McKeesport, PA. – The 2018 season was a record setting year for the Penn State Greater Allegheny Softball team. They set the program record for overall wins and conference wins in a season finishing 16-10 with a 14-6 mark against Penn State University Athletic Conference opponents. With only ten girls on the roster, and nine being healthy for a majority of the season, PSUGA defied the odds and made it to the PSUAC playoffs for the first time since the 2014 season.
Fast forward a year and the numbers are still not where they would like them to be, but the expectations are still the same. Of the ten players on the roster last season, four players are returning to this year’s club led by sophomores Taylor Love (Chandler, AZ./Campo Verde HS) and Haley Snyder (Connelsville, Pa./Connelsville HS). Both players had a huge impact on their sides of the ball and will look to be leaders once again for this season’s team.
After a year under former PSUGA softball player Lacie Lautner, Love will look to anchor the pitching staff in 2019 building on her successes from last season. In 12 games, six starts, Love went 5-6 with a 7.12 ERA over 59.2 innings of work while striking out 27 and walking 17. While Love did go through some growing pains, she came through in some big situations for last year’s team including helping her team officially clinch a playoff berth going five innings against PSU-New Kensington while allowing just one run on four hits.
When Love wasn’t in the circle, she held down first base for PSUGA. After a slow start offensively, that saw her hit just .059 over her first nine games, Love finished the year hitting .262 while picking up 12 RBI. She finished third on the team with 17 walks and got on base at a .422 clip, good for fourth on the team.
In terms of offensive prowess last season, few shined brighter than Snyder. She finished third on the team with her .339 average and hit two home runs while picking up 19 RBI, both good for top three on the team. Snyder brought home the lone run for PSUGA in the playoff game against PSU-Beaver last season when she hit a solo home run over the left field wall.
Snyder was one of the most consistent hitters for PSUGA throughout the season last year getting at least one hit in 15 of the 25 games that she played in last season. She ended the 2018 season on a four-game hitting streak, with three of those being multi hit games, and she looks to keep it going as her and her team enter 2019.
Surrounding them are a group of newcomers who bring both talent and experience to this year’s team as they chase a second straight PSUAC playoff spot. Senior Savannah Simm (West Mifflin, Pa./West Mifflin HS) is making a return to the PSUGA Volleyball team after sitting out last season. In her last stint with PSUGA in 2016-2017 she hit .207 with nine RBI while working 33.1 innings on the mound. Freshman Holly George (Homer City, PA./Homer City HS) looks to bring a spark at the top of the lineup coming off of a season where she hit .350 and got on base at a .455 clip during her senior year at Homer City High School.
Returning to lead the PSUGA Softball team is third year head coach Victoria Blosser. After taking over a non-existent program in 2016 and built it over the last two seasons into a playoff contender. Her first season, PSUGA softball finished 12-12 before breaking out last season. The odds are stacked against PSUGA once again in 2019, but Blosser is ready to lead her girls as they chase another PSUAC Playoff spot.
PSUGA softball kicks off their season on Friday March 22nd when they go on the road to take on Penn State Fayette in a PSUAC doubleheader with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.