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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1700


Posts categorized "Softball"
Posted: December 25th, 2013

Here are five more memorable moments from 2013. Fans are welcome to submit their own moments by e-mailing or tweeting @ETNreisenweber.

Fort LeBoeuf's Abby Rose, left, and Jolene Young, right, were big parts of the volleyball team. JACK HANRAHAN/Erie Times-News

Fort LeBoeuf volleyball returns to York – The Fort LeBoeuf girls volleyball team has become a state power as the Bison continue to make deep runs in the PIAA Class AA playoffs. Fort LeBoeuf lost a heartbreaker to powerhouse Conneaut in the D-10 championship before beating the Eagles in the state semifinals. The Bison then ran into a red-hot Delone Catholic team to fall in four games, but Fort LeBoeuf continues to establish itself as one of the most consistent programs in the state.
Fort LeBoeuf softball reaches state championship game – Fort LeBoeuf softball has improved each season and in the spring, the Bison reached the Class AAA state championship at Penn State University. Although Fort LeBoeuf lost to District 2 champion Valley View 5-0, the Bison made history. Fort LeBoeuf is believed to be the first girls program in the state to reach the state championship in volleyball and softball in the same school year. The Bison will have one more season in Class AAA this spring before dropping down to AA.
Hickory girls soccer makes history – The Hickory girls soccer program has always been on the cusp of competing for a District 10 championship. The Hornets had usually run into a traditional power they couldn’t get by like a Mercyhurst Prep, Villa Maria or Harbor Creek. This fall changed everything as Hickory allowed just one goal in the entire postseason. The Hornets shut out Villa Maria 6-0 and Mercyhurst Prep 1-0 to win the District 10 Class AA championship. Hickory then beat Moon 1-0 to earn its first-ever PIAA playoff win. The Hornets were eventually knocked out in the quarterfinals by Central Valley 1-0, but they made history and helped Mercer County earn some respect in soccer. Central Valley went on to win a state title. Sara Suler was named the District 10 Player of the Year and much like the rest of the starting lineup, she is only a junior.
Strong Vincent beats Central Tech on last-second touchdown – Strong Vincent freshman Lucas Harden had one of the top head’s up plays of the season. With 10.8 seconds left, Central Tech led 20-14 and was facing a fourth down. Central punter Eric Mitchell ran back to the end zone to run the clock out and once he heard the buzzer, he put his hands up to celebrate the win. However, he was still in the end zone and the play was live. Harden punched the ball loose and fell on it for the touchdown to tie the game. Vincent then scored on a 2-point conversion to win 22-20. Click here for video of the final play.
Greenville football rally - The Greenville football team finished a perfect 10-0 in the regular season, including the Region 3 title. A big reason for the Trojans’ region title is an impressive second-half rally against powerhouse Hickory. Greenville trailed 21-0 in a Week 2 showdown against Hickory. Trey VanAken then put the Trojans on the board in the third quarter with a 65-yard touchdown but Greenville missed the PAT. Greenville then scored two huge points by tackling DeQuan Lewis in the end zone for a safety after Hickory was backed up to the 1-yard line. Matt Jones connected with Luke Houpt on two touchdowns to complete the rally. Click here for video and audio of the game-winning touchdown.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: November 30th, 2013

All enrollments and classifications will be announced by the PIAA in either late December or early January. Here is an exclusive look at the male and female enrollments turned in by District 10 schools competing in baseball and softball. Please keep in mind, this list does not reflect if any team decides to play up. Schools have until Dec. 10 to decide if they want to stay in their class or play up.

Also, these numbers do not reflect any co-ops in place, which could move schools up once those are added in. These are just the raw enrollment figures.

