The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


May 2, 2013

Jon Gerardi's softball column: Valley is home to great pitching


And it isn't just this batch of talented players, it's almost a revolving door of talented pitchers.

Before Tomaschik was in the circle for the Tigers, there was the talented Gabby Sabo in the mid-2000s.

Parker's making a run at taking Warrior Run's school strikeout record (791), a mark held by Laura Harris, who was in the circle in the early 2000s for the Defenders.

Mifflinburg is the best example of the nonstop talent carousel.

Before Lloyd, there was all-state pitcher Emily Crandell (970 career strikeouts), Jess Vonada before her -- who led Mifflinburg to a state title in 2004 -- and Lindsey Sampsell (2001 Daily Item Player of the Year) prior to that.

The Black Panthers had Kristi Weaver before Batman and Lincoln got into the circle. And prior to Weaver, there was 2009 Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year and four-time Daily Item Player of the Year Nicole Smith.

The Lady Ironmen have been led this year by Tara Fritz, but before her, there was 2012 second team Daily Item all-star pitcher Taryn Beaver.

When one graduates, the next kid is there to step up and continue to be successful.

"This area continuously improves from year to year. No matter who a team loses, they always seem to find someone good enough to replace them," Southern's Tomaschik said. "I just believe that the younger players who might not be playing now still continue to work hard and practice."

"They learn from the previous pitcher and work to improve. I think that the younger players from all teams in this area really step up when they're needed and get the job done," the Tigers' ace added.

So it comes as no surprise the success Valley pitchers are having this year.

Parker leads the way in strikeouts this year (145), followed by Tomaschik (115) and Alli Lloyd (80), based on statistics reported to The Daily Item.

In addition, 10 pitchers who have thrown at least three games this year have a winning record, with Parker, Tomaschik and Lloyd going a combined 30-7 so far this year.

Meanwhile, Batman and Lincoln have kept Milton in the playoff hunt while Rosini and Klembara have Lourdes in the district playoffs already.

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