Greensburg Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Greensburg C.C.'s Garrett Brooks, Latrobe's Shelby Noel
School: Greensburg Central Catholic
Claim to fame: Brooks went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI to lead Greensburg Central Catholic (11-4, 9-3) to an 11-8 win over Jeannette in Section 4-AA play Monday. Brooks also had a home run for the Centurions in a 12-11 win over Shady Side Academy on April 26 and scored three runs in a 6-1 win over Southmoreland on April 15.
The infielder is hitting .600 this season, tied for second in the WPIAL.
“I think I'm starting to hit the ball well,” Brooks said. “I'm just trying to hit the ball with more consistency.”
What are your plans for college next year?
I'm thinking about going to California, Pa., and hopefully I will be able to make it onto the baseball team. I would like to major in business management because my dad owns his own business.
What is the strongest part of your game?
Probably be my hitting. I think I need to improve on my fielding a little bit and improve the strength in my arms.
If you didn't play baseball, what sport would you be playing?
I would have to go with football since I played it all the way through my senior year in high school. I like baseball more because I'm better at it than football.
If you had the chance to go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would probably have to say I would go out west. There are a lot of places where you can go ski.
What is your approach when you are in the batters box?
I just try to think to myself I need to get on the base anyway I can. I try to not think too much and clear my head while I'm up at bat.
Claim to fame: Noel, who is 4-0 with a 1.30 ERA and 21 strikeouts on the mound, drove in three RBI and earned the victory to lead Latrobe (13-3, 10-2) to an 8-3 nonsection victory over Seneca Valley on April 26. Noel, who is batting .481 with seven doubles and a triple as well as 22 RBI and 16 runs scored, hit one of her three home runs on the season in a 4-3 loss to Hempfield in Section 1-AAAA play Thursday.
“She just supplies us with a ton of power at the plate,” coach Rick Shaheen said. “It's huge to have someone like her with the amount of RBI she has driven in for us. On the mound, we have a nice one-two punch with Olivia (Gumbita) and her.”
What are you and the team doing to continue your success as you approach the playoffs?
We just focus on one game at a time and go game by game. We will then see how the results will be.
What has it meant to you to have Olivia Gumbita as a fellow pitcher?
She's always there for me when I'm struggling on the mound. She encourages me, and she's very positive toward me and always picks me up.
What do you think has been the biggest game or turning point this season?
Well, it would have to be when we lost our first game of the season against Greensburg Salem. We had to change what we were doing and players had to change positions. I think it helped us. We got better people in better positions.
If you had the chance to meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
Probably Jennie Finch or Cat Osterman. They were pitchers on the USA softball team, and they are a big inspiration.
Who is your role model?
I'd have to say (Latrobe pitchers) Alexa Larkin and Olivia Gumbita. It just helps me to see everything they have accomplished so far and tells me I could do the same thing.
— Andrew John