Westmoreland athletes of the week: Jeannette’s Grace Stein, Greensburg Salem’s Aaron Tressler

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Saturday, April 29, 2023 | 4:39 PM


Grace Stein

School: Jeannette

Class: Freshman

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: Stein has burst onto the scene in her first year of varsity softball, leading upstart Jeannette back to playoff contention. She was dominant in three recent run-ruled outings, in the pitching circle and at the plate. She tossed a three-inning perfect game in a 15-0 win over Monessen. She struck out seven, and helped her cause by hitting two doubles and driving in three runs. Stein allowed three hits and struck out 13 in a 12-1 win over East Allegheny. And, in a 10-0 win over St. Joseph, she went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, and struck out 11 in another pitching victory.

How did the team expect to do, compared to how it’s doing?

We’ve been doing good in practice and we improved. We’ve had better play in the field. Our expectations are the same as reality.

What has been working well for you as a hitter? As a pitcher?

Keeping my eye on the ball, and hitting my marks with my movement pitches.

What is your best pitch?

My curveball.

Do you try to model your game after your late sister Scarlett’s game?

I try to have her confidence. I don’t throw as fast as she did, but I want to be able to.

Did she inspire you to pitch?

Yes. She is the reason I became a pitcher.

Is Jeannette a playoff team?

We can make it, but it will take a team effort.

Who is the best player you’ve pitched against?

I don’t know about a pitcher, but the best team is Frazier.

Who is the best pitcher you’ve hit against?

Anna Cibik of Leechburg.

Who is the team’s mother bear, prankster and bookworm?

Frankie Crosby, Savannah Lock, Mia Sarpolis.

Are you good at any other sports?

I played soccer, then I quit, but came back again. I think I am going to play (in the fall).

Why is your dad’s nickname “Tubby”?

I think he got it from his dad. People call him Tubby or Tubbus.

Why is your name Grace?

My mom wanted to name me Mary Grace, but just decided to go with Grace.

What is the best lunch at school?

I have to say the Stromboli.

Who is your favorite teacher?

Mrs. (Jennifer) Potter.

Before every game I _______?

Pray.

If Jeannette did walk-up music, what would your song be?

That’s tough because I listen to a variety of songs. It would have to be a rap song.

What do you want your legacy to be at Jeannette?

I want to be a college player, and I want people to watch me play on TV.

Aaron Tressler

School: Greensburg Salem

Class: Senior

Sport: Track and field

Claim to fame: The Golden Lions senior won his third consecutive 3,200-meter run title at the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association championships Thursday. It’s a rare feat in the 100 years of the championship. He ran a time of 9 minutes, 56 seconds. His best time of the season (9:52) came at the Butler Invitational on April 21.

What makes your third title so special?

The competition was a lot tougher this season. It was an exciting experience. It was one of my goals for the season.

Did you plan ahead for race?

My plan was to let someone go out fast and stay with them. I followed my game plan, and then I ran my race after a couple of laps.

How did your race go at Butler?

I wasn’t worried about what place I got, I wanted to run fast. The field was loaded. There are a lot of great 3,200-meter runners in the state. Even though I finished 17th, my time was good, and it gave me a lot more confidence for the rest of the season.

What got you started in running?

I started to run cross country in seventh grade and got serious about track in the eighth grade. Because of covid, we lost the cross country season so I played football until my sophomore year. But I liked running more so I switched back to cross country.

Does winning three track titles make up for not doing as well in the county cross country meet?

Yes, I was the favorite to win the county cross country title the past season, and I didn’t perform well enough.

Who influenced you to run?

I used to watch by sister (Mackenzie) run in college at Grove City and my dad (Aaron) ran in a few marathons.

What do you like most about running?

I’ve always been real competitive in sports. I got to know a lot of new friends. Everyone is friendly, but competitive.

What are your goals for this season?

I want to finish top 5 in the WPIAL and qualify for the PIAA. I also like to run in the low 40s (9:40s).

What is your most memorable moment in athletics?

I would say it was in 2020 when we won the Class 2A cross country title. We were the underdog because we hadn’t beat Ringgold all season. But we got them that year. We stepped up, that was sweet.

What’s your go-to snack when you are home?

I love fruit: Bananas and oranges the most.

Where do you and your teammates head after a meet or practice for a snack?

Sheetz. You can’t beat the appetizer sampler.

What is your favorite meal that your mom makes?

A cheeseburger with a lot of toppings.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

I like Pompano Beach in Florida. I love the ocean and the beach.

Do you have a dream ride?

How about the Batmobile.

What type of movies to you like?

Batman. “The Dark Knight.”

What type of music do you like?

I like rap music and hip-hop. Mac Miller is my favorite artist.

If you could have lunch or dinner with anyone, who would it be?

I never got to meet my grandpa (James Tressler). I’d like to get to know him.

What Pittsburgh sports team is your favorite?

I’m a big Steelers fan. I like that they grabbed a big tackle and then not trade their second-round pick and selected Joey Porter Jr.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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