Senior Spotlight: Freeport 2-sport standout left her mark on diamond
Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | 12:50 PM
Editor’s note: Each day, Trib HSSN will spotlight WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tori Radvan will have plenty of memories from her prep sports career. Wins and hardware. Home run trots and match-turning spikes.
The senior from Freeport was a standout softball pitcher and delivered time and again as a hitter. She also won two WPIAL titles and a PIAA championship in volleyball for the perennially strong Yellowjackets.
But unfortunately for Radvan, what lingers most is the emptiness of what did not happen in her final year of high school.
“I think the most interesting thing in my life would have to be what is going on right now with the coronavirus,” she said. “Never would I have thought in my lifetime that when I go to a store I would have to wear a face mask and have to stay six feet away from everyone.
“I was looking forward to all of the traditions. My graduation is going to be around 10 minutes long and only with my family. I never would have thought that I wouldn’t be able to watch my friends graduate along with the kids I have grown up with for 12 years.
“I just think that this event in my life I will remember forever because it has taken so much away from me.”
Still, Radvan left her mark in the softball pitcher’s circle and at the plate. Last season, she posted eight wins and a 3.79 ERA and batted .644 (29 for 44) with seven home runs, nine doubles, 20 runs and 29 RBIs.
She is a Pitt-Johnstown recruit.
What was your reaction when you found out there would not be a high school softball season and how have you coped?
I was devastated. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I will never play another sport with Freeport on the front of my jersey. At first, I was sad myself, but then when I truly thought about it I was mostly sad for the other seniors who are not going to be playing softball in college. I know the other senior on my team, Anastazia Herbst, has been working very hard the past four years to get a starting position and this year she would have gotten it. For that to be taken away from her is just horrible.
What sold you on Pitt-Johnstown?
My older sister, Kristie, is going to be a senior there this year. I have been going to all of the games that I could to support her and the team. They are very welcoming and make me feel at home. I also like how the campus is on the smaller end. Growing up in little Freeport, I could never see myself going to a big college.
If you could change one rule in high school softball, what would it be?
That we could wear jewelry. It is very annoying every game having to take out my earring and take off my necklace because I end up losing an earring.
Do you have any autographs? Which one is your favorite?
When I was younger, my family along with the Schmidt family, went to the Akron Racers game once a year and I got a ball signed by all of those players. My favorite would have to be Jennie Finch.
Why is the Freeport volleyball program always so good?
Because of the commitment coach Tom Phillips has to the program. I don’t think most coaches do what he does. I think from experience he knows how to make his program successful. He makes his players train hard if they want to see playing time. The players know the legacy of being a Freeport volleyball player and the motto, “refuse to lose.”
Who was your Freeport sports “hero” growing up? Who did you like to watch?
My sister was my Freeport sports hero growing up. When we were younger I was always the youngest on the team because I played the age group above where I was supposed to be so I could play with my sister. She was always there for me to watch and for me strive to be like her when I was older.
Do you regularly attend the Freeport International Baseball Invitational?
I do attend the Freeport Internationals when I can, but they are normally during the time when I have my annual Myrtle Beach trip with my family.
What is your best pitch and who taught it to you?
My screw ball. My dad taught me it because he has been my pitching coach growing up.
Who is the toughest batter you have faced?
Lea Coffman who went to Burrell and is now going to be a sophomore at Gannon. I feel like every season I played her she was the most consistent and always hit a home run at least once.
What does the “green phase” mean to you?
That I can hang out with my friends more and finally go out to eat. Also, hopefully means that I can start playing travel ball soon for my last year.
Have you started any new hobbies during the shutdown?
I have started walking every day. I walk with my mom and sometimes I FaceTime Ally DeJidas and we catch up since we haven’t been able to see each other.
Any good luck charms?
A toy fish that I named “Moose” would have to be my good luck charm. It was given to me my first travel game with the Pittsburgh Predators in 2016 and has been in my bag since.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received from a coach?
I just know that all of my coaches have formed me into the person I am today with the work ethic and with the way I portray myself on and off the field.
Do you have a design on your mask?
I have a Winnie the Pooh-themed mask that I wear when I go out.
Who is the most inspirational person in your life?
My parents are the most inspirational people in my life. No matter what it is, my parents are always there for me. Whether it be softball, basketball or volleyball, they would come to all of my games to support me.
Any funny stories about coming up in softball?
Last year, we were playing a team and an outfielder just started to run around in the middle of the game. When the umpire saw this, he called time. No one really knew what was going on until she started yelling at a bee to leave her alone. She was running everywhere trying to get away from a bee and everyone on both teams started laughing.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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