Softball Takes Section Title

Mike Silvestre, Staff Writer

This has been another big year for the softball team, as they earned a share of the section title for the second straight year.
The girls tied with Canon-McMillan for the Class AAAA Section 4 title this year. Last year, Baldwin tied with Bethel Park and Canon-Mac for the section championship.
“We accomplished one of our goals by winning section again,” sophomore Carly Santillo said.
A big key for the team was the return of pitcher Ana Hale, who pitched in every game. Hale missed all of last season with a knee injury.
“Ana has been a big part of our success this season. She started off strong and continued that through the season,” Santillo said.
Hale had especially impressive performances against Upper St. Clair: She threw a one-hit shutout in the first game against USC and a no-hitter in the second game.
Both games resulted in lopsided victories for the Highlanders, and the second victory over Upper St. Clair clinched a playoff spot.
The team started the season strong, going 4-0 in section before losing to Bethel Park on April 14.
“We looked good early in the season due to our ability to play to our potential, not to the competition,” senior Jaimie Schleicher said.
Early season victories over Carrick, Peters Township, Mt. Lebanon, and Upper St. Clair helped create the winning mindset for the team.
“The early season success gave us confidence throughout the rest of the year,” Santillo said. “We struggled at times, but we pulled together and worked as a team.”
Schleicher continued to dominate this year, earning first-team all-section honors for the second year in a row.
Schleicher transitioned back into a fielding position at first base after filling in for Hale last season at pitcher.
“I’ve played there in the past, so I was able to play well,” Schleicher said.
“Jaimie performed well. She executed and hit the ball and was strong in the field as well,” Santillo said.
Sophomore Taylor Dadig and Hale also joined Schleicher as all-section honorees.
The team finished section play on a five-game winning streak in which they outscored opponents 56-4.
“The winning streak made us more pumped than ever because we know we work well together and we play the game for ourselves, and we have fun doing it,” Santillo said.
Highlights from the season included consistant hitting from all players and good defense.