Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week for games of May 27-June 1

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Sunday, June 2, 2019 | 7:06 PM


The Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week is Elizabeth Forward, a team that did what nobody else could do this season to win the program’s first softball championship.

After winning district gold for the first time, it’s on to the PIAA postseason, where the Warriors will face District 9 champion Punxsutawney on Monday in a Class 4A first-round matchup.

“It might be a little tough to get back up for Monday’s game,” Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford said. “The coaching staff will do what we can to prep them for the first-round game. We will let them enjoy this victory and get back to work on Sunday.”

The remarkable win came Friday in the WPIAL Class 4A finals against Mt. Pleasant, the top team in the Trib HSSN PIAA softball rankings.

Sophomore Kailey Larcinese struck out eight and walked two in a 3-0 win over the previously undefeated Vikings.

“Kailey Larcinese performed very well in the championship game,” Rutherford said. “She mixed her pitches and hit her spots. The big key was Kailey staying focused and allowing her defense to help her. No errors can definitely give the pitcher a big boost.”

Elizabeth Forward went old school to help its offense: Small ball played a part in each of the three runs.

“The bunt was part of the game plan,” Rutherford said. “We felt that our speed was a big plus, and I feel that I have one of best bunters in the WPIAL in Jordan Pinneri and she came through big time.”

A year ago, Elizabeth Forward reached the title game and lost to Belle Vernon, 5-4.

Was that loss a driving force for this squad?

“This team was disappointed with the outcome of last year’s final and was definitely motivated by that outcome. It drove them all year to get back to the final and prove themselves,” Rutherford said.

“Playing the schedule we did toughened them, and they were challenged to perform from spring training in Florida all the way through the regular and postseason.”

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

Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles

Trib HSSN Softball Player of the Week: Sarah Helffrich of Avonworth

Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.

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