead-off hitter and batted .667 (8 for 12) in Belle Vernon's first three games. Leopards head mentor Tom Rodriguez said that Natalie was a right handed hitter whom he switched to lefty last year because of her speed. Coach Rodriguez said " she struggled some last year but has really improved her slapping this year. I think she has finally bought into the importance of what she has brought to the table. Getting that first runner on base is hugh". Natalie's versatility is demonstrated by the fact that coach Rodriguez had to move her from third base to shortstop this year because he had to move her sister (All-Section in 2010) Haley to pitcher because of the injury to last season's starting pitcher (All-Section in 2010) Katie Gauden.

Our second Class AAAA/AAA P-O-T-W plays for one of the most successful Class AAAA softball teams in the WPIAL the Greater Latrobe Wildcats. The "Cats" are coming off of another Section 1 AAAA championship in 2010 and are aiming higher in 2011. Latrobe has been noted in recent years for the number of outstanding pitchers that Wildcats head coach Bob Kovalcin keeps turning out but there are some accomplished offensive players donning the orange and black. This week's P-O-T-W is definitely representative of that. Greater Latrobe has played only one game thus far a 4-1 victory over Bethel Park and junior catcher Kelsie Zoppetti really answered the opening bell! Kelsie has played on the varsity squad since she was a freshmen and filled the role of Designated Player. She is a consistent hitter and went (2 for 3) and gave a solid defensive performance behind the plate.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AAAA/AAA Weekly Honor Roll:
Katrina George – Valley Vikings – Junior – Infielder – The Vikings played one game this week a 5-0 win over Leechburg and Katrina had two of the Vikings six hits. George went (2 for 3) with (1) double (1) homerun (1) walk (1) run (2) RBI and batted .667. For good measure she threw out one would be base stealer.
Karlie Tomich – Yough Cougars – Freshmen – First Basemen – The Cougars had (4) games post-poned this week but did leave Cougar Mountain to grab a 4-1 win over defending Class AAAA champion Mount Lebanon. Karlie went (2 for 4) against the Blue Devils with (2) doubles (2) runs and (1) RBI in her first high school game ever.
Jayne Oberdorf – Greensburg-Salem Golden Lions – Sophomore – Pitcher – The Golden Lions dropped their first two games of the 2011 season but received a good performance from Jayne. She fanned (13) in their lost to a good District 6 Ligonier Valley team.
Jessi Hawthorne – McKeesport Area Tigers – Senior – Third Basemen – The defending Section 2 AAAA Tigers are rebuilding in 2011 and got off to a slow start this week however Jessi's bat was fast as she went (6 for 11) with (3) doubles (2) triples (4) runs and (6) RBI.

 

* 2011 MSA Sports Sweet Sixteen Softball 'Player of the Week in AA/A'

Week of May 9-14 2011

"Sweet 16" Class AA/A P-O-T-W
EMILY STARK – FRAZIER COMMODORES – SENIOR – CATCHER
AND
MELISSA BROWN – FRAZIER COMMODORES – SENIOR – SHORTSTOP

The final two recipients of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Players-Of-The-Week in our program's debut season are a pair of classy Commodores. They play for head coach Paul Harvey's (please no jokes about "stand by for news") Frazier (7-3 11-5 overall) outfit that finished in second place in Section 1 A behind the defending state champion Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers. The Commodores in fact gave the "Bucs" their closest game of the 2011 season to date when they lost in (8) innings 3-1 in Perryopolis PA. on April 14th. These two student-athletes have been a big part of Frazier's success not just this season but the past couple of seasons. They are senior catcher Emily Stark and senior shortstop Melissa Brown.

Emily has a .404 batting average scored (11) runs and has (12) RBI this season. Stark has committed only (1) error in (31) chances. Emily in her (3) years has led the Commodores in hitting the past two years and is third on the team this season. She made the All-Section team in 2010 and All-County the past three years. Emily will attend the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg next fall.

