Jeannette three-sport star Monica Carl caps sophomore year with strong softball season

| Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Monica Carl, a sophomore for the Jeannette High School Lady Jays, is enjoying her first season as the team's first baseman.

“It's a really important part on the field,” said Carl. “I like having to catch all the wild balls thrown to me.”Last season, she played third base and wasn't sure about the switch to first initially. But now, she feels that she's at the right spot.

Carl has been playing baseball since getting her start with T-ball and various Little League teams. She's been a rec-ball player since seventh grade and has always loved the sport. She's always watched softball and baseball on television and felt that it was the sport for her.

“I thought it looked like a fun game. Something clicked for me,” she said.

Carl, who has also been named an Athlete of the Week for her work on the basketball team, also plays soccer but of the three sports, her favorite is softball. For Carl, there are so many different aspects of softball that keep her interested.

After high school, Carl plans to attend college and she hopes to continue playing softball at the collegiate level. She has always been interested in attending a police academy or potentially joining the military, but these days she's unsure if she still plans to pursue those career options. Either way, Carl hopes to keep softball a part of her life.

Her coach, Dee Cortazzo, has really made the sport fun for her.

“She knows what she's talking about,” said Carl. “She always says, ‘I believe, you believe.' Softball is her number-one priority. She's all about it.”

This season's team, the first to make the playoffs in some time, became the first to win a playoff game late last week.

“We back each other no matter what,” said Carl. “We pick each other up when we're down. It's always we win as a team and lose as a team. It's an all-around group of girls.”

This was Carl's first experience with the playoffs and she was beyond excited to be part of the drive toward a championship. She couldn't wait to get on the field and be part of history as one of only two Jeannette softball teams to reach the post-season.

“Everyone is focused. Once it's batter up, it's serious.”

This season, Carl's personal goal was simply to improve and to do well at first base.

“I've been batting really (well) this season, and I want to keep doing that. I want to stay at first base,” said Carl, who added that she's hearing positive feedback on her performance at her new position.

In school, she is active in Ette Kette and chorus.

Carl's parents are John Carl and Stacy Swanson and she has a younger sister, Brittany Carl.

She is thankful to her coach and said, “Thanks to Coach Dee for believing in me and putting me at first base and never letting me get down on myself.

“Thanks to my dad for pushing me completely to do my best and proving to me that I can be better.”

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-838-5154.

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