Chartiers Valley softball team hopes strong start leads to different results
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The luck of the Chartiers Valley softball team is taking a turn for the better.
After two seasons in which the team struggled, in part due to off-the-field setbacks, the Colts are in a battle for their first playoff berth since 2011.
“(Chartiers Valley) is known for having bad luck,” senior catcher Libby Chidlow said. “Everyone either gets hurt or sick. So far we haven't had anything too bad this year, knock on wood. The curse is gone. We are finally breaking through.”
The Colts finished last week with a 5-2 record in Section 4-AAAA — placing them a half-game behind Canon-McMillan (5-1) and one game ahead of 4-2 Baldwin, Bethel Park and Peters Township.
Chartiers Valley picked up three section wins in three days last week as it defeated Mt. Lebanon (11-2), Peters Township (4-1) and Brashear (10-4).
“We have made real strides in being better mentally prepared for games,” Chartiers Valley coach Jeff Reicoff said. “We are better at knowing what is going on. We trust ourselves at the plate to understand the strike zone.”
The Colts were locked in a 1-1 tie with Brashear before a five-run fourth inning put them ahead for good. Amanda Gross, Libby Schneider, Lauren Jennings and Chidlow recorded RBIs in the fame.
Chartiers Valley added four runs in the bottom of the sixth — including a two-run homer from freshman Miranda Griffith — and kept the Bulls at bay.
The Colts have been strong at the plate, averaging seven runs per game and hitting double digits three times.
“We are better hitters than we are fielders,” senior shortstop Brittany Kane said. “We are able to score a lot of runs. The weather has been bad with the rain and snow, so we have been in the gym a lot practicing our batting.”
The team also has relied on the arm of Madison Zimmer. The junior is in her second season as a starter and has shown maturity.
“(Zimmer) has done a whale of a job pitching,” Reicoff said. “She has made big strides from a sophomore to a junior. She has been helped with (Chidlow) calling the pitches.”
But what has made the strong start for Chartiers Valley even more impressive is the fact a majority of the team is underclassmen. With only three seniors and three juniors on the roster, the Colts are relying on three sophomores — who got experience last season when several starters missed time — and eight freshmen to play key roles.
“Our foundation is the freshmen and sophomores,” Chidlow said. “They are honestly what is putting us together. Without them, we don't have a team.”
“They look up to us for guidance, which is nice,” Kane added. “They apply what we tell them on the field. They are not the typical freshmen who goof off.”
It is this camaraderie that has the Colts feeling this year is different than the past.
“Their attitudes are better this season,” Reicoff said. “As a coach, it is exciting to see everyone huddle together and bond. Our section hinges on playing mistake-free softball. If you limit bad innings, you can be in games. Our closeness should help.”
And if the team can continue its solid play, the seniors will reach their first WPIAL postseason since their freshmen season.
“We are trying to get to the playoffs this year,” Chidlow said. “The past few years, we either didn't make the playoffs or had just one game. This year we want two or more games in the playoffs. This is the year.”
Chartiers Valley returns to the field Tuesday with a trip to Upper St. Clair. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.
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.
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Decisions backfire in Steelers’ loss in Seattle
- 40 years later, siblings of South Greensburg girl who disappeared still seek closure
- University of Pittsburgh researchers revisit war of electric currents
- Nov. 29 — Steelers-Seahawks gameday grades
- Penn State coach fires offensive coordinator
- Pennsylvania Game Commission reaps revenue from shale gas under game lands
- Police charge New Florence man in St. Clair officer’s killing
- Marshall’s Fluhme Glam Bar hopes to take beauty concept nationwide
- Woman found in Carrick died of multiple wounds, autopsy results say
- Sale of doll clothes to benefit Harrison library