Sometimes all it takes is good, old-fashioned hard work to be successful.
Penn Cambria softball player Kate Reese can attest to that.
That hard work not only helped lead the Lady Panthers to a 12-2 record this season, it helped land the senior an opportunity to pitch at Point Park College.
"We noticed her committment and willingness to dedicate herself to being a pitcher," Penn Cambria coach John Casale said. "Early on [in her career], we saw her work ethic was exceptional."
"It's a real honor [to play at the next level] and I'm very thankful for the resources I have - my dad especially," Reese said. "He pushes me very hard."
Reese also credits independent pitching coach Jim Peracchino.
"I'm very thankful for his help," she said of Peracchino. "He has a facility in South Fork. He told me I could go down there whenever I needed to. He was always there for me and was always there to help work on my pitching."
"We brought her on slow," Casale said. "She developed speed and quality of pitches. Her fastball increased in speed every year. We saw her development was in big strides."
This season from the circle, Reese accumulated one perfect game, four shutouts, three no-hitters, one one-hitter, three two-hitters, three three-hitters, one save and had two games with 14 or more strikeouts. She also fanned 13 in an opening-round win over Richland in the district playoffs.
But four years ago, the Penn Cambria softball program was barely a blip on the map.
"My first year, winning and losing wasn't important," admitted Casale, whose first season as coach was Reese's freshman year. "We've really come along and she's a big part of that."
Reese selected Point Park over La Roche, Mount Aloysius and Charleston (W.Va.).
"When it got close to making a decision, I had it narrowed down to Point Park and La Roche. I actually made a couple of visits to Point Park," she said, also noting that finding a school to support her desire to pursue elementary and special education was important. "I found out after my visits that they were approved of their master's program, their certification. I really like how the whole education department is set up."