Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week for week ending April 4, 2021
Sunday, April 4, 2021 | 9:42 PM
After a great start to the season March 26-27, the strikeouts and the victories kept coming for Mia Edwards and Shenango softball last week.
In three games, all wins, the senior pitcher threw 18 innings without giving up a run. She allowed six hits and struck out 37.
“The biggest transformation that our coaches saw this year is that she throws stress-free,” Shenango coach Pat Quahilero said. “Her delivery is effortless. Her velocity and movement are strengths, but now add a trusting, effortless motion and you find a very confident and composed young lady.”
For the season, Edwards has walked one and struck out 74 in 29 2/3 innings.
On Monday, Edwards pitched four innings, allowed two hits and struck out 10 in a 9-7 nonsection win over Quaker Valley.
“Execution of her pitches (was the key),” Quahilero said of Edwards’ effort against the Quakers. “Her velocity is really good, as we can all see, but her discipline to execute by hitting her spots and keeping an eye on her mechanics is key.”
The Wildcats opened Section 4-2A play Tuesday with a 4-0 shutout of 2019 WPIAL Class 2A champion Laurel as Edwards struck out 19.
“She hit her spots with seemingly every pitch, and there was tremendous movement as well,” Quahilero said. “All of this came against a rival and talented, well-coached team.”
On Saturday, Edwards and the Wildcats capped off a successful week with a 5-0 victory over Blackhawk. Edwards allowed one hit, struck out 18 and walked her first batter of the season.
“Wish there was some big secret to let you in on, but it’s flat-out hard work,” Quahilero said. “That’s what she’s done to prepare for pitching, hitting, weight room, even defensive reps in the infield 11 1/2 months per year.
“Although Mia is athletic and certainly developed skills, she was on the smaller side and has just gotten stronger, quicker and faster and so on.”
The Colgate recruit is not all arm. She can handle the bat, as well. Edwards is hitting .429 with three doubles, two homers, five runs scored and seven RBIs.
“At the plate Mia is blessed with very quick hands,” Quahilero said. “When she barrels the ball up, it’s going to jump. She’s not the biggest kid, yet she hits with power. That’s a testament to the hand and bat speed. So she’s just going to keep building that consistent line-drive swing she’s been working on and do it as effortlessly as she throws from the circle.
“She’s a tireless worker on everything, but I know she wants to continue to have success hitting and hoping to continue do so with power, as well. She is an amazing infielder with a plus arm, and with a few reps could be a heck of an outfielder, too.”
Shenango has played two Class 4A teams and a very good Class A program as well as their section opener against two-time defending champion Laurel. Winning all five games puts a bull’s-eye on the Wildcats as they prepare for more section games this week.
“We don’t have a lot of travel players that play presently, but we have a lot that played in the past and understand the game,” Quahilero said. “We just need reps and confidence on both sides of the ball, so our hope is to work hard and improve in every aspect of the game. It’s been such a pleasure to play the competition we’ve played so far, and we will continue to play. We have been in some games that I think the fans and parents can watch and say, ‘Hey, that was a good game. Those girls know how to play.’ As a player and a coach, that’s all you can ask for.”
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