Knoch’s Gourley honored by recognition from Pa. softball coaches
Tuesday, July 2, 2019 | 5:08 PM
Monica Gourley collected three hits in four at-bats, one being a triple, and also drove in two runs in the Knoch softball team’s 7-2 victory over Thomas Jefferson in the WPIAL Class 4A third-place game.
The victory propelled the squad to its first PIAA tournament appearance.
The senior shortstop’s production in that game May 28 was a continuation of the success she had throughout the 2019 season.
Gourley’s exploits for the Knights gained her recognition from the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association, as she was selected the organization’s state Class 4A Player of the Year.
“It’s such an awesome feeling and a great honor to know that my coach and other coaches felt I would be worthy of this honor,” Gourley said. “There are so many great players from throughout the state who were nominated.”
Gourley was the only WPIAL player to earn the player of the year recognition in the six PIAA classifications.
The PAHSSBCA also selected first and second teams for each classification.
Each candidate for the players-of-the-year designation and all-state teams was nominated, and from those nominations, the committee made their selections.
Gourley, who will play at Saint Vincent, capped her high school career by helping Knoch to an undefeated Section 3 championship and an 18-3 overall record. The Knights won 12 in a row to cap the regular season and added a 13th straight victory with a 12-2 romp over Greensburg Salem in the WPIAL first round.
The Knights saw their season come to an end with a loss to District 10 champion Grove City in the PIAA first round.
Often positioned in the leadoff spot in the batting order, Gourley batted .602 with a team-best 33 runs scored and 15 RBIs.
“Looking back on this season, I will remember that we made history, and I made so many great memories with my teammates,” Gourley said. “Everyone on the team contributed to our success.”
Three other A-K Valley players were selected to the all-state teams.
Knoch junior pitcher Amanda Fischer is a member of the Class 4A second team. She went 13-3 with a 1.73 ERA over 89 innings pitched. She struck out 106 batters and walked just nine.
Fischer, the Valley News Dispatch Softball Player of the Year, gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked none in the WPIAL consolation victory over Thomas Jefferson. She also went 4 for 4 in the contest and batted .366 on the season.
Burrell seniors Lea Coffman (catcher) and Kayla Santucci (second base) were named to the Class 3A first team.
Coffman, a Gannon commit, hit nine home runs, drove in a team-best 33 runs and finished with a .524 batting average to help fuel the Section 1 champions.
Santucci, who will play at Pitt-Greensburg, batted .526 with 23 RBIs, four home runs and a team-high eight doubles. She also tied for the team lead with 25 runs scored.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .