Trib HSSN softball team of the week for May 1, 2023

Monday, May 1, 2023 | 10:09 PM

The West Mifflin softball program knows about success.

The Titans have won 22 games combined over the last two seasons and reached the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinals last spring and the district semifinals in 2021.

However, you’ll excuse a good portion of the starting lineup for the Titans. This is their first taste of high school success.

That is because four of the regular starting 10 players for West Mifflin are freshmen.

In fact, of the 10 regulars in coach Erik Hilligsberg’s lineup on most days, seven are underclassmen.

Youth hasn’t slowed the Titans, however, as they are in second place in Section 1-4A, a half-game behind Knoch.

West Mifflin is 11-3 overall and has won seven straight section games.

“We started off a little slow, and I knew it would be a little bit of a transition since over half of our lineup is underclassmen,” Hilligsberg said. “They’ve been coming around here and have been playing real well the last week or two.”

The fab four freshmen that have brought new energy to the Titans this spring are center fielder Kaleigh Tatters, Rylie Dobnak at third base, Aubrey Jaskulski at first base and Samantha Tomko as shortstop.

They are joined by junior left fielder Jasalin Guenther and sophomores Lia Salopek at DP, Aubrie Heckert in right field and catcher Caleigh Ignat to form a nucleus that is helping the 2023 Titans while forming a promising future for the blue and gold as well.

“We’re really proud of them,” Hilligsberg said. “I don’t want to say I’m shocked because I knew they were pretty good coming in, but I’m impressed with how they handled it. They’ve made their share of mistakes early on, but they’ve rebounded off of that.

“Coming off last year when we graduated three college players, I knew there would be an adjustment period, so it was nice that these girls all stepped in this year and are performing very consistent through the majority of the season.”

Lest we forget the four seniors who have led the Titans on and off the field this season, they are Sarah Werkmeister, Trinity Tewell at second base and the battery of catcher Aurora Rosso and pitcher Addison Hilligsberg.

Addison is the niece of Erik Hilligsberg, and the Pitt-Johnstown commit blanked first-place Knoch and Woodland Hills last week, and now has four shutouts in the Titans’ last six games.

“She worked hard this offseason to prepare for her senior season,” coach Hilligsberg said. “She’s done a great job in the circle and has done a great job offensively.

“Aurora Rosso is one of the more underrated players in our area. She’s been outstanding all four years, and I’m going to be sad to see her go. Trinity Tewell played the last two years for me. She’s given me some flexibility at second base and in the outfield, and Sarah Werkmeister has been a big part for two years as well.”

After an 11-2 win over Highlands on Monday, West Mifflin is scheduled to play its section finale against McKeesport on Tuesday. The Titans are hoping to keep their section title hopes alive.

2023 Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week

Week 4 – Neshannock Lancers

Week 3 – Trinity Hillers

Week 2 – Charleroi Cougars

Week 1 – Carmichaels Mighty Mikes


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Trib HSSN softball player of the week for May 1, 2023