Norwin softball swings for the fences


Sydney Lokay

Sydney Lokay and Madie Kessler pose with their home run balls.

Julie Chenot, Writer

      Published April 25th

     Norwin Lady Knights softball, led by a core of college committed seniors, are off to a hot start.  The Knights are coached by Brian Mesich and  last played as a team in the spring of 2019 when they won the section title shared with 5-time defending WPIAL champions Hempfield .  

     That 2019 team lost in the WPIAL semifinal to North Allegheny, and almost two years later, the team looks to go the distance.  Led by college commits Sydney Lokay (Westminster), Bailee Bertani (Robert Morris), and Liz Waszkiewicz (Fairmont State), the Lady Knights are 3-0 in their first games.  

      “Our biggest goal is to be solo section champs this season,” said sophomore outfielder Madie Kessler.

      That goal is not far out of reach after beating North Allegheny 9-2 on April 13 behind home runs from Lokay and Kessler, as well as beating Pine-Richland 3-2 and Butler 10-0.  Lokay also threw a no-hitter against Butler.  

     The team had 5 players selected to the 6A “players to watch”: Lokay, Angelina Pepe (pitcher), Mallory Wendell (infield), Kessler, and Bertani.  Other important players for the Lady Knights are Olivia Mastrilli (infield), and Julianna Shimko (pitcher).

       “One of our team’s biggest improvements this season is playing as a team as opposed to individuals,” said Kessler. “One improvement we should still make is that I think we still need to be more disciplined at the plate.”

    The Lady Knights will continue to make their way through their section that includes PIne Richland, North Allegheny , Butler, Seneca Valley, and Hempfield.  Their next game will be on Tuesday, April 20 against Hempfield, and they rematch with rival North Allegheny on April 26.

     As the team continues to work hard, COVID-19 looms, as a 10-day program shutdown could jeopardize up to 6 games for the team.  

     “I think the biggest challenge really is wearing masks and being very diligent,” said Kessler.  “Being contact traced and having to quarantine could be season ending for the team or for any person on the team.”

     Under the leadership of seniors and Coach Mesich, this team will continue to swing for the fences.