West Mifflin ace Flore named Daily News player of year
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It was a season to cherish for Paige Flore, the hard-throwing softball pitcher at West Mifflin.
She led the WPIAL in victories with a 16-3 record and strikeouts (167) to go with a miniscule 0.81 ERA, earning her the Daily News Player of the Year.
“I started throwing a softball when I was 8 with the same pitching coach I'm with now,” Flore said, referring to former Baldwin assistant Bob Gneus. “I got sick of it and took a year off. But when I was 10, I found out that's what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted the ball in my hand because I could control the game.”
She did just that almost every time out.
Last weekend, Flore pitched six hitless innings for the Westmoreland County-based travel team Cyclones in a tournament game before being relieved. She struck out the final 12 batters she faced and finished with a total of 15.
“I never pitched a no-hitter before,” she said.
In the WPIAL quarterfinals, despite trailing 1-0, Flore held Mars hitless until the seventh before giving up her only hit in a season-ending loss.
Though the high school season is complete, the right-hander who will attend Division II Slippery Rock continues to work at her craft.
In addition to playing travel ball on weekends, she lifts weights and runs three times a week and throws an hour a day for two days, most often either to Gneus or her dad.
While there is no WPIAL championship to relish, no shot at a state title, two of Flore's 16 victories were against surprise WPIAL champion Thomas Jefferson, which eventually was eliminated in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Flore and West Mifflin, which won the Section 3-AAA regular-season championship, enjoyed no such luck.
“She took the loss to Mars hard, like everybody did,” sixth-year coach Casey Phillips said.
Flore was victimized by a lack of run-support. The Titans managed just three hits against Mars' Niki Schlegl and were shut out for the first time in 44 games.
But West Mifflin has improved on its past three seasons, going 17-3 in 2014, 17-6 in 2013 and 8-11 in 2012 after a 3-11 mark in Flore's freshman year in 2011.
“Paige really established an identity for our program,” Phillips said. “Her record the last two years is 30-8. She's kind of become synonymous with what we're all about. I'm really proud of her. As good as she is, I believe her best days are ahead of her.”
Flore, who chose to continue playing softball at Slippery Rock over another offer from Division II West Liberty, uses a variety of pitches.
Her five offerings are a fastball, curveball, changeup, riser and screwball.
Flore also was a starter on West Mifflin's basketball team, which advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and qualified for the PIAA playoffs.
But her first love in sports is softball.
“Even during basketball season, she was pitching several days a week and working on her (softball) game,” Phillips said. “She's always had aspirations of playing softball in college. We knew from the time she was a freshman that she was going to be something special.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Roundup: Wealth gap largest on record, Pew study shows; McDonald’s in Japan limits orders of fries; more
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- West Mifflin soccer fields nearly done, but play will be delayed
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- West Mifflin man charged with risking catastrophe
- Philly DA says no affidavits claimed by AG Kane in bribery case existed
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as the athletic director at Pitt comes to abrupt end
- Son charged in dismemberment death of mother, stepfather in Penn Hills
- Steelers notebook: Brown leads WRs in Pro Bowl voting, Bell 2nd at RB
- Connellsville Area High School Chamber Ensemble awaiting word on sing-off
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason