Baldwin softball team playoff qualifier for five consecutive years
The Baldwin softball team tied for second place with Bethel Park in Section 4-AAAA this season, two games behind section champ Canon-McMillan.
The Lady Highlanders were 10-4 in league play, which included a season-highlight 15-3 win over Canon-McMillan early in the year, and won 10 of their first 12 games on their 2014 schedule.
Baldwin's team leaders included a trio of sophomores in pitcher Ana Hale, third baseman Jaimie Schleicher and center fielder Mallory O'Brien, along with senior first baseman Melissa Paterni.
All four were named as section all-stars.
Hale was the mainstay of the pitching staff, chalking up nine wins and a 2.84 ERA. She struck out 127 batters in 86 1⁄3 innings, and also hit .328 with a .483 slugging percentage.
Schleicher finished with a .403 batting average, .716 slugging percentage and .429 on-base percentage. She hit four home runs, scored 21 runs and drove in 16.
Schleicher, who led the team in at-bats (67) and hits (27), also was 2-0 on the mound with a 1.50 ERA.
O'Brien batted .373 this season with a .407 slugging percentage and .397 on-base percentage. She also scored 15 runs.
Paterni hit .295 with a .311 slugging percentage, .358 on-base percentage and 17 runs batted in.
Hale and Schleicher were first-team all-section selections, while O'Brien was a second-team selection and Paterni was an honorable mention pick.
Baldwin's other leading offensive players in 2014 included freshman infielder Samantha Wampler, with a .512 batting average, .659 slugging percentage and .565 on-base percentage; sophomore shortstop Ashley Brady, with a .396 batting average, .623 slugging percentage and .475 on-base percentage; freshman outfielder Katie Knzevich (.283) and sophomore catcher Charlotte Nieman (.271).
The Lady Highlanders, who landed the No. 11 seed in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs, were edged by No. 6 Plum, 4-3, in first-round action.
Baldwin defeated Chartiers Valley, Upper St. Clair, Brashear and Mt. Lebanon twice in section play this season.
The Lady Highlanders have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for five consecutive years.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.