Tori Vega And Kaitlyn Constantino To Compete In 1st Annual D9 North/South Softball Challenge (07/10/20)

Recently graduated Clarion Area softball players Tori Vega and Kait Constantino have been invited to participate in the 1st Annual D9 North/South Softball Challenge.

Tori and Kaitlyn were members that reached the PIAA State Quarterfinals, in their 2019 junior season. But, as all the girls participating in the game, their senior season didn’t happen, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Tori at the plate in an early season game in 2019

The event will take place at Heindl Field in DuBois, next Wednesday, July 15th, beginning at 6:00PM, and will consist of a double-header, with each game scheduled for six innings, so all the participants will get ample playing time.

The D9 North/South Softball Challenge is the brainchild of St. Marys assistant coach Chris Shaw. In correspondence to players and their families, Coach Shaw explained the reason for the event. “Like many of you, there was a lot of disappointment in our household this spring when softball season got canceled, wiping out our daughters’ senior seasons of softball. As a result, I was thinking for sometime of how we might be able to honor these girls by having one last game, where they could take the field with some of their District 9 softball peers.

“Once the state gave the go ahead to move our area into the “Green” Covid-19 phase, I started reaching out to a few other schools to gauge interest in trying to hold some kind of game. All though we are very late in trying to make this happen, it came together very fast over the past two weeks.

“I’m pleased to announce, that thanks to all of you and your willingness to participate, we will be holding the first annual D9 North/South Softball Challenge…”

Kaitlyn Constantino delivering a pitch in 2019 PIAA quarterfinal game

The games will have unlimited substitutions to ensure that each player sees a good amount of playing time. Due to lack of pitchers, the girls in the circle may have to do double duty, and pitch for both teams.

Tori and Kaitlyn are selected to the South Squad, which consists of players from Clarion, Brockway, Clearfield, Curwensville, DuBois, DuBois Central Catholic, Karns City and Punxsutawney and will be managed by George Heigel from DuBois Central Catholic.

The North will feature players from Elk County Catholic, Kane, Johnsonburg, Ridgway and St. Marys, with Coach Shaw as manager.

Organizers are hoping to have the game either live streamed or broadcast on the radio.

Coach Shaw said, “This event is about honoring our Seniors, period. While we will practice to try and shake off some rust to perform our best, the game will be a success regardless of the outcome. It is not about winning or losing!”

(Thanks to Coach Shaw for organizing this event! Congratulations to Tori, Kaitlyn and all the girls who were selected!!!!)

South Roster:

Clarion – Tori Vega and Kaitlyn Constantino; Brockway – Emma Cavalline, Katie McMeekin, Mackenszie Overbeck; Clearfield – Kyra Mollora, Alyssa Twigg; Curwensville (no player names available as of posting); DuBois – Maddie Ho; DuBois Central Catholic – Jordy Kosko, Shay Gulvas; Karns City – Logan Byers; Punxsutawney – Holly Hartman, Madison Stonebraker; Manager George Heigel; Coach Ed Gulvas.

North Roster:

Elk County Catholic – Hannah Barnett, Maddie Taylor, Ellie Fledderman; Johnsonburg – Maria Jones; Kane – Hatlyn Young, Kennedy Himes, Rachel Danielson, Alyssa Oakes; St. Marys – Megan McMakin, Tessa Grotzinger, Maura Fledderman, Allison Schlimm, Britney Shaw, Maddie Bowes; Manager – Chris Shaw; Coaches – Dave Grotzinger, Eric Weisner, Aaron Bowes, Pat McMackin.