Youthful Yough softball team expecting big season
Thursday, March 24, 2022 | 7:54 PM
A coach with a roster filled with sophomore and freshmen should be full of uncertainty.
Not Yough softball coach Art “Dutch” Harvey. He is excited about the upcoming season.
Harvey has only one senior and one junior on his 13-player roster.
“The goal is to contend of the WPIAL (Class 4A) title,” Harvey said. “I played a lot of freshmen (five started) last season who will be more experienced. We were up early on Beaver (the WPIAL and PIAA champions) in the WPIAL quarterfinals before one bad inning cost us.”
Beaver rallied to defeat Yough, 7-3.
The Cougars finished 12-6 overall and 7-5 in Section 2-4A behind Elizabeth Forward and West Mifflin.
Yough graduated three starters: outfielder Savannah Manns, Kay Odelli and Sam McGhee.
Back is senior pitcher Emma Augustine, who struck out 140 and had an ERA of 1.712. Junior McKenzie Pritts will move from shortstop of center field so Harvey can utilize her speed. She batted .379 last season.
“She’s going to Robert Morris for soccer,” Harvey said. “She can cover a lot ground.”
Moving her to the outfield opens up the shortstop spot for freshman Adoria Waldier, who hit a two-run home run March 22 in a scrimmage against Latrobe.
“It was a blast,” Harvey said. “I expect her to hit a few.”
Other starters back are all sophomores: outfielder Madi Horvat, outfielder Makayla Spoonhoward, first baseman Maria Lindich, second baseman Kaylin Ritenour and catcher Katie Proctor. Lindich hit .300.
Another freshman who will start is left fielder Sidney Bergman, who also will serve as a backup pitcher.
Harvey has plenty of other young players to be excited about, too. He raves about the middle school team, especially the seventh-grade group.
“With Emma and Sidney in the circle, pitching will be a strength,” Harvey said. “I felt we had two good scrimmages (Norwin and Latrobe). I can tell how we’ll do after we played them. We held our own. We’ll be OK.
“The section will be strong with Elizabeth Forward and West Mifflin. Belle Vernon is loaded, and don’t overlook Laurel Highlands and Uniontown. Our section will prepare you for the playoffs.”
Harvey also told his team if they can score three or more runs a game, they will win a lot of games with the pitching they have.
“Hitting and playing good defense will be the key,” Harvey said. “It should be an exciting season.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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