Strong season solidifies Chartiers Valley’s place as one of WPIAL softball’s top teams

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Sunday, June 25, 2023 | 10:45 AM


The 2023 campaign began for the Chartiers Valley softball team by scoring 14 runs in a win over Class 6A semifinalist Pine-Richland in March.

The season ended in late May with back-to-back playoff shutout losses.

In between, there was a lot of success for the Colts.

“Overall, I think we had a really good season,” Chartiers Valley head coach Chris Lloyd said. “Even though we did not check off all of our team-goal boxes that we set out for, we finished 17-4 and won our section. A lot of girls had a great season for us and they bonded really well together. It was one of the best teams that I ever coached and fun to be a part of watching them grow.

“We had a lot of big wins during the season and put together a 14-game winning streak. We also had different girls step up at different parts of the season with their bats. Our pitching with Zoe Mangan and Taylor Walsh was strong. Defensively, we played really well and locked it down all season. We had a lot of senior leadership that helped grow the team as one.”

Lloyd’s daughter, senior Madison Crump, enjoyed success both at the plate and in the field. She lead the Colts in hits, batting average (.500), runs scored (34), stolen bases (6), slugging percentage (.842) and on-base percentage (.563). Defensively she was one of the top shortstops, including 11 putouts in the second game against Montour.

Senior Rylee Proseri was strong in the field all year, combining with Crump to form one of the best middle infielder combinations. Rylee also had a bounce-back year at the plate with a .382 batting average and 25 RBIs.

Senior Zoe Mangan pitched well all season, finishing with a record of 13-3. She also was a big bat in the middle of the lineup with a .438 batting average and 18 RBIs.

Senior Callie Mangan excelled defensively at first base and had some big hits throughout the season, including a big two-run homer against Montour in the first meeting against the Spartans.

Senior Mackenzie Maga was a lockdown center fielder for CV. She also had a bounce-back season at the plate with a .375 batting average.

Junior Marta Gualazzi batted .441 and played well at third base.

Sophomore Taylor Walsh also pitched well in the circle, closing out games and shutting down eventual WPIAL 5A champion Trinity. She finished with a .390 batting average with a home run and 27 RBIs.

Sophomore Delaney O’Connor stepped in halfway through the season in the outfield and had some big hits when she got into the lineup, finishing with a .273 batting average.

Lily Duffill caught almost every game for the Colts as a freshman. She batted fourth in the lineup and led Chartiers Valley with six home runs and 35 RBIs.

“We had different girls step up at different times throughout the year,” Lloyd said. “Beating Montour the first time around was a big win for us as were both our games against Beaver and Hampton. We were able to have some timely hitting and our defense played great.

“We also had a tough nonsection schedule, and all of those teams made the playoffs. We beat South Fayette at the beginning of the year and also USC, who was off to a hot start. We played a great game against TJ, who had a great season. We also beat Trinity to end the regular season, and they hadn’t lost a game against a WPIAL team all year. Playing those games only made us better and coming out on top showed how good we were.”

Several key players have graduated , but won’t soon be forgotten by the program.

“These seniors have changed the whole program at Chartiers Valley and have had a lot of success together since middle school,” Lloyd said. “I started coaching them as a whole in seventh grade and took over the high school program in 2020 when they were freshman. They knew what it took to win and hated to lose. They have all become leaders in their short time at CV and have shown the rest of the team what it takes to win and how to win.

“They knew coming in that the softball team was struggling but wanted to change that. They won two section titles in their three seasons, won playoff games for the first time in years, made it to the semifinals three straight years and also made it to states twice. They have put CV on the map for the first time in a long time.”

Still, there is plenty of talent returning for the Colts in 2024.

“Even though we have some holes to fill, I am really excited for this team,” Lloyd said. “We have some returning starters and some girls that have been waiting for their opportunity to play. I am expecting Marta to have a really big senior year and for Lily to continue where she left off. Taylor will take over in the circle and we have a few other pitchers that will be able to help her out.

“The 10 girls coming back are all really close and know how to win. We also have some freshman coming up that could have the opportunity to step in when needed at different positions.”

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