Westmoreland County softball notebook: With new coach, Greensburg Central Catholic itching to get 1st game in

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024 | 3:16 PM


First-year coach Chelsey Frock will tell you what it’s like to lead the Greensburg Central Catholic softball team on the field, just as soon as the Centurions play a game.

GCC is one of at least eight WPIAL softball teams that has yet to play in what has been a soggy start to spring.

Other teams twiddling their thumbs include Woodland Hills, Ellis School, Beth-Center, Sewickley Academy, Frazier, Riverview and Aliquippa.

“I can’t wait to play,” said GCC senior Grace Kindel, a three-time all-section outfielder. “I’ve had three major surgeries (including a tonsillectomy), and I am ready to get back. We’ve had more time to prepare, but we’ll be happy once we get going again. We’re looking good.”

Frock, 24, is president of the Mt. Pleasant Independent Athletic Association (slow-pitch softball). A Mt. Pleasant alum, she played softball at Westmoreland County Community College and volleyball at Carlow. She is anxious to get started with GCC, which has only 12 players.

She stumbled upon the opportunity to lead the Centurions.

“It’s a funny story,” she said. “My cousin (Scott Williams) is a security guard (at GCC). He ran into (athletic director) Dan Mahoney, and they talked about the opening. He told me about it. I was a little iffy at first, but the girls have been really respectful. I didn’t want to come in with all new things, so we’re (taking it slowly). It’s great to be able to build a relationship.

“Hopefully, we have a big season.”

While Frock is young to be a head coach, her assistant, Aliyah Rotharmel, is only 22.

Ross fans 20

Belle Vernon pitcher Talia Ross was on her game Saturday as the Leopards (5-0) mowed down Latrobe, 7-0.

Ross recorded 20 strikeouts to tie former ace Bailey Parshall’s program record for a single, seven-inning game.

Ross, who allowed three hits, struck out the first 19 batters.

“Talia always puts us in a good position to win, and we have good defenders behind her that do their job,” Belle Vernon coach Tom Rodriguez said. “It was unbelievable. It rained the whole time we played, too. It wasn’t raining hard, but I was surprised she was able to keep control of the ball as well as she did.”

Ross is a Lock Haven commit.

Freshman to watch

Mt. Pleasant’s new pitcher already is making noise for the Vikings.

Freshman Dani Trainer looks like the team’s next ace, a power arm in the same ilk of former star Carolyn Alincic.

Trainer (1-1) already has 30 strikeouts (and three walks) in 16 innings. She has allowed 12 runs.

“She has the potential to be something in the circle,” Mt. Pleasant coach Chris Brunson said. “She is throwing around 60 (mph) now. She is strong for her age. She is a farm girl. She works at it a ton, and she doesn’t let things bother her.”

She also is helping the team with her bat. Trainer is hitting .533 with a home run and four RBIs.

Ranking ’em

Unbeaten Hempfield stayed on top of the TribLive HSSN Class 6A rankings, whereas Norwin dropped from No. 3 to No. 4 this week.

Belle Vernon bumped up a spot to No. 2 in 4A.

Three county teams are now ranked in 3A: Southmoreland remained No. 2, Yough stayed at No. 4 and Ligonier Valley slid into the No. spot in 3A.

Those three teams are all in the same section so there could be some exciting games in store.

Big-game hunting

While heavy rain threw a wrench into many teams’ plans this week, there are some good section games to watch next week — weather permitting.

On Monday, Armstrong visits Latrobe and Franklin Regional travels to Penn-Trafford in Section 2-5A. Section 3-3A features Ligonier Valley at Yough and Mt. Pleasant at Southmoreland.

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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