Mother-daughter duos coach Bethel Park softball to spectacular season

Saturday, May 22, 2021 | 11:01 AM

The Bethel Park coaching staff is unique in WPIAL softball.

It is made up of a pair of mother-daughter tandems.

Heather Semplice-Scott is head coach; her daughter, Geana Scott, is an assistant and statistician.

Donna DeCarlo, the team scorekeeper, and Carly Schoenstein, Donna’s daughter, are assistants.

“It’s exciting to have two sets of mother-daughter duos coaching together,” Semplice-Scott said. “Working with the three of them is truly amazing. It’s not often you will see an all-female coaching staff on the field. We just really work well together, we believe in each other and will continue to support each other. The four of us have a special bond. We jell together in preparing for practices and games. I cannot thank them enough for all their time and dedication they’ve put into coaching.

“I am truly blessed to have them as my assistants and to be able to coach a team of hard-working, determined, young ladies.”

The BP coaching staff no doubt is a hard-working, determined group as well, guiding the Black Hawks to a perfect 15-0 regular-season record and No. 1 seed in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

Bethel Park was ranked first in its class in the WPIAL and state by TribLive HSSN at the end of the regular season.

Semplice-Scott’s daughter, better known as “Gee,” recently graduated from Liberty University with a degree in strategic communications. She played first base at Bethel Park and has been helping with practice plans for four years.

Schoenstein is in her fifth season as a coach. She is the varsity’s first base coach and JV head coach. Schoenstein and her mom, who has coached at Bethel Park for 10 years, also help with practice plans.

“Coaching alongside my daughter Carly has been a joy and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to do so,” DeCarlo said. “I was her coach and introduced her to softball when she was 5 years old. I continued to coach her until she was 12. Then I became her No. 1 fan as she played for Bethel Park and throughout her college career at The College of Wooster in Ohio.

“It’s funny how our roles have reversed and she now is teaching me so many different aspects of the game. Also, coaching alongside Heather and her daughter Gee has been very enjoyable. The four of us contribute in different ways, which I believe has made our program successful.”

Semplice-Scott, in her 12th season as field boss, couldn’t agree more.

“Having Donna and Carly together is a lot of fun, as they bring different perspectives to the table,” she said. “Carly played under me (as a shortstop) in my first year as head coach, and continued her softball career at Wooster. She has brought a lot of insight to the team and her passion for the sport. She has taught these players what to expect at the next level, as well.

“Donna, a recently retired health and physical education teacher, brings her knowledge, wit and compassion for the players. The two of them are close, like Gee and I are. Working with both has been enjoyable and fun, and we hope we continue for years.”

Semplice-Scott, a substitute teacher who works in sales, also coached her daughter in high school as a first baseman.

“It’s an honor coaching with my daughter,” Semplice-Scott said. “Having coached her in high school and now having her coach with me side by side is very special, as we have a really close bond.

“Since she was little, she was always in the gym at basketball practice or on the field with me. She’s just always had the passion for sports. Now I am blessed to have her as one of my coaches.”

The formula of four dedicated coaches in charge of a talented group of athletes worked to perfection in the regular season.

“I had high expectations for this group from the start,” DeCarlo said, “but they have performed at a level much higher than I even anticipated. The team’s performance has been absolutely incredible.

“I expect this group to be prepared as we enter the postseason. They are driven and want to succeed. If they stay focused and continue to play as a team, I believe they will see much success throughout the playoffs.”

BP is led on the field by four senior Division I recruits in shortstop Reagan Milliken (Ohio State ), center fielder Lauren Caye (Seton Hall), pitcher Delaney Nagy (Connecticut) and first baseman Gianna Sciullo (Georgetown), along with junior catcher Sandra Soltes (Pitt), a fifth major-college recruit.

Milliken recently belted five home runs in three games to be named the Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week.

Those five are complemented by junior outfielders Ali Sniegocki (LF) and Abbie Quickel (RF), junior 2B Delaney Sierka and senior 3B Sami Stephenson.

The Black Hawks have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs seven years in a row and won or shared three section titles during that span.

The WPIAL Class 6A playoffs commenced May 19.

“Last June, I retired as an elementary teacher for Bethel Park,” DeCarlo said. “I was there for 30 years and I coached many different sports, both boys and girls of all age groups. With that said, I would like to say that this group of young ladies is by far the greatest group I’ve ever had the joy of coaching.

“Not only are they tremendous athletes, but they are terrific young ladies who get along on and off the field. Their parents are to be commended. Thanks to all involved for making this such an enjoyable season. Hopefully, this season will continue throughout the month of June.”


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