Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week for week ending April 11, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021 | 8:44 PM
In 2019, sophomore Kailey Larcinese of Elizabeth Forward was a dominant pitcher.
She finished with a 19-5 record, a 1.02 ERA of 1.02 and an 0.85 WHIP. She struck out 202 in 151 innings. Opposing hitters had a feeble .169 batting average against her.
Nearly half of her wins (nine) were shutouts.
She threw a no-hitter against Carrick and finished with three one-hitters and was named the Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Year.
So it comes as no surprise that she is dominating again as a senior.
“Kailey is very confident in her abilities,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “She has improved the changeup to the point that we will throw it on any count, including the first pitch for a strike.”
Larcinese pitched three shutouts last week in helping to improve the Warriors record upon returning home from a Florida trip to 5-2 overall.
“Kailey has been very efficient on the mound this year,” Rutherford said. “She has been ahead in the count on most hitters and has been throwing close to 80% strikes overall and around 82% first-pitch strikes. She has struck out 57% of the batters she has faced. She has mastered the changeup and is mixing the fastball, rise ball and changeup.”
For the week, Larcinese pitched 17 innings, allowed no runs with only one walk and 29 strikeouts.
After a five-inning no-hitter against Uniontown, she gave up four hits combined against traditional powers Yough and Belle Vernon.
“Both teams have some very good hitters on their roster,” Rutherford said. “Knowing many of the girls strengths and weakness helps. Pitching to our strengths and their weaknesses has been effective.
“She has been good (with her control), we have been stressing first pitch strikes and limiting walks, which she has worked on to improve.”
Rutherford believes Larcinese is ready for the next level, but he would like to see her add some velocity before she heads to Towson to play college softball.
“Increase her speed a little for that level of play. She is in the low 60’s consistently,” he said. “Hopefully, she can get to the mid to upper 60’s for Towson.”
While she has struggled a bit at the plate this season, Larcinese did go 3 for 10 last week with seven RBI’s.
Elizabeth Forward was one of the few district teams to keep their tradition of opening the season down south. The Warriors were 2-2 in their first four games at Orlando, Fla.
“The team looked very good in Florida,” Rutherford said. “The Florida programs we played were all above-average programs and a couple were highly ranked Florida teams. We were able to hang with them. We had some concerns traveling south, however, we followed the school’s covid protocols and encountered no problems.”
In 2019, Larcinese helped Elizabeth Forward win their first WPIAL championship. The Warriors were the PIAA runner-up.
“We are very strong defensively, with a couple of very capable pitchers,” Rutherford said of his 2021 team. “We need to hit a little better to make a strong run in the section, the WPIAL and the PIAA playoffs.”
2021 Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week
Week 1 – Mia Edwards, Shenango
Tags: Elizabeth Forward
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