Melissa has done a great job on defense once again this season. She has committed only (2) errors in the past (13) games. Ms. Brown has hit over .300 with an on base percentage of .400. Melissa led the Commodores in runs scored this season with (12) and again in walks with (7). She was selected All-County this season. Brown plans to attend Waynesburg University next fall. Emily Stark and Melissa Brown are the third and fourth Frazier Commodores to be chosen as "Sweet 16" Softball Program Class AA/A P-O-T-W this season. They join sophomore pitcher Andrea Lash and junior third basemen Kelsey Dillon in earning that designation. The Commodores begin play in the 2011 WPIAL Class A tournament on Monday afternoon at 2:00 pm. versus the Leechburg Blue Devils (Section 4 A 12-0 14-2 overall) at Hempfield Area High School. A game that will be broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network.
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Week of May 2-7 2011

"Sweet 16" Class AA/A P-O-T-W
NINA SPAGNOLO – BURRELL BUCCANEERS – SENIOR – SHORTSTOP
AND
JUSTINE DAMICO – BURRELL BUCCANEERS – SENIOR – THIRD BASEMEN

In was a very good week for head coach Mike Spagnolo's Burrell Buccaneers and it is capped off by having a pair of Buccaneers selected as the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Players-Of-The-Week. The "Buc's" clinched the Section 3 AA Championship and improved their record to 10-1 in Section 3 AA and 12-1 overall. In the process they went 3-0 and avenged their only defeat this season with a late inning 4-3 victory on the road at Deer Lakes on Thursday. Front and center in Burrell's success not just this week but all season long has been a pair of talented seniors who are the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W. SHORTSTOP NINA SPAGNOLO AND THIRD BASEMEN JUSTINE DAMICO. Nina is one of the "Bucs" captains and bats second in their lineup. Ms. Spagnolo went 6 for 10 this week for a .600 batting average with (6) RBI (3) doubles (1) triple and (3) runs scored. Nina is a 4-year letterman on the softball team and also a 3-year letterman and captain of the Burrell soccer team. She is undecided on her college plans but is considering attending either Mount Union College in Alliance Ohio or Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Spagnolo came up big in Burrell's biggest game of the season to date against the Deer Lakes Lancers. Her (2) RBI triple gave the Bucs the lead against Deer Lakes in the third inning when they were trailing 1-0.
Her teammate Justine Damico also had an impressive week when her team needed it the most. Justine is Burrell's lead-off batter and she went 4 for 11 this week with a.364 batting average (5) RBI including a game tying one at Deer Lakes (4) doubles and (6) runs scored. With the Lancers leading 3-2 in the seventh inning Burrell had a runner on second with one-out and Justine hit the clutch two-bagger to tie the game and after Nina Spagnolo advanced her to third Damico scored the go ahead run on an infield hit Burrell held Deer Lakes off the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh inning to win 4-3 and clinch the section title. Justine is a 4-year letterman for the Burrell softball team and also plays on the school's soccer team and is a captain on that squad for which she has lettered for 3 years. Ms. Damico has chosen to continue her education and athletic career at Penn State Behrend University in Erie Pennsylvania next year. Burrell has won (8) consecutive games since suffering that home loss to Deer Lakes 3-0 back on April 15th. Damico and Spagnolo join their teammate Allison Landowski as the second and third Buccaneers to receive the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W recognition this season. Last year Burrell finished as runner-up to Valley in their section and suffered (3) of their (4) defeats to the Vikings including the WPIAL Class AA Championship Game 5-4 in 10 innings. Valley has been moved up to Class AAA this season so that obstacle is no longer in front of the Buccaneers path to WPIAL Class AA gold in 2011. This is the season for Burrell to bring the WPIAL Class AA Title home as their starting lineup features (6) seniors. With Justine Damico and Nina Spagnolo serving as the first two hitters in the "Bucs" lineup folks should not bet against Burrell achieving their goal in 2011 of winning that WPIAL Class AA Championship that just eluded them in 2010.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Weekly Honor Roll:
Kayla Briggs – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Sophomore – Right Fielder/Pitcher – the honors keep on coming in when you win and no team in the entire WPIAL has done that better than the "Bucs" (10-0 16-0 overall) this season. Briggs has received the honor of being named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's weekly honor roll for the third time this season. Last week she went 2 for 4 against Avella with (1) triple and (3) RBI. As a pitcher she registered (2) saves and a combined no-hitter versus Avella in (2) innings with (6) strikeouts. Versus Frazier in the game that clinched the Section 1 A Title for the Buccaneers Briggs went 4 for 4 with (3) RBI and (1) run scored. Briggs has been chosen the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W once this season.

