TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Southmoreland softball coach finishes successful 1st season

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Kristen Suhan had a fine season on the mound and at the plate this seasonand will be counted on to do the same in 2015.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 3:25 p.m.
 

Todd Bunner had a lot about which to be happy in his first season as head coach of the Southmoreland softball team.

Sure, there's disappointment in not qualifying for the postseason, but there were many positives.

The team amassed an 8-7 record — 6-6 in the ultra competitive Section 3-AAA, which featured WPIAL champion Thomas Jefferson.

Plus, it's a squad with a lot of girls returning for the 2015 season who made significant contributions and gained valuable experience in 2014.

“I'm pleased with the first season,” Bunner said recently. “A lot of good things happened. We scored a lot of runs. We were very competitive and we wanted to be competitive in our section which was extremely difficult.”

Offense was definitely a strength for a team that posted a sparking .364 team batting average and averaged seven runs a game.

The Scotties actually defeated Thomas Jefferson 9-3 April 7 and Bunner said they had the Jaguars down 2-0 late in an April 17 contest, before some late errors cost the Scotties in a 3-2 loss.

“If we really need to do one thing, it's eliminate errors,” Bunner said. “In the first half of the (section) season we were 5-1 and made very few errors. In the second half of the season, we made enough errors at key times. One thing I'm going to concentrate on is getting them confidence. There were a lot of freshman errors. With a little bit of seasoning they probably won't make a lot of those errors next year.”

As for those girls who will return, let's just say Bunner will not exactly have a bare cupboard next season.

His top three hitters will be back including his daughter Briana, who just finished her sophomore season with a .465 batting average. Freshman Olivia Porter — a sparkplug infielder — batted .424 and led the team with 25 hits. Junior Kristen Suhan checked in with a .395 batting average.

Speaking of Suhan she'll be part of an experienced returning pitching staff with freshmen Adeline Nicholson and Katie Trosi-Clark, all whom saw extensive action on a staff that also featured Syracuse recruit Anna Marie Gatti.

Trosi-Clark posted four wins with 40 strikeouts and a 2.47 earned run average, while Suhan was 2-2 with an ERA of 2.05.

“I have three pitchers coming back,” Bunner said. “That's a nice thing to have.”

Other key players coming back next year include Tricia Bungard and Kylee Wisoloski. Wisoloski may be counted on to replace Seton Hill recruit Kelsey Kuhns at catcher.

“That's going to be my most difficult position to replace,” Bunner said of Kuhns. “She only made two errors all year. She had a .979 fielding percentage. It's very hard to replace Kelsey.”

Realignment will shift the Scotties to Section 4-AAA in 2015 with teams such as Yough, Mt. Pleasant and Greensburg Salem, which advanced to the WPIAL and PIAA semifinals this season and captured the WPIAL Class AAA crown in 2013.

But a couple seasons in Section 3-AAA with not only TJ, but schools such as Elizabeth Forward, West Mifflin and Belle Vernon should have the team ready for all comers.

“They're battle-tested,” Bunner said. “If you go into the playoffs, you're not blowing teams out. You're playing close games against good teams. We'll be ready because of the competition.”

Bunner took over the program after two years of guiding the middle school team and said the transition went well.

“I was getting my feet wet at the high school,” Bunner said. “Coaching high school is just a little different. We'll be more accustom to how things go next year. It will be a little bit smoother for us.”

Bunner said the team will start working toward next season with fall ball, then right after the Christmas holiday, they'll take to the batting cages before embarking on another season.

“We're excited to get the summer season over, and get high school back in,” Bunner said. “You get that taste in your mouth when you see who wins the WPIAL and it gives you something to work toward.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Motorcyclist injured in Westmoreland flown to Pittsburgh
  2. Dude’s The Man captures Adios at The Meadows
  3. 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh
  4. Rossi: Nothing huge, but Huntington helped Bucs
  5. 2014 showing has Steelers RB Harris confident he belongs
  6. Monongahela uses modern technology to connect people to the city’s historic past
  7. Pirates trade for Dodgers 1B/OF Morse, Mariners LHP Happ
  8. Marte’s 2 fine defensive plays rescue Pirates in victory over Reds
  9. Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played
  10. Dek hockey summer camp ranks swell thanks to social media
  11. Steelers training camp has California University link