Softball team leads Norwin in strong spring sports season

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Saturday, June 3, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Norwin brought contenders to the WPIAL spring sports season, along with plenty of highlights: home runs, goals, spikes and record times and distances.

From the diamond to the jumping pits, the Knights made their mark.

Softball

With more than 30 home runs, the Knights used the long ball to build leads in games. The team made a run to the WPIAL 6A semifinals and finished with a 15-6 record.

Third-seeded Norwin fell to No. 2 Hempfield, 8-5, in the semis.

The emergence of senior Alyssa McCormick (Fairmont State) as the ace pitcher was a complement to the big bats of seniors Madie Kessler (St. Francis) and Emma Novotnak (Gannon), juniors Bailey Snowberger (Holy Cross) and Josey Michalski, and others.

With the WPIAL only sending the champion in 6A to the PIAA playoffs, Norwin was left wondering what could have been after missing out again on its first WPIAL finals appearance.

Baseball

The Knights continued to be a part of the WPIAL postseason conversation, despite changes in the program, namely a new coaching staff.

Craig Spisak left Yough after six seasons to replace longtime Knights coach Mike Liebdzinski.

Norwin finished 8-12 and fell to North Allegheny, 3-0, in the quarterfinals.

Seniors Justin Weaver (Gannon), Chris Slatt (Seton Hill) and Ryan Orosz (Penn State Greater Allegheny) were key leaders for a mostly young team.

A number of new names made their mark on the team, including catchy ones in senior second baseman Steve Rodgers and sophomore third baseman Nolan Ryan.

Senior Jake Auld (IF/P) and junior Keegan Carr (IF/OF) also made key contributions, along with sophomore Ethen Culbertson.

Track and field

The girls team won its sixth straight section title and finished second in WPIAL Class 3A.

Top performers included Belle Brozeski, a WPIAL individual champion in the 300-meter hurdles, Anna DeFazio (middle distance), Ashley Laukus (jumps), Hannah Shaw (pole vault), Annie Czajkowski (distance), Emma Jiancristoforo (distance), Casey Colcombe (hurdles), Savannah Schneck (throws) and others.

The boys team was led by Nick Puskar (pole vault), Trey Huha (sprints) and others.

In all, 12 Norwin athletes will compete in college.

Boys volleyball

The Knights made a run to the WPIAL 3A quarterfinals before falling to Canon-McMillan, 3-1.

They pushed past Peters Township in the first round, 3-0.

Key players were Jackson Genicola, Mike Mihalov, Ben Tygielski, Lucas Churchfield, Troy Horvath and others.

Lacrosse

The boys and girls teams made the playoffs, the girls for the first time since 2019.

Boys tennis

The Knights qualified for the WPIAL 3A team playoffs. The top doubles teams were Brady Johnson/Nick Comras, and Bret Village/Chase Rose. Johnson and Village led in singles.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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