Class AAAA (451 and above) – 1 team
McDowell 993
Class AAA (258-450) – 14 teams
Central Tech 422
Cathedral Prep 410
General McLane 351
Meadville 340
Strong Vincent 340
East 335
Oil City 308
Conneaut 302
Grove City 295
Warren 292
Slippery Rock 283
Corry 276
Harbor Creek 272
Fort LeBoeuf 258
Class AA (147-257) – 17 teams
Hickory 255
Girard 250
Franklin 242
Titusville 234
Sharon 222
Seneca 206
Northwestern 200
North East 196
Fairview 186
Mercyhurst Prep 177
Sharpsville 174
Saegertown 174
Wilmington 173
Lakeview 167
Reynolds 163
Cambridge Springs 160
Maplewood 150
Class A (146 and below) – 11 teams
Iroquois 146
West Middlesex 141
Mercer 140
Eisenhower 133
Union City 125
Youngsville 119
Rocky Grove 116
Cochranton 115
Kennedy Catholic 82
Commodore Perry 61
Jamestown 57

Class AAAA (445 and above) – 1 team
McDowell 914
Class AAA (247-444) – 13 teams
Central Tech 384
East 379
Strong Vincent 310
Meadville 293
General McLane 277
Slippery Rock 273
Warren 272
Conneaut 269
Corry 269
Hickory 260
Villa Maria 258
Grove City 254
Mercyhurst Prep 250
Class AA (147-246) – 14 teams
Fort LeBoeuf 242
Girard 237
Titusville 230
Franklin 229
Harbor Creek 213
Northwestern 199
Fairview 182
Sharon 182
Seneca 177
North East 176
Wilmington 172
Mercer 170
Sharpsville 167
Cambridge Springs 155
Class A (146 and below) – 15 teams
Lakeview 146
Maplewood 141
Saegertown 141
Iroquois 136
Union City 136
West Middlesex 130
Youngsville 127
Reynolds 120
Eisenhower 116
Cochranton 113
Rocky Grove 97
Farrell 83
Commodore Perry 71
Jamestown 71
Kennedy Catholic 67

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, Softball
Posted: September 4th, 2013

Harbor Creek High School will conduct ceremonies this weekend for its new athletic hall of fame inductees.

The 2013 class will be informally honored before and during Friday’s 7 p.m. football game between the Huskies and North East at Paul J. Weitz Stadium. The official ceremony will take place Saturday at 6 p.m. at the high school cafeteria.

Those scheduled for induction are Kristen DePlatchett (class of 1999), Don Dougan (1963), Missy Watson Grudi (1990), Steve Moorhead (1958), Lee Palloto (1950), David Uglow (1979), Heather Norder Weismiller (1994) and the late Norman Decker (1949).

Tickets are still available by calling (814) 897-2100, extension 1367, or by e-mail at

– Mike Copper

Posted: August 2nd, 2013

Six members of the District 10 Class AA champion Mercyhurst Prep girls team and five players from the D-10 Class AAA champion McDowell boys team highlight the rosters for next week’s City-County All-Star Soccer Games.

The preliminary rosters have been released for the annual games, which will take place Aug. 9 at Harbor Creek’s Paul J. Weitz Stadium.

Fairview, Harbor Creek and North East each will have four players on the County boys roster, while Fort LeBoeuf has five girls to pace the County girls.

The girls game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with the boys to follow at 8. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for students. Children 8 and under will be admitted free. Proceeds from the games with benefit the YMCA We Build People Campaign.

Following are the rosters: (More players might be added.)

