Senior trio makes impact on Baldwin softball program

Sunday, July 4, 2021 | 10:01 AM

There were only three seniors — Beatrice Cook, Lindsay Bonetti and Olivia Los — on the Baldwin softball team this year.

Cook, a transfer from Brentwood, was a three-year starter in the outfield. Bonetti was a three-year starter at second base. Los, a first baseman/outfielder, played right field this season.

Baldwin coach Gina Fuchs discussed the softball talents of each player.

l Cook: “Beatrice has really grown as a player throughout her years with Baldwin. We really counted on her this year to hold down the outfield since she was our only returning outfielder, and she did a great job. I am really proud of her because last summer she came to me wanting to be a consistent bat in the lineup. When I suggested that she slap-hit, she was all in. She’s very coachable and willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.”

l Bonetti: “I was an assistant when Lindsay was a freshman, and she made so many strides from then to now. She is an amazing student-athlete who is a great role model for the younger kids. She always works hard and gives her all on the field and in the classroom. Lindsay has been our starter at second base for the last three years. It’s gonna be strange not to see her out there next year.”

l Los: “Olivia didn’t play softball since her freshman year, so for her to come out in her senior year was a pleasant surprise. She had a lot of catching up to do, but honestly, she caught on pretty quick. She also is a very coachable kid who gave her all in practice and in her playing opportunities.”

The Highlanders qualified for the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs and finished with a 4-10 record in a season hampered by covid-19 protocols.

Cook capped her high school career with a Big 56 Conference all-section honorable mention selection.

“Coming from a different and a smaller school, I never thought I would see the field (at Baldwin) during a varsity game,” said Cook, a switch hitter. “I’m thankful for all the people that pushed me to do better and helped me.

“Playing for Baldwin helped me grow as an individual and as a player. I’ve met many new people, including one (Lenina Ebert) I can call my best friend.”

Cook also was a member of Baldwin’s bowling program. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends.

“I am outgoing and adventurous. I am always looking for something to do,” Cook said. “After I decided I didn’t want to continue playing volleyball and basketball at Baldwin, I decided to join the bowling team. I was the only girl on the team for the last two years until (2020-21).

“I wasn’t always the best bowler, but I keep improving. I am also very interested in photography.”

Cook plans to continue her softball and bowling careers at Pitt-Greensburg, where she will major in management.

“I want to give a big thank you to everyone who’s helped me reach my goal of playing in college,” she said. “I want to thank my teammates and my coaches for pushing me to be better, and my family for being my biggest fans.

“I do not know what I would do without them driving me to every possible sporting event there was, and sometimes multiple ones in one day. I love everyone who has made me the person I am today.”

Bonetti was a standout on and off the field for the Highlanders.

This spring, she was lauded as an Outstanding Young Citizen by the Tribune-Review and also received the Walter C. Young Award for Excellence in Social Studies. Plus, she had more than 20 of her stories — more than any other student in the history of Baldwin’s student newspaper — that were awarded and/or published by Best of School Newspapers Online.

Bonetti served on the executive board of the National Honor Society and as vice president of the German Club and was an editor for the Purbalite, her school newspaper.

“I do not play any other sports, but I am a writer,” she said. “I’m a bit of a journalist nerd. My favorite hobby (was) writing for my school newspaper.”

Bonetti plans to attend Pitt’s honors college to study pre-law.

“I had an amazing four years during my Baldwin softball career,” she said. “I’ve made lifelong friends and will carry many life lessons with me. Of course, missing out on last year’s season was sad, but I’m still so proud and appreciative of the time I had.

“I got varsity time as a (pinch) runner my freshman year, and I had the unforgettable experience of playing in the state tournament. I’ll never forget being at Penn State’s field with massive Beaver Stadium right behind it.”

Prior to the pandemic-cancelled 2020 campaign, Baldwin had won five consecutive section titles and advanced to the playoffs 10 years in a row.

“I am a two-time section champion. Not many players have the privilege to say the same, so I’m grateful,” Bonetti said. ”I’m the only player on the team who has been with coach Gina for four years. I’ll always remember her motto about effort and apply it to life in the future. She essentially said you may not be feeling 100% every day, but you need to give 100% of what you have.”

Bonetti started playing softball at age 8.

“My first coach was actually my teammate Maleah Pacella’s mom,” she said. “Maleah and I have been a second base-shortstop duo since we were kids.”

Los, like Cook, was a two-sport athlete at Baldwin. Along with playing softball, she was a member of the girls swim team in the winter months. And she was a member of Baldwin’s marching band. As Fuchs noted, Los returned to the softball program for her senior season.

Los and junior Alexa Flavell shared the starting job in right field.

“This season, I was lucky enough to play again (at) Baldwin,” Los said. “Coming back my senior year was unexpected but rewarding. Although my softball career is over, I feel I have taken a lot from every practice and learned many life skills from my coaches and teammates.

“This year brought many new obstacles and caused practices to look very different. The team’s dedication reflected well on our performance and overall support we had for one another.”

Los plans to go to Pitt-Johnstown, where she will study computer science.

“I do not have any plans to play softball in college, but that can always change,” she said. “I have been playing for 12 years and will miss it.”


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