Colby Miller – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Junior – Catcher – Miler is a two-time "Sweet 16" Softball Program Class AA/A P-O-T-W recipient this season and is on the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's weekly honor roll for the third time in 2011. Colby went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple against Avella and 2 for 2 versus Serra Catholic. Against Frazier Ms. Miller went 3 for 3 with (5) RBI.

Kiersten Conwell – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Senior – Pitcher – Kiersten earned all (3) pitching wins for the unblemished "Bucs" last week. She combined on the no-hitter with Kayla Briggs against Avella fanning (9) in (4) innings of work. She threw a 2-hitter with (8) strikeouts in (5) innings versus Serra Catholic. As a hitter Conwell went 1 for 2 against Avella and 3 for 3 against Serra Catholic with (3) RBI. This is Kiersten's second time being named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A weekly honor roll. Like Colby Miller she has been named the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W twice in 2011. As a pitcher in the section clinching game against Frazier Kiersten went (6) innings fanned (9) walked (1) and allowed (2) hits and yielded (0) runs. At the plate Conwell went 2 for 4 with (1) run scored.

Kelsey Dillon – Frazier Commodores – Junior – Third Basemen – Kelsey in (3) games went 8 for 10 with (2) home runs (2) doubles and (4) singles. Kelsey was honored as the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W once this season.

Andrea Lash – Frazier Commodores – Sophomore – Pitcher – Andrea pitched a perfect game against Monessen and also had (6) hits last week. She like her teammate Kelsey Dillon has been named the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W once this season.
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WEEK OF APRIL 25-30 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AA/A P-O-T-W
KIERSTEN CONWELL – CHARTIERS-HOUSTON BUCCANEERS – SENIOR – PITCHER

The Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers have been rolling along quite nicely in the 2011 season. They are 13-0 overall and 7-0 in Section 1 A. The "Bucs" are a talented experienced and poised squad that plays with confidence They are a pressure tested team that after having won the PIAA Class A State Championship last year that just knows how to win. One of the main cogs in the "Bucs" machine has been the performance of this week's Class AA/A PLAYER-OF-THE WEEK SENIOR PITCHER KIERSTEN CONWELL. Kiersten becomes the fourth player from amongst the member schools in the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's inaugural season to receive the P-O-T-W twice. She joins her batterymate junior catcher Colby Miller Valley High School's senior pitcher Caitlin Nealer and Yough High School's senior pitcher Nicole Sleith in a rather elite group of very good softball players. Last week Chartiers-Houston went 4-0 with dominating victories over Serra Catholic (5-1) Fort Cherry (10-0 in 6 innings) Monessen (15-0 in 3 innings) and West Green (9-0). Kiersten went 3-0 during the week. She pitched a two-hitter versus Serra Catholic with (6) strikeouts. Followed that outing with another two-hitter against Fort Cherry and fanned (8). Next came a no-hitter against Monessen when she struck out (7) in only three innings. Ms. Conwell concluded her outstanding week by tossing a PERFECT GAME versus West Greene with (16) K's in (7) innings. Kiersten is a serious threat with a bat in her hands. She went 1 for 3 against Serra. 3 for 4 with a double and (2) RBI versus Fort Cherry. Kiersten delivered (2) RBI against the Monessen Greyhounds. Her offensive week ended with a 2 for 4 afternoon in the victory over West Greene. Monday afternoon the Buccaneers host the Frazier Commodores a team that has given them their closest game this season a 3-1 win at Frazier on April 14th. You can listen to the live broadcast of this matchup on the MSA Sports Network.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Weekly Honor Roll:
Colby Miller – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Junior – Catcher
Every week Colby Miller has been doing some outstanding things for the undefeated "Bucs" and this week was not any different. She went 2 for 4 with (1) RBI against Serra Catholic. 2 for 4 against Fort Cherry. In the contest versus Monessen Ms. Miller went 2 for 3 with a homerun and (3) RBI. West Greene like most of Chartiers-Houston's foes was not able to keep Colby off the "hit parade" as she batted 2 for 4 with a double and a triple. This is her second appearance in the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Weekly Honor Roll this season to go along with her two-time selection as the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W.
Chalese Wilson – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Senior – Second Basemen
This is Chalese's first time this season being recognized by the "Sweet 16" Softball Program. The 4-year starter contributed significantly in all (4) Chartiers-Houston wins last week. She went 1 for 3 with (3) RBI versus Serra Catholic. 1 for 3 with (1) RBI against Fort Cherry. One for 3 and a pair of RBI versus Monessen. Ms. Wilson ended her week by going 2 for 4 with (1) double and (1) RBI against West Greene.
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WEEK OF APRIL 18-23 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AA/A P-O-T-W
COLBY MILLER – CHARTIERS-HOUSTON BUCCANEERS
Junior – Catcher

This week's "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W is our first two-time recipient in the Class AA/A category in the inaugural year of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program on the MSA Sports Network. This is her second straight week to earn this recognition. She joins Yough High School's standout senior pitcher Nicole Sleith as the first two student-athletes from among all (17) members schools that makeup the "Sweet 16" program to earn this distinction. She is the excellent receiver and clutch hitting junior catcher for the Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers Colby Miller. Last week in two pounding victories for the Buccaneers 10-1 over Avella in a section game and a 15-0 dismantling of California in a non-section game the beat goes on for Tricia Alderson's "Buc's" (4-0 Section 1 A 9-0 overall). Colby went 3 for 4 against Avella with (1) single (1) double (1) triple (3) RBI and (3) runs scored. Against California Ms. Miller batted 2 for 3 including her third home run of the season (2) RBI (3) runs scored and showed off her cannon of a throwing arm by cutting down one would be base stealer in one attempted steal. To invoke the basketball phrase Colby is quite the "stat sheet stuffer". Her head coach Tricia Alderson had this to say about her outstanding player's performance this week " Colby is continuing her great start to the season both offensively and defensively. She keeps working hard and it is again paying off". I cannot imagine any coach in the WPIAL who would not want to have such a multi-dimensional and talented player such as Colby Miller being the engine that drives their team. Chartiers-Houston is the top ranked Class A team in last week's MSA Sports Network's Class A Top Ten rankings. If there is a WPIAL softball team playing any better than the "Bucs" right now I for one am anxious to see that team play. Chartiers-Houston has outscored their first nine opponents by a margin of 98-5 and has shutout (5) of their victims.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Weekly Honor Roll:
Piper McLaughlin – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Sophomore – First Basemen – Against Avella last week this two-sport athlete (volleyball) went 1 for 1 with a walk a stolen base and (1) RBI and followed that performance up with a 3 for 4 afternoon (2) RBI and (2) runs scored in the Buccaneers win over California. Her head coach Tricia Alderson said " Piper is a first-year starter and is doing an excellent job at first base and at the plate. She has shown a lot of consistency for us so far this year."
Alexis Livingstone – Frazier Commodores – Sophomore – First Basemen – In the one game that the (2-1 Section 1A 6-2 overall) Commodores played last week Alexis did her part. She went 2 for 2 with (1) RBI and scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh in a 3-2 home win over the top ranked Class AA team in last week's MSA Sports Network's Top Ten Class AA rankings undefeated Bentworth. Her head coach Paul Harvey was effusive in his praise of the defensive work that Alexis has demonstrated this season. "Alexis is a very good first basemen who has great game experience and knowledge. She has thrown out 2 runners at the plate and also 2 at third while digging out a lot of balls out of the dirt at first". Ms. Livingstone (I presume) has a .380 batting average with (4) doubles (1) home run and a .636 slugging %. She is a two-sport athlete (basketball) and plays in summer and fall fastpitch leagues.
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WEEK OF APRIL 11-16 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AA/A P-O-T-W
MARISSA MILBERT – AVONWORTH ANTELOPES
Senior – Catcher
KIERSTEN CONWELL – CHARTIERS-HOUSTON BUCCANEERS
Senior – Pitcher
AND
COLBY MILLER – CHARTIERS-HOUSTON BUCCANEERS
Junior – Catcher

