Large crop of Bethel Park baseball, softball players headed to college diamonds

Saturday, July 3, 2021 | 10:01 AM

The senior class on Bethel Park’s PIAA championship and WPIAL runner-up baseball team will be well represented on college diamonds next spring.

They include pitcher Eric Chalus (Kent State), catcher/infielder Sawyer D’Andrea (Bethany), pitcher Jimmy Gasper (Saint Vincent), outfielder Shane Hamel (Penn State Wilkes-Barre), outfielder Larry Kusan (Davis and Elkins) and catcher/outfielder Zack Sackett (Geneva).

“I cannot say enough good things about the graduating seniors on this team,” coach Pat Zehnder said. “There are eight seniors that will be moving on to great things now that they have graduated. Six will continue to play baseball at the collegiate level, which shows their talent and love for the game is still going strong.

“The eight (senior) leaders came out every day and raised the competitive level of practice and the energy level during games to help us maintain the consistency we did this season. The example they set on how to work, treat and support each other, and handle setbacks or failures created the blueprint for the less-experienced players to follow.”

Zehnder continued: “I have coached many of the seniors for three or even all four years of their high school career and will never forget how they handled so many tough situations with class, dignity and respect.

“Our younger players are extremely fortunate to have seen the way this senior group handled their business on a daily basis, and our program is set up for future success because of the standard they set.”

It was well documented that Bethel Park’s WPIAL championship softball team was led by five Division I college recruits in 2021.

Four were seniors — shortstop Reagan Milliken (Ohio State), pitcher Delaney Nagy (UConn), first baseman Gianna Sciullo (Georgetown) and center fielder Lauren Caye (Seton Hall). The fifth was Sandra Soltes, a junior catcher and Pitt commit.

Also, senior infielder Emily Momchilovich will attend Chatham and compete for the Cougars.

“The seniors (on the 2021 squad) were a very special group of ladies and meant so much to this program,” coach Heather Semplice-Scott said. “They taught others that hard work and dedication will help in success, but also having a team bond like they did was a big part of their success.

“The seniors worked as a team and put aside their own individual wants, another way they showed their maturity. They left a lasting memory that will be talked about for a very long time.”

Those are unusually high numbers of college recruits on any high school team and indeed is a tribute to the Bethel Park athletic program.

But there are more.

Other recent graduates, all track and field athletes, planning to extend their careers in college include Emily Carter (Oklahoma State), Kirsten Gross (Cal U.) and Megan Malecki (Millersville). Carter and Gross also compete in cross country.

Turning to football, Alex Hardinger and Jason Muench will play at Mercyhurst and Grove City.

On the girls soccer team, Abby Karstensen and Teagan Mehalko will get their kicks at Muskingum and Mercyhurst.

Other 2021 graduates preparing to play at the next level include Michael Francus (Waynesburg/soccer), Allison Kurtz (Robert Morris/cheer), Madison Love (Ohio Wesleyan/swimming and diving), John Niccoli (Lake Forest College, Ill./lacrosse), Olivia Westphal (Duquesne/basketball) and Logan Wright (Penn College of Technology/basketball)

Finally, Alexa Psotka will compete in women’s volleyball as well as beach volleyball at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.


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