Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week: Frazier
By: Don Rebel
Monday, April 22, 2019 | 10:33 PM
The Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week played for WPIAL gold in each of the last two seasons and is positioning itself to make another run this spring — the Frazier Commodores.
In 2017, Frazier enjoyed a breakout season that included a section championship and, after three playoff wins, the school’s first WPIAL softball crown with a 2-0 triumph over South Side Beaver.
The Commodores followed up that golden season with another section title, three district playoff wins but a 1-0 loss to Laurel in the 2018 WPIAL Class 2A finals.
Now, with two more section wins last week, Frazier is a half-game ahead of Chartiers-Houston and one game in front of Carmichaels in Section 3-2A.
“The competition in our section this year is really strong,” Frazier coach Don Hartman said. “Carmichaels and Chartiers (Houston) are both great teams with great coaches and can beat you on any day.”
The Commodores have won seven in a row since losing to Chartiers-Houston, 2-1, in late March. The two teams met again last Tuesday with Frazier prevailing 2-0.
“It was the biggest win of the year so far,” Hartman said. “It put us back in contention for a possible piece of the section title, and it was a great confidence-builder for our team.”
There was no let down for the Commodores 24 hours later as they hosted Bentworth and beat the Bearcats, 11-0, with a seven-run fifth inning blowing the game open.
“We knew how hard fought the games have traditionally been with Bentworth,” Hartman said. “We told the girls immediately after the game at Chartiers-Houston how important it was to come into that contest both mentally and physically ready to play.”
Hartman, whose wife Mandy is his assistant and longtime girls volleyball coach at Frazier, points out there have been a couple of key contributors, but the 9-1 record for Frazier has been a team effort.
“All of our players have played big and contributed in different games. Megan Celaschi really stood out at Chartiers-Houston, and her senior leadership showed. Savannah Berkolovich has stepped up by taking over the first base role.”
Another standout has been the coaches’ daughter, Logan Hartman, and her work in the circle. With the two shutouts last week, the Commodores have blanked their opponents in seven of their nine wins.
“Logan’s strong performances thus far have put us in the position to win games,” Coach Hartman said. “Her hard work in the offseason has elevated her to another level.
“Our defense has found its own identity and has been playing great. Our biggest strength defensively though is the speed that we have in the outfield and is complemented by our infield making the routine plays.”
Frazier has another big section showdown coming up Tuesday when it visits Carmichaels, a team it beat 3-0 on April 2.
Hartman likes what he sees from his team heading into the final two weeks of section play and is optimistic that if the players continue to improve, they could make a run at a third straight trip to the WPIAL Class 2A championship game.
“I certainly think we have what it takes to return to the finals,” he said. “However, with that being said, there are some great teams in Class 2A. I believe any of them can win on any given day.”
Don Rebel hosts the Rebel Yell podcasts for HSSN.