Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week for April 8, 2024

Monday, April 8, 2024 | 6:16 PM

Trib HSSN softball team of the week: Ellwood City Wolverines

Coach: Gary Rozanski (19th season)

Record: 5-0 overall, 0-0 in Section 2-3A

#Earned: Seven years ago, Ellwood City was on top of the district softball world after winning back-to-back WPIAL championships. Last season, the Wolverines finished in fourth place, but only one game out of the top spot in the uber-competitive Section 2-3A. Now the girls from Lincoln High are a perfect 5-0 heading into their section opener Monday night against visiting Mohawk. Victory No. 5 came Tuesday in a nonsection victory at New Castle in a back-and-forth slugfest, 10-8.

Standout performers: While sophomore pitcher Amber McQuistion allowed six runs in seven innings, she was the winning pitcher and also delivered a two-run homer for the Wolverines. Others who contributed to three straight three-run innings in the third, fourth and fifth were sophomore Sara Schwarz, who went 4 for 5 with three doubles and five RBIs, senior Keira Rozanski, the coach’s daughter, who had three hits, two doubles and three runs scored, and freshman Kaylee Palombi, who had a pair of hits, including a double with an RBI and run scored. The Wolverines’ offense has scored double-digit runs in each of their five victories this season.

Last year: Finishing in fourth place and losing the first postseason game doesn’t sound like a successful season, but the Wolverines enjoyed a strong 2023 campaign. The fourth-place finish is a bit misleading in the balanced Section 2-3A as Ellwood City finished only once game behind tri-champions Mohawk, Hopewell and Central Valley with a young roster. The Wolverines started the season with a 7-1 record before ending up finishing 11-6, including a 3A first-round playoff loss to Yough.

Remember when: In Gary Rozanski’s third season, Ellwood City bounced back from a loss in the WPIAL finals three years earlier to Ambridge by beating Belle Vernon to win the 2008 Class 3A district title, 5-4. Eight years later, the Wolverines captured WPIAL gold again by winning the Class 2A championship with an exclamation point, 10-0 in five innings over South Park. A year later in 2017, and competing in Class 3A after the expansion to six classifications, Ellwood City repeated by once again winning via the mercy rule, 10-0 in five innings over Deer Lakes.

2023 Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week

Week 11 – Montour Spartans

Week 10 – Shaler Titans

Week 9 – Hempfield Spartans

Week 8 – Belle Vernon Leopards

Week 7 – South Fayette Lions

Week 6 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers

Week 5 – West Mifflin Titans

Week 4 – Neshannock Lancers

Week 3 – Trinity Hillers

Week 2 – Charleroi Cougars

Week 1 – Carmichaels Mighty Mikes


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