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Canon-McMillan's Olivia Lorusso named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Softball Player of the Year

| Saturday, June 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Olivia Lorusso scores a run against Shaler Area during the WPIAL AAAA softball championships on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at California University of Pennsylvania's Lilley Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Olivia Lorusso hits a home run against Upper St. Clair during a game Saturday, May 3, 2014, in North Strabane.
Neshannock's Marissa DeMatteo
Beaver's Casey Farkasovsky
Trinity's Olivia Gray
Canon-McMillan's Abby McCartney
Greensburg Salem's Claire Oberdorf
Michael Love | Plum Advance Leader
Valley News Dispatch Softball Player of the Year Jordan Seneca of Plum.
Neshannock's Madison Shaffer
South Side Beaver's Connor McGaffic

Player of the Year



Olivia Lorusso has done it all.

In four years at Canon-McMillan, the Robert Morris recruit hit .360 with 109 RBIs, 32 home runs, 25 doubles and five triples.

This past season was her best. Lorusso's slash line was a ridiculous .532/.553/1.285. She hit a state-best 16 homers, drove in 46 runs and scored 33 more, earning her 2014 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Softball Player of the Year honors.

“It's been a buildup over the past couple of years,” Lorusso said. “I knew one of these years I was going to have a good home run season. I just kind of felt like I connected more.”

Twenty-five of Lorusso's 41 hits went for extra bases. Over the past two years, Lorusso has 71 hits. Fifty-seven percent of those (44) have been doubles, triples or home runs.

Lorusso's powerful bat and slick glove helped Canon-McMillan to a 71-19 record during her four years, including a 16-4 mark in the playoffs.

The Lorusso-led Big Macs have won three section titles over the past four seasons, two WPIAL Class AAAA championships and the crowning achievement: a PIAA trophy in 2013.

Ever get the sense teams were scared to pitch to you?

Sometimes. I feel like they would always pitch to me for the first at-bat. But if I would hit a home run, they would go a little more outside, just trying to keep it away from the middle of the plate for obvious reasons.

You're not big on scouting reports or thinking a lot while hitting, correct?

Exactly. The more you think about it — and it's good to have a technique down — but I think as a senior, and even a junior, most people already have a technique down. You just have to go up there and try to make contact.

What's your favorite memory from high school softball?

Definitely the state championship (a 4-3, 12-inning win over Neshaminy). It was the most entertaining game to be in and the most entertaining game to watch that I think a lot of people will ever experience. I'm just glad I got to be a part of that.

What do you like to do outside of softball?

I ride horses. I ride quads. We have a lot of land. I fish often.

If you could play a position other than third base, what would it be?

I've always wanted to be a pitcher. If I would start over, I would probably want to be a pitcher.

Are you any good?

No. So if I would ask coach (Michele) Moeller to throw me in, it probably wouldn't be in the pitching position. It would probably be center field or left field.

What player are you a fan of?

Taylor Mercurio from Seton-La Salle. She's a slap hitter, and she's really, really fast. It's fun to see her go because she'll lay down a bunt that I think she's definitely out on, and she'll beat it out. It's entertaining. You never know. She plays second, and she can basically play anywhere. She can reach so many balls. She's small and can cover a lot of ground. It's just fun to watch her.

First team



Pitt recruit was first or second in nearly every offensive category for two-time WPIAL Class A champs and PIAA semifinalists. The leadoff batter hit .525 with six doubles, one triple, three homers, 35 runs, nine steals and 21 RBIs.



The dual-threat hit eight homers and drove in 22 runs with a .403 batting average, .462 on-base percentage and .992 slugging percentage. Pitching was where she shined brightest, though, going 15-1 with 131 strikeouts and a 1.33 ERA for the first-time WPIAL Class AA champs.



Arguably the WPIAL's most dominant arm, she went 16-3 with 167 strikeouts and a 0.81 ERA. The Slippery Rock recruit also keyed a resurgence of West Mifflin softball, taking the Titans from 3-11 in 2011 to 17-3 in 2014.



The two-time Terrific 10 pick keeps getting better. This season, she hit .554/.633/1.092 and had 71 total bases, including eight doubles, six triples and five homers among her 36 hits. The Pitt recruit stole 30 bases, drove in 36 and scored 34 r uns.



Whether in the outfield or behind the plate, McCartney always produced: .575/.607/1.191 with 45 RBIs, 12 home runs, 36 runs, five doubles and two triples. Like Lorusso, she is a Robert Morris recruit and a two-time Terrific 10 pick.



In two years of high school softball, McGaffic already has 29 home runs. This season she had 89 total bases. She hit .583 while driving in 49 runs and scoring 36 more. The two-time Terrific 10 selection already commit ted to Pitt.



The Marist recruit shook off offseason knee surgery and had a fine year: .500 average, 11 homers, 24 RBIs, 25 runs, six doubles, one triple and 11 steals for the PIAA Class AAA semifinalists. She struck out twice a nd made only two errors.



The St. Francis recruit was a hit for Plum. She batted a school-record .710 with 10 doubles, 10 homers, 38 RBIs and 41 runs scored. She slugged 1.452 and struck out only two times after missing most of basketball s eason with a wrist injury.



The Penn State recruit pitched the Lancers to another WPIAL title and a berth in PIAA Class A semis. She was 15-2 with 105 strikeouts and a 1.35 ERA in 80 innings. The two-time Terrific 10 pick hit .333 with three doubles, one triple, one home run, 14 RBIs and 18 runs.

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