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Alsalahat earns PSCA all-state honor

OFHS grad plans to walk-on at University of Florida

Old Forge third baseman Andi Alsalahat was named to the PSCA All-State team.

On her way to college this past week, Old Forge’s Andi Alsalahat got some news she certainly wasn’t expecting but was still glad to hear.

Alsalahat was named to the Pennsylvania Softball Coach Association All-State team, earning First-Team honors on the Class 1A team as a third baseman. It’s the second time Alsalahat was named to the PSCA team. She earned honorable mention honors as a sophomore catcher in 2009 after the Blue Devils trip to the PIAA State Championship game.

“I actually found out about it while I was on my way to UF,” Alsalahat said of her trip south to the University of Florida. “First-Team All-State has been one of my goals since I first started playing softball. I was really shocked considering I didn’t make the league (first-team) team. But this makes up for it.

“To achieve this goal is one of the greatest feelings.”

Old Forge Head Coach Pat Revello was one person who wasn’t shocked to learn about Alsalahat’s selection.

“I was more surprised she wasn’t selected to the first-team in our league,” said Revello of Alsalahat being named to just second-team on the Lackawanna Division II Coaches All-Star Team. “It’s a shame the coaches in our league didn’t recognize what the coaches around the state did. She has worked on her game year round ever since I’ve know her. She has been a leader since the first day she came to us as a freshman, and the toughness she has shown throughout her career, playing through injuries, is a credit to her.

“The honor given to her is very deserving.”

Alsalahat burst onto the scene as a freshman third baseman, helping lead the Blue Devils to their first-ever District 2 Class 1A championship as an explosive hitter. She moved behind the plate as a sophomore and was rewarded with an honorable mention selection on the PSCA team in 2009 after Old Forge played for the PIAA State Championship

A few position changes during the years that followed due to injuries to her knee and throwing shoulder didn’t affect Alsalahat at the plate as remained one of the most feared hitters in all of District 2.

Her career stats saw her hit .355 with 60 RBI and 10 home runs in over 100 games for Old Forge. As a senior, Alsalahat batted .440 with 15 RBI and four homers. She also had a hit in 20 of Old Forge’s 24 games in 2011. The Blue Devils went 74-30 during Alsalahat’s four seasons.

“(The honor) shows how well out program has done and is doing,” said Alsalahat, who plans on trying out for the nationally ranked University of Florida squad later this month. “We have gained a lot of respect for playing in a very competitive division with all bigger schools. It’s also a tribute to the great coaching staff we have.”

Alsalahat was the only District 2 player selected to the Class 1A team, and was one of just two third baseman selected – the other being Sto-Rox senior Vicky Vuljanic. Other notable selections to the PIAA Class 1A All-State squad include Anna Heggenstaller, Salene Shaffer, and AJ Seigel of Greenwood; and Brianna Jennings, Gabby Edsel and Bobbi Jo Loyack of Wyalusing. Other Lackawanna League selections include, Valley View’s Gina Chieffalo and Liz Aniska, Abington Heights’s Katie Stevens, and Elk Lake’s Brooke Darling and Gabby Baltzley.

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