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Butler County spotlight athletes: April 20, 2014

| Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:03 p.m.
Niki Schlegel

Wyatt Daugherty

School: Butler

Year: Junior

Sport: Baseball

Claim to fame: Daugherty has been one of Butler's top pitchers this year. He helped the team to wins in its first three section games.

You went 82/3innings in a 1-0 win over Fox Chapel. Have you ever pitched that much in one game?

It was the longest I have ever gone in one game. I was feeling pretty good. I was glad to be able to help the team out.

How happy were you to see the team get a run in the top of the ninth?

It was a huge relief when we scored. That was a big win for us.

You guys were on a roll with three one-run wins in a row. What's been the key?

Our pitchers have been doing a good job of going deep into games. That's really important in our section because there are lots of good teams.

The weather hasn't been the greatest for baseball and it postponed some of your games early last week. Did that mess up the momentum your team built?

Not really. It's Western Pennsylvania, so we are pretty much used to it by now. We just want to keep it going.

Niki Schlegel

School: Mars

Year: Sophomore

Sport: Softball

Claim to fame: Schlegel has taken over pitching duties for Mars. She helped the Planets lead the section at 3-1 after their first four games.

Mars returned a lot of players from a section championship squad. How high are expectations this year?

We have pretty high expectations. We want to go for the section title again. We have been working hard even though the weather has not been cooperating with us. It's been a good start for us.

How depressing is it when bad weather forces you to go back inside for practice?

I like to be out on the field playing games. We were in the gym practicing and everyone was so miserable. It's a pain. You can only do so much in the gym.

You took over as the team's main pitcher. How has that been going?

Obviously, it's a big role to fill. I was pretty nervous at first. I worked hard in the offseason. I pitched three times a week in the offseason. I was excited to start the season and glad it's going well so far.

What's been the key for the team so far?

Our hitting has been really good this year. We've had some really timely hits. When we need someone to step up, someone has done it. We've had a lot of error-free games, which is a big help. They are always in the field supporting me, so I like to help them out as well.

— Joe Sager

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