The third week of the 2011 high school softball season finds us honoring a trio of players who led their teams to impressive road victories over unbeaten section opponents in extra innings last week. The first of our three P-O-T-W designees in Class AA/A plays for the Avonworth "Lady Lopes" and is senior catcher Marissa Milbert. Our second and third honorees this week are veteran members of the defending PIAA Class A Champion Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers. These two standouts being senior pitcher Kiersten Conwell and her battery mate junior catcher Colby Miller. Avonworth's Marissa Milbert is a 4-year starter and a three-time All-Section performer for Avonworth head coach Chris Knox. Last season Marissa hit (.411) with (2) home runs and (18) RBI. In 2009 her offensive numbers were a (.410) batting average (5) home runs and (21) RBI. Last week Ms. Milbert in three Section 1 AA wins for the Lady "Lopes" batted (.667) 6 for 9 and smacked (2) home runs and had (5) RBI. Her second home run of the week came in the battle of section unbeatens on the road at Brentwood in a game broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network. It was a deep drive over the left center field fence in the top of the eighth inning and the 2-run "tater" provided an insurance margin in Avonworth's comeback victory over the Spartans 8-4. In the "Lopes" earlier two wins last week Marissa went 3 for 4 against Carlynton (a 14-1 win) with another 2-run HR. She also gunned down a runner trying to swipe second base. Against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (a 9-3 victory) Milbert was 1 for 1 and was walked twice. Her strong throwing arm was again displayed as she threw out two runners trying to steal second base. Avonworth's record currently stands at 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Section 1 AA. They are tied for the top spot with Seton-LaSalle who is 4-0 in Section 1 AA and 5-0 overall. Marissa has signed a letter of intent with California University of Pennsylvania where she plans to continue her education and softball career. She also plays basketball for Avonworth and served as the Avonworth Antelope mascot for the prior three years during football season.

Our next two recipients of the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W this week are indeed hard to separate.
Their success and that of the Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers softball team are so intertwined that it is very hard to delineate the importance of one over the other. Both are deserving of being recognized for their performances last week. Senior pitcher Kiersten Conwell went 21-2 last season in pitching the "Bucs" to a runner up finish in the WPIAL Class A Final and State Championship winning season for Chartiers-Houston High School. The school's first ever softball state title after several second place finishes. Conwell walked only (28) batters last season while striking out (247) hitters and sporting a (0.84) ERA on her way to being named to the Pennsylvania All-State team. The Buccaneers went 2-0 last week to run their record to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in Section 1 A. They have outscored their first seven opponents this season by a whopping margin of 73-4!!! Kiersten won both games including sharing a no-hitter with teammate Kayla Briggs. She struck out (13) batters in (10) total innings and issued only (1) free pass. Chartiers-Houston head coach Tricia Alderson said "Kiersten is once again off to a great start for us and we are pleased with her performances this week." In the win over Frazier Kiersten went the distance allowed (5) hits (0) walks fanned (8) and permitted only (1) run.

