Constantino Sisters Named To 2018 All-State Softball Team (07/03/18)
Lady Cats and sisters, Alexis and Kaitlyn Constantino have been selected by the Pennsylvania High School Softball Association (PHSSA) to their 2018 All-State Team in Class A. This may be the first time that Clarion Area siblings have been named All-State in the same sport for the same season.
Alexis, a senior, was named First Team at shortstop after being a Second Team selection in 2017. Kaitlyn, a sophomore, was selected to the Second Team at third base.
Alexis went 30-for-59, for a .508 batting average, driving in 22 runs. She had 10 extra-base hits (5 doubles, 4 triples and a homer run) and crossed the plate twenty-four times. She led the Lady Cats in three offensive categories, hits, runs and RBIs. Her .508 batting average tied her for 6th in the area.
Alexis was named to the All-KSAC Team and to the Tri-County Sunday/Courier Express All-Star Team.
A standout in volleyball, Alexis was also named All-State by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association (PVCA) as a libero. She will continue her volleyball career at Pitt Bradford.
Kaitlyn was Clarion’s lead off hitter. She went 27-for-58, for a .466 batting average. She drove in 13 runs and had three triples and scored a team high twenty-five runs.
Kaitlyn also saw considerable time in the circle for the Lady Cats, throwing 48 strikeouts in thirty-two innings.
Kaitlyn was also named to the 2017-18 All-KSAC Girls’ Basketball Team.
The girls shared some thoughts:
Alexis had this to say about being named, “In regards to making All-State: I am blessed and humbled to receive another All-State honor in softball! I have worked hard ever since I was about six years old and continued to work throughout my athletic career. To see all my hard work pay-off is very rewarding.”
And this past campaign? “In regards to the season: This season definitely was one to remember. Even though we didn’t go as far as we all wanted to, I had the privilege to play alongside the most selfless group of girls and coaches. What made the season even more memorable was being able to play with five other seniors who have grown up with me through the game.
“A special thank you to our amazing coaches, who have given up countless hours of their time to contribute in making us better!
“Thank you Coach Dan, Randy, Dave, John, Kait, and Jeff! #DSUKNOW.”
And about playing next to Kaitlyn, on the diamond, Alexis said, “It has been a pleasure to play alongside my sister my last year! I will miss her the most!”
Kaitlyn had this to say about being named All-State, “I was pleasantly surprised and when I found out that I made All-State. I knew that I worked very hard this year and put in countless hours, so I was very honored when I was told the news.”
About the 2018 season, she said, “I felt that our season went really well this year and I wish that we could’ve gone further. Nonetheless, this year was the most fun! There were many new experiences that our team faced like playing on turf at DuBois Central Catholic. Even though we have never played on turf before, we came out with a lead against a very good team.”
Kaitlyn shared about the fun of working with Alexis and their chemistry on the field, “Playing with my sister has been very enjoyable these past couple years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I could always communicate best with her on the field and court so it was very easy to make difficult plays work.”
On her coaches, Kaitlyn stated, “The coaches have helped me so much to get All-State and they always gave me the best advice to help me be the player I am today!”
The sisters have had a load of support and coaching from home, as parents Dave and Kim have been involved with them all along the way. Dave coached the girls in Little League and is an assistant with their travel ball team, the Tri-City Thunder. He also was a volunteer assistant with the Lady Cats this past season. Kim helped in various team aspects through the years, most notably, her fine photography work.
In addition Dave coached his daughters in junior high basketball.
Dave and Kim shared, “We are extremely proud of both our girls. Since the time they were five, they have had a bat and ball in their hands. When they were about eight and six both of them began pitching. Both girls took weekly pitching lessons from Ed Winger in Franklin. He’s Franklin’s varsity coach and currently Kate’s travel ball Coach. The girls are very appreciative of the time spent working with Ed.”In Little League, when Kate pitched, Alexis was short stop and when Alexis pitched, Kate played third (how ironic that those were the two positions they earned All-State in!).
“While Alexis’ passion to be a pitcher faded as she got into high school, Kate continued to love pitching. She meets with Ed to continue to push herself as a pitcher.
“The All-State being awarded to both of them is a testimony to their dedication, commitment, and hard work.”
Dave and Kim continued, “From the time they were in Little League, all the way through high school, both of them always came to practices, worked hard, and led by example. They have a strong work ethic in any sport they play. Both girls realize that God has blessed them with tremendous talents and that their faith plays a big role in who they are both on and off the field.”
This award is a nice going away present for Alexis. Dave and Kim shared “We are so happy that as sisters, they get to share this honor together, especially since Alexis is moving onto college.” And great for the sisters to share, “This was really neat for us to have both girls rewarded together for their hard work. It capped off a great senior season for Alexis to be named All-State in the fall for volleyball and softball in the spring. And for Kate to be rewarded for the amount of time she puts into softball.”
