Westmoreland County athletes of the week: Southmoreland’s Amarah McCutcheon and Hempfield’s Peyton Murray
Saturday, April 8, 2023 | 11:01 AM
Claim to fame: The standout shortstop came through in the clutch for the Scotties in a pitchers’ duel against Ligonier Valley. She hit a two-run, walk-off home run to beat the Rams, 2-0, for what she said was the most thrilling moment in her career.
McCutcheon, a Division I college prospect who has 18 career homers, added a pair of hits in a 2-0 win over Mt. Pleasant.
What was going through your head when the ball left the bat Monday?
Honestly, nothing. I was just hoping that I would get a hit and bring Brooke (McBeth) in, or someone on the team would hit me in.
You gave the game ball to coach Todd Bunner?
Yes. Someone had given him the ball that I hit, and usually I give the balls back because we can use them at practice. He said to me that someone was watching from above on that hit, and I said to him that my pap and his dad were working together up there to make it happen.
How has the team rallied around coach Bunner after he lost his father?
It seems almost as if we have grown closer. Coach Todd means a lot to all of us. He tells us all of the time that we are like his daughters. He wants the best for all of us. So, in return, we go out there every game, every practice, and we give it our all. That’s all he’s ever asked of us, and that’s what we do.
Before I step to the plate I have to …
Rub dirt on my hands and my bat. I usually spin my bat a few times to where it says “ghost” on it. Then, I will draw an initial in the dirt as my good luck charm. After that, I take a deep breath and get ready to hit.
The letter D. One of my former teammates said we have a lucky charm. So, in the beginning of last year, we claimed that mine was the D, which is my boyfriend’s first initial.
Did you know your mom was a good player?
Yes. My mom was very good. She played at the collegiate level and has taught me everything I know. If it wasn’t for her driving me to be the best I can be, I wouldn’t be anywhere. She taught me to play and love the game.
Do you still get an Easter basket or look for eggs?
Kind of . … My brother is only 3 and my sister is 5, so when my older cousins and I help out siblings, we are usually very competitive about the eggs.
Sport: Track and field
Claim to fame: The Spartans junior currently has the No. 1 discus throw in the state with a toss of 171 feet, 9 inches, which occurred April 4. The returning WPIAL Class 3A champion had a winning throw of 162-6.
He also throws the shot put.
What’s your ultimate goal distance wise this season?
I’m not really sure about the distance. I definitely would like to hit 185 this season and maybe 190, but 185 is the first goal and of course winning the state title.
How about the shot put. What’s the goal?
I’d like to reach 56 feet, and I don’t care when I hit it. My best throw was 54-2 during the indoor season. I want to see how the season goes. I don’t know if there is anyone out there capable of hitting 57 in Class 3A. I’d like to win the shot put, too.
Talk about the relationship between you and your coach, who happens to be your dad (Dave Murray).
We try to separate the two. He’s a coach at the track and a dad at home. We will do stuff at home in the driveway or the circle that he built. It’s a good relationship.
When did you get started throwing?
I picked it up for fun when I was 4 years old. But I got serious about it in seventh grade.
Do you want to throw in college?
Because I’m a junior, I’m keeping my options open. I don’t have a favorite, but I have a few in mind. I’m just looking ahead to the season right now.
How would you celebrate if you won states?
I don’t know. I’d be pretty happy is all I know. I’d probably just practice the next day and try to get better.
What would your dream ride be?
I have a 2008 Mustang. Probably a really old Mustang. I don’t know.
If someone would play you in a movie, who would it be and what would it be about?
I don’t know who it would be, but it would be about my throwing career.
What type of music do you listen too?
I like old rock bands like Whitesnake. That’s what I listen to when I’m lifting or throwing: old rock.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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