Jeannette grad Cortazzo happy with move to Seton Hill
There's no arguing it. Delaney Cortazzo is a good softball player, excelling at a level she's played throughout her life. Now, the Jeannette High School graduate is getting the opportunity to show that skill at the collegiate level.
Last year, Cortazzo played her freshman season at NCAA Division II Fairmont State (Md.) and saw precious little playing time. Before this season, she transferred to nearby Seton Hill University, also a Division II program, and, as a result, is seeing significant playing time on a team in the midst of a big season.
“I wanted to be part of a softball team where the best players have the chance to play, so I'm very happy (with the transfer),” she said.
Entering the week, Cortazzo has played in 23 games this season, starting 15, and seeing time primarily at second base and third base.
Offensively, she had 10 hits, four doubles and three RBIs; she is second on the team with four steals. Cortazzo has a .303 batting average, a .424 slugging percentage and a .324 on-base percentage.
“I started off hitting rocky, but things are coming around (with the bat),” she said, quickly shifting her focus to the team, which is 19-8-1 overall and 11-6-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. “I just like being part of this team. We were picked to be sixth (in the conference) and we are third right now. And we lost some games we could have won.
“It's nice going from being the underdog to being one of the top teams in the conference … it's nice proving people wrong.”
Seton Hill head coach Bill Monstrola raved about what Cortazzo brings to the program.
“She's like any other great student athlete out of Jeannette. She's hard-nosed,” he said. “She's bounced back and forth between second and third for us, but she's the kind of player who would just as soon take the glove off and field them with her bare hands.”
Monstrola also noted how Cortazzo's bat has come alive in recent weeks.
“Not only can she hit, she can hit with power and get extra-base hits. And she's good at the plate,” he said. “She's patient.”
The Griffins entered the week on a four-game winning streak after sweeping double headers with Slippery Rock and Mercyhurst over the weekend.
“Our goal is to finishing out with all wins,” said Cortazzo. “Win the rest of them and make the playoffs.”
More success for Hall
Jeannette grad Nicole Hall is continuing to develop as a successful college pitcher, moving her record to 4-0 with two victories last week.
On April 10, Hall, a freshman, pitched six hitless innings, striking out two and walking none, as her Carlow softball team rolled over Alice Lloyd, 8-0. She then pitched three innings of scoreless relief in a 7-2 win over Alice Lloyd on April 11.
Hall entered the week with 27 innings pitched, striking out 15 while walking just three. She's allowed just 10 earned runs, giving her an ERA of 2.59.
Carlow is now 16-7 overall and 10-6 in the NAIA Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Big game for Matijevic
Jeannette native J.J. Matijevic had a big game in a losing effort for the University of Arizona baseball team Sunday. The freshman first baseman had two hits, including a double, and scored a run as Arizona lost to Arizona State 13-7.
Matijevic his hitting .208 with a .338 slugging percentage and a .311 on-base percentage. He has 16 hits, including seven doubles and a home run, to go with 11 RBIs.
As of press time, Arizona was 22-11 overall and 7-7 in the NCAA Division I PAC 12 conference. The Wildcats visit Oregon State for a three-game series this weekend.
Brian Knavish is a contributing writer.