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Senior duo leading Mt. Pleasant softball toward postseason

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Mt. Pleasant's Paige Hertzog slides safely past Albert Gallatin catcher Ashley Dubovich during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mt. Pleasant's Paige Hertzog slides safely past Albert Gallatin catcher Ashley Dubovich during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Mt. Pleasant base runner Kayla Queer slides safely into third base as Albert Gallatin third baseman Kristen Sroka takes the late throw during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mt. Pleasant base runner Kayla Queer slides safely into third base as Albert Gallatin third baseman Kristen Sroka  takes the late throw during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Mt. Pleasant base runner Alicia Polcha attempts to beat the ball home as Albert Gallatin first baseman Rebekah Bricker runs to back up the throw during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mt. Pleasant base runner Alicia Polcha attempts to beat the ball home as Albert Gallatin first baseman Rebekah Bricker runs to back up the throw during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - Mt. Pleasant pitcher Ashley Pospisil delivers to a Albert Gallatin batter during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mt. Pleasant pitcher Ashley Pospisil delivers to a Albert Gallatin batter during their game on April 17, 2014 in Mt. Pleasant. Mt. Pleasant defeated Albert Gallatin 9-3.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 10:27 p.m.
 

The Mt. Pleasant softball team has found success this season with a 7-4 start, and it's clear who has led it.

Seniors Paige Hertzog and Ashley Pospisil have been standouts on and off the field for a team with more underclassmen than upperclassmen.

Hertzog, the Vikings' starting shortstop, leads her team in every hitting statistic. She has 24 hits, including seven doubles, three triples and five home runs, and 15 runs batted in.

“Her stats jump off the page,” coach Lauren Shaheen said. “She's a great person on and off the field, but she's just a wonderful ballplayer.

“We joke that sometimes you just want to sit back and watch her. She comes up ready to play every game, even on her off days.”

Pospisil has taken on the challenge of pitching every inning for Mt. Pleasant and has remained consistent throughout.

But Shaheen pointed past the stats, and to those who are following her seniors' lead, to prove their impact.

Sophomore second baseman Kayla Queer always seems to be right behind Hertzog, whether she's turning double plays or getting her name in the stat book. Queer is second on the team in hits, doubles, triples and RBIs.

“Paige is a great role model,” Queer said. “She's one person that I can really look up to. She has that college quality, and I know I can learn a lot from her, and I have been. ”

Pospisil's workload has nothing to do with the size of the pitching staff.

Freshman Macey White is waiting in the wings and has been available for every varsity game, but the coaching staff has been content to have her sit back and wait her turn.

“Ashley is a senior, she's a veteran,” Shaheen said. “We like to give her every chance while she's still here.”

Mt. Pleasant is 6-3 in Section 4-AAA, trailing Greensburg Salem (8-0) and Uniontown (7-2) for the section lead.

After starting the year with a 10-0 loss to Greensburg Salem, the Vikings won seven of their next eight games before losing 6-1 to the Golden Lions again Monday and 6-5 to Uniontown on Tuesday.

“The first game is always the toughest game because we're getting out of the gym and onto the field,” Queer said.

“I think once we got our first game jitters out, we got our stuff together and just took off.”

While they're still a step away from challenging top-ranked Greensburg Salem in Class AAA, the Vikings aren't discouraged by the back-to-back losses. If anything, the games were a testament of what it will take to continue the success they have found so far.

“To be honest, the girls are so excited,” Hertzog said. “(The Uniontown game) was really what we needed to get fired up, because now we know what we're capable of, and the girls are just pumped.”

Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at ghorvath@tribweb.com.

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