Junior catcher Colby Miller like Kiersten Conwell has already been named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Weekly Honor Roll this season. Colby is one of (4) returning All-Section players on the "Buc's" squad this year. Last season she batted (.438) with (6) doubles (5) triples (1) home run (26) RBI and a (.675) slugging%. Ms. Miller also delivered the clutch and PIAA Championship game-winning hit last season (double) in Chartiers-Houston's 4-1 victory over Montgomery.
She too was named to the Pennsylvania All-State team in 2010. In their game last week that was broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network against fellow section unbeaten Frazier Colby delivered Chartiers-Houston's first run of the game with a sharply driven one-out RBI single to center field to score Kayla Briggs from third base and a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With the game tied in extra innings 1-1 the irrepressible Miller produced in the clutch once again. The Bucs had runners on second and third with one-out in the top of the eighth when Colby stroked a 1-2 pitch from Frazier's Andrea Lash up the middle to drive home Chartiers-Houston's second run of the game to make the score 2-1. That would turnout to be the game winning run in a 3-1 "Bucs" win over the Commodores. Just another day at the office for Colby. The next day in a 12-0 blanking against Monessen Milller went 2 for 4 with a triple and (1) RBI. She also has a powerful throwing arm and is not bashful about using it in trying to pick off a runner who strays a little too far on the bases. Buccaneers head coach Tricia Alderson said this about her outstanding junior catcher "Colby is doing a phenomenal job behind the plate and hitting for us once again this year. She is a true leader on and off the field". One gets the impression that coach Alderson makes sure the Chartiers-Houston bus does not leave without #22 being onboard.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Weekly Honor Roll:
Kayla Briggs – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Sophomore – Right Fielder – Kayla was a "Sweet 16" Softball Program Class AA/A P-O-T-W recipient last week. This week she earned a save in sharing the Bucs no-hit 12-0 win over Monessen with Kiersten Conwell. She pitched 3 innings in that game and struck out (6) batters. Offensively Briggs was 4 for 4 against the Greyhounds with (3) runs scored. Against Frazier Ms. Briggs went 3 for 4 (all singles) (2) runs scored and (1) stolen base. Her coach Tricia Alderson commented " Kayla has stayed very consistent at the plate and in the field. We were also happy to get her some innings on the mound."
Rachel Tucker – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Junior – Shortstop – Rachel is a two-time All-Section pick who hit (.296) last season with (2) doubles (1) triple (15) runs and (22) RBI. In the "Bucs" game versus Frazier she went 2 for 4 and against Monessen she went 2 for 2 with (2) runs scored and (1) RBI. Coach Alderson said " Rachel has played and hit very well this season and is a big force at shortstop. She has made some beautiful plays in the field and had some big hits when we needed them this past week and overall this year."
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Week of April 4-9 2011

"Sweet 16" CLASS AA/A P-O-T-W
KAYLA BRIGGS – CHARTIERS-HOUSTON BUCCANEERS (A)
Sophomore – Right Fielder/Pitcher
AND
ANDREA LASH – FRAZIER COMMODORES (A)
Sophomore – Pitcher