City Girls

Melissa Blenner, Villa Maria

Ari Buccigrossi, Central Tech/Collegiate Academy

Sara Carlucci, Mercyhurst Prep

Maureen Clark, Mercyhurst Prep

Rachael Dobosiewicz, Strong Vincent

Courtney Edwards, Villa Maria

Cassie Geiger, Mercyhurst Prep

Khasidy Hughes, Strong Vincent

Bailey Jordan, Mercyhurst Prep

Allie Segel, Mercyhurst Prep

Taylor Smallshaw, Mercyhurst Prep

Rachael Chrzanowski, McDowell


County Girls

Elle Bennett, Fairview

India Boderocco, Girard

Natasha Brigham, Harbor Creek

Kaylee Lewis, Harbor Creek

Monica Main, Fort LeBoeuf

Cecelia Miller, Fort LeBoeuf

Samantha Pace, Fort LeBoeuf

Alexis Perka, General McLane

Shannon Regan, General McLane

Jessica Sinnott, Harbor Creek

Courtney Slowikowski, Harbor Creek

Kamryn Troyer, Fort LeBoeuf

Cassandra Yovich, Fort LeBoeuf


City Boys

Halil Alicusic, Strong Vincent/Collegiate Academy

Dylan Carr, Central Tech

Santos Guerra, Central Tech

Jacob Hanko, McDowell

Sean Lynch, McDowell

Corey Meyers, McDowell

Alex Mong, McDowell

Joshua Ott, Mercyhurst Prep

Caleb Payne, Mercyhurst Prep

Matt Schwabenbauer, Central Tech/Collegiate Academy

Luke Troncone, McDowell


County Boys

Nick Barclay, Harbor Creek

Zack Benedict, General McLane

Greg Berdis, Fairview

Jakub Blank, Fairview

Marcus Connors, Girard

Kirk Dillen, General McLane

Chase Doyle, North East

Justin Eby, North East

Joe Neff, North East

Phil Hesch, Harbor Creek

Nick Hesch, Harbor Creek

Ben Irwin, Fairview

Cory Kuzilla, Harbor Creek

Parker McDermott, General McLane

Nick Pfeffer, Fairview

Ryan Roggie, North East

Kyle Strickenberger, Seneca


Posted in: District 10, Softball
Posted: July 5th, 2013

The all-state softball teams were released Thursday night, and District 10 was well represented.

Eight D-10 players made the first team, and a total of 15 district players were honored. Check out today’s Erie Times-News story to read more about District 10′s all-state selections and to see a complete list of all-state honorees, including second team and honorable mention.

Posted: June 17th, 2013

Erie County All-Star Softball Classic
White 6, Pink 4

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Softball
Posted: June 14th, 2013

Class A
Johnsonburg 5, Canton 0
Class AA
Loyalsock 5, Beaver 4
Class AAA
West York 2, Upper Moreland 1
Class AAAA
North Penn 6, Lower Dauphin 5, 9 innings

Class A
Williams Valley 13, Neshannock 0, 6 innings
Class AA
Brandywine Heights 1, Riverside 0
Class AAA
Valley View 5, Fort LeBoeuf 0
Class AAAA
Canon-McMillan 4, Neshaminy 3, 12 innings

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Baseball, PIAA, Softball
Posted: June 14th, 2013

Posted in: Softball
Posted: June 14th, 2013


STATE COLLEGE — Get blog updates, sponsored by Humes of Waterford, all day before today’s PIAA Class AAA softball final between the Fort LeBoeuf Bison (20-4) and the Valley View Cougars (19-0). Their game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Penn State University’s Nittany Lion Softball Park.

This updates blog will run until about 4:45 p.m., before a live blog, also sponsored by Humes of Waterford, is scheduled to start at 5. Those interested in posting comments or asking questions can do so in the comments section for potential response in the main section.

Earlier posts will appear in the previous entry section.

– Mike Copper

4:52: We’re going to shut down this portion of the blog. Please check in with our live blog above at 5 p.m. Thanks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 13th, 2013

STATE COLLEGE — Fort LeBoeuf softball coach Brian Kirsch must have liked what he saw from the Bison during Thursday’s practice for their appearance in the PIAA Class AAA championship game.

LeBoeuf (20-4) practiced at State College High School shortly after the team arrived in Happy Valley. The District 10 champions are there to take on District 2 Valley View (19-0) in Friday’s 5:30 p.m. final at Penn State University’s Nittany Lions Softball Park.

The Bison also were scheduled to work out at State College High School on Friday at 10 a.m. However, LeBoeuf athletic director Steve Pizzo reported Thursday’s practice went so well that Kirsch decided to scrap Friday’s session.

Pizzo said LeBoeuf now plans to arrive at Penn State’s diamond around 2 p.m. and catch some of the action from earlier PIAA action. LeBoeuf is currently scheduled to take batting practice for its game at 4:45.

Here’s where the Bison will try to become the third school from District 10 to call itself a state softball champion:

The Erie Times-News will provide blog updates throughout late Friday morning and early afternoon, as well a live blog, sponsored by Humes of Waterford, of the PIAA Class AAA final starting at 5 p.m.

– Mike Copper

Posted: June 13th, 2013

The Fort LeBoeuf and Waterford community held a send-off this morning for the LeBoeuf softball team, which will play for the PIAA Class AAA title Friday. Check out a story from today’s event and view images from an online photo gallery.

Also, here’s a video from the celebration:


Posted: June 11th, 2013

PIAA softball playoffs
Class AAA semifinal
Fort LeBoeuf 4, Ambridge 1

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Softball

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