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Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Derry's Luke Ridilla, Penn-Trafford's Ashleigh Yanniruberto

submitted - Penn-Trafford softball player Ashleigh Yanniruberto.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>submitted</em></div>Penn-Trafford softball player Ashleigh Yanniruberto.
Submitted - Derry baseball player Luke Ridilla.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Derry baseball player Luke Ridilla.

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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.

By Andrew John
Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 11:48 p.m.
 

Luke Ridilla

School: Derry

Year: Junior

Sport: Baseball

Claim to fame: Ridilla doubled to drive in the eventual game-winning run and drew three walks to lead Derry (1-0) to a 4-1 win over East Allegheny on Saturday. Ridilla, an all-section pick last season, will try to help Derry improve on last year's 8-10 record, which included a 5-9 mark in Section 2-AAA.

“(Saturday) went pretty well,” he said. “I wish we pulled the bats out more and we could have done pretty well over East Allegheny. But overall, it was a pretty good game.”

What are the team's expectations this year?

The team is aspiring to win the section. We are hoping we could make a deep run in the state playoffs. I think we have a solid team, and I think we can do it.

What will it take to accomplish that?

We need to pull out the bats. We definitely have some good sticks on our team. But sometimes they don't show up. But if we go into each game with a good attitude, I think we will do fine.

Personally, what do you need to improve on?

I started switch-hitting this year. I think it will help me with all the college scouting. I need to also improve with my fielding.

Who is the player you model your game after?

Derek Jeter. He is so good with his glove, and I love that he hits more for average than power.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

Bill Gates. I would like to have a tech talk with him because I'm into gaming, computers and stuff like that.

Ashleigh Yanniruberto

School: Penn-Trafford

Year: Junior

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: Yanniruberto had two hits and drove in two runs for Penn-Trafford (1-1) in a 6-0 win over Belle Vernon on Saturday. An all-section pick last year, she will try to improve defensively at shortstop after committing four errors last season.

“I thought I started off pretty well,” she said. “We have been working on our hitting in practice. It paid off with the two hits and two RBI (against Belle Vernon).”

What are the team's expectations?

I hope we do really well this season. We hope to make it to the playoffs, which we missed out on last season. Our main goal is to win the section.

What do you need to do to win the section?

We need to have fewer errors and start playing a full seven innings. If we are up, we need to keep going and finish out the game.

What do you need to improve on personally?

I need to improve on both my hitting and fielding. I think I can always improve in both aspects. I want to get my average up higher and start hitting sooner this year. I started to hit late last year.

As a captain, what have you told the team to fulfill your goals?

We need to make sure everyone knows we want to go out there and win every game we play. We want to win as many possible games. We have the team to win the section only if we play to our capabilities. If we do, we can win against any team in our section.

Who is your role model?

My dad. He has gone through so much to get where he is today. He gives 100 percent in everything he does. It's how I am, too.

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