SHIPPENVILLE — The 2017 D9Sports.com District 9 Softball Awards winners know nothing but championships over the past two seasons.
District 9 Class 1A champion DuBois Central Catholic, which secured its second straight title and its second consecutive trip to the PIAA semifinals, features Offensive Player of the Year Jordy Frank, Rookie of the Year Shay Gulvas and Manager of the Year George Heigel.
Meanwhile, four-time District 9 Class 2A champion Moniteau, which lost in the opening round of the PIAA Tournament, has the Most Valuable Player in senior Kennedy DeMatteis, who is also co-Pitcher of the Year with Punxsutawney’s Kylee Lingenfelter after the Lady Chucks took home a second consecutive D9 title (4A this year) before also falling in the opening round of the PIAA Tourney.
DeMatteis is the MVP for the second consecutive year (the award was instituted in 2016) after letting her pitching and hitting do the talking for the Lady Warriors, who went unbeaten in the regular season at 19-0 and cruised to their fourth straight D9 title by winning a pair of games by a combined score of 19-0 before falling to Chartiers-Houston, 1-0, in the PIAA first round.
Finishing off a brilliant four-year pitching career, DeMatteis was 21-1 with a 0.30 earned run average. In 94 innings of work, she struck out 167 while walking just 29.
An offensive standout as well, DeMatteis hit .507 with 12 doubles, a triple, a home run, 39 RBIs and eight stolen bases.
In her career, the Gannon recruit was 79-4 in the circle with a 1.38 ERA. She had 722 strikeouts in 456 innings of work. Offensively, she hit .587 with 49 doubles, 10 triples, nine home runs and 162 RBIs.
DeMatteis earned at least a share of the Pitcher of the Year Award for the second straight season (in the award’s second year).
Lingenfelter, a junior who has already committed to Penn State, was just as strong, going 14-1 with a 0.55 ERA. In 101 innings of work, she struck out 206 and walked 26.
In three seasons in the circle, Lingenfelter is 27-10 with a 0.89 ERA. She has 453 career strikeouts in 251 innings.
DCC senior Frank had a fantastic offensive year, hitting .548 with seven doubles, eight triples, 10 home runs and 56 RBIs for the champion Lady Cardinals. She also stole 12 bases and had a 1.779 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).
This is the second consecutive year Frank, a St. Francis (Pa.) recruit, has earned the D9Sports.com Offensive Player of the Year Award, which has been in existence for two years.
Gulvas, a freshman, burst onto the scene for DCC and immediately found herself not only in the middle of the Lady Cardinals lineup but also as the starting shortstop for a team that ended up winning its third D9 title in the last four years while making a second consecutive trip to the PIAA playoffs.
She hit .362 with six doubles, two home runs, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases while slugging .920.
In the award’s second year, Gulvas is the second DCC player to earn Rookie of the Year honors, joining 2016 recipient Ashley Wruble.
Heigel led DCC to a 23-2 record with the losses coming against one-loss Punxsutawney, a Class 4A team, and PIAA Class 1A champion West Greene in the PIAA semifinals.
The Lady Cardinals won the District 9 1A title for the second straight year and for the third time in four years, and DCC won a pair of PIAA playoff games for the second year in a row as well before falling to West Greene in the semifinals.
Heigel’s ability to mix youth with experience helped keep DCC humming and should keep the Lady Cardinals in contention for years to come.