Trib HSSN softball player of the week for June 4, 2023

Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 10:10 PM

The Avonworth softball team has won back-to-back WPIAL Class 3A championships and begins defense of its PIAA state crown Monday.

In the center of all this success is junior Alivia Lantzy.

Last spring in the WPIAL finals, Lantzy allowed three hits and three walks while striking out eight in the 3A title game win over Deer Lakes, 8-1.

In the state championship game last season, Lantzy wrapped up her sophomore season by allowing three hits and striking out nine in a victory over Lewisburg, 7-2, that gave the Antelopes the school’s first PIAA crown in any sport.

Last week in the WPIAL 3A finals, Lantzy was at her best again against Southmoreland, yielding three hits, two walks and 14 strikeouts in the ’Lopes victory over the Scotties, 5-1.

That’s four earned runs on nine hits and 31 strikeouts in 27 innings in the last three district and state 3A softball championship games — and three gold medals.

What makes Lantzy so good on the big stage?

“I think Liv is so good in big games because she does not allow pressure to get to her,” Avonworth coach Jenna Muncie said. “She relies on her strengths as a pitcher and player and does not try to do things that are out of the ordinary. When she does that, she turns in an amazing performance. She is also really capable of being where her feet are and working pitch-to-pitch and simply living in the moment. This is a really hard thing to do as a young player, but she certainly has mastered this.”

Lantzy improved to 3-0 in the postseason against Southmoreland.

As a freshman, she helped the Antelopes edge the Scotties, 3-2, in the 3A consolation game.

Last spring as a sophomore, the teams met in the WPIAL semifinals and Lantzy blanked Southmoreland, 3-0.

Then on Thursday, Lantzy allowed the first run of the game in the top of the third inning and then shut the door on the Scotties.

“Liv was outstanding against Southmoreland.” Muncie said. “Her poise and ability to hit her spots made her nearly unhittable. I think that she showed, once again, that she is one of the top pitchers in the WPIAL.”

In the regular season, Lantzy and the Antelopes were nearly unbeatable. Lantzy was 16-1 with 153 strikeouts. Avonworth’s lone loss of the season came at the hands of undefeated Neshannock in mid-April.

She has allowed one run in her last three playoff victories over Central Valley, Burrell and Southmoreland.

Lantzy also has been a standout for the Antelope offense this season. She hit over .500 at the plate and had a hit and RBI in the district title game.

“I have full confidence in Liv when she is batting,” Muncie said. “Again, she has such great poise and understanding of her own swing that it makes it hard to get her out. She has been one of our biggest offensive threats this year, coming up big in so many games when we needed it.”

On Monday, Avonworth (21-1) battles District 10 runner-up Fort LeBoeuf, a team that was undefeated until it lost in the district finals to Jamestown.

“Tough assignment against Fort LeBoeuf,” Muncie said. “Every game in the states becomes a challenging task. I know Fort LeBoeuf from the times we have played them in the past, and I know we can expect a fight.”

2023 Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week

Week 8 – Kaitlyn Molitoris, Montour

Week 7 – Bethany Rodman, Shaler

Week 6 – Lexie Hames, Seneca Valley

Week 5 – Caroline Malandra, Serra Catholic

Week 4 – Shelby Telegdy , Elizabeth Forward

Week 3 – Ella Richey, Chartiers-Houston

Week 2 – Shaylyn Shall, Western Beaver

Week 1 – Olivia Zimmerman, Indiana


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