Junior slugger, pitcher named Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week

Monday, May 6, 2019 | 4:28 PM

Maddy Hershberger

School: Albert Gallatin

Class: Junior

The Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week is Albert Gallatin junior Maddy Hershberger, who was 4 for 9 with a double, triple and four RBIs in three section games last week.

Albert Gallatin coach Larry Flowers said a move in the Colonials batting order earlier this year has really sparked Hershberger at the plate.

“About a month ago, we moved her to the No. 5 spot from third, and she has been on fire,” he said. “Her average jumped about 250 points, and RBIs jumped from 12 to 28. Maddy has had big hits recently with runners in scoring position in big games.”

Hershberger was also the winning pitcher in two big section victories that have kept the Colonials’ playoff hopes alive.

“She has always had a great fastball and changeup and great movement on the curve, but this year she has developed a screw ball and rise ball,” Flowers said. “These pitches make her lethal on the mound.

Every win is big for Albert Gallatin as it enters the final week of the regular season in fifth place in Section 1-5A, but beating second-place Connellsville was huge as the 6-0 shutout lowered Hershberger’s ERA to 1.23.

“She pitched great against a very good team Wednesday against Connellsville,” Flowers said. “She was hitting her spots very well and kept them off balance with changing speeds.”

Albert Gallatin is done with section play, finishing 8-6. Now its postseason hopes are in the hands of Franklin Regional. If the Panthers beat Latrobe on Monday, then the Colonials are playoff bound.

“Waiting for this Franklin Regional-Latrobe game has been tough,” Flowers said. “I really feel we are a very good team, but have had a few things go against us this year. Waiting for this game, I haven’t slept well in three-four days. All we can do is hope for the best.”

Honorable mention

Jillian Durst, Plum

Sophomore Jillian Durst enjoyed big games at the plate on a busy week for Plum. Durst had a double, triple and home run against Oakland Catholic, drove in five runs against Woodland Hills and had three hits and two RBIs in a big win against Hampton as the Mustangs won four games.

MacKenzie Zang, Thomas Jefferson

Junior MacKenzie Zang continued her standout season by going a combined 4 for 7 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs in a loss to Elizabeth Forward and a win over West Mifflin. Zang is hitting over .500 for the season as the Jaguars look to finish in second place in Section 2-4A if they can beat winless Carrick.

Alexis Bonatch, Indiana

Junior Alexis Bonatch was nearly perfect in two section wins for Indiana. Bonatch was 5 for 6 with two runs scores and two runs batted in as the Little Indians clinched a playoff spot in Section 1-4A with wins over Uniontown and Highlands.

Previous Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week:

Izzy Farmer, West Mifflin

Madison Slowinski, Freedom

Nina Grandey, Serra Catholic

Jena Hixson, Connellsville

Sydney Calderaro, Vincentian Academy

This Week’s Trib HSSN Team of the WeekChartiers-Houston Buccaneers

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