CLARION, Pa. – During a four-year standout career at DuBois Central Catholic, Ashley Wruble did whatever manager George Heigel needed her to do.
(Photo of DCC’s Ashley Wruble. Photo by Jared Bakaysa of JB Graphics. See more of Bakaysa’s work here)
This year was no different, as Wruble split time between pitching and playing second base and helped lead the Lady Cardinals to the PIAA Class 1A Championship Game for the first time in school history and to their third District 9 title in the past four years.
That is a big reason why Wruble is the D9Sports.com District 9 Softball MVP as well as the Offensive Player of the Year.
Joining Wruble in being honored are Clarion’s Kait Constantino as the Pitcher of the Year, Clearfield’s Emma Hipps Rookie of the Year and Cranberry’s Glenn Barcinas as the Coach of the Year.
2019 D9SPORTS.COM SOFTBALL AWARDS
MVP AND OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ashley Wruble, Senior, DuBois Central Catholic
Wruble hit an incredible .632 (55 of 87) with six home runs, 10 doubles, seven triples, 46 RBIs and 47 runs scored for DCC while getting on base at a .679 clip and recording a video-game like OPS of 1.794.
In the circle, she was 13-1 with a 1.79 ERA. In 58 ⅔ innings of work, she struck out 56 and walked 18.
The two awards cap off an award-filled career for Wruble who was also the D9Sports.com District 9 Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2016 and the D9Sports.com Offensive Player of the Year in 2018.
Wruble earning back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year awards means that in the four years of the awards, DCC has owned the Offensive Player of the Year with Jordy Frank winning the award in 2016 and 2017.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Kait Constantino, Junior, Clarion
Constantino came into her own this season and ended up being nearly unhittable giving up just 95 hits in 144 innings of work including 39 in 63 postseason innings. She went 16-6 on the year with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP while striking out 245.
In the postseason, Constantino was 4-2 with a 1.22 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 63 innings of work.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Emma Hipps, Freshman, Clearfield
Hipps nearly single-handily put the Lady Bison back on the softball map this year with her arm and her bat pitching and hitting Clearfield to the District 9 Class 3A title and a spot in the PIAA semifinals.
In the circle, she was 13-9 with a 1.54 ERA. In 149 ⅔ innings of work, she struck out 241 and walked 42.
At the plate, Hipps hit a team-leading .416 with six home runs, eight doubles, a triple and 18 RBIs while recording a 1.250 OPS.
COACH OF THE YEAR: Glenn Barcinas, Cranberry
Barcinas helped guide a solid team without many superstars to its second straight District 9 Class 2A championship and to the PIAA semifinals for the first time in school history.
The Berries played with a never-say-die attitude all year long including in the PIAA playoffs where they rallied to beat WPIAL champion Laurel in the quarterfinals and then rallied from two runs down in the top of the seventh to tie eventual state champion Frazier in the semifinals before losing on a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh.
The season didn’t start out great for Cranberry, as the Berries were just 6-5 following a loss to Clarion May 2 before winning their next nine games to reach the PIAA semifinals.