Butler Neighborhoods spotlight athletes: Butler's Tanner Kotch, Mars' Erin Hershman

| Saturday, May 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Tanner Kotch

School: Butler

Year: Senior

Sport: Lacrosse

Claim to fame: Kotch scored a game-high four goals and had four assists in a 13-2 win over Fox Chapel on Senior Night. The captain is a three-year starter and holds 67 points in 15 games played. He has 27 goals and 40 assists.

How was your senior night?

All of the seniors wanted to go out with a bang. We started clicking, and we played well together. I got a couple of goals and assists and got lucky. It was one of my last games ever to play. I'm going off to college to play. You never get your family like your high school team back.

Where are you going to play in college?

Wingate University, a small Division II school in North Carolina. My brother, Tyler, actually goes to Lenoir-Rhyne. We went down to a couple of his lacrosse games, and I fell in love with the area. I thought where better to go than a school that's rivals with him.

How do you expect the first matchup against Tyler to go?

I know whoever wins that game is going to have bragging rights forever. I always grew up watching him, and that's what got me into lacrosse. Ever since then, it's always been about trying to beat Tyler, so it's going to be a big twist to play against him.

Do you have any pregame rituals?

Every game I paint up the same eye black. Before I go to the field, I watch college lacrosse. I like Rob Pannell; he plays for Cornell. He somehow always finds a way to keep his head up no matter what. How does he dissect the defense the way he does? Just his viewpoint of how he sees the game are things I like.

Erin Hershman

School: Mars

Year: Junior

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: The junior holds a .434 batting average with a .516 on-base percentage. To date, she has nine home runs, and 19 RBI. She hit two home runs and a double in an 8-6 victory over Pine-Richland. She has verbally committed to Robert Morris University.

“At the beginning of the season Erin had a tough road,” Mars coach Michele Goodworth said. “A lot of factors have played into that. She has reached the top of her game at the most important part of the season as we are heading into the playoffs.”

How do you feel about the switch to shortstop?

It's been a challenge because it's my first year. I'm working on picking up the ball fast enough to make a hard throw to first base.

Why did you start playing softball?

My father played professional baseball in the Cardinals minor league system. I really started playing baseball. My dad said I should start playing softball. I didn't want to, but I ended up loving it. He knows a lot, so he can always help me out.

Why did you choose Robert Morris?

I visited the school about three times before committing. They have a really good nursing program, and it's a small school so I can get individual attention. They have a good softball team.

Do you know what you are going to study?

I'm from a background of nursing. My mom is a nurse and so is my aunt. I love helping people, so I chose nursing.

What's your hidden talent?

I did gymnastics for five years. I stopped last year, but I can still do flips. I just got more involved with softball.

— Brittany Goncar

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