Brentwood softball team rebuilding on fly with 10 freshmen

Friday, March 29, 2019 | 8:11 PM

Brentwood will field one of the younger high school softball teams in Western Pennsylvania this season.

The Spartans have 10 freshmen and one first-year sophomore looking to fill the gaps made by the graduation of four seniors from last year’s playoff squad.

“Our team is very young but very eager,” coach Jen Ditoro said. “We have been spending our preseason meshing as a team. We lost a significant number of seniors last year to graduation, most of whom were multiple-year starters.”

Last season, Brentwood finished fourth in Section 1-2A and advanced to the WPIAL playoffs for a second consecutive year. The No. 16-seeded Spartans lost a first-round game to No. 1 Frazier to finish 4-7 in a weather-hampered season.

Seton LaSalle took first place in the section with a 10-0 mark, followed by Serra Catholic (8-2), Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (5-5) and Brentwood (4-6).

The Spartans’ catalyst this spring will be two-time all-section catcher Abby Wolf, a fourth-year starter behind the plate.

“She is one of our team’s most solid assets,” Ditoro said. “She will undoubtedly be our team leader, bringing with her a wealth of experience as a four-year starter and multisport standout.”

Wolf, the lone senior on the squad, stands just 5-foot-3.

She earned all-section honors in volleyball and started at point guard for the basketball team that reached the WPIAL finals.

Wolf also is senior class vice president, a member of the pep and garden clubs, steering committee and student council, and was a representative at the WPIAL Sportsmanship Summit.

She is a high honor roll student and National Honor Society member with a 4.2 GPA. She plans to attend Penn State.

In softball, Wolf was named the team’s most outstanding player as a sophomore and junior.

“We are aiming to make the playoffs for the third year in a row,” she said. “We have a pretty young team all-around, so we are still working on a lot at practice.”

Wolf spent the past three seasons as the battery mate for Brittany Stewart, one of the four seniors on last year’s club.

“The new pitchers are doing good so far,” Wolf said. “We are still learning each other’s game.”

Two freshmen, Bailey Herrera and Alyssa Steele, are expected to share pitching duties.

“We will be looking to fill several vacancies in our starting lineup,” Ditoro said. “Both Herrera and Steele can platoon between pitcher, infield and outfield due to their natural playing ability.”

Another freshman, Kellie Bruschi, likely will start at third base.

Junior Jaden Schwartz, an outfielder last year, will start at shortstop, and sophomore Sidney Wuenschell and junior Kylie Hammond will take over at first base.

Jessica Hines, a junior and two-year letterwinner, provides an anchor in the outfield. The other two outfield spots will be manned by underclassmen.

Section 1-2A consists of Brentwood, Burgettstown, Carlynton, Fort Cherry, OLSH, Seton LaSalle and South Side Beaver.

“While we have a very young team, we still expect to be competitive in our section,” Ditoro said. “As with every season, our goal is to make it into the postseason tournament and then continue as far as we can.”

Three of the teams in the section — Seton LaSalle, OLSH and Brentwood — were WPIAL playoff qualifiers a year ago.


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