By Matt Popchock

In the eyes of Mr. High School Sports, great ballplayers aren’t just a dime a dozen…they’re a “Diamond Dozen.”  So starting with the first full week of the regular season, he’ll be giving shout-outs to some of the top baseball and softball players in the WPIAL from the past week.

Because Mother Nature was unkind to us last week, it’ll be a “Diamond Half-Dozen” for Week 2 of the regular season.  Nevertheless, this will be a regular feature of the blog throughout the spring, and if you know a player you think is worth a mention, please feel free to comment below.

Here are a few of last week’s scholastic stars:

Tara Knopka, Peters Twp. – ten strikeouts, three hits in 10-0 non-section win over Ringgold last Tuesday

Casey Moses, Burrell – 11 strikeouts and just two walks in Section 3 opener, a 7-4 win over Freeport last Thursday

Taylor Sherry, Brentwood – nine strikeouts, no-hitter in 4-0 non-section win over North Catholic last Tuesday

Alain Girman, Serra Catholic – 6 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K in 9-0 non-section win over East Allegheny last Tuesday

Dylan Wolsonovich, Ford City – game-winning three-run triple in top of 7th inning in 3-2 non-section win over Knoch last Thursday

Mike Nowicki, Greensburg-Salem – 4-for-5, triple, game-winning run in top of 8th, winning pitcher in 10-9 non-section win over Hempfield last Tuesday


ON DECK: On Wednesday Mr. High School Sports will travel to Matulevic Field at Shaler, weather permitting, for North Allegheny’s Class AAAA Section 1 opener against the Titans, as the Tigers’ WPIAL title rematch with Pine-Richland was postponed.  Shaler shortstop Ben Mulig was one of Quad-A’s top hitters in 2010, and NA catcher Cody Gaertner is coming off a big day at the plate in an extra-inning victory at Latrobe last week.

IN THE HOLE: On Thursday Mr. High School Sports is headed to Steeler (training camp) Country, as Connellsville opens Section 1 play against host Latrobe in Class AAAA softball action.  Wildcats catcher/flex player Kelsey Zoppetti led the offensive attack in a season-opening win over Bethel Park last week, while pitcher Megan Uher looks to pick up where she left off after a strong 2010 campaign for the Falcons.

For continuing coverage of WPIAL baseball and softball, be sure to check back with Mr. High School Sports throughout the 2011 season!

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