Former Westmoreland softball pitchers take quickly to Division I game
The adjustment period for a few area softball pitchers has been like their throwing speed on the radar gun: glove-popping fast.
Freshmen Bailey Parshall, Meadow Uncapher and Dana Vatakis all have jumped into the pitching circle with urgency and efficiency.
The former Westmoreland County stars are taking the momentum from their notable high school careers to the Divison I level.
Parshall, one the most overpowering pitchers in WPIAL history when she played at Belle Vernon, won her debut for Penn State, striking out eight in 41/3 innings on a 10-2 win over Ball State at Fort Myers, Fla. The fiery lefty followed that appearance with 13 strikeouts in a 3-2 victory over Syracuse at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Durham, N.C.
Parshall (2-3) has 37 strikeouts and five walks in 262/3 innings.
Uncapher was expected to start her college career at Seton Hill after leaving Mt. Pleasant, but a coaching change there, and one at St. Francis, guided her to Loretto. Uncapher, who also played first base in high school, showed she can handle the pressure in the circle with two complete games in her first two starts — wins over Savannah State, 7-1; and Cleveland State, 9-3. She is 2-0 and has not allowed an earned run.
Vatakis who, like her counterparts, pitched deep into the WPIAL playoffs as Monessen’s ace, was the winner for Robert Morris in her second appearance, a 7-1 victory against Delaware State. She gave up five hits in the win, which came at the Lancer Launch in Farmville, Va.
Former Hempfield ace Morgan Ryan, meantime, recently earned her first win at Notre Dame. She allowed five hits and one earned run in a 4-1 victory over Liberty at the Puerto Vallarta Challenge in Mexico.
Ryan, a sophomore, has five appearances for the Fighting Irish.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .