Trib HSSN Head of the Class: Softball Player and Coach of the Year for each classification
Saturday, July 3, 2021 | 7:01 PM
Whether their school had students in the classroom or virtually this spring, there is a special seat up front reserved for these standout performers and coaches in the return to the softball diamonds.
Trib HSSN salutes all of the players and coaches for their great work in the return of spring sports in 2021, however these players and coaches stood out for their performance on diamonds around the WPIAL, and get an extra tip of the cap for a job well done.
The following have reached the Trib HSSN Head of the Class for this past season and are our players and coaches of the year in each classification.
POY: Reagan Milliken, Bethel Park
The senior shortstop smacked 11 home runs and drove in 37 runs while hitting .660 despite many pitchers trying to pitch around the Ohio State recruit. She led a lethal offense that scored more than nine runs per game in 14 of 19 games and outscored its three WPIAL playoff opponents, 27-3.
COY: Heather Scott, Bethel Park
It was a slow build for Scott and a talented group of four Division I players that won a share of the Section 1-6A title as sophomores in 2019, then flew high this year as seniors with the Black Hawks’ first outright section title and first WPIAL softball championship in a dominant 18-1 season.
POY: Melanie Taylor, North Hills
The senior shortstop batted .395 with eight home runs, 30 RBIs and a .790 slugging percentage, but she saved her best for the postseason where she was 10 for 23 with two homers and seven RBIs in helping North Hills win the school’s first WPIAL softball championship in 21 years.
COY: Doug Flanders, Armstrong
Flanders may have led his team to second place in the regular season and twice in the postseason, but he receives top honors here for a great season. The River Hawks finished second to Plum in Section 1-5A, lost to North Hills in the WPIAL finals and fell to Lampeter-Strasburg in the state title game.
POY: Payton List, Beaver
The junior pitcher was a dominant force in the circle as well as in the batter’s box. The Trib HSSN Player of the Year was 16-0 as a pitcher with a 0.64 ERA with 233 strikeouts, plus she batted .409 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in helping the Bobcats win WPIAL and PIAA championships.
COY: Amy Haggart, Beaver
In a school year filled with them, there was no hurdle that these Bobcats couldn’t clear this spring. Haggart was the guiding force for a team that won a district title for the first time in seven years, a first state championship and the only team in the state to finish with a perfect record.
POY: Haylie Brunson, Mt. Pleasant
The senior third baseman led the way in a dugout filled with talented Vikings. The Pitt recruit had a .560 batting average with six home runs and 41 RBIs with a .560 on-base percentage and a 1.107 slugging percentage. She was a combined 5 for 8 with five RBIs in the WPIAL and PIAA title game wins.
COY: Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant
Since taking over as softball coach in 2019, every day has been bring your daughter to work day. This year, Brunson, his two daughters Haylie and Krista, and the rest of the Vikings put together winning streaks of five, six and their final eight games to win 21 times and capture district and state gold.
POY: Maddie Griffin, Ligonier Valley
The junior pitcher enjoyed one of the best seasons for a district pitcher in years. In her first full season as a pitcher, Griffin finished with a 19-3 record with an ERA of 0.39 and 316 strikeouts in 143 1/3 innings pitched. She also threw 11 no-hitters and four perfect games.
COY: Frank Duddy, Laurel
After winning WPIAL Class 2A championships in 2018 and 2019, then missing the 2020 season, there were a lot of “new” names on the Spartans roster as they went for the unorthodox three-peat. Mission accomplished as Duddy guided Laurel to an 18-2 record, including another district title.
POY: London Whipkey, West Greene
The sophomore catcher enjoyed a great “first” varsity softball season and showed that the West Greene dynasty shows no signs of slowing down in the future. For 2021, Whipkey batted .511 with two home runs and 46 RBIs to go with a .521 on-base percentage and a .784 slugging percentage.
COY: Billy Simms, West Greene
Very similar to what Laurel has done in 2A, a small school turning over a roster over a period of time, yet continuing to dominate on the softball field. Simms and his “young” Pioneers tied a WPIAL record held by Hempfield and Sto-Rox with a fifth consecutive WPIAL softball championship as part of a 21-3 season.
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Trib HSSN Postseason Awards
More High School Softball• Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League set for Week 2 of game action
• Ligonier Valley pitcher Maddie Griffin commits to Youngstown State
• Rick Meister, championship-winning softball coach at North Allegheny, dies
• Hempfield softball team prepares for post-Bob Kalp era
• Penn Hills sophomore Sipple helps Nitro 14U softball capture World Series title