Alle-Kiski Valley Campus Clippings: Seasons’ premature ends follow bright beginnings
Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 4:05 PM
College athletes throughout the country saw their spring seasons come to a sudden end and winter championships halted before completion as the NCAA and NAIA, within a couple of days, canceled all athletic activities amid the widening range of safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
But before the seasons were shelved, numerous college athletes who call the Alle-Kiski Valley home were making their mark in their various fields of competition.
Natalie Myers (Burrell) averaged 8.6 points and 9.6 rebounds for IUP in three Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament games earlier this month. She tallied 13 points and a game-best 12 rebounds in a 68-65 overtime victory over rival Cal (Pa.) in the quarterfinals March 4. Myers finished her senior season averaging 12.6 points and 7.5 rebounds. IUP, the PSAC tournament runner-up to Gannon, received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament and was scheduled to host the Atlantic Regional this past weekend.
Pitt-Greensburg: Brittany Dunn (Burrell) was off to a strong start as she made nine starts over 10 games. The sophomore batted .423 (11 for 26) with a .500 slugging percentage and a .516 on-base percentage. Dunn collected a pair of doubles and two RBIs, scored nine runs and added three stolen bases in as many attempts. She recorded four multi-hit games including 3-for-3 efforts against Northwestern (Minn.) and Mount Mary during her team’s spring trip to Florida.
Kayla Santucci (Burrell) started seven of her team’s 10 games. The freshman second baseman recorded her first collegiate hit, RBI and run scored in a loss to Webster on March 9. Santucci tallied a pair of multi-hit games and batted .375 (6 for 16).
Washington & Jefferson: Mollie Charlton (Apollo-Ridge) made seven starts in eight games. The freshman pitcher/outfielder made her collegiate debut against Penn State Brandywine on March 7 on her team’s spring trip to Florida and recorded her first two hits, one being a double, and knocked in her first career run the next day against North Park.
Gannon: Maria Taliani (Deer Lakes) helped the Lady Knights to a 9-8 overall record in a busy monthlong run. The senior outfielder batted .300 (15 for 50) with a team-best six home runs to go along with 11 runs batted in. She added four doubles and finished second on the team with 10 runs scored.
Mercyhurst: Peyton Manko (Freeport/Kiski School) got in the scoring column twice as the Lakers won all five of their games. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior midfielder scored his first of the season in Mercyhurst’s victory over Chestnut Hill (Pa.) on Feb. 22. He found the back of the net again to help the Lakers defeat Molloy (N.Y.) on March 7. He hoped to build on a 2019 sophomore season in which he collected seven goals and an assist in 14 games.
Wooster: Brad Root (Fox Chapel) kicked off his collegiate lacrosse career with two goals in four games played for the NCAA Division III Fighting Scots. The midfielder tallied his first goal Feb. 28 in Wooster’s 17-3 victory over Otterbein. He recorded his second in an 18-11 setback to Catholic University of America last Wednesday. The Fighting Scots ended their season 2-4.
Women’s indoor track
Point Park: Kiera Cutright (Deer Lakes) helped the Pioneer women’s distance medley relay place 11th overall in the preliminaries of the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Brookings, S.D., on March 5. The freshman ran the 400-meter leg as the quartet finished the 4,000 in 12 minutes, 25.85 seconds and missed the finals by three spots and 8 seconds in the 16-team field.
Washington & Jefferson: Evan Sante (Plum) batted .357 (10 for 28) in his truncated freshman season. The outfielder collected a hit in seven of his nine games and recorded two hits in a game three times. Sante belted four doubles, drove in three runs and scored five more for a W&J squad that finished 3-6 overall.
Nick Guercio (Knoch) batted .286 (6 for 21) in eight games for the Presidents. The senior outfielder tallied two hits and an RBI, his third of the season, with two runs scored in W&J’s 8-0 win over Washington (Mo.) last week.
Mercyhurst: Nicholas McRandal (Fox Chapel) earned the pitching victory for the Lakers in a 7-6 come-from-behind win over Ohio Dominican on March 6. The junior right-hander fired two scoreless innings of relief, giving up one hit and striking out one. He picked up the first out of the ninth with Mercyhurst clinging to a one-run lead.