Butler County spotlight athletes: May 11, 2014
Claim to fame: Junk is an outfielder and pitcher for the Knights, who qualified for the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.
You guys are back in the playoffs again. How excited are you for the postseason to start?
We're really excited. All the guys are pumped. Even though we lost against Mars and Hampton in our final two section games, we weren't down. We want to win and keep going.
How nice is it to finally get some decent weather like we had last week?
It's really nice. It's rough pitching in cold weather. We all deal with it, though. We all try to help each other out and try to keep the pitchers bundled up. We're happy to go for a whole week with nice weather.
Is it tough to build momentum when the rain messes up your schedule?
To a point, yes. When we're in the gym, it's tough to get stuff done. We all find a way to do something, whether we're playing wall ball or hitting live in the cage. We always find some challenge or team competition. It is tough, though. We've all been through it before. We all know what it's about.
Do you have plans for college?
I am going to the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport and will study civil engineering there. I am going to play baseball, too. I went out a couple weeks ago for a visit. I am looking forward to that, but also want this season to keep going.
Claim to fame: She hit five home runs in a four-game stretch as Butler closed the year.
What's with the power outburst?
I have been focusing on my swing more and turning my hips more. I am seeing the ball a lot better than I have been. I haven't been trying to hit them out. I am just trying to hit the gaps and get runners in.
Your team finished fourth in the section and just missed the playoffs. How disappointing was that?
Definitely, it was a bummer. I felt like if we had another chance against North Allegheny, we could beat them. We lost 2-1, but we were right there. We had two good games against Pine-Richland, so that was a good step up.
How strong is your section?
It keeps us on our toes. All the teams are really good. Usually, when we're playing those top teams, it makes us want to play even harder.
Are you hoping to take another step, as a team, next season?
Yeah. We are losing two seniors. It's definitely good that we have a lot of girls coming back. The sophomore and junior girls have been playing together for a while. We're definitely a solid team.
— Joe Sager