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Greensburg Salem's Claire Oberdorf named Greensburg Tribune-Review Softball Player of the Year

| Saturday, June 21, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Player of the Year

Claire oberdorf

greensburg salem, junior, shortstop

Last year it was older sister Jayne, who's now at Marist College in New York. This season belonged to Claire Oberdorf, Greensburg Salem's slick-fielding, hot-hitting junior shortstop, who's the Tribune-Review's 2014 Player of the Year.

Claire Oberdorf said it was strange not playing with her older sister, but the two will soon be reunited; Claire Oberdorf is also a Marist recruit.

“She was a hard-worker, and it paid off for her,” Claire said of her older sister, the 2013 Player of the Year. “Might as well try it, I guess.”

The younger Oberdorf was Greensburg Salem's rock, as the Golden Lions won the Section 4-AAA title and rebounded from a loss in the WPIAL semifinals to reach the third round of the state tournament.

Claire Oberdorf hit .500 (30 for 60) with 11 home runs, 24 RBIs and 25 runs. She added six doubles, a triple and 11 stolen bases while making plenty of contact, striking out only twice.

In the field, Oberdorf showed no ill-effects from offseason knee surgery. Her range was solid, her glove even better. The shortstop committed only two errors in 21 games.

What do you attribute your performance this season to?

Just practicing and getting better, working hard in the offseason. Then probably my parents and my sister. They're the ones who push me to get better.

What's your favorite memory from this season?

Probably Thomas Jefferson (in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals), when Madison Hantz hit the game-winning home run. That was probably the biggest game.

Was it strange with Jayne gone?

It was a little strange, but (pitcher) Melissa (Wagner) did a great job. She pitched her heart out for us. It was a little different not playing with my sister for the first time, but we did well as a team.

How did you hit for so much power yet only strike out twice?

I just try to hit the ball and make contact. Try to get hit it in a gap for my team and get on base. I don't try to do anything special — just keep it simple.

What do you like to do outside of softball?

I like to be outside a lot. I like to play with my German Shepherds and be with my friends and family. (Hoosier is a 4-year-old female. Shepherd or “Shep” is a 2-year-old male.)

If you could play another position, what would it be?

Pitching seems fun, but I also used to catch a lot before hurting my knee. I haven't really tried since, but I would love to do that again.

Were you good at pitching?

I used to pitch. I actually had to pitch batting practice one time for high school this year. It felt good.

How did that go?

I actually did better than I thought I was going to do.

Any player on another WPIAL team that you really enjoy watching play?

I don't know if there's one. I think the WPIAL is full of a bunch of good girls. I don't really have one in particular.

First team

meredith carr latrobe, fr., p

Carr burst onto the scene in a big way. She had a 1.54 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 118 13 innings, finishing with a 15-5 record while pitching the Wildcats to the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals.

paige hertzog

mt. pleasant, Sr., SS

The Seton Hill recruit proved to be one tough out. She hit a robust .655 with 23 RBIs, six home runs, eight doubles and four triples, meaning that 18 of her 38 hits went for extra bases. She finished with seven three-hit games and two four-hit games for the Vikings.

monica joseph

frazier, Jr., SS

Joseph did a little of everything, all well, with a line of .536/.559/.785. She had 15 RBIs, 17 runs, 10 doubles and 23 steals in 24 attempts. As a part-time pitcher, she went 3-0 with a 2.21 ERA in 19 innings. Only thing she didn't produce? Errors. One in 52 chances.

kasey kolick

hempfield, Sr., OF

The two-time Terrific 10 selection hit .479/.518/.792 to go along with 18 RBIs, three doubles and four homers. The all-time home runs leader at Hempfield walked six times and only struck out once while scoring 15 runs for the co-Section 1-AAAA champion.

shelby noel

latrobe, Sr., 1b

The two-time Terrific 10 selection hit .514/.558/.743 and belted 12 of 36 hits for extra bases. The St. Vincent recruit finished with 10 doubles, two home runs, 16 RBIs, 18 runs and seven walks for the Wildcats, who scored eight or more runs six times this season.

christiana skrabak

norwin, so., ss

Skrabak was constantly on base for the co-section champions. She hit .600 (30 for 50) and posted a .655 on-base percentage, the product of five walks and three hit-by-pitches. She struck out only six times and crushed six doubles, three triples and three home runs while driving in 22 runs.

nicole smith

penn-trafford, jr., p

Smith split time in the pitching circle, but produced plenty when she got the chance. She finished with a 7-2 record to go along with three saves, a 1.52 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 60 innings. She allowed only 13 earned runs for the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinalists. Batters hit .190 against her.

melissA wagner

greensburg salem, sr., p

Inheriting pitching duties from two-time Terrific 10 selection Jayne Oberdorf, Wagner didn't flinch. She went 13-1 with 101 strikeouts and a 0.97 ERA in the regular season, then struck out 51 more in seven postseason games. She allowed a total of 18 runs and 26 walks all season.

jess zavolta

penn-trafford, sr., C

Zavolta hit, of course, but she was just as impactful behind the plate. She threw out 33 percent of runners, made one error for a fielding percentage of .994 and had 147 putouts. The two-time Terrific 10 pick hit .403 and led Penn-Trafford with eight extra-base hits, drove in 16 and scored 13 runs.

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