Boys Golf: Burgettstown's Lecker grows on the course

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brad Everett profiles Burgettstown golfer Hunter Lecker.

"Hunter Lecker always had the swing. He just didn't have the body to drive it.

As a 5-foot-5 freshman at Burgettstown, Lecker showed a lot of promise for a program that has long been one of the best in WPIAL Class AA.

Then something fortunate happened to Lecker — he grew.

Now heading into his senior season, Lecker is again flashing his talent, and the fact that he's about a head taller than he was three years ago has him thinking big."



Softball: Burgettstown hopes to bounce back

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Burgettstown ran in the WPIAL Class A buzzsaw that is Neshannock in the semifinals. The Blue Devils were ousted by the top-seeded Lancers 11-0 in five innings. Neshannock pitcher Madison Schaffer who had tossed a perfect game in the first round, fired a two-hitter against the No. 5 seeded-Blue Devils (16-5). Now Burgettstown hopes to keep its season alive when it plays No. 3 Jefferson-Morgan (16-3) in a consolation game. The Rockets fell 5-3 to South Side Beaver in the first round. The teams will meet Tuesday, May 27 at Baldwin at 4 p.m. To advance to the state playoffs, Burgettstown will need an offensive performance like it received from Caley Ritts in the quarterfinals. Ritts went 2 for 3 while scoring three runs in an 8-2 win over Shenango.


Softball: West Feature Athlete - Burgettstown's Sami Scopel

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Sami Scopel
High School: Burgettstown
Grade: 11
Sport: Softball

Burgettstown had to replace five senior starters from last season. Perhaps no hole in the lineup was bigger thant he one left by Lizzie Strain at shortstop. A Capital University recruit, Strain was one of the top defenders and batters on the team. In her place, junior Sami Scopel takes over. Scopel is a returning starter who moves from third base to the middle of the infield this season to replace Scopel and so far she has filled the big shoes just fine. Scopel has been a defensive leader and she bats third in the lineup where she leads the Blue Devils with a .500 batting average. The junior shortstop has also drove in 19 runs.


Softball: Burgettstown going with a three-headed pitching monster

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Burgettstown softball coach Mark Deer has a wealth of pitching not normally seen at the Class A level. In fact, in his 19 years at Burgettstown, Deer has never had so many arms. Sophomore Kate Tarr is the team's ace pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-3, Tarr is an imposing figure. The Blue Devils also boast the arms of sophomore Morgan Ellek and senior Bryanna Lonick. Lonick was an all-section pitcher last season but now she is being used primarily in relief, a good indication of how far Tarr and Ellek have come this year.

"She is more of a power pitcher," Deer said of Tarr. "She has done really well. At 6-foot-3 she looks like she is standing on top of you when she is out there, it is a big advantage."

Tarr is 6-3 with a 2.0 ERA and 55 strikeouts. Ellek is 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA with 39 strikeouts. Both Tarr and Ellek have hit home runs this season as well. With the emergence of Tarr and Ellek this season, Deer has been able to play Lonick at second base.


Softball: Burgettstown in the section lead

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Burgettstown softball team.

"Since the end of last season, there are not many WPIAL softball teams that have been on the softball diamond as often as Burgettstown Area.

For the first time in his 19 years with the program, coach Mark Deer decided to gather most of his players in the summer and form a travel team. He estimates the travel team played about 40 games last summer. Then to start this season, while most district teams were postponing games and practicing indoors, the Blue Devils traveled to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to compete in a tournament.

"The travel league team worked out real well, it really did," Deer said. "In the past I thought the South Carolina trip was good for team building. This year you can't even imagine what an advantage it was to get down there and into some good weather and play ball and get practices in. At one time we probably had 10 games in [including three in South Carolina], where everyone else up here had four games.""