Season of development commences for Penn Hills softball
By: Andrew John
Thursday, April 4, 2019 | 6:11 PM
With the majority of its roster being underclassmen, the Penn Hills softball team is looking forward to the development of key players who will be around past this season.
After finishing last season 2-11 (2-8 in Section 2-6A), the Indians dropped to Section 2-5A.
Penn Hills (1-3, 1-2) dropped its season opener at Hampton, 16-1, in section play March 26. The Indians also defeated Oakland Catholic, 23-5, in section play March 28.
Led by coach Rich Burkhart, the team struggled to stop offenses as it was outscored a combined 32-4 in losses April 1 at West Mifflin and April 2 at home against Plum.
“Our section is kind of tough since we have a younger team. We’re working hard on making sure that they are working on their fundamentals and getting all their reps in so next year we have a more experienced team,” assistant head coach Carly Bozick said.
Penn Hills is led by junior center fielder and pitcher Yasmine Logan, who was a Section 2-6A first-team all-section selection last year.
Logan, who had a .600 batting average through the first four games, has taken more of a leadership role and was named one of the team captains. She has taken over some pitching duties after the graduation of Jasmine Woodings.
“Putting her in that leadership role was a no-brainer. It’s nice for her to grow into that role next year and have a smooth transition. She is stepping up as a leader that will help the team in the future,” Bozick said.
Senior first baseman Makayla Delo has provided a much-needed veteran presence for the team. Last season, she received honorable-mention all-section honors.
“She’s a leader off and on field. She has a soft spirit about her. She’s kind and gentle, but on the field she’s this powerhouse,” Bozick said.
“On the field, she’s really a leader but off the field a number of the girls look up to her. She’s a hitter, a fielder and all-around great athlete.”
Sophomore shortstop Irylynn Richardson returns after receiving honorable mention honors during her freshman year.
Along with Logan, sophomore pitcher Chloe Campbell has taken over pitching duties.
Freshman Kiera Mack plays catcher.
Even though the Indians are young, they believe they have an outside chance to grab one of the playoff spots awarded to the top four in each section.
The Indians believe camaraderie and taking it one game at a time will help them navigate a section schedule that includes Plum, Hampton, Mars, Gateway, Oakland Catholic, Shaler and Woodland Hills.
“The girls have been nothing but supportive of one another. I think that’s what will set us apart. The fact that we have such a young team, our girls care about each other so much. You can see that on the field,” Bozick said.
“We always focus on the positive. Every team has errors every single game. I think focusing on the positives and what we can do to negate those errors is what we really try to focus on after each game, whether it’s a win or a loss.”
The Indians believe they have the ingredients to win crucial matchups against section foes who will battling for final postseason spots.
“I think our work ethic would ensure our spot. Our girls work hard every single day. I think our passion for the game and our girls’ hearts on and off the field are what will help win those games,” Bozick said.
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