Greensburg Salem catcher Gionnah Ruffner to play at Seton Hall

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Saturday, January 14, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Gionnah Ruffner will take her powerful softball swing to the Big East.

The junior from Greensburg Salem made a verbal pledge to play at Seton Hall. The power-hitting catcher also had an offer from Akron.

“When I arrived on campus, the first thing I told my dad was I knew that this was the place,” Ruffner said. “I loved how the campus wasn’t super big but just the right size. Everything was was still good walking distance. The athletic building was just amazing.”

Ruffner, who has played travel ball for the Thunder Elite, said she has dreamed about playing Division-I softball since she was smaller than her bat.

Her coach — and others on the travel circuit — pegged her as a Division-I talent years ago.

“What impresses me most is she only knows one speed, and that’s 110%, full-speed ahead,” Greensburg Salem coach Bill Wright said. “I’ve watched and coached her since she was 8 years old, and she’s been that way since Day 1. She hits bombs and has a rocket for an arm.”

Ruffner batted .511 with seven home runs, 16 runs, three doubles, four triples and 25 RBIs last season.

Wright said Ruffner is versatile, as many high-level players tend to be.

“She’s a catcher, but for us last season, due to injuries, she was anything we needed,” he said. “She ended up being our everyday center fielder by the end of the season.

“I believe she should have been an all-section outfielder. That’s how versatile and talented she is.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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