HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: Tomaschik, Rosini top All-Area Softball selections
Success in sports can be defined as excelling when all eyes are on you.
If Southern Columbia's Mallory Tomaschik snuck up on every one as a junior, they were all keenly aware of what the already two-time News-Item Player of the Year could do with a bat in her hands.
And still, Tomaschik did an amazing amount of damage, clubbing eight home runs, to end with 22 round trippers for her career.
Tomaschik also caps her senior year with her third time headlining the News-Item's All-Area team as the 2013 Player of the Year, having also taken the honors as a freshman and junior.
But the competition for the area's top spot was more intense than in years past, and from none other than the area's other four-time All-Area selection and 2013's Pitcher of the Year, Lourdes' CharLee Rosini.
Rosini had a miniscule 2.20 earned run average with 84 strikeouts while playing against some of the state's best competition, including being right with Class A state champ Williams Valley in both Schuylkill League games this year.
The remainder of the All-Area team has a mix of steeled
veterans making another appearance on the squad, as well as some up-and-comers.
Southern Columbia's Kirstin Blass and Kayla Lavella once again join Tomaschik, while Tigers' freshman backstop Blair Johnston was steady behind the plate and has a bright future. Rosini is joined by teammates Peyton Klembara and Emily Long. Shamokin is represented by Jenny Hornberger, Helena Supsic and Olivia Bonshock, while Line Mountain's Kiana Lukoskie, another freshman catcher, rounds out the squad.
Tomaschik, who will be taking her considerable softball talents to Bloomsburg University next year, had better power numbers and a better batting average than when she was All-State as a junior.
She hit .371, her best average since hitting .420 as a freshman, and her eight homers trumped the seven she hit in 2012. Tomaschik added seven doubles, 20 runs batted in and 25 runs.
Tomaschik also pitched all but 1 1/3 innings for the Tigers, striking out 169 batters in 138 2/3 innings and posted a 2.47 ERA.
The Tigers' leader helped Southern to the District 4 Class AA quarterfinals after making it to the Class A state finals in 2012.
Rosini, also a four-year honoree on the All-Area team, was at her best as a senior. She helped get the Red Raiders to back-to-back District 4 postseasons.
Despite absorbing five losses against Williams Valley, Tri-Valley, Minersville and, in the playoffs, to Southern Columbia, Rosini still had a banner year in the circle.
She was also extremely feared for her offensive prowess. Rosini hit .427, second best in the area, with 10 doubles, four triples, two home runs, 20 runs scored and 34 RBIs.
Capsules for the remainder of the team follow.
Kayla Lavella Southern Columbia, sr.
Lavella had a quietly productive year for the Tigers to earn her second selection to the team. She hit .417 with eight doubles, two triples and one home run, in addition to 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Her production at the hot corner will be missed by the Tigers.
Kirstin Blass Southern Columbia, sr.
After hitting .520 as a sophomore and .494 as a junior, Blass's .319 average may seem a little low, but she was still the slickest fielding shortstop with the best arm in the area. She did add six doubles, a triple and two home runs to nine RBIs and 23 runs scored. Blass will be playing at the next level at Elizabethtown College.
Emily Long Lourdes, sr.
Long had a breakout year for the Red Raiders in helping them get to the District 4 playoffs. She hit .422 against quality pitching with five doubles, two triples and three home runs. She drove in 22 runs and scored 35 times. Long also flourished in centerfield, tracking down balls and showing good arm strength. One of only two outfielders on the All-Area team.
Jenny Hornberger Shamokin, jr.
The other outfielder, another center fielder, is Hornberger, who was also close to golden with her glove. Shamokin's only representative on the Heartland Conference All-Star team, Hornberger hit .379 with four doubles, 14 runs batted in and 27 runs. She led the team by drawing 15 walks.
Helena Supsic Shamokin, jr.
Supsic proved she was best at her natural position at shortstop, and moving there solidified the Indians' defense for a run to the District 4 playoffs. She led the area with a .446 batting average and had nine doubles, one triple, two home runs. She scored 22 runs and drove home another 26.
Olivia Bonshock Shamokin, jr.
Bonshock was a big-time producer for the Indians' offense. Her second straight selection to the All-Area team comes on the strength of a .418 batting average, seven doubles, one triple and two home runs. She scored 24 runs and drove home 30.
Peyton Klembara Lourdes, jr.
Klembara was a consummate leadoff hitter for the Red Raiders this year. She hit .403 and had 16 walks to go with 34 runs scored. She added five doubles, three triples, a home run and nine RBIs. Her true value defensively was a shortstop, but she took some innings away from Rosini in anticipation of being the Red Raiders' No. 1 hurler next year.
Blair Johnston Southern Columbia, fr.
The Tigers always seem to have at least one standout freshman each year, and this year was no different. Playing one of the most difficult and least glamorous positions on the diamond, Johnston held her own while being on the business end of plenty of Tomaschik's fast balls. She was a clutch contributor at the plate, hitting .315 with six doubles, four home runs, 20 RBIs and 16 runs. Her two-run home run against Lourdes in the playoffs tied the game that the Tigers eventually won.
Kiana Lukoskie Line Mountain, fr.
The Eagles had some bright spots this season despite not reaching the playoffs. Lukoskie was the brightest. Praised by head coach Jordan Taraschuk for being far ahead of the curve at running bases, Lukoskie had plenty of opportunities to practice. She hit .426 in Tri-Valley League games with two doubles, two triples, nine RBIs and 11 runs scored.