Trib HSSN softball player of the week for June 2, 2024

Sunday, June 2, 2024 | 9:30 PM

Trib HSSN softball player of the week: Gabby Perod

School: Neshannock

Class: Senior

Position: Catcher

#Earned: While all eyes were on the various pitching matchups at the WPIAL softball championships at Lilley Field at Cal (Pa.), it was a senior catcher who stood out as she added to her golden collection. Gabby Perod had two of the seven Neshannock hits off Bentworth freshman Sydney Gonglik, and they were both huge. In the bottom of first inning, Perod singled to left field to drive in sophomore Jaidon Nogay as the Lancers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. In the fifth inning, the two-time defending champions added an insurance run when Perod singled home junior Miley Anderson for the game’s final run. Perod again was stellar behind the plate, catching her long-time battery mate and friend, junior Addyson Frye, who allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out 12.

What coach says: “Gabby had great plate appearances, especially in the first and fifth innings,” Neshannock head coach Jackie Lash said. “With runners on second and third base in the first inning, Gabby battled with Gonglik and saw nine pitches. She was aggressive and fouled off every pitch that came close to the plate. In the fifth inning, Gabby was once again aggressive and swung at the first pitch, which resulted in a hard ground ball to center field, allowing Miley Anderson to easily score from third base. Both of these plate appearances showed that Gabby was prepared to execute a plan we had discussed with our batters in the week leading up to the game. We encouraged them to be ready to attack if they got ‘their pitch’ and to be aggressive hitters who could cause Gonglik to throw several pitches during an at bat.

“Gabby and Addy (Frye) are a great combination. They have confidence in each other, and they are able to communicate. Throughout the past few seasons, Gabby has given feedback to Addy and to me when she feels that I should avoid calling certain pitches for a batter. During pre-game warmups, I have observed Gabby make Addy aware if a pitch isn’t spinning or breaking as it should be. Due to Addy’s trust in Gabby’s experience, Addy always accepts Gabby’s feedback and makes necessary adjustments. Having a pitcher and catcher who work so well together has been a huge factor in the success this team has had in the past three seasons.”

“Gabby has shown leadership in various ways in her senior season. In the offseason, Gabby and I talked about the fact that there are no other catchers on our roster, so once she graduates, we are going to have a difficult time filling that important position. We immediately went to work and asked players if any of them are interested in learning to be a catcher and then we scheduled sessions where Gabby provided lessons to potential catchers. Gabby also worked with an eighth grader who shows promise as a future varsity catcher. Not only did Gabby provide the players with tips on how to be a good catcher, she made them see the mental toughness that it takes to be a quality catcher.

“Throughout this season, Gabby has shown leadership by starting each practice with a team talk in which the players gather around the pitcher’s circle and talk about the things they want to accomplish for the day. I sometimes ask players what they learned or discussed in that team talk, and it makes me happy to hear that Gabby often reinforces a lot of the discussions that our coaching staff has had with the players. As our catcher, she shows leadership on the field by being a great communicator to her teammates, especially to our pitchers, Addy and Abigale (Measel).

“Gabby Perod will leave this program as not only one of the best catchers that Neshannock has had, but, in my opinion, one of the best catchers that the WPIAL has had. I just told her at practice on Saturday that I don’t know what I am going to do without her, not just because of her ability to be a great catcher, but also because I will miss her funny personality and her somewhat unpredictable behaviors.

“Our four seniors, Gabby Perod, Abigale Measel, Ali Giordano, and Katherine Nativio, leave a legacy that most players can only dream of. In their four years, these young ladies were all huge contributors to three section championships, three WPIAL championships and one PIAA championship. They have grown closer to one another and have become the best of friends. These seniors have shown dedication to our varsity softball program, and they have put in so much extra work to make sure they were prepared to keep Neshannock at the top of Class 2A. Their work ethic and love for the game has allowed each of them to accomplish an even bigger goal, which is to be able to play at the college level. While the graduation of four seniors allows for opportunity for our underclassmen, our younger players have very big shoes to fill.”

Background: Perod will continue her academic and softball career in the fall at Ashland in Ohio. She will be joined there in an Eagles uniform by Lancers teammate Abby Measel. Perod has been playing softball since she was in first grade. She had also played basketball until middle school and played one year of volleyball as a freshman. Perod has been a big part of three straight WPIAL titles and a PIAA championship in 2022. For the season, Perod is hitting .426 with a home run and 22 RBIs. She leads the Lancers in doubles with 10 and is tied for the lead in triples with two. On defense, Perod has an outstanding .996 fielding percentage on 237 total chances.

2024 Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week

Week 8: Emma Paul, Armstrong

Week 7: Alivia Lantzy, Avonworth

Week 6: Addison Deal, Laurel

Week 5: Bailey Barnyak, Carmichaels

Week 4: Mackenzie Reese, Hampton

Week 3: Sydney Gonglik, Bentworth

Week 2: Lexie Hames, Seneca Valley

Week 1: Sydney Sekely, South Park


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