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Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Derry's Zack Zimmerman, Hempfield's Kasey Kolick

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Hempfield softball player Kasey Kolick.
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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
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Zack Zimmerman

School: Derry

Year: Junior

Sport: Baseball

Claim to fame: Zimmerman, who has a .375 batting average, drove in two runs for Derry Area (4-1, 3-0) in a 4-2 win over Laurel Highlands in Section 2-AAA action on April 3. Zimmerman, who hasn't committed an error in 20 chances at second base, hit an RBI-double in a 12-8 win over Mt. Pleasant in Section 2-AAA action on April 8.

What were your personal goals going into the season?

I wanted to have a high batting average, a low amount of errors and high fielding percentage. I want to make sure I get on top of the ball at the plate. I want to try to get more line drives and ground balls. Also, I want to capitalize on the big opportunities I might face at the plate.

How is it to play alongside someone like Luke Ridilla?

It's very easy to play with him. Since he plays at shortstop, we have a lot of communication between each other. He is also very good with his bat and produces hits for us.

How did you get involved in baseball?

When I was young, my dad signed me up for T-Ball. Then I moved into minors and little league. Ever since little league, I have been in love with the game.

What do you like most about baseball?

I like how anything can happen at any moment and it can change the outlook of the game. It could be a big hit or pitch. It's all about your approach which could change the outlook of the game.

Kasey Kolick

School: Hempfield

Year: Junior

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: Kolick, who missed last season with a torn right labrum, went 4 for 5 with a home run and two doubles to lead No. 2 Hempfield (5-1, 1-0) to a 12-4 win over Norwin in Section 1-AAAA action. Kolick, who batted .515 with 17 RBI as a freshman, went 3 for 4 with a grand slam in a 17-6 victory over Canon-McMillan on April 5, and hit a two-run homer in an 8-7 win over Kiski Area.

What did you learn while you sat out last season?

I learned I didn't realize how much softball meant to me. It was hard to see my teammates out there playing. I was only able to sit there cheering them on. I knew they could do it and I was proud with how much they achieved last season.

What do you think you the team needs to do to return to the championship game?

If we keep practicing and playing with the confidence we have been playing with, we will do well. It all matters on how much we bond together and put it all together. If we do, then we have a good chance of winning this year.

What was the biggest worry about coming off the injury?

Definitely my biggest fear was the possibly not having as much muscle mass and getting back into shape. I wasn't sure if I would come back as fast I was and hit the way I know I can.

Who was the biggest help in getting through the injury?

My mom and dad. They kept telling me ‘We know you're good and we know you can do it.' They wanted me to keep my head in it. They were a big influence, along with my whole family. They love coming to my games and seeing me play. I love them coming and rooting me on at my games.

What is one thing people might not know about you?

I'm actually a really shy person. When I first meet someone, I'm kind of shy. But once I'm comfortable with you, I'm kind of crazy. People just see my craziness when I'm playing on the softball field but I'm kind of shy person during the day.

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