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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nine local senior basketball players will play in the Roundball Classic all-star games April 21 at Geneva's Metheny Fieldhouse.

Highlands' Micah Mason and Valley's Tom Weremeychik will play for the boys Class AAA team, Fox Chapel's Matt Roman and Plum's Nolan Cressler will play for Class AAAA and St. Joseph's Mike Connelly and Kiski School's Jason Sebak of Allegheny Township will play for Class A.

On the girls side, St. Joseph's Shayna Panchik and Riverview's Mary Andrejko are on the Class A team, while Kiski Area's Makenzie Zidek will play for Class AAAA.

The format was altered this year for the boys games. The Class AAAA team will play Class A, while Class AAA faces Class AA.

Girls games are set for 2 and 4 p.m. The boys play at 6 and 8.

Teams will scrimmage April 18. A recognition dinner will be April 20 at the Four Points hotel in Cranberry.

Kiski Area star injured

Kiski Area baseball standout Logan Brown has a left high-ankle sprain and could miss up to three weeks.

The shortstop and relief pitcher injured the ankle during a rundown Wednesday's practice.

"I stopped and tried to turn and just collapsed," Brown said.

Brown, who has signed with Youngstown State, is 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI in two starts for the Cavaliers.

Relay to watch

Knoch's girls 3,200-meter relay team is grabbing attention early in this season.

The foursome of Emilee Hertwick, Ashlyn Carlsson, Tess Haverstick and Samantha Logan finished in 9 minutes, 57.43 seconds in Thursday's meet at Hampton to shatter a 30-year-old school record by 4 seconds.

"They're just getting started," Knoch coach Wess Brahler said. "There's going to be something special there."

Close call

Ford City pitcher Andrea Markilinski had a scare Thursday during a game against Valley.

Markilinski took a line drive to the face, and the impact shattered her face mask. The ball ricochetted into the outfield.

She wasn't injured.

Pitching down?

With so many home runs being hit in local softball this season, one has to wonder if pitching is somewhat down.

Freeport pitcher Alyssa Meta said the mound distance (46 feet instead of 43 in the past) has a lot to do with it, but she thinks pitchers may be more one-dimensional. She said pitchers generally lack an array of quality pitches. "You don't see a lot of pitchers throwing effective curves and screwballs," Meta said. "Pitchers I have seen don't move the ball well. Most have a changeup by now but not much else."

Fun in the sun

Apollo-Ridge's baseball team earned a 3-2 record during a "spring training" trip to Fort Pierce, Fla.

Preseason trips often are used as team bonding events. The 16 players on the team dyed their hair blonde.

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