Penn-Trafford softball team is reloading for another title run
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | 6:14 PM
If the Penn-Trafford softball team’s first scrimmage was any indication, the power lost by graduation will be minimal.
The Warriors pounded out seven home runs against Plum, which surprised coach Denny Little.
Penn-Trafford isn’t rebuilding. It’s just reloading.
“We still have girls who have power,” Little said. “We have some talented freshman that will push for playing time.”
The Warriors graduated six seniors and had one talented underclassman,shortstop Sarah Yamrick, move to Fort Myers, Fla., and is starting for Cypress Lake High School. The graduates are Emma Little (Bloomsburg), Brooke Cleland (Seton Hill), Allie Prady (Fairmont State), Sarah Eisenhuth (Westminster), Julia Moorhead and Lizzy Cermack.
Penn-Trafford has 12 girls playing college softball.
Returning from a team that was 15-5 overall and won the Section 2-5A with a 9-1 record are senior pitcher Mia Smith, who pitched in the 2019 PIAA championship game, junior shortstop Kylee Piconi, junior second baseman Brianna Pusateri and senior leftvfielder Hannah Allen.
The Warriors won their first playoff game, defeating Hampton, 10-0, but lost to eventual WPIAL champion North Hills, 7-1.
Others who saw playing time who will start are junior right fielder Caitlyn Schlegel, senior pitcher McKenzie Rapp, senior catcher Madison Rapp and sophomore first baseman Erin Drotos.
Junior Alexa Forsythe and freshman Cameron Ponko are battling to be the starter at third base, and two freshmen who Little didn’t want to identify are battling to start in center field. Smith and McKenzie Rapp could also see playing time at first base.
“Every year you lose great players,” Little said. “When you’ve built a solid program, there’s always going to be new faces ready to make a name for themselves. We’ve got a pretty good system going on.”
Little said he expects is team will battle for the section crown with Latrobe, who he feels is the favorite, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Gallatin and Connellsville. Gateway is the sixth team in the section.
“We always have to set high goals,” Little said. “With Mia back, we have high expectations. I truly believe that we’re the only ones that can beat us if we play our game.
“Sure we lost a lot of firepower. But we have underclassmen that are waiting their turn. Alexa (Forsythe) is someone that has really stepped up her game this season.”
Little said Smith will be utilized in the circle and at the plate.
“She’s stronger, and her ball moves more than ever,” Little said. “She’s a good hitter, too. We just didn’t need her last year. McKenzie will also see time in the circle. She has a great screwball and drop. We have younger pitchers that will be good.”
Penn-Trafford opens the season Friday at Mt. Pleasant, the returning PIAA and WPIAL Class 3A champion.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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