The second week of the 2011 high school softball season finds the "Sweet 16" Softball Program honoring our first Chartiers-Houston Buccaneer as a P-O-T-W and for the second week in a row a member of the Frazier Commodores has been designated as a "Sweet 16" Softball Program P-O-T-W. These two teams are members of Section 1 A and will be squaring off in the first of their two section meetings this Thursday afternoon in a game that will be broadcast live on the MSA Sports Network. The first of our two Class AA/A recipients plays for the defending PIAA Class A Champions and 2010 Section 1 A titilists the Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers. She is their versatile and multi-dimensional right fielder Kayla Briggs. The "Bucs" have come out smoking at the start of this season and are (5-0) overall and (1-0) in Section 1 A and have outscored their first five opponents by a combined margin of (58-3)!!! Ms. Briggs was named to the First Team All-State team in 2010 by the Pennsylvania Softball Coaches Association. Chartiers-Houston was only able to play one game last week but Kayla made it count (a 6-1 victory at Fort Cherry on Thursday). Briggs went (3 for 4) in the contest with (2) doubles a solo home run (her second of the season in the top of the first inning) and (2) runs scored. Defensively Kayla had (2) put outs and (1) assist in right field. Buccaneers head coach Tricia Alderson said this about her terrific player "Kayla has moved from first base to right field this season and is doing an outstanding job. She can play any position on the field and play it at a very high level. We are really happy with her performance in the Fort Cherry game." As testament to Kayla's versatility last season she went 1-0 as a pitcher with (8) saves a (0.38) ERA and (31) strikeouts! Last week Kayla was one of three Buccaneers named to the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's weekly honor roll. Since Kayla is in the early stages of her sophomore year there does not appear to be any limits on just how good of a player that she can become.

Our second Class AA/A "Sweet 16" Softball Program P-O-T-W is another very talented underclassmen in Frazier Commodores sophomore pitcher Andrea Lash. Frazier has started the 2011 season in fine form with an overall mark of (4-1) and is (1-0) in Section 1 A. The Commodores have won their last (4) games in a row and have a combined scoring margin over their five opponents this season of 41-12! Andrea was an All-Section pick last season as a freshmen and struck out (140) hitters. She is dangerous with a bat in her hands as last year she led the Commodores in slugging % with (.666) extra base hits (13) including (9) doubles (3) triples and (1) home run. In Frazier's two games last week (both wins over Brownsville 12-9 and Serra Catholic 4-2) Andrea went (4 for 5) with (2) doubles (2) singles and (3) walks. Ms. Lash picked up both victories for the Commodores. She struck out (10) and recorded (8) put outs from the mound. Her head coach Paul Harvey commented about Lash saying "Andrea has shown a lot of leadership ability even though she is only a sophomore she has really worked hard to get the most she can out of the game. Andrea plays a lot of travel ball when she is not on the field for the Commodores." Andrea has also been a member of the Frazier golf team the past two seasons and she along with the other (4) sophomore starters will be providing headaches for Commodores softball opponents for two more seasons. Andrea Lash is certainly a talented young player that is worth keeping an eye on.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Weekly Honor Roll:
None
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Week of March 28 – April 2 2011

"SWEET 16" CLASS AA/A P-O-T-W
KELSEY DILLON – FRAZIER COMMODORES (A)
Junior – Third Basemen
AND
ERIN MCBANE – STO-ROX VIKNIGS (A)
Senior – Catcher/Second Basemen
AND
ALLISON LANDOWSKI – BURRELL BUCCANEERS (AA)
Junior – Designated Hitter/First Basemen

In spite of the inclement weather during the opening week of the 2011 season there were some standout performances from several student-athletes in the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A ranks. Three of those performances stood out from the rest and as a result earned these three players the honor of being chosen the "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Players-Of-The-Week for the initial week of the season. The Frazier Commodores were a playoff team in 2010 in arguably one of the most difficult sections in Class A. They have gotten out of the gate this season with a 2-1 record. One of the primary reasons for this solid beginning has been the play of their junior third basemen Kelsey Dillon. In the Commodores three games Kelsey went (7 for 11) with (4) doubles (6) runs (4) RBI a .636 batting average and 1.000 slugging percentage. Needless to say it was not just another day at the office for Kelsey! Frazier head coach Paul Harvey was quite effusive in his praise of his very skilled third sacker. "Kelsey in my opinion is the best third basemen in our section both offensively and defensively. She has shown leadership both on and off the field and was one of the top three hitters on our team the past two seasons. This may be her break out year". Defensively in Frazier's three games this week Ms. Dillon had (6) put outs from the hot corner.

