There was an undeniable respect between the West Greene and Chartiers-Houston softball teams after playing one another in a mid-April non-section game.
Rightfully so, as the success of both local powers came full circle when the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association released its all-state teams. Ten of the 15 local players named first- or second-team all-state played in that game, which ended in an 11-9 back-and-forth win for the Pioneers.
West Greene, which lost 3-2 in the PIAA Class A semifinals to DuBois Central Catholic, had four players named first-team all-state and two who made the second team. Shortstop Kaitlyn Rizor, pitcher Jade Renner and twins, center fielder McKenna Lampe and third baseman Madison Lampe, were selected to the first team. Jersey Wise and Mackenzie Carpenter each were second-team outfielders.
Rizor, the Observer-Reporter Softball MVP, flipped middle-infield positions to help the Pioneers fill a void this year and had similar success to her first three seasons. She committed only two errors for a .976 fielding percentage, helped turn six double plays and batted .494 with 35 runs and 35 RBI.
McKenna Lampe hit over .550 for the fourth consecutive year, finishing with a .556 batting average and scoring 42 runs from the leadoff spot. Madison Lampe had similar success at the top of the Pioneers’ lineup, hitting .482 with 33 RBI and scoring 38 runs. The Lampe twins made an all-state team in each of their four years at West Greene.
Renner, who finished her junior season, dominated out of the left-handed batter’s box and the pitching circle. She hit .506 and drove in a team-high 37 runs. As a pitcher, she had a 20-5 record, 1.68 ERA and 122 strikeouts.
Four players from Chartiers-Houston – Kaci Alderson, Lauren Lober, Bella Hess and Karlyn Bayer – were the all-state selections for the Bucs, who had their WPIAL and PIAA Class 2A playoff runs end to eventual state champion Frazier.
Alderson, Lober and Hess were all first-team selections.
In her junior season, Alderson, a shortstop, took advantage of the limited amount of times teams decided to pitch to her. She batted .523, and had seven doubles and 27 RBI, despite being pitched around and walked 18 times. Lober, the Bucs’ second baseman, hit .384 with 29 RBI and five home runs. Hess, a slap-hitting freshman, batted .500 out of the No. 2 spot in Chartiers-Houston’s lineup.
It was the second consecutive season West Greene had six all-state selections and Chartiers-Houston had four.
Other local first-team all-state selections include Monessen outfield Madison Telegraphis in Class A and Canon-McMillan third baseman Lindsay Schmidt in Class 6A. Carmichaels pitcher Kylie Sinn, Trinity center fielder Bailey Bell and McGuffey catcher Brin Hunter each were second-team selections in their respective classes.
The selections came after nominations were accepted from more than 250 coaches and 140 sports writers. Those nominations were considered by the active members of the PHSSBCA.