Slow Pitch softball team wins WPISL championship


The Shaler Girls Slow Pitch Softball team made history this season by winning the first WPISL Championship in school history.

Going into the season, the Titans knew this could be one of their best seasons in school history. They were led by eight experienced seniors and new head coach Mr. Tom Bursick.

The Titans finished up their regular season with a 13-1 record. The only loss occurred early in the season when they lost 4-1 to North Allegheny.

“The girls were dominant in almost every game with most games leading the whole way through. On the rare occasion when we needed a big defensive stand or a few strong hits to get a run over the plate, the girls delivered.” Coach Bursick said.

The strong season was led by an explosive offense and a reliable defense for the Titans. The pattern of the season seemed to be scoring a lot of runs for and not allowing a lot of runs.

“Shaler’s defense was on point every game and even in the loss it was only four runs. We only had two games all season where opponents scored more than nine runs. The girls also had their share of 20-plus run blowout wins, scoring 12 runs in the 1st inning before the other team made their first out on us,” Coach Bursick said.

Winning the championship was so crazy. At first I didn’t believe that we actually did it…I was really proud that my team was able to make history.

— Hannah Guiste

One of Shaler’s toughest challenges during the regular season was a game against Bethel Park. The game had been rescheduled and some of Shaler’s players either showed up late or missed the game completely. Even with roster issues, Shaler still persevered and won the game.

“Once we got there and the game got going, it was a battle. Game went into extra innings and one of the late players came into the game in the 5th, and immediately hit a two run triple. We played in cold weather until after 10:30 p.m.. It was a fun night full of high emotions and we came out on top.”

Going into the playoffs the Titans were the top seed in the tournament.

Shaler started the playoffs with a first round bye due to their seed. Shaler’s quarter-final matchup would be against North Hills. The game was tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 6th when junior shortstop Hannah Guiste came up to bat with bases loaded and belted a three-run double to make the score 10-7.

The Titans would go on to hold North Hills in the top half of the 7th inning to win the game. Even though Shaler pulled out a hard fought victory in the quarter-finals, their next game would not be as difficult. Shaler defeated West Allegheny 16-6 in the semi-finals.

The finals would be played later that day against the only team to beat the Titans in the regular season, North Allegheny. Shaler was helped out in the championship game by an amazing double play by senior left fielder Caroline Radziminski who caught a fly ball and a then made a nice throw home to senior catcher Tia Jarosinski allowed her to make the tag for the double play. Shaler would go on to defeat North Allegheny 12-7 and secure the first WPISL title in school history.

“Winning the championship was so crazy. At first I didn’t believe that we actually did it. The Shaler Softball Club has never won the championship before. So I was really proud that my team was able to make history and win against North Allegheny in the end,” Guiste said.

The Titans journey to the championship was supported by contributions from the offense, defense, and pitching. Junior Tessa Bursick was a standout pitcher that tossed 13 strikeouts throughout the season. The Titans also had an explosive offense with 10 home runs hit on the season: Guiste (5), sophomore Megan Haynes (2), Bursick (1), and senior Savannah Yount (1).

The standout part of the season was the Titan defense. Outfielders Yount, Haynes, and Radziminski locked down the outfield all season making great plays all year. Catchers Jarosinski and senior Ana Hartz both helped the team cut down runs at the plate. The outstanding Titan infield was fielded by Guiste, senior Olivia Sperl, senior London Thom, senior Ashlee Woodrick, and senior Angelina Kusar.

“I just want these girls getting recognized for all their hard work. What they did was amazing,” Coach Bursick said.