Southmoreland softball hopes to make run at another title

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Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 7:02 PM


When Southmoreland softball coach Todd Bunner addressed his team March 12, they talked about the future and hoped the 2020 season would continue in the near future.

Around the state, the season is on pause until at least April 1 because of coronavirus.

If the season continues, there is a good chance Southmoreland could make another run at a WPIAL title. The Scotties were WPIAL Class 3A champion in 2018.

With nine returning starters/letterwinners, there is a reason to be optimistic about the season — if and when it happens.

Southmoreland (10-7, 7-5) graduated thee players from the team that dropped a 3-2 extra-inning game in the 2019 WPIAL quarterfinals to eventual champion Avonworth.

Gone are catcher Lexi Klatt (Alderson-Broaddus), who was the team’s leading hitter (.483, six home runs and 24 RBIs), shortstop Hannah Corvin (Pitt-Greensburg) and Maegan Shetterly (Wooster).

“We’re going to be competitive,” Bunner said. “I will never say we’re the favorite to win our section. Keystone Oaks and South Park are always good, but we’ll be in the running for the section title. The section is very good, and it prepares you for the postseason.”

Bunner said he wouldn’t call 2019 a rebuilding season, but things got off track when starting pitcher Jess Matheny suffered a fractured forearm in the middle of the season.

The lefty, now a junior, throws in the upper 50s. She committed to Robert Morris, where she probably will play outfield.

“She’s very competitive,” Bunner said. “She’s probably going to set our strikeout and win record. We’re a good defensive team. We’re sound, and for the past five years, we’ve been a good hitting team.”

Senior shortstop/center fielder Charity Henderson and senior second baseman Faith Miller are the top hitters returning. Henderson batted .380 with four home runs and 14 RBIs, and Miller hit .436 with four home runs and 19 RBIs. Matheny hit .431 with four home runs and 15 RBIs, and Tyson Martin hit. 408 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.

Bunner expects senior Abby Fullem, who was the designated hitter in 2019, will switch to catcher. Also back is senior first baseman Courtney Myers.

Also returning are junior third baseman Emma Eutsey, junior outfielder Emma Mullet and sophomore outfielders/infielders (Tyson) Martin and Elle Pawlikowsky.

“What’s nice is we have a lot of sophomores and freshmen pushing for playing time,” Bunner said. “We also have no drama on the team. Everyone is working together.”

The players pushing for playing time are sophomores Maddie Cyphert, Mercedes Bando and Raegan McKelvey and freshmen Reagan Carson, Brynn Carnesky, Hannah Moore and Gracie Smith.

With team activities on pause, Bunner said he expects the players will work out on their own with their trainers.

And if the PIAA allows the resumption of practice and games, Bummer expects his team will be ready to roll.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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