Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week for May 18, 2024

Saturday, May 18, 2024 | 8:54 PM

Trib HSSN softball team of the week – Latrobe Wildcats

Coach: Bob Kovalcin (fourth season in second term, 13th season overall)

Record: 8-2 in Class 5A Section 2, 12-5 overall

#Earned: Latrobe did not have a lot of momentum coming into the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs. The Wildcats finished in third place in Section 2-5A behind Armstrong and Penn-Trafford, lost their final two games and were 3-5 to close out the regular season. But the team kicked it into gear big time last week as the tournament’s No. 11 seed. On Monday, Latrobe eliminated the defending champions, No. 6 Trinity, 5-1. Up next on Wednesday, the Wildcats had to deal with No. 3 West Allegheny, a team that was the only school in the classification to score over 200 runs. The Indians were held to only four runs in the quarterfinals as Latrobe pulled off its second eyebrow-raiser of the postseason, 5-4. The wins lifted the Wildcats over .500 at 11-10 overall.

Standout performers: It was a great week for Latrobe senior pitcher Kayla Williams. Against Trinity, Williams allowed one run on three hits and struck out five. In the quarterfinals vs. West Allegheny, she only gave up four runs to a team averaging 9.5 runs per game. Williams also delivered at the plate with four hits, a double and four RBIs in the two victories. On Monday, freshman Maddie Balko smashed a two-run homer and senior Sami Kronenwetter had an RBI double in a three-run fourth inning that proved to be the difference in dethroning the 2023 champion Hillers. Two days later against West A, senior Corrine Wright went 3 for 3 with an RBI and sophomore Sara Blossey doubled as the Wildcats plated four runs in the fifth inning to upset the No. 3 Indians, 5-4.

Last year: In 2023, Latrobe finished in a tie for second place in Section 5A with Franklin Regional, three games behind section champion Armstrong. The Wildcats rolled to a victory in the first round of the 5A playoffs, and then their season ended with a loss to eventual district champion Trinity in the quarterfinals, 13-3. Latrobe finished 15-4 overall highlighted by six straight wins to start the season and ending with five consecutive victories at the end before the playoff loss to the Hillers. The total of 15 wins was a five-game improvement over the Wildcats’ 10-win season in 2022.

Remember when: Latrobe coach Bob Kovalcin is in the fourth year of his second stint as Wildcats head coach. His first time around, he was head coach between 2004-2012. In that time period, he won three WPIAL championships. Latrobe defeated Seneca Valley in the 2007 4A championship game, 5-1, and repeated the following season with a victory over Shaler in the finals, 1-0. The third crown came a few years later when Latrobe once again knocked off Seneca Valley to win gold in 2011, 5-3. The Wildcats reached the PIAA state championship game in both 2007 and 2008, coming up short each time. In ’07, they lost to Pennsbury, 3-2, and the following spring, they fell in the ’08 title game to Hatboro-Horsham, 3-0, settling for state silver again.

2024 Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week

Week 6 – Penn-Trafford Warriors

Week 5 – Hempfield Spartans

Week 4 – Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers

Week 3 – West Allegheny Indians

Week 2 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors

Week 1 – Ellwood City Wolverines


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