Southmoreland softball team charges out of gate
Thursday, April 1, 2021 | 9:26 PM
If Southmoreland needed an early-season hint as to its softball team’s chances in Class 3A of the WPIAL, it may have gotten it this week with victories over Class 4A schools in its first two games.
What’s more, the Scotties outscored Greensburg Salem and Uniontown by a combined 17-3.
But even prior to the first pitch being thrown Monday, Southmoreland coach Todd Bunner had a feeling his girls would be ready to go.
“We definitely can be a contender,” Bunner said hours before No. 3 Southmoreland knocked off Greensburg Salem, 6-2. The Scotties followed that outing Tuesday by routing Uniontown, 11-1.
“I feel good about our team,” Bunner said. “We have five solid girls coming back from the 2019 team. We’ve got a lot of very good hitters and good positional players.”
A total of 10 freshmen dominate the 17-player roster, but two seniors head the list of returning starters from the 2019 team that advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinals.
They are pitcher/center fielder Jess Matheny and third baseman Emily Eutsey, who also were starters as freshmen on the Scotties’ 2018 WPIAL championship team.
Matheny, a Robert Morris recruit, batted .431 with four home runs as a sophomore before the 2020 season was shut down.
Eutsey is committed to Division III Juniata.
Other returning starters are senior outfielder Emma Mullet and two juniors: shortstop/outfielder Tyson Martin, who batted .408 and homered three times, and catcher/outfielder Elle Pawlikowsky.
Martin, who also is drawing college interest, “can play anywhere on the field,” Bunner said. “She’s that good.”
Bunner said he’ll be mixing and matching lineups depending on the opponent and situation, adding in players such as junior outfielder/pitcher Maddie Cyphert and sophomore second baseman Brynn Charnesky.
Bunner said he won’t hesitate to rotate his batteries, saying the Scotties are blessed with versatility on the mound and behind the plate.
“We have four pitchers and four catchers who all are capable of getting the job done,” he said.
Four freshmen are expected to be regulars in the Southmoreland lineup, including catcher/shortstop Amarah McCutcheon, a nationally ranked travel team player for the Ohio Outlaws.
“Put a star beside her name because she’s going to be playing somewhere big in college,” Bunner said.
The others are infielder Gwen Bassinger, first baseman Gabriella Grabiak and catcher/infielder Bethany Stratten.
The remaining freshmen are infielder Kaylee Dopplehauer, pitcher/infielder Maddie Brown, outfielder Emma Fowler, infielders/outfielders Brooke McBeth and Beatrix Pawlikowsky and catcher/infielder Gianna Perbonish.
Southmoreland, which is in Section 4 along with Brownsville, Charleroi, McGuffey, Waynesburg and No. 2 Yough, next will host Derry on Wednesday before opening section play April 9 at McGuffey.
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