Trib HSSN softball player of the week for April 9, 2023

Monday, April 10, 2023 | 5:52 PM

Western Beaver junior outfielder Shaylyn Shall knows a little bit about change.

Shall attends Lincoln Park, which has a co-op agreement in softball with Western Beaver.

It is her third high school in as many years after attending Montour as a freshman and Hopewell as a sophomore.

However, the startling metamorphosis the Golden Beavers program is undergoing this spring may be the best change Shall has been a part of.

Western Beaver, a Class A school in most sports, plays up in Class 5A in softball due to the co-op with Lincoln Park.

Life in the bigger classification did not fit the Golden Beavers well the last two years.

In 2021 and 2022 combined, Western Beaver was 0-19 in section and 2-22 overall.

That’s why its current start of 2-0 in Section 3-5A and 5-1 overall, thanks in large part to the play of Shall, is one of the top softball stories in this young season.

“I have seen a lot of attitude changes,” Shall said. “I actually played with one of the girls on my team on a travel team. She was there last year, and she didn’t have a lot of fun. I can see her smile come right back once we started playing because we have a lot better team and there’s a lot better environment.”

After eclipsing its win total over the last two years with a 3-1 start in nonsection play, Western Beaver opened up its section schedule Monday at home against Mars.

Shall was 3 for 5 with a double, three runs scored and two RBIs as the Golden Beavers erased a 6-2 deficit with four runs in the fifth inning to tie, then after Mars scored a run in the top of the ninth, Western Beaver won it with a pair of runs to win its first Class 5A section game, 7-6.

“What stood out about Shay’s performance against Mars was her discipline at the plate,” Western Beaver first-year coach Kris Colatriano said. “She is a refined and complete hitter, and her performance is what happens when you prepare and take advantage of what your opponent gives you.”

After a nonsection loss to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart on Tuesday in which Shall was 1 for 3, Western Beaver was back in section action Wednesday at Moon.

The Golden Beavers jumped out to a 5-0 lead and then held on to improve to 2-0 in Section 3-5A with a win over the Tigers, 7-5.

“Shay was equally impressive against Moon,” Colatriano said. “Her bat remained hot, and she came up with two defensive plays in center field. That effort combined with our offense and the way we pitched made it a successful day for us.”

It was a far cry from the results between these teams last spring when Moon swept the two games by a combined score of 26-6.

For her part, Shall was 3 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs.

“Shay contributes many things to this talented group,” Colatriano said. “She is one of the leaders both on and off the field. Her dedication to her craft, being a team player, giving a total effort and her support of her teammates stand out. What more could you ask for in a student-athlete?”

The great start by Western Beaver (2-0, 5-2) will be really tested Thursday in an early season section showdown at home against West Allegheny (1-0, 8-0) in a fight for first place.

“They are one of the top teams in 5A,” Colatriano said. “They are well coached and have experience and talent. We will do our homework, practice hard and be prepared to go out there and compete.”

Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week:

Week 1 – Olivia Zimmerman, Indiana


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