June 27th, 2015 1:47 am

First Posted: 9/12/2013

A coach is only as good as his/her players. We would like to introduce to you 12 young ladies who dedicated their summer to play softball. They practiced twice a day and wore their scrapes and bruises like beauty marks.

Kari Melberger, Stephania Nowak, Lily Harden, Nicole Silinskie, Kaitlyn Slusser, Evan Freeman, Ellie Glatz, Mackenzie Nocchi, Erika Holweg, Abigail Drendal, Lynzie Skoronski and Olivia Kwiatkowski make up the 2013 Greater Wyoming Area 9-10-year-old All-Star softball team.

This team played a total of 17 games together. Their record is 16-1, with the only loss coming in the state semifinals. They are District 31 champions, Section 5 champions, undefeated in pool play in the Eastern Pool and finished third in the state. They recently won the Mountain Top Classic tournament with a 5-0 record. In 17 games, this team outscored its opponents, 176-32.

Each girl brought something special to the team. Stephanie and Kari took care of the pitching. Together, they had 132 strikeouts and only 23 walks in 17 games. Between the two of them, they pitched four no-hitters and three one-hitters.

Lily and Ellie led the team in hitting. Ellie batted .738 and Lily was close behind at .600. Kaitlyn was our switch hitter and had several key bunts from the left side.

In the field, Nicole played aggressively at third base - so aggressive that our shortstop only saw two balls get through Nicole’s defense. Nicole was fearless when a batter showed bunt and would come close to catching the ball off the bat on a bunt. Evan played centerfield and showed great awareness and ability.

Olivia, Erika, Abigail and Lynzie rotated in leftfield and catcher. They all contributed in many ways with great base running and solid play in the field. The rock of this team was our catcher Mackenzie. She caught the entire state tournament and the entire Mountain Top tournament. Mack’s spirit was always high. She wasn’t always 100 percent but she played 110 percent every day.

Looking back, we had people tell us, “You are going to ruin your summer” or “get ready to lose your vacation.” Truth is, this was the BEST summer we ever had. We were very lucky to be able to coach a very talented group of young ladies. We still have some unfinished business but there is always next year.

Special thank you to Brianna Pizzano and Tinsley Sarnak for playing with us in the Mountain Top Classic. Thank you to all of the parents, fans, Greater Wyoming Area Little League and West Pittston Little League who supported us through our journey.

Rob Nowak,


Gary Slusser

Tom Harden,