Young Quaker Valley softball team gaining experience in limited action

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Sunday, May 1, 2022 | 10:01 AM


Quaker Valley’s softball team hopes the 2022 season ends up being a good learning experience.

The Quakers are a young club with five freshmen and three sophomores on its 12-player roster.

“This year, QV softball has quite a few newcomers,” coach Nicole Olson said, “and we expect to utilize our season to gain experience. Our section includes several very talented teams, so while it will be challenging it will also provide us with important learning opportunities.”

The Quakers haven’t been able to see much in the way of game action so far, playing only four games in the first few weeks of the season.

Among the integral players on this year’s team are sophomores Annica Kagle, a pitcher/first baseman, and Isabella Viola, a catcher who can also play either of the middle infield positions or in the outfield.

“Annica will spend time on the mound and at first base. We expect her to hit in the cleanup spot most games due to her power,” Olson said. “Isabella largely played in the outfield for us as a freshman, but we see her as more of a utility player this season, including time behind the plate catching.”

Senior leadership this spring is being provided by outfielders Lily Marcotte and Ilijana Hasak. Marcotte’s also an infielder.

Another team leader is junior Izzy Vybiral, a versatile athlete who can jump in wherever needed — catcher, infield or outfield.

“Izzy has a solid knowledge of the game and acts as a strong leader,” said Olson, who is assisted by Amanda Gilmore.

“Izzy also benefits our roster as a utility player.”

Two other QV players aiming to make an impact are junior INF/OF Morgan Persuit and sophomore INF/OF Marie McCullough.

Top freshman prospects this year include Nora Hammond (P/C/OF), Mae Kruawangmon (OF/INF), Jadyn Holt (INF/OF), Ava Evans (OF) and Keira Myers (1B/3B/OF).

Quaker Valley hasn’t had a winning softball season in recent memory.

The Quakers, who lost their first four section games, are members of Section 2-3A with Avonworth, Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Keystone Oaks and South Park.

Avonworth is the reigning section champion.

The Antelopes were WPIAL semifinalists and PIAA quarterfinalists a year ago.

Avonworth won its first six section games and was 11-1 overall.

Keystone Oaks and South Park tied for second last season while Ellwood City finished fourth. The Wolverines, who were 8-1, 6-1 through April 26, advanced to the WPIAL finals and PIAA first round in 2021.

Quaker Valley didn’t win a section game last year and ended up 2-13 overall.

One of the victories was a 15-5 decision against Rochester, a WPIAL Class A playoff qualifier.

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