Westmoreland athletes of the week: GCC’s Bryce Kurpiel, Hempfield’s Margaret Monzo

Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | 5:45 PM

Bryce Kurpiel

School: Greensburg Central Catholic

Sport: Baseball

Class: Junior

Claim to fame: Kurpiel, who has a .585 batting average, 28 runs, 31 hits and 23 RBIs, drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the top of the ninth as the Centurions (16-6) held on to a 12-11 victory over Homer-Center in the PIAA Class A quarterfinals June 7. Kurpiel went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and a run scored.

“It was a crazy game. It was one of the most fun games to play in, but it was so close. I had a lot of fun,” Kurpiel said.

What was going through your mind during that at-bat?

It was the same as any other at-bat. See the ball, hit the ball. You have to stay calm.

How does this game compare to any other you have played in?

You have to treat every game the same. You have to stay within yourself and keep it going.

What was been the biggest key to your success at the plate?

Throughout the whole season, I've hit the ball pretty well. A lot of it has to do with my speed to get to first and getting extra bases. I've been seeing the ball pretty well.

What's your favorite sport, football or baseball?

I love both of them. It really depends what season it is. Right now, I'd have to say baseball since we're doing well as a team and having a lot of fun with it.

Who's your favorite athlete?

Antonio Brown. He plays the same position as me, and he plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You got to love them.

Margaret Monzo

School: Hempfield

Sport: Softball

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Monzo, a Dickinson recruit, hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the eighth to lead the WPIAL champion Spartans (22-3) to a 2-1 victory over Baldwin in a PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal June 7.

Monzo, who has a .397 batting average with four doubles and three triples, had two hits, including a triple in a 7-0 win over Warwick in the first round. She leads the Spartans with 21 RBIs and has 26 runs.

“I couldn't have asked for a better season. This year, we were the underdogs since we lost so many players from last year's team. We didn't have any expectations. We're taking it one step at a time and one game at a time,” Monzo said.

What made you commit to Dickinson?

It was the last school I visited. It's my dad's alma mater. I loved everything about the school and the academics. It felt like home for me.

What was going through your mind during that at-bat?

My first pitch she jammed me, and I fouled it off. She then threw another one inside. I moved away from the plate a little, and I turned on it and it went out.

How has this year been different from previous years?

We have to fight for every run that we get. We don't have much power. We've had great pitching and are sound defensively as a team. It's honestly who steps up to the plate. It could've been anyone who hit that home run. We all believe in each other.

What do you need to work on to get ready for the collegiate level?

I couldn't have asked more from this Hempfield program. I want to have confidence in myself, work on my mechanics, work on hitting and get into more shape for the next level.

What's your favorite summer vacation?

The summer going into my freshman year. My Little League team got to go to Seattle, Wash., to play in the Little League World Series.

— Andrew John

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