Trib HSSN May Madness: Natalie Bower, Latrobe vs. Nikki Doria, South Park

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Friday, May 8, 2020 | 9:00 AM


Over the course of the next month and a half, May Madness will determine who fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls, of WPIAL alums. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, May Madness will have one matchup each on the boys and girls bracket with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Friday and running through 9 a.m. Saturday, you can vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this first-round matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Saturday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the girls. Round 1, Day 6:

Natalie Bower vs. Nikki Doria is a matchup between an athlete who loved to run and one who preferred to add kicking, shooting and hitting to her occasional running in a battle of 2009 grads.

Natalie Bower — Latrobe Class of 2009

(Cross country, track and field)

• One of only two runners to win four WPIAL cross country races

• She finished as high as fourth place three times in the PIAA cross country championships

• Her efforts helped Latrobe win the WPIAL Class AAA team cross country championship her freshman year in 2005

• Bower won eight WPIAL track and field championships

• She won the 1,600-meter championship three times, the 3,200-meter title two times and the 3,200-meter relay three times

• Bower captured state gold in the 2009 1,600-meter race and was the event’s runner-up in 2008

• She will be inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2021

• Bower ran in college at Penn State

Nikki Doria — South Park Class of 2009

(Soccer, basketball, softball)

• 2009 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review female athlete of the year

• Started all four years on the South Park soccer, basketball and softball teams

• Doria helped the Eagles soar to the WPIAL championship game in all three of her sports in her junior year in 2007-08 as South Park won gold in soccer and hoops and settled for silver in softball

• Scored 30 goals her senior year to lead South Park to the 2008 WPIAL Class AA championship and a PIAA runner-up finish

• She scored the only goal in the 2008 WPIAL girls soccer championship match, a 1-0 victory over Springdale

• She scored 102 goals in her high school career, helping South Park win three district crowns

• Doria averaged more than 18 points per game in helping the Eagles basketball team reach the WPIAL semifinals and qualify for the state playoffs her senior year

• In the spring of 2009, Doria was the leadoff batter for South Park, hit .420 and registered the school’s third-highest fielding percentage in a decade and a half with a .942 percentage with her stellar play at second base

• Doria played college soccer at Cal (Pa.)

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