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Softball: Yough shuffling positions, maintaining results

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Yough is utilizing a four-person pitching rotation this year. When coach Dutch Harvey must rotate between either sophomore Kierra Waywood or junior Karlie Clark or senior Alona Sleith or junior Shelby Lawrenzi, well, those rotations also necessitate some movement around the diamond.

Waywood was the starting centerfielder last season as a freshman on the state championship team. When she moves to the mound, junior Hannah Bach moves from shortstop to center field and Alona Sleith, an all-state third baseman, moves to shortstop.

"We take Hannah from shortstop to center field to get some of that speed," Harvey said. "Right now we are moving things around and putting our best players on the field, just trying to get through the first half of the season."

Harvey has been pulling the right strings. No matter what the combination is, the results have not suffered. The Cougars are still perfect in Class 4A Section 2 with a 9-0 record and 13-1 overall mark. They are a tight race with Belle Vernon (13-1, 9-1).

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Alumni Update - Aaron Morgan (California University of Pa.)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BEREA, Ohio – The California University of Pennsylvania men's track & field team placed fourth in the team standingsMorgan CalU after winning three events at the 48th-annual Sparky Adams Invitational hosted by Baldwin Wallace on Saturday.

 

Senior Aaron Morgan earned a pair of individual victories while in Ohio. He posted a time of 54.22 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles to win the event by over two seconds.


Morgan, a Yough graduate, also cleared 1.99 meters (6-6.25 feet) in the high jump to earn the victory on Saturday.

 

(photo courtesy of California University of Pa.)

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Softball: East Feature Athlete - Yough’s Kierra Waywood

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Kierra Waywood
School: Avonworth
Grade: 10
Sport: Softball
Position: Pitcher/Utility player

Background: Kierra Waywood landed on the Yough varsity softball roster last year as a freshman. Playing with and against older girls was nothing new for Waywood. She started playing for Dutch Harvey's under-18 travel team when she was 14. Harvey is now her high school coach. Waywood is a pitcher and a utility player. She was the team's starting centerfielder as a freshman. In the state playoffs she came up huge at the plate, batting .680 as Yough made a run to the school's first ever state crown.

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Softball: Pitching rising to Yough’s lofty standards

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

There are high standards and then there are the lofty standards at Yough when it comes to pitching. The program that brought us Nicole Sleith and Macy Mularski and a 2016 PIAA Class 3A title is finding a way to navigate Class 4A this year without either Nicole Sleith or Macy Mularski but rather a rotation of four pitchers certainly worthy to wear the Yough uniform.

"With Nicole and then Macy, our reputation is our pitching," Yough coach Dutch Harvey said.

Mularski is a freshman pitcher at IUP now, terrorizing batters in the PSAC. Sleith is coaching at Seton Hill University but is also the pitching coach for one of Yough's pitchers, Shelby Lawrenzi.

Through four games, Yough allowed 18 runs, more than all of last season when Yough went all the way to the PIAA final and still only allowed 16 runs. However, in their fifth game this season, Yough shutout Carrick in a 15-0 win. In it's sixth game it went on the road to South Fayette and held the Lions to one run in a 4-1 win. Two days later at home against Elizabeth Forward, it once again limited its opponent to one run in a 10-1 win. A day later it was a 2-0 shutout win against Class 4A power Belle Vernon and last week Yough notched a 4-3 win at Southmoreland.

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Softball: East Feature Athlete - Yough's Shelby Lawrenzi

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Shelby Lawrenzi
School: Yough
Grade: 11
Sport: Softball
Position: Pitcher

Background: Shelby Lawrenzi has bided her time and waited in the wings for the past two seasons. While Macy Mularski was terrorizing batters and leading the Cougars to section and state titles, Lawrenzi was waiting her turn as the backup pitcher for Yough. Now with Mularski having graduated, it is Lawrenzi's time to shine. However, a nagging injury forced coach Dutch Harvey to shut her down this year on a trip to Florida for the Disney Tournament.

Harvey is taking precautionary measures and still believes the 5-foot-5 right-hander will be ready to go in a week or two. While only starting three games last year and pitching far fewer innings than Mularski, Lawrenzi still managed to have a better ERA and strikeouts per inning ratio. Lawrenzi has big shoes to fill, not just replacing Mularski, but also coming in a line of pitchers that includes Nicole Sleith, one of the best pitchers the WPIAL has seen.