High school notebook: Peters Township softball makes opening statement
Given the Peters Township softball team had yet to practice on a softball field prior to arriving in Cookeville, Tenn., last weekend, first-year coach Bob Bowers wasn’t exactly expecting perfection.
Yet that’s what he got.
Peters Township racked up six wins over two days at the Gordonsville High School Softball Tournament, allowing just two runs and scoring 45 times at the Cain Creek Sports Complex.
“Considering that was the first time we got on the field, I think we did pretty well,” Bowers said.
OK, to be fair, Peters Township did practice on the football field twice.
But the first time anyone fielded a true hop was a few hours before the team’s first game.
“The players I have are very intense, very dedicated,” Bowers said. “As a team, I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of girls who have jelled as well as they have. We spend a lot of time in the gym, in the cage, just about every day.”
With the loss of pitcher Tara Konopka, who had 15 wins and 161 strikeouts last season but now plays for Drexel, Peters Township got three wins and two shutouts apiece from sophomores Carly Konopka and Kellyn Perich, the latter striking out 12 in the championship game.
Viktoria Heiser, Abby Cunningham, Molly Campbell and Carly Konopka each hit home runs.
Moving forward, Bowers envisions those two pitchers teaming with Campbell to form a very deep, sophomore-laden pitching staff. Cunningham has moved from shortstop to catcher, while Lindsay McKnight (shortstop) and Tori Weida (second base) will anchor the middle infield.
“Right now I see various skills with each pitcher,” Bowers said. “Each one has unique pitches that are very good. I’ll probably switch pitchers, at least for the start of the season and until I see who steps up.”
Fort Cherry junior Nora Hironamus loves the feeling she gets from competing on the vault.
Judging by a few recent results, the gymnast must enjoy winning a bit, too.
Hironamus was the WPIAL champion in the event while competing in the Intermediate II Division, finishing with a score of 9.133.
She later took second at the Pennsylvania Classic – the sport’s equivalent to a PIAA meet – in the vault at 9.083. Both events took place at Moon High School.
“I get a lot of power from it,” Hironamus said. “I like the idea of flying through the air.”
Because Fort Cherry does not have a gymnastics team, Hironamus competes for Montour High School. She trains at All-Star Athletics and Gymnastics in Robinson and has been involved with the sport since age 8.
This past competition season, Hironamus used a handspring on and 1 1/2 twist off as her routine, but she’s currently working on a double. Fearless of all that flying? You bet.
“That’s pretty much anything in gymnastics,” Hironamus said.
Besides the vault, Hironamus was 13th in the all-around at the WPIAL meet with a score of 31.983. She bumped that up to fourth (33.316) at the Pennsylvania Classic, a score helping along by her sixth-place finish on the beam (8.433).
“At WPIALs, I was mostly concerned about the vault,” Hironamus. “Then for states I realized that if I thought more about everything in general, I could do better on everything and not just vault.”
James Orbich, a two-year starter and three-year letterman for the Chartiers-Houston football team, will continue his career at Alderson-Broaddus, an NCAA Division II school.
Orbich was a first team All-Black Hills Conference selection this past fall.
Former McGuffey boys basketball coach Greg Papson will coach at Washington High School next season as an assistant under Mark Gaither. Papson resigned recently after five years as McGuffey’s head coach and was replaced by Mike Fatigante, a former Waynesburg University assistant.