Trib HSSN softball player of the week for May 26, 2024

Sunday, May 26, 2024 | 7:01 PM

Trib HSSN softball player of the week: Emma Paul

School: Armstrong

Class: Senior

Position: Shortstop

#Earned: One of the top players in the district came through again in the clutch for Class 5A top-seeded Armstrong. In first round and quarterfinal victories the previous week, Paul had a double, home run and two RBIs in a victory over Western Beaver, 9-5, then followed that up two days later with a two-run homer in the quarterfinal victory over Connellsville, 4-1. The senior had a hit and a run scored as she strolled to the plate with a runner at second base and two outs. Looking for a big hit, Paul connected on a big fly that carried over the fence at Gateway for a game-winning, two-run walk-off home run to lift the River Hawks past Penn-Trafford in eight innings, 8-6. Armstrong will face Thomas Jefferson in the 5A finals at 2:15 p.m. Thursday.

What coach says: “After we bunted the leadoff batter to second base and it left first base open, I thought there’s no way they are going to pitch to her,” Armstrong coach Keith Shaffer said of Paul’s home run. “I was surprised they did and she came through, as she has many times before. Emma just lives for those opportunities.

“She definitely has excelled in the playoffs,” Shaffer said of her hot postseason play. “We put her in the leadoff position due to her ability to cause havoc on the bases and to get her the most plate appearances. Her teammates look to her as the team leader and follow her lead. They know that she’s a dynamic teammate and always gives us a chance to win. She truly is fun to watch, just as she was in basketball.

“This season isn’t much different from past seasons. She’s always been one of the best. She has taken even a greater role as a team leader, however.

“After graduating so many good players from last year’s team, many wrote us off as not having much chance to do as well. She and her teammates just want to prove we are still a good team and can still contend for the title. The team has had some really good practices and realizes it’s not an easy task to get back to that final game at Cal U. They are focused and are grateful for the opportunity.”

Background: Paul will continue her academic and softball career starting in the fall at Fairmont State in West Virginia. She played for the Armstrong golf team in the fall and starred on their basketball team that reached the WPIAL finals and played in the PIAA postseason for the first time this past winter. She averaged 22.2 points, 5.6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game for the River Hawks, who finished with 23 wins. She set a school single-game record with 45 points in early January and scored 36 in the WPIAL finals. She ended her basketball career with 1,721 points. Paul started her diamond career playing tee-ball baseball before switching to softball when she was 7 years old.

2024 Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week

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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