Slugging siblings make mark at Chartiers Valley

Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 11:01 AM

Western Pennsylvania is roughly near the midway point between Berkeley, Calif., and London, England.

After Kip Kinchington played rugby in England and his wife Edwina swam at Cal-Berkeley, they settled and started a family in Collier Township. They produced two kids in the early part of the century that are now enjoying big success in the middle of the Chartiers Valley baseball and softball batting orders.

However, Will and Marie Kinchington are no middle-of-the-road talents on the diamond.

Will Kinchington is a senior for the Chartiers Valley baseball team while Marie is a junior for the Colts softball team. Both helped their teams reach the WPIAL playoffs this spring.

Thus far this season, Will is hitting .341 with a team high five extra-base hits and 12 RBIs.

“Will is the guy that you want by your side when the chips are down,” Chartiers Valley baseball coach Curt Cairns said. “He has been a tremendous hitter and a team leader. He is selfless and always gives 100 percent. I have never seen him take a pitch off in practice. He is a well-rounded young man. He just wants to compete and win, no matter what it takes.”

Marie leads the Colts softball team with a .558 batting average with four home runs and 17 RBIs.

“Marie’s work ethic stands out a lot,” Chartiers Valley softball coach Chris Lloyd said. “In the offseason, she is hitting and working out five days a week to get stronger. Her approach at the plate improves with each at-bat. She is talking to the girls about the pitches she is seeing to prepare them for their at-bats. She always wants to get better and is willing to help out the team any way possible.”

While the two are only a year apart, they never played ball together. Will started playing baseball at age 7 while Marie didn’t start playing softball until she was around 10.

With no other brothers or sisters, the two are very close with no sibling rivalry.

“Will and I try to make it to each other’s games, even if it’s just for one or two innings,” Marie said. “Our schedules in the season overlap each other often, but it’s good to get out and see each other do well.”

Not only do the two support each other, they also work out and hone their craft together.

“We always work out and go to the cages together,” Will said. “It’s nice because you have a training partner to work out and hit with who’s just as dedicated as you are. We push each other in the gym and correct each other in the cages if we see a certain tendency in each other’s swing.”

Both of their high school coaches say Will and Marie have a lot going for them, both on the diamond and away from the sport as well.

“Will’s work ethic is his strength,” Cairns said. “He is a tremendous hitter. He has really shown that he can handle high-level pitching. He is also a great student. He was one of my all-time favorite students in sixth grade.”

“Marie is very hard working and looks for ways to improve,” Lloyd said. “She has worked with some of the players on our team during batting practice to help improve their power and plate discipline. In the dugout during games, she is vocal and hypes the girls up.

“Off the field, Marie is one of the smartest girls I know. Her work ethic that she has in softball carries over from school, which starts at home from her parents, Edwina and Kip. She has a very tough school schedule but has great time management skills to be able juggle all of her school work and softball. She comes to softball every day ready to play and help out anyway she can.”

Lloyd also shared this story about Marie from a recent section game against Upper St. Clair.

“She hit an opposite-field home run that was impressive,” he said. “In her next at-bat, she hit a shot out to left field for a double. When she got to third base, we debated on which hit was better. I told her the home run, but she said she didn’t get enough of it and the double was a better-hit ball. It’s always exciting seeing her come up to hit, and I am glad that she is on our team.”

The siblings were asked to evaluate the other.

“I think she’s basically the Pete Alonso of softball,” Will said, referring to the young New York Mets slugger. “Her power is absurd, and she embraces the pressure. Hitting has always been one of her strengths, and she will continue to grow mentally as a player in the future.”

As expected, Marie repaid the compliment when talking about her brother’s abilities.

“Will is the kind of player you want to be up when you’re down in the last inning and there’s runners on second and third,” she said. “Will is the one person I know who can keep his composure no matter what kind of situation he is in. He doesn’t think about all of the factors that could affect him in that moment. He just keeps his head down and does his job.”

As Will winds down his scholastic career, he is preparing to further is education and athletic career at Juniata College. Going from a Colt to an Eagle might be easier than the transition of not being around his kid sister every day.

“We’ve always been very close,” Will said. “We don’t ever compete with each other, and we’ll always support one another.”


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