A-K Valley high school notebook: Fox Chapel field hockey player Abby Pitcairn to play in Germany

Saturday, January 20, 2018 | 11:23 PM

Fox Chapel senior Abby Pitcairn already has plenty of international field hockey experience, and she'll take it to the highest level next month.

Pitcairn will play with the U.S. Women's National Team at the FIH women's Indoor Hockey World Cup from Feb. 7-11 in Berlin.

The fifth Indoor World Cup will include 12 teams from around the world for six-a-side play.

Fox Chapel's all-time leading scorer, Pitcairn first earned a spot on the national team as a sophomore, when she competed at the 4 Nations Field Hockey Tournament as the youngest member of the team.

The North Carolina recruit, who missed her senior season to injury, led Fox Chapel to WPIAL championships in 2015 and '16.

Jake on it

Jake McCaskey considers speed his greatest strength on the baseball field, and he believes he found the college program that best fits that attribute.

McCaskey, a Deer Lakes senior, committed Friday to Cal (Pa.), choosing the Vulcans over offers from West Liberty and West Virginia Wesleyan.

“They're big speed guys, try to steal bases, (hit) gap balls and that kind of thing,” McCaskey said. “I feel that's kind of my game. I'm not a big power hitter. I'm a gap hitter, and I'm quick.

“I feel you can always get bigger, faster, stronger. That's what I've preached to myself because I'll always try to get to that next level. I think that they can help me do that.”

McCaskey played shortstop and pitched for Deer Lakes last season, helping the Lancers to a berth in the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals. He batted .342 with six doubles, two triples and 17 RBIs and went 3-2 with a 2.74 ERA on the mound, earning Valley News Dispatch All-Star honors.

McCaskey said Cal recruited him as an infielder, with the possibility of pitching.

State greats

Kyle Fitzroy and Austin Romanchak are quarterbacks, but they recently earned recognition for their efforts on defense.

Fitzroy, an Apollo-Ridge senior, and Romanchak, a Freeport junior, were named to Pennsylvania Football News' Class 4A All-State Team last week. They were selected honorable mention defense.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Fitzroy played defense for the first time and finished with 26 tackles and five sacks at defensive end despite battling a hand injury. Romanchak had 38 tackles, three interceptions and 18 passes defensed at cornerback, returning one of his picks for a score.

Fox Chapel left tackle Jesse Cohen also was recognized by PFN, getting named to the Class 5A second-team offense. Cohen, a Bryant commit, anchored an offensive line that blocked for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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