Greensburg Salem softball hoping to take next step
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Expectations are running high once again in the Greensburg Salem softball program this season.
After finishing third in WPIAL Class AAA last season, the Lions are hoping to get back to the playoffs for the 12th time in 13 years.
While the team will rely on seven starters from a team that advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals last season, perhaps none is more valuable than senior pitcher Jayne Oberdorf.
“She is so mature for her age and so focused, and the kid's driven. She doesn't think about anything like normal teenage kids think about except what she wants to do and accomplish,” Greensburg Salem coach Jody Morgan said. “She's just a great kid.”
Oberdorf, last season's Tribune-Review player of the year, led the Lions to a 17-4 mark (10-0 in Section 4-AAA), by posting a 16-3 record to go along with a 0.91 ERA and 197 strikeouts. Besides holding every pitching record at Greensburg Salem, the Marist College recruit also hit .480 last season with three home runs.
But according to Morgan, Oberdorf makes an impact in other ways as well.
“She's such a good fielder,” Morgan said. “A lot of times you have kids that are pitchers that just pitch and they can't hit and they can't field, but she is a complete player.”
Oberdorf added: “I've been working on a lot of pitches and perfecting everything. I'm hoping that it pays off this season.”
Oberdorf is joined by a strong group of players that look to have the Lions primed to make another deep postseason run this year.
Senior catcher Taylor Mehan returns after being named second-team all-state last year (along with Oberdorf) after hitting .590 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.
Oberdorf said her and Mehan have built a strong rapport as a pitcher and catcher combination, making it easier to have success on the mound.
“We've been pitching and catching together for a long time,” Oberdorf said. “We played basketball all year together, and we just know each other so well it's just easy.”
Juniors Kelly Hutchinson (second base) and Melissa Wagner (third base) and sophomore shortstop Claire Oberdorf also return to lead Greensburg Salem.
Junior Karly Mellinger, a Greensburg Central Catholic transfer, will be a welcome addition to the team as a starter in the outfield.
With as much returning talent as the Lions have, the team has plenty of lofty goals entering the season.
“I think like every year, we're going to compete like we usually do,” Jayne Oberdorf said. “Coach Morgan and our coaches always figure out a way to put the best team out there and do the best we can.
“We want to just go farther in states than we did last year, win the section and to just compete to the highest level that we can.”
Despite all the returning players and high expectations, Morgan admitted it takes some luck along the way to make a deep playoff run and a lot of things have to fall into place. But she is confident her team has what it takes.
“We've won the section the last two years, we've made the playoffs 11 of 12 years. The program's been on solid ground here for the last 15 years,” Morgan said. “I think the kids just want to get to that extra step.”
Alex Oltmanns is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Musical fundraiser carries across generations
- Pair accused of stealing bronze vases at Greenwood Memorial Park
- Steelers’ Tomlin does not like his coaching style to be characterized
- State trooper shot and killed during training exercise
- NK grocery store robbed
- Despres is relishing his regular role on Penguins’ blue line
- Roundup: Housing numbers reflect broad slowdown; U.S. consumer confidence slides in September; more
- Venezuela’s Maduro says airlines wage ‘economic war’
- Penguins notebook: Malkin picture muddy
- Stop nets 3 men on gun, drug charges in New Kensington
- Rossi: Pirates plan to carry Hurdle deep into playoffs