Westmoreland athletes of the week: Penn-Trafford’s Mario Disso, Hempfield’s Laura Fox

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 | 8:17 PM

Mario Disso

School: Penn-Trafford

Sport: Baseball

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Disso, a Pitt-Johnstown recruit, drove in a run in the third inning during the WPIAL Class 6A championship May 30, but Penn-Trafford (18-5) lost 7-2 to Pine-Richland. The Warriors’ season ended after 6-5 loss to Wilson in the first round the PIAA Class 6A playoffs Monday. Disso finished the season with a .371 batting average, five doubles, two triples, 19 RBIs and 14 runs scored.

“Our season was a very successful season. Making it to the first WPIAL championship was huge for us. I couldn’t be more proud of my coaches and my teammates with how we played this year,” Disso said.

What made you commit to Pitt-Johnstown?

I committed earlier this year in November. I went up there, toured the campus and went through a workout with the coach. I loved the team. I narrowed my choices down to Allegheny and Pitt-Johnstown. It’s a lot closer to home and my family can come watch me play.

What does it mean to make the school’s first WPIAL championship appearance?

It was very special for the 11 seniors on the team. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. It was a great experience and a fun time to play at Wild Things Park. We will cherish this experience, especially since it was our last year.

What’s your approach at the plate?

Our new hitting coach, Dana Williams, helped me a lot this year. I was told to look fastball and take the curveball the other way. I focused on taking it the other way and putting the barrel on the ball.

What was your favorite memory this season?

The WPIAL championship. We never got a chance to do that before, and we will be remembered as the first team to make it to the WPIAL championship. We had so many seniors, and it was nice to do it all together.

Who’s your favorite athlete?

Derek Jeter. I loved watching him at the shortstop position. He’s a great leader off and on the field by being a great person. He was a great shortstop.

Laura Fox

School: Hempfield

Sport: Softball

Class: Senior

Claim to fame: Fox hit a two-run home run in the top of the second inning and added an RBI double to help lead Hempfield (17-6) to a 15-0 win over No. 1 North Allegheny in the WPIAL Class 6A championship May 30. Hempfield captured its seventh WPIAL title and fifth consecutive championship. Fox is batting .487 with six doubles, four home runs, a team-high 29 runs and 18 RBIs.

“At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think I was doing as well as I could. I just needed to relax,” Fox said.

What made you commit to Pitt-Johnstown?

The good academics. I plan on going to nursing school. The coach said I was allowed to play softball and go to nursing school, which some schools weren’t allowing me to do.

What does it mean to win a WPIAL championship every single year at Hempfield?

It was a good feeling, but at the same time I haven’t experienced the heartbreak of losing that game.

What’s the team’s mentality as you navigate the PIAA playoffs?

We just need to relax and play the game. It’s all mental. It’s nothing physical at this point.

Who are you rooting for in the WCWS, UCLA or Oklahoma?

I was rooting for Washington but since they lost, I want UCLA to go the whole way.

What’s your favorite thing about softball?

The adrenaline of playing the game. No matter how good the other team is, you have to show up and play. It’s a game of inches.

— Andrew John

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