Clarion Area Softball Coach, Dan Shofestall had this to say about Alexis and Kaitlyn, “It was great to see two of our players named to the Pennsylvania All-State Softball Team and I’m thrilled for both Alexis and Kaitlyn. To be recognized and rewarded for their accomplishments at such a high level is something that is very, very special and I congratulate them both for it.”
Coach Shofestall shared this about his All-State shortstop, “Alexis had an outstanding year at the plate and on the field. Hitting wise she had a batting Average of .508 and a on base percentage of .515. Her OPS (on base plus slugging) was 1.295. In 17 games she collected 30 hits, including 5 doubles, 4 triples and 1 Homerun. She had 22 RBI’s while scoring 24 runs and only striking out 3 times. She hit very well in the clutch.
“Defensively at Shortstop she had 39 total chances and committed only one error. She was a part of turning 7 double plays with her teammates.”
And about his All-State third baseman, “Kaitlyn was our lead off hitter and did a lot of the things we like to see from our lead off position. She had a good selective eye at the plate as she hit for a .466 average while drawing 13 walks and a .563 on base percentage. Her OPS was 1.150. She recorded 27 hits with a double and 3 triples while only striking out 3 times. In addition to playing 3rd base Kaitlyn also pitched and had a 3-2 record and striking out 46 batters in 32 innings.”
Coach Shofestall concluded, “Once again I congratulate both girls. What an honor it is for Alexis and Kaitlyn being named to the Pennsylvania All State Softball Team and to be able to represent their Team, Teammates and coaches, their family and friends, their teachers and classmates and the Clarion Area School that they represent.”
Coach Winger, pitching instructor and Tri-City Thunder Coach, shared about the time he spent working with the Constantino sisters, “I worked with both Alexis and Kate when they were younger. At that time Alexis was the one with the potential to excel with pitching and Kaitlyn was the little girl who would pitch, get the ball back from Dad and immediately pitch again. She would work as long as we would allow.
“Alexis came to lessons intermittently for a couple of years, then became very devoted to volleyball. As pitching requires a great deal of devotion (and repetitions!), she gradually moved to other defensive positions on the softball field where she could still play a game she enjoyed without the stress and time required for pitching.
“Kaitlyn continued to work with Dave on pitching, worked on strength training and came to me for ‘tune-ups’ on mechanics and techniques occasionally. She remained dedicated to developing her strength and speed. I kept an eye on her performance with the Thunder 14U team as I continued to coach the 16U team. I recognized her athleticism, dedication and coachability and enjoyed every time that we were able to work together. She obviously realized at an early age that her development required focus, a good work ethic and a little help from someone who could give her direction. It is very satisfying to work with an athlete who is driven to succeed and has a great personality also.”
Coach Winger had this to say about the girls’ parents, “Dave and Kim are a true support system for their daughters, promoting the girls’ motivation to succeed while providing them with the opportunity of experience. They also stress, as do I, the importance of being a student/athlete and a well-rounded person with character. Dave has helped the Thunder organization as an assistant coach whenever requested and continues to do so with the 16U team this year.”
Coach Winger concluded, “I know Kaitlyn more than Alexis simply because of the time spent with her, but I know that both are fine young ladies of which their parents and coaches should be proud. I offer them my sincerest congratulations for the honors that recognize the hard work and dedication that both Alexis and Kaitlyn have devoted to their academics and athletic achievements. I am proud that they consider me a part of their development and their life. I know that they will both succeed at whatever they choose to do because of the type of people they are.”
Other players from around Districts Nine and Ten named 2018 All-State:
Punxsutawney’s Kylee Lingenfelter, who had a 15 strikeout, shutout performance in the circle in the Class AAAA State Championship Game was the Class AAAA Player of the Year.
Others from District Nine:
DuBois Central Catholic – Ashley Wruble, First Team pitcher (First Team first baseman as a freshman and sophomore); Mia Meholick, First Team catcher; Carley Semancik, First Team catcher; Shayleigh Gulvas, Second Team shortstop; Chelsea Busatto, Second Team designated player.
Elk County Catholic – Jenna Weisner, First Team second baseman; Josie Smith, Second Team Shortstop.
Clearfield – Brooke Cline, First Team shortstop; Aspen Bishop, First Team outfield.
Slippery Rock – Macy McCall, First Team third baseman; Cheyenne Hindman, Second Team pitcher.
Warren – Celia Chase, Second Team first baseman; Ellie Lobdell, Second Team pitcher; Lex Nyquist, Second Team shortstop.
(Thanks to All for your quotes and thanks to Kim Constantino for your photos. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALEXIS, KAITLYN, DAVE, KIM AND COACHES ON THIS FINE HONOR!!!! AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OTHERS FROM DISTRICTS NINE AND TEN WHO WERE NAMED!!!!)