High school notebook: Mt. Pleasant softball players make college commitments

Saturday, November 18, 2017 | 11:06 AM

Two players who had pivotal roles in Mt. Pleasant's run to the PIAA Class 4A softball championship last season have made college commitments.

Both players will return in the spring to help defend their title.

Senior centerfielder Ava Gnibus signed with Cal (Pa.), while junior pitcher Carolyn Alincic gave a verbal commitment to Dominican (N.Y.), a Division II school near Manhattan.

The leadoff hitter, Gnibus batted .489 with 17 RBIs for the Vikings (17-3). She went 4 for 4 and made a key diving catch in the PIAA title game, a 5-3 victory over Tunkhannock.

The hard-throwing Alincic went 9-2 last season with 73 strikeouts and a 1.16 ERA in 72 13 innings.

Hempfield pitcher Maddie Uschock also recently committed to Dominican.

Another offer for Thrift

Norwin junior football standout Jayvon Thrift now has five scholarship offers from NCAA Division I schools, Buffalo the latest to come calling.

Thrift, who is mainly being recruited to play safety, had 79 tackles, 48 solo, with a sack and an interception this season for the Knights.

Thrift also has offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Toledo, Syracuse and Temple.

All-conference football

The Big 56 organization, which recognizes the two largest classifications in the WPIAL, released its all-conference teams last week.

Class 6A Southeastern first-team selections from the area: Hempfield senior tight end Braden Brose and senior defensive back Isaiah DiAndreth; Norwin senior linebacker John Piekut and junior safety Jayvon Thrift and senior punter Brock Dieter.

Local Class 5A Big East first-team picks: Penn-Trafford senior tackle Mitch Nedley, senior running back John Gay, senior kicker Nick Tarabrella, senior defensive tackle Logan Hawkins, senior defensive end Will Mayr, senior linebackers Matt Wilkie and Cam Laffoon, and junior defensive back Dimitri George; Franklin Regional senior receiver Nate Leopold, senior tight end Jake Shedd and senior linebacker Bryce Lauer; and Latrobe multi-purpose back Jason Armstrong.

John Ruane of Penn-Trafford was named Big East Coach of the Year.

All-WPIAL honors

The all-WPIAL girls volleyball teams were announced last week. Local players selected were senior Kiersten Schade of Hempfield (Class 4A) and senior Alix Ellis of Derry (Class 2A).

All-WPIAL field hockey selections from the area included Jess Kolesar of Norwin and Libby Jones of Latrobe, both in Class 3A, and Anna D'onofrio of Greensburg Central Catholic (Class A).

More recruiting

Several area baseball players recently signed with colleges.

• Former Penn-Trafford outfielder Josh Brammell committed to North Carolina Central, giving the Warriors three Division I recruits in the last two years. Zach Mancz (Pitt) and Josh Spiegel (Oklahoma State) are the others, both seniors now.

• Derry baseball player Isaac Buterbaugh signed with Gannon.

• Jake Smetak, a Norwin football player, has four college offers now with West Virginia State joining the list. Smetak (6-foot-4, 290 pounds), is a two-way lineman.

• Brose picked up an offer from Glenville State.

Brose finished the season with 57 receptions for 812 yards and 10 touchdowns.

• Norwin softball player Megan Miller will continue her playing career at Seton Hill.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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