Prospects promising for Sewickley Academy softball
The Sewickley Academy softball team did better than expected and, with most of its starting lineup back, looks forward to next season.
The Panthers were 11-6 overall and 7-3 in Section 5-A. They lost to Union, 3-1, in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs May 16.
Savannah Henry was the lone senior and will be difficult to replace.
She pitched in all games and struck out 88, walked 18 and gave up 32 runs in 93 innings.
“Savannah made all the difference,” Panthers coach Win Palmer said. “She helped to build a cohesive unit that trusted each other.”
Palmer said a rising freshman had an outstanding season on the middle school team and likely will be on the mound next year.
Junior Chandler White moved from first base to catcher and was the Panthers' top offensive player.
White had a .700 batting average, 24 RBIs and three home runs.
Sophomore Kaylee Patterson shifted from second base to shortstop and had an expanded role after playing only in the field as a freshman.
Freshmen Alyssa Winters, Alina Mattson, Kendall Lightcap, Lekha Amin and Theresa Wilson and junior Sarah Fruehauf also competed.
White, 17, of the North Side was impressed by the first-year players.
“The (freshmen) really stepped up,” she said, adding they make her optimistic about next season.
Henry, 18, of Cranberry said with so many newcomers, things were chaotic at the beginning of the season.
She was encouraged the Panthers lost by only two runs to Union in the playoffs after losing to the Scotties by 10 runs in the regular season.
“It was not like the last game,” she said.
“We gained incredible experience,” Palmer said.
The Panthers have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs the past five seasons and were a quarterfinalist in 2015.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.