Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week for games of May 20-25

Sunday, May 26, 2019 | 9:12 PM

The Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week is Keystone Oaks, a team that raised eyebrows by coming from the bottom of the bracket as the No. 6 seed to reach the WPIAL Class 3A finals. The Golden Eagles will try to live up to their nickname Thursday when they face top-seeded Avonworth in the WPIAL Class 3A championship game. “Avonworth is a very good team, and they are well-coached,” Keystone Oaks coach Mark Kaminski said. “It will be a tough test.” After routing North Catholic, 16-1, in the first round, Keystone Oaks stunned No. 3 Burrell, 14-1, in the quarterfinals Monday in five innings. Then in a much tighter game, the Golden Eagles beat Ellwood City, 7-4, in the semifinals Wednesday to reach the program’s first championship game. “What stood out against Burrell and Ellwood City was how well we hit the ball,” Kaminski said. “We had excellent pitching and defense, as well.” This postseason has surprised many for a Keystone Oaks team that hadn’t made the playoffs in five years. Kaminski said he knew his team was going to be good but saw them grown into a force. “At the beginning of the season, I thought we would get into the playoffs and maybe win a game or two. But as the season went on, I saw that we could play with anyone.” The offense has been the knockout punch for KO. The Golden Eagles have outscored their playoff opponents 37-6 and have scored double-digit runs seven times this season. “Everyone has played terrific, including our two freshman starters, Julia Piatt and Gia Woods,” Kaminski said. “That was a big step up for them. We have put a lot of time in on offense, and the girls have responded well. They love putting up runs.” As the team prepares for its first WPIAL softball title game, Kaminski said everybody is excited. “Support from our parents, families and our community has been fantastic.” Previous Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week: South Allegheny Gladiators Baldwin Highlanders Hampton Talbots Frazier Commodores Ambridge Bridgers Chartiers-Houston Upper St. Clair Panthers West Allegheny Indians Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week: Kayla Ruperto of Laurel


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