Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week: Hampton Talbots
Monday, April 15, 2019 | 8:57 PM
The Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week remained undefeated with a pair of wins last week, including one that left them alone in first place — the Hampton Talbots.
Last year, Hampton finished fourth in Section 3-5A to qualify for the playoffs, but lost in Round 1 to Connellsville and finished with a 9-8 record.
With two wins last week, this year’s Talbots squad is two wins shy of their 2018 total; Hampton sits in first place in Section 2-5A and has a 7-0 overall record.
“If we keep our focus on getting better in each game, we will be in the playoffs again,” Hampton coach Ron Fedell said. “We are only six games in. We have a lot of work to do.”
Last week’s work began with a 12-0 whitewash of Woodland Hills.
“The Woodland Hills team played hard, and we had to match their intensity,” Fedell said. “We hit the ball pretty good and had no errors.”
On Wednesday, first place in Section 2-5A was up for grabs as Hampton visited Plum. The battle for section supremacy took an interesting turn even before the first pitch was thrown.
“The Plum game was huge,” Fedell said. “The bus took us to the wrong field, and we had to get a bus from Latrobe to take us to the high school field. Fortunately, the umpires gave us enough time to warm up. After I got everybody calmed down, including myself, we played a great game.”
The Talbots prevailed 6-2 and are now 6-0, a half-game ahead of the Mustangs with one game left in the first half of section play.
When asked who has stood out for Hampton this season, Fedell ran down his entire lineup, pointing out that the key to success has been playing well well as a team.
“Players that have stood out are our pitcher Annelise Probeck; Maddie Wanner, who we moved from catcher to first base; center fielder Lydia Quaglia; shortstop Maria Schrecengost; second baseman Hannah Bradfield; Arianna Erka and Isabella Nordick, who are our backup pitcher and right fielder; Caitlin McCarthy at third base; and our freshman catcher Bella Henzler,” he said.
Even though their postseason a year ago was one and done, Fedell believes that experience was cruicial for this year’s squad.
“Last year, making the playoffs was a big step for this team,” he said. “We played a lot of sophomores and freshmen throughout the year. Seeing the intensity of the playoffs was a good learning experience for the team.”
Two games separate the top four teams in Section 2-5A, with Hampton leading Plum, Mars and Shaler.
“Our section is good and competitive,” Fedell said. “Shaler dropped from 6A to 5A, as did Penn Hills and Woodland Hills. Gateway made the playoffs last year, and we played Plum, so we knew how good they were. Mars made the playoffs, and games with them are always a battle. Class 5A overall has a lot of really good teams.”
There is a lot of regular season left, but Fedell likes what he has seen from his team and is optimistic for the rest of the spring.
“The girls pick each other up and seem to really enjoy playing together,” he said. “If we keep working hard, there is no limit on how far we can go.”
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