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The Purbalite

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Bonacci steals her way into key role on softball team

Bonacci+earns+a+key+role+on+the+softball+team.+
Jacey Radcliffe
Bonacci earns a key role on the softball team.

Through her nine years of playing softball, freshman Ava Bonacci has always excelled in baserunning. But when Baldwin Coach Ron Santillo first told her to steal a base in a game against Greater Latrobe, she got to show off her skills on the varsity team. 

“It felt really good and like an accomplishment to steal a base.” Bonacci said. “The coaches have known me for a while, and know what they could do with my speed. But now that I am on the high school team, they really count on me to help earn us runs.”

She ended the season with 12 stolen bases, including one game in which she stole two. No one stole most bases in WPIAL Class 6A this year.

Bonacci served as a courtesy runner on varsity, in which she would run for another player who had reached base. She started for junior varsity and played second base.

She would often play in both a varsity and junior varsity game on the same day.

“By the end of the day I was really tired, but at the moment it was really fun,” Bonacci said.

Bonacci has always excelled when it comes to baserunning. It is not only her speed that gives her an advantage, but her ability to read the pitcher and the catcher, she said.

“It’s usually depending on where the pitch goes and how fast the pitcher is. But I have noticed that if they see me run once, then usually the catcher has a better (throwing time) the second time,” Bonacci said. 

Like anything, getting a lot of practice helps.

A lot of the practices we’ve had get me prepared for the situations I am put in during the game, which makes me more confident on the field,” Bonacci said.

Junior Ryley Shaw has also noticed how other teams had to make adjustments due to Bonacci’s speed. 

“I’ve noticed that pitchers and catchers are a lot more cautious when they see her on a base, and the catcher usually (throws) much faster,” Shaw said.

Junior Gabby Jaquay already recognizes Bonacci’s skills. 

“She easily gets into scoring position, which helps whoever is up at bat,” Jaquay said. Opposing teams “know she’s stealing, and she’ll still be safe. There’s nothing they can really do.”

Bonacci also shows support and kindness to her teammates, Jaquay said.

“She always makes sure to give someone a high five when they come in, no matter how they perform on the field,” Jaquay said.  

After Bonacci’s strong freshman year, Jaquay sees a bright future for her.

“I think she’ll definitely be a crucial part to the varsity team when she gets there,” Jaquay said. 

 

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About the Contributors
Jacey Radcliffe
Jacey Radcliffe, Staff Writer
Junior Jacey Radcliffe is a first-year Staff Writer. When she’s not listening to Lana Del Rey or Cass Elliot, she can be found drawing or hanging out with friends in her free time.
Garrett Gusten
Garrett Gusten, Staff Writer
Junior Garrett Gusten is a first-year Staff Writer. He can be found listening to music, lifting weights, or fishing.
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  • G

    Gloria BonacciMay 16, 2024 at 9:07 pm

    So very proud of you Ava
    Love you!
    Gaga

    Reply
    • A

      Ava BonacciMay 20, 2024 at 10:30 am

      Thank you! Love you!

      Reply