Trib HSSN High School Softball Player of the Week for April 3, 2023

Monday, April 3, 2023 | 11:59 PM

Two years ago, Olivia Zimmerman, then a freshman, helped the Indiana softball team reach the WPIAL playoffs.

The Little Indians edged Latrobe in the Class 5A first round, 7-6, before losing to Armstrong in the quarterfinals.

Playing travel softball in June of 2021, Zimmerman tore her ACL while pitching. She spent the next year on the shelf rehabbing, missing her entire sophomore season.

The injury was devastating to Indiana, as the team finished with a 3-12 record.

“Not just physically, but mentally it hurt me,” Zimmerman said of last spring.

Zimmerman is back in a big way, and so are the Little Indians, who after beating West Mifflin 2-1 in their Section 1-4A opener Monday, have won six of their seven games.

“Getting back into it was a little rough,” Zimmerman said. “Now my knee is fine, but pain went down into my Achilles and I had to have a procedure on that. I feel like an old lady.”

While Zimmerman deals with several physical issues, she is causing a lot of pain on Indiana opponents.

Last week in nonsection wins over West Shamokin and Freeport, Zimmerman was a beast at the plate.

“Her bat was big, and we need it through the season,” Indiana coach Harold Wilson said. “Liv keeps wanting to improve and get better each year for the team and herself.”

In the two games, Zimmerman was a combined 4 for 6 with three home runs, three runs scored, a double and six RBIs.

“I guess it’s working pretty good,” Zimmerman said when asked about her red-hot stick. “For my high school team, I’ve always been the No. 3 batter.”

In the circle, Zimmerman was cruising along through five scoreless innings with the Little Indians leading 7-0.

The junior pitcher hit a wall in the sixth and yielded seven runs, six earned, as the Wolves tied the game. Indiana scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to hold on for the win, 9-7.

While the results were mixed last Monday, Zimmerman bounced back Thursday. She pitched one scoreless inning in relief, striking out all three batters she faced in a 14-2 win over Freeport.

“Her start (Monday) was very good with six strikeouts, but I left her in too long,” Wilson said. “Her relief appearance was excellent with three strikeouts.”

Zimmerman was pleased with her work in the circle last week.

“I felt really good, then that inning came,” Zimmerman said. “I don’t know if I was getting tired or what, but I was trying to push through it.”

As far as the scoreless inning of relief on Thursday: “That definitely boosted my confidence a lot.”

As the Little Indians prepare for the start of section play, Wilson likes the makeup of his team.

“With Liv returning and a large number of returning players, plus a quality group of freshmen pushing them, makes for a good turnaround,” he said.

2022 Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week

Week 11 – Alivia Lantzy, Avonworth

Week 10 – Autumn Boyd, Laurel

Week 9 – Jenna Clontz, Armstrong

Week 8 – Payton List, Beaver

Week 7 – Mia Smith, Penn-Trafford

Week 6 – Casey Barton, Seton LaSalle

Week 5 – Addy Frye, Neshannock

Week 4 – Abby Scheller, North Hills

Week 3 – Bella Hess and Paige McAvoy, Chartiers-Houston

Week 2 – Emma Augustine, Yough

Week 1 – Abby Quickel, Bethel Park


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