Westmoreland athletes of the week: Latrobe’s Ryan Augustine, Hempfield’s Ali Belgiovane
Claim to fame: Augustine, who finished with a .338 batting average this season, went 2 for 3 with an RBI to lead Latrobe (24-2) to a 7-0 win over Whitehall in the PIAA Class 5A title game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on June 15. Augustine, who had three doubles, a triple, 17 RBIs and 13 runs scored this season, scored a run in the Wildcats’ 2-1 win over Springfield-Delco in the semifinals June 12.
“We have been practicing a lot on working on key situations. We were working on getting in deep counts with the opposing pitchers,” Augustine said.
What are your college plans?
I will play baseball at St. Vincent and study accounting. My dad works there, and my brother goes there. I love the coaching staff, and they have a very good business program. I’m going to get a good education there.
What was the key to the PIAA title win?
Honestly, we were doing what we know, what we do best. We just treated it like any other game. We got on them early and added some late. We had some stellar defense.
How does it feel to win the first PIAA title in school history?
It’s an unbelievable feeling to leave our mark on the school. It’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I think my teammates will remember it for the rest of their lives, too.
What was it like to celebrate the title on the tarp?
It was amazing. The tarp was soaked in water. We all decided to slide and dog pile on it. We got up and started hugging each other. Celebrating the first state title, what can beat that?
What is your favorite memory from your time at Latrobe?
This year. We made it further than we ever made it. After we won the WPIAL title, we didn’t have much to lose. We didn’t make it that far before. It would have been a great season for us. The state title was just icing on the cake; I’m glad we were able to go that far.
Claim to fame: Belgiovane, who finished with a .452 batting average, two doubles, a triple, 16 RBIs and 34 runs scored this season, went 4 for 4 with a run scored to help Hempfield (27-0) to a 5-3 win over Hazleton in the PIAA Class 6A title game at Penn State’s Nittany Lion Softball Park on June 15.
“We really had a great season, and I was really pleased on how we all performed. We all had a role on the team. We all picked each other up. We were able to win all these games and earn all these accomplishments,” Belgiovane said.
What are your college plans?
I will be going to Pitt-Johnstown to play softball and study finance. It’s a beautiful campus that looks like a ski lodge. It has a homey feel. I really like the coach, and I’m excited to play for her.
What is it like to be the leadoff hitter?
It was my top goal to see a lot of pitches so I can report back to my teammates. I want to just get things started and hopefully get bunted over to get the first run in as soon as possible.
What was it like to end your career on an undefeated team?
It was such a blessing and honor to go out like that and win every title we could. It was a wonderful way to end it. I was really happy I could enjoy my final game with all the seniors and the girls below us.
How does it feel to end your career with back-to-back PIAA titles?
It’s an amazing accomplishment. I’m glad we were able to end it like that and repeat with what we did last year. It was such an honor to play for Coach Kalp, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the players on the team.
What was your favorite moment during your career?
My senior year was my favorite year. Winning the state championship and coming home to a police escort into town was awesome. I was able to enjoy that moment with my team and family.