Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week: May 17, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021 | 8:49 PM
You know you are having a special year when you throw a no-hitter, and it’s treated like just another day at the office.
So it goes for the top pitcher on the top team in Class 2A.
Make that the top player on the No. 1-seed in Class 2A.
Junior Maddie Griffin had another big week as Ligonier Valley capped a 16-1 season with a pair of wins over Class 5A playoff-bound teams.
“Her pitches all work well for her. Her speed is excellent and her ability to locate,” Ligonier Valley coach Mark Zimmerman said. “She understands what most hitters are trying to do to her.”
On Monday, Griffin limited visiting Chartiers Valley (11-7) to only two hits in a 5-0 win. Two days later, Griffin threw her ninth no-hitter of the season, 7-0 over visiting Connellsville.
“Maddie’s ability to hit her spots and change locations has been her biggest asset so far,” Zimmerman said.
While she has been lights out in the pitching circle, Griffin also had a big week at the plate. She had a combined six hits last week, going 4 for 4 against Chartiers Valley.
“Her offense has been very consistent this season,” Zimmerman said. “She can do it all, short game, long game, it doesn’t matter.”
Zimmerman was asked if this kind of season is what they expected from Griffin.
“No, coming off the covid year, nobody was sure exactly what was going to happen,” he said. “But she showed up in good shape and just continued to get stronger.”
Being prepared has led to a dominating season for Griffin and Ligonier Valley.
“I think it comes from her natural athletic ability and her knowledge of the game overall,” Zimmerman said. “She works very hard at her game. She continues to work on the same things we’ve been doing all season.
“We’re not making many changes going into the playoffs.”
No changes are needed for a 16-1 team that has won seven straight since its lone loss of the season to 3A top-seed Mt. Pleasant.
On Wednesday, the new kids on the block in District 7 begin their golden quest as they play the winner of Monday’s California vs. Bentworth preliminary-round game.
“The top seed in Class 2A is a reflection of what we have done, but it’s not a guarantee of what’s going to happen in the future in the playoffs,” Zimmerman said. “We’re very pleased, but we know there’s more work to be done. There are a lot of good teams in 2A.”
2021 Trib HSSN Softball Players of the Week:
Week 6: Reagan Milliken, Bethel Park
Week 5: Olivia Zimmerman, Indiana
Week 4: Bella Hess, Chartiers-Houston
Week 3: Lauren Yuhas, West Mifflin
Week 2: Kailey Larcinese, Elizabeth Forward
Week 1: Mia Edwards, Shenango
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