Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week lifts team to state title

Monday, June 17, 2019 | 9:53 PM

The final Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week for the 2019 season is Frazier junior Logan Hartman, who was the winning pitcher and contributed offensively as the Commodores won their first PIAA softball championship.

“Words can not describe this feeling,” said Don Hartman, Frazier coach and Logan’s father. “The girls have worked so hard for me in these last three years. For me, this is a lifetime coaching career achievement.”

The milestone victory would not have been possible if not for a dramatic comeback win in the PIAA semifinals last Tuesday.

District 9 champion Cranberry scored twice in the seventh inning to tie the game 4-4 before Emi Curcio’s walk-off single won it for Frazier.

The dramatic finish was so good, Frazier decided to go that route in the Class 2A state title game against Brandywine Heights.

Again, the Commodores jumped out to an early lead, but the Bullets tied the game at 5-5 after five innings. Frazier took the lead in the sixth and then threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh to seal the deal on state gold.

While Hartman wasn’t as dominating as she had been through the district playoffs, she came up big when she had to in order to win both games.

“Logan’s gift is that she doesn’t falter,” Don Hartman said. “She keeps herself at a consistent emotional level. That gift helps her get through the ups and downs of a game.”

Coach Hartman credited his daughter’s work with pitching coach Jana Hudson for her improvement in the circle this season.

“She truly has become a student of the game. This year, she has really learned how to read the swings of the batters she faces.”

Hartman was just as good at the plate last week, hitting .500 in the semifinal and championship game victories.

“She is our leadoff hitter, and she knows that her role is to get on base or move runners up,’ Coach Hartman said. “She embraces her job.”

Frazier won the WPIAL championship two years ago, but lost in the district final to Laurel last spring and this season. Does this state championship run wash away those tough title game losses?

“We certainly had some tough losses this season,” Don Hartman said. “However, in each of those losses, our team knew they didn’t bring their best. Looking back, those losses taught us valuable lessons that prepared us for the state championship.”

Honorable mention

Emma Armstrong, Penn-Trafford

Senior Emma Armstrong carried a big, productive bat, and now Penn-Trafford is carrying a big, golden trophy. Armstrong hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that was the difference in the Warriors’ 5-4 win over Donegal in the semifinals. Then, Armstrong had a two-run single that put the Warriors up for good and added a home run in a 5-3 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg in the state final.

Kailey Larcinese, Elizabeth Forward

Sophomore Kailey Larcinese was golden in the semifinals, but had to settle for silver in the Class 4A state final. Larcinese picked up the win in a 2-1 semifinal win in eight innings over Mt. Pleasant, only the second loss of the season for the Vikings with the other coming against the Warriors in the WPIAL finals. However, in the PIAA title game, the sophomore standout pitcher struck out nine, but West Perry scored in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Previous Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week:

Izzy Farmer, West Mifflin

Madison Slowinski, Freedom

Nina Grandey, Serra Catholic

Jena Hixson, Connellsville

Sydney Calderaro, Vincentian Academy

Maddy Hershberger, Albert Gallatin

Claire Zimmerman, Seneca Valley

Payton List, Beaver

Kayla Ruperto. Laurel

Sarah Helffrich, Avonworth

Jade Renner, West Greene

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