Our second of this week's three Class AA/A "Sweet 16" P-O-T-W plays for the Sto-Rox Vikings who are consistent WPIAL playoff qualifiers and finished in second place in Section 1 AA last season behind Bishop Canevin. This year the Vikings have been moved down to Class A and expectations are indeed high for a special season in McKees Rocks PA. Sto-Rox opened the 2011 season down at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando FL and dispatched their three opponents by a combined score of 31-4!! Their P-O-T-W senior catcher Erin McBane has really taken the "bull by the horns" in the early stages of this campaign. Erin went (8 for 14) while getting at least two hits in every game. Her on base percentage was .714 and she stroked (2) doubles and contributed (7) RBI from her lead-off position in the batting order. Sto-Rox head coach Bill Palermo did not lack for words in describing what Erin means to his team. "I haven't had a team captain for 25 years but since I had someone with the leadership capability of Erin I made her one of my two captains." Ms. McBane has been the Sto-Rox starting catcher since she was a freshmen. She is now their starting second basemen which shows her versatility. Erin is a multi sport athlete and is a starter on the girls basketball team that made the playoffs this year. Academically she is a member of the National Honor Society and will attend Robert Morris University next fall and will go into the Air National Guard. Erin is emblematic of what a student-athlete is really all about.

The third of this week's "Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A P-O-T-W does not take a back seat to any of the other two student-athletes that are being recognized as one of our P-O-T-W for the first week of the 2011 season. She is Allison Landowski of the Burrell Buccaneers. The "Bucs" are coming off of a WPIAL Class AA runner up finish to their neighboring rivals the Valley Vikings in 2010. Valley administered three of the four losses that Burrell received last season. However with Valley now moved up to the Class AAA ranks in 2011 and with the wealth of talent returning to wear the colonial blue and white this season Burrell is on the short list of teams who could end up wearing WPIAL gold in early June. This junior designated hitter/first basemen for Burrell has already demonstrated that she is part of the solution for Buccaneers head coach Michael Spagnolo. Burrell is off to a 2-0 start and Allison's contribution cannot be understated. She batted .570 going (4 for 7) with (3) doubles (1) single and (5) RBI. Ms. Landowski is in her third year as a member of the softball team. Away from softball Allison volunteers for Meals On Wheels is also a member of two other varsity teams (tennis and swimming) is in the Spanish Club the Reading Railroad and Students for Christ. She plays travel softball and get this maintains a 4.3 GPA! Coach Spagnolo said "Allison is a good player and teammate and I am glad she plays for us and not against us." Allison is one of several Buccaneers that coach Michael Spagnolo does not want to see "walk the plank" at least until her high school career is completed.

"Sweet 16" Softball Program's Class AA/A Weekly Honor Roll:
Colby Miller – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Junior – Catcher – A returning All-Section player in 2010 Colby went (2 for 2) with a solo home run walk (2) runs and (2) RBI in the Buccaneers lone game this week a 14-0 five-inning win over Beth-Center. The "Bucs" started their 2011 campaign by going to Myrtle Beach SC and winning three games by a combined score of (38-2)!!!
Kayla Briggs – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Sophomore – First Basemen/Pitcher – Another returning All-Section performer for Bucccaneers head coach Tricia Alderson's defending PIAA Class A Champions. Kayla went (3 for 3) with (2) doubles (2) runs and (4) RBI.
Kiersten Conwell – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers – Senior – Pitcher – Kiersten is one of the (4) returning All-Section players on the defending Section 1 A Champions. She pitched a one-hitter (an infield single) and struck out (10) while going (1 for 1) at the plate with a single.

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