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Senior Pitt outfielder leads team in steals

| Sunday, May 22, 2011

Senior University of Pittsburgh softball outfielder Ashley Amistade from Trinity High School and Washington leads the Big East Conference's in stolen bases with 27 in 31 attempts.

She is the Panthers' fourth-leading hitter with a .313 average. In the field, she has committed just two errors in 56 chances for a .964 fielding clip.

A four-year starter, Amistade has improved each season.

She batted .220 as a freshman in 2008 and .250 in 2009. During her sophomore season, the Panthers recorded their first winning outcome since 2006.

Last spring Amistade hit a team-high .320 and led the Panthers in hits.

Under the direction of third-year Head Coach Holly Aprile, Pitt finished the regular season with a 33-16 overall record and 12-8 mark in the conference. The Panthers qualified for the conference tournament for the second straight season under Aprile and fifth time in seven years. The 33 wins heading into the post-season is already a single-season school record for the program.

Three honored

Three area scholastic basketball standouts were recently announced as 2010-2011 WPIAL Scholar-Athlete winners.

California High School's Dani Zajicek, Brownsville High School's Angela Pelehac and Serra basketball and baseball player Matt Loftis of Monongahela were named $500 scholarship recipients.

The four $5,000 scholar-athlete winners are South Fayette's Christian Brumbaugh, Bethel Park's Robert Hueler, Fort Cherry's Danielle Spinden and Freeport's Anna Christy.

Nearly 130 applications were reviewed and the WPIAL Scholar-Athlete Scholarship program began in 2004.

Post-season pay

Monessen High School will receive $4,422.66 from the WPIAL for its ticket revenue, after expenses, from post-season contests from soccer, football and basketball,

North Allegheny ($12,836.52) and South Fayette ($11,752.60) topped the list, followed by Central Valley ($8,430.73), Montour ($7,739.18), Woodland Hills ($6,618.73), Mt. Lebanon ($6,604.43), Aliquippa ($6,196.01), Gateway ($6,111.47), Mars ($5,947.83), North Hills ($5,868.69) and Central Catholic ($5,705.63).

Three other local schools receiving payment from the WPIAL included Belle Vernon Area ($2,542.49), Ringgold $1,942.96, and Elizabeth Forward ($184.10) high schools.

Wiltz extended

Longtime Charleroi athletic director Bill Wiltz had his contract extended four years.

Wiltz, a 1970 graduate of Charleroi High School, is also the Cougars' boys' basketball coach. He initially served as Charleroi basketball head coach for six seasons from 1996-97 through the 2001-2002 season.

Prior to his first Charleroi basketball head coaching stint, Wiltz guided the Belle Vernon Area's basketball program for six seasons from 1992-93 through 1995-96. Wiltz coached three of four Belle Vernon teams to the WPIAL playoffs and led each school's basketball program to an appearance in the PIAA state tournament.

He began his second and current stint as Charleroi's basketball coach in 2007. Wiltz also was an assistant football coach at Charleroi under former longtime head coach Bob Hodgson for 15 years.

Wiltz also owns a degree in business from Robert Morris University and has also taught computer classes to ninth-through 12th-grade students at Charleroi for the past 28 years.

Bassi golf outing

The fourth annual Melvin B. Bassi Memorial Golf Tournament will take place on June 2, at the Cedarbrook Golf Course in Rostraver.

Cost is $120 per person or $480 for a foursome and included 18 holes of golf, on-course food and beverages, a dinner buffet and door prizes.

Proceeds benefit Leadership Washington County Scholarships, The Challenge Program and other educational initiatives.

For more information or sponsorship opportunities call 724-483-3507 or e-mail .

Bassi, a fixture for decades in Washington County's business community as a private-practice attorney, bank president, solicitor and, briefly, commissioner, died on May 2, 2007. He was 80.

Born and raised in Charleroi and always a sports enthusiast, Bassi played a key role in helping to raise $1.5 million for the Mon Valley YMCA in the 1980s. A signalman on a destroyer in the Pacific while serving in the U.S. Navy, Bassi practiced law for more than 50 years.

He was inducted into the Mid-Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. His wife of 58 years, Lillian, still resides in Monongahela.

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