Westmoreland athletes of the week: Franklin Regional’s Mike Klingensmith, Yough’s Kierra Waywood

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 4:07 PM

Mike Klingensmith

School: Franklin Regional

Sport: Baseball

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Klingensmith, who has a 2.33 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 15 innings, threw a two-hitter with eight strikeouts to help Franklin Regional (7-1, 4-0) to a 16-0 win over Woodland Hills in six innings in Section 1-5A action Thursday. Kligensmith, who has a .464 batting average, with three doubles, two triples, five RBIs and 15 runs scored, homered in a 4-0 win over Kiski Area on April 8.

“The season has been going really well,” he said. “We have a lot seniors, and it’s a very motivated team. Everything has been going our way over the last week. I like how things are going.”

What are your college plans?

I’m looking to make my decision in the next two weeks or so. I’m looking forward to playing baseball in college. I’m looking at Wooster, Penn State Behrend and Westminster. I’m looking at as a whole, including academic and athletics. I want to see where I fit in best and what will give me the best opportunities.

What has been the key to the team’s success?

Offensively, we have been a really good team. We’ve been hunting for fastballs early in counts. There is no weak spot one through nine. Everybody does their job, and they do what they need to do to get the job done.

What is your favorite pitch to throw and hit?

I like to throw the curve and hitting outside fastballs.

What is the key to making a deeper run in the WPIAL playoffs?

I think pitching is the biggest key. We have four quality guys that are number ones. We have four guys that will carry us through the playoffs. Offensively, we will do well, but pitching is the biggest key.

What is your earliest memory playing baseball?

Third grade tournament team we played at PAL. A lot of the same guys on the team now were on the team then. That tournament was a lot of fun, and that has to be my earliest baseball memory.

Kierra Waywood

School: Yough

Sport: Softball

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Waywood, who has a 1.22 ERA with 76 strikeouts and eight walks, threw a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts to lead Yough (6-4, 4-1) to a 12-0 win over Greensburg Salem in Section 1-4A action Thursday. Waywood, who has a .474 batting average with 11 RBIs, threw a two-hitter with nine strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Uniontown on April 8.

“My performance was all right,” she said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. There is work to do, and we are coming together as a team. We’re coming along.”

What are your college plans?

I’m going to California, Pa. to pitch, and I can’t wait. I met the coach. He is amazing and knows what he’s doing. I’m going to go for psychology. The campus is beautiful.

What has the team learned from the close loses this year?

Never give up, push through and keep going. They’ve learned to have the determination to keep going.

What will the team need to do to make a deeper run after losing in the WPIAL third-place game?

Determination and teamwork. If you have your mind in the right spot, you can accomplish anything. We have a sisterhood from playing together from rec ball to high school.

What did you work on during the offseason to get ready for your senior year?

I worked on my pitching and hitting. I was prepping for the season knowing it’s a new, young team, but we have the same goals.

What’s your favorite sport outside of softball?

Volleyball. I played in middle school and my freshman year so I would play if I wasn’t playing softball.

— Andrew John

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