Last updated: April 08. 2014 12:12AM - 3148 Views
By Bill Arsenault For the Times Leader

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Zach Ell has become a solid member of the Penn State baseball team.

Ell (Holy Redeemer) is starting in right field for the Nittany Lions and is hitting .272 (22-for-81) with five doubles, six RBI, 11 runs scored and five stolen bases. In the field, he’s made just one error on 65 chances (.985).

“Zach has really taken on a leadership role as a senior,” coach Rob Cooper said. “I am really proud of how hard he has worked to improve his game.”

The coach felt that early in the season Ell was pressing too much and putting a lot of pressure on himself to perform.

“But lately, we have seen him play the game much more relaxed,” Cooper said. “He is the type of player that I wish I could coach for a longer period of time.”

Penn State is 15-14 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten Conference and has a big three-game series against Ohio State this weekend in Columbus.

KOBESKI’S A LEADER – Senior Matt Kobeski (Pittston Area) is helping the Graceland baseball team both on and off the field. The senior outfielder is hitting .343 (36-for-103) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, eight RBI and 16 runs scored. The left fielder has made three errors on 58 chances (.948)

“Matt has improved every year in his talent, his mental toughness, his work ethic and, most importantly, for his leadership this year,” coach Brady McKillip said. “He’s one of six seniors so the leadership is crucial to our young team not only on the field but also in helping the younger players understand how the program is run and what things are expected to be done so they can pass it on to future players.”

Kobeski started his career at Graceland as a second baseman but moved to the outfield. He injured his ankle early last year and never really recovered until he had surgery this past summer.

“Even with the injury last season, you never once heard Matt complain about it or feel sorry for himself,” McKillip said. “He is one of the most mentally tough kids I have had in my program and he has really worked to get that way.”

The Yellowjackets, out of Lamoni, IA, are 15-20 overall and 7-9 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

SHORT SEASON FOR SCOCOZZO – Sophomore Mia Scocozzo (Meyers) and her Cabrini women’s tennis teammates have played just one match this spring. The others have been postponed or canceled because of the weather.

Scocozzo helped in No. 2 doubles win 8-4 but the Cavaliers dropped a 6-3 decision to Division II Philadelphia Sciences. Counting her fall campaign, Scocozzo is 5-9 in doubles and 1-3 in singles.

“Mia has been a vital part of the team the past two years,” coach Chris Brown said. “She has played in several different spots from No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to No. 5 and No. 6 singles.”

The coach is amazed with her play and her dedication to improving her game.

“She was a vital role player and helped our team get to the conference (Colonial States Athletic Conference) semifinals last fall, coming up with some great wins at the third doubles position.”

SCIALPI A BIG HIT – The Keystone softball team is just 4-12 overall and 1-7 in the Colonial States Athletic Conference but freshman Antonette Scialpi is doing the job at the plate for the Giants.

Scialpi (Pittston Area) is hitting .345 (19-for-54) with three doubles, four RBI and eight runs scored. She was 3-for-6 in a doubleheader loss to Immaculata last Sunday. At shortstop, she has made four errors on 52 chances (.923).

“Antonette, or ‘AT’ as we call her, is doing well adjusting to the college game,” coach Renee Barrows said. “She expects a lot out of herself and is always going to push herself to excel. She has been hitting in the top five in the lineup and coming through in recent games.”

The Giants are off to a slow start, mainly because of limited action on the field. They had 12 of their first 22 games postponed or canceled by the weather.

DUTZ LEADS THE WAY – Regina Dutz (Hazleton Area) is not only one of the top performers on the Duquesne women’s rowing team, but the senior was voted team captain by her teammates.

“Regina has been a great asset to the team this year,” coach Jennifer Langzettel said. “She is a great leader and this spring she earned a seat in the varsity eight boat through her hard work and dedication to her training in the fall and winter.”

Dutz sits in three seat for the Dukes.

“The boat is still working to make improvements and gain speed every day,” Langzettel said. “We have some difficult races ahead and that will show us where we stand within the conference.”

And, the coach knows that Dutz will be leading the workouts.

“Regardless of what boat or what seat Gina is in she is always one of our hardest workers both on and off the water,” Langzettel said. “She leads by example in her work ethic and is also a great mentor to the younger members of the team.”

BASSHAM CHIPPING IN – Freshman Dylan Bassham has scored two goals and has three assists for the Rollins men’s lacrosse team. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound midfielder from Mountain Top (Wyoming Seminary) collected his first collegiate goal in a 9-8 loss to Catawba. He had a goal and an assist in a 15-3 triumph over Lynn.

“Dylan has evolved into a contributor on our team this spring,” coach RJ Rossi said. “As with many frosh, the adjustment took a little while but Dylan has worked incredibly hard and has proven himself.”

The coach is expecting big things from Bassham at Rollins.

“Besides lacrosse, Dylan is a wonderful young man that is well liked by all of his teammates and is a positive contributor to the overall Rollins community,” Rossi said.

MACHALICK A QUICK LEARNER – Freshman Alex Machalick (Crestwood) is 3-2 at No. 4 and 5 singles and 3-2 at No. 2 doubles for the Elizabethtown men’s tennis team, which is 3-3 this spring. He played with the men’s soccer team last fall.

“Alex has been an essential addition to our team after playing soccer in the fall and immediately found his way into our lineup,” coach Matt Helsel said. “He’s very athletic and a tough competitor which is evident by his early success in both singles and doubles.”

The coach also calls Machalick a quick learner.

“Alex improves every day and has a lot of potential to be a big contributor for us over the coming seasons,” Helsel said.

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