Pray, Cisney Tri-Valley first-team picks

Two Juniata softball players were named to the Tri-Valley League’s first-team due to their outstanding work at the plate.

Juniata seniors Kristen Pray, a Robert Morris University commit, and Victoria Cisney both were in the league’s top five in hitting.

“They were a great 1-2 punch at the top of the line-up all year,” Juniata coach Brian Sheaffer said. “Both of them hit in the high .400s all year and could both hit for power and provided leadership.”

The two powered Juniata to the first round of the District 6 Class AA playoffs.

Pray hit .500 on the season and led the TVL in runs with 26, while Cisney hit .460 and was third in the league in RBIs (25).

“She was my lead-off hitter,” Sheaffer said. “She provided power and hit really well. She provided a lot of leadership.”

Cisney did the catching for Juniata all season and that, coupled with her gaudy batting average, made her a first-team selection.

“She showed a lot of leadership from behind the plate,” Sheaffer said. “She was a great partner for my freshman pitcher (Autumn Young) all year.”

Greenwood had two players make the league’s second team.

Amy Heggenstaller, a junior, was honored for her outstanding work in the circle.

Heggenstaller pitched the third most innings in the TVL (85) and was second in the conference in strikeouts.

“She stepped in and had to carry the entire workload for us,” Greenwood coach Troy Gantt said. “It took a toll on her