Jeannette softball player Scarlett Stein receives posthumous all-state honor
The Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association extended a subtle and heartfelt gesture to a still-grieving family and school district, a number of travel ball players and friends, and the statewide softball community, by honoring the late Scarlett Stein.
Stein, a talented player at Jeannette who died in December after complications from a heart attack, was awarded a special, all-state honorable mention when the PHSSBA finalized its all-state teams Friday.
A talented pitcher who could hit for power, Stein had just signed to play at Penn State New Kensington. She was 17.
The coaches' association also gave a special honorable mention to Mikayla Focht, a Hollidaysburg player who was killed in an ATV accident in April. She was five games into her senior season.
“I felt it was important, as an organization, that we honor both young ladies, for their dedication to and love for our sport, the best way we could,” said Mark Temons, coaches' association coordinator. “It is my sincere hope and prayer that these two young athletes are the last players so honored (in this manner).”
Stein's collection of friends stretched across the state as she played in dozens of summer travel tournaments.
“Scarlett was so talented, and she worked so hard to be the player she was,” said recent Hempfield graduate and standout catcher Madi Stoner, who played on Stein's travel team. “As a friend, it makes me very sad because she missed out on her senior season, but it also makes me very proud of the person that she was and the impact that she left.”
Jeannette athletic director Anthony DeNunzio said the honor will help to carry on Stein's memory.
“Not only was she an integral part of our softball program, but she also excelled in the classroom,” DeNunzio said. “We thank the (PSSBCA) for thinking of Scarlett. Her presence was felt by the Jayhawks on the field and in the dugout this past season. We all knew she was there in spirit.”
Ryan player of the year
Hempfield led a strong Westmoreland County contingent with seven all-state picks, including the state player of the year.
Ace pitcher Morgan Ryan, the state's Gatorade Player of the Year and a Notre Dame recruit, was named the top player, regardless of classification.
Ryan had a 22-0 record with a 1.00 ERA and 199 strikeouts.
Fellow seniors (now graduates) Jenna Osikowicz (second base), Ali Belgiovane (shortstop) and Autumn Beasley (outfield), along with sophomore Laura Fox (outfield) were Class 6A first-team selections.
Hempfield finished 27-0, won its third straight WPIAL championship and captured back-to-back PIAA titles.
Belle Vernon junior pitcher Bailey Parshall was named Class 4A Player of the Year after leading the Leopards to a WPIAL title. A Penn State recruit, she went 20-2 with a 0.52 ERA and a WPIAL-leading 246 strikeouts.
Other area first-team selections were: Penn-Trafford senior Bree Ginther (3B) in 5A; Mt. Pleasant junior Ava Gnibus (OF) and Derry junior Chelsea Bisi (SS) in 4A; and Monessen junior pitcher Dana Vatakis in Class A.
Bisi, a Penn State recruit, batted .706 (36 for 51) with 21 RBIs.
Local players on the second team: Hempfield junior Kelsey Tobin (DP) and Latrobe junior Karley Kovatch (SS) in 6A; Yough sophomore Kierra Waywood (P) and Alona Sleith (3B), and Mt. Pleasant junior Meadow Uncapher (SS) in 4A; and Southmoreland senior Olivia Porter (SS) in 3A.
Mt. Pleasant won the 4A state title.