The Pennsylvania High School Coaches Softball Association (PaHSCSBA) released its 2019 All-State teams over the weekend, and the Tri-County Area was once again well-represented as 10 players earned honors across three different classifications.
The area had just one All-State player above Class 2A, with DuBois freshman Lauren Walker receiving Second Team All-State honors as an outfielder.
Seven local players were recognized in Class A — a group headlined by five DuBois Central Catholic Lady Cardinals. Clarion and Elk County Catholic also had one All-Stater each in Class A, while Curwensville had two players make the Class 2A All-State squads.
The All-State honor is a fitting end to what proved be a standout season for Walker in her first year as a varsity player. She actually opened the year on the DuBois junior varsity team but was quickly moved up to varsity to add some much needed offense.
The move meant Walker had to switch from her traditional position (first base) to the outfield — a transition she handled well after playing a couple games. She hit .419 (26-for-62) with 19 RBIs, 21 runs, three doubles and two triples. She was ranked second on the team in RBIs and third in hits and runs while stealing a team-high nine bases.
In Class A, DCC’s contingent was led by senior Ashley Wruble, who earned First Team All-State honors for the fourth time in her career. She was a First Team second baseman as a freshman and sophomore before earning laurels as a pitcher last year.
Wruble can add a third different All-State position to her resume, as the coaches association made her a First Team utility player this time around after splitting time between second base and pitcher. No matter where she played, Wruble put up some of the best offensive numbers by any player in the state in Class A.
She hit .632 (55-for-87) with 46 RBIs, 47 runs and 23 extra-base hits (10 doubles, 7 triples, 6 homers). Her average is the second-best ever by an area player, behind her own record of .661 set last year. Her 55 hits fell one shy of the Tri-County Area single-season record of 56 by Frank in 2016.
She also went 13-1 in the circle with a 1.79 ERA, 56 strikeouts and 18 walks in 58 2/3 innings.
Wruble was joined in the Class A All-State First Team by teammates Mia Meholick (sophomore catcher), Carley Semancik (senior outfielder) and Avery Sickeri (freshman third baseman), while Shayleigh Gulvas (junior shortstop) garnered Second Team accolades. Meholick and Semancik also made the First team a year ago, while Gulvas was a Second Teamer as a sophomore.
Meholick finished with a .494 average (43-for-87) with 41 RBIs, 37 runs and 23 extra-base hits (12 doubles, 4 triples and 7 home runs).
As for Semancik, she again joined force with Meholick to provide the pop in the middle of the DCC order. She batted .488 (39-for-80) with 35 RBIs, 37 runs and 15 extra-base hits (10 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers).
Sickeri became the latest DCC freshman to out up huge numbers and be recognized for it at the state level. All she did in her first varsity campaign was hit .549 (45-for-82) with 33 RBIs, 47 runs and 15 extra-base hits (7 doubles, 3 triples, 5 homers).
Gulvas was the catalyst of the Lady Cardinal offense from the leadoff spot, where she finished with a .474 (45-for-95) average with 34 RBIs, 46 runs and 15 extra-base hits (11 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers).
Clarion junior Kaitlyn Constantino also garnered First Team All-State honors as one of the three pitchers, while ECC senior Sady VanAlstine was a Second Team selection in the outfield.
Constantino was the driving force behind the Lady Cats’ run back to the state playoffs as the D-9 runner-up. She assumed the teams pitching duties full-time this season and went an impressive 17-6, posting a 1.60 ERA with 245 strikeouts and just 39 walks in 144 innings. She recorded double-digit strikeouts in 13 games.
The Lady Cat also put together a big season at the plate from her leadoff spot. She hit .500 (41-for-82) with seven doubles, four triples, 29 runs scored and nine RBIs.
As for VanAlstine, she hit .491 (27-for-55) in her final high school season. She had nine doubles to go along 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored.
In Class 2A, Curwensville freshman Joslynne Freyer collected First Team All-State honors as the designated player despite playing all year in the circle for the Lady Tide. Sophomore teammate Abby Pentz was named as a Second Team shortstop.
Freyer put up big numbers at the plate as a freshman, batting .586 (41-for-70) with 32 RBIs, 13 runs and 19 extra-base hits (13 doubles, 4 triples, 1 homer). In the circle, Freyer went 13-8 with 126 strikeouts, 68 walks and a 3.90 ERA in 111 1/3 innings.
Pentz finished the season with a .474 average (36-for-76) with 11 doubles, five triples, 19 RBIs and 28 runs scored.
The only other District 9 player to earn All-State honors was Clearfield freshman pitcher Emma Hipps, who earned Class 3A Second Team All-State honors at designated player.