Name: Lauren Lober
Lober’s week: The four-year starter at second base played best when needed most. She went a combined 4-for-6 with two home runs, six RBI and four runs in victories over McGuffey and Bentworth.
Those two wins allowed the Bucs to win the outright title in Section 3-AA for the first time in four years.
A 14-3 victory over McGuffey, in a game in which Lober hit two home runs, a double and five RBI, clinched at least a tie for the section title. She went 1-for-3 in a 12-2 victory over Bentworth that clinched it.
“Throughout her career, she has hit in a number of spots. This year, she’s been batting fifth,” said Chartiers-Houston head coach Tricia Alderson. “She’s been doing a great job for us driving in a lot of runs.”
The Bucs entered Wednesday’s WPIAL playoff game with a 15-3 overall record. Their 11-1 mark in the section was one game better than Frazier’s 10-2.
Lober is batting .404 with seven doubles, two triples and a team-best five home runs. She is second on the team with 25 RBI.
“Her confidence has improved in general,” Alderson said. “I have watched her grow every single year. I’m so happy for her because she is a really hard worker.”
Lober started playing softball at age 7, thanks to her parents.
“I’ve just had a love of the game,” said Lober.
Lober says this team goes out and plays as if every game is the last game.
“We have such fun,” she said. “We love the competition.”
Mind games: Every team and its players have to deal with pressure and Lober is no different. But she does have a different way of handling it than most.
“I’m very sarcastic,” Lober said. “(Teammate) Kaci Alderson can tell you we are the two most sarcastic people on the face of the earth, I think. That’s what makes our bond so strong. We get each other through our slumps and pick each other up that way.”
Lober is headed to Waynesburg University next fall to play softball and pursue a degree in education. She is considering a minor in psychology.
The Bucs’ roster has struggled with numbers but that can be a positive, Lober believes.
“They all want to be at practice. They all want to be at conditioning. From Day 1, they knew how much this meant and were ready to work,” she said. “It’s brought us a lot closer and we had a very good year bonding.”
Compiled by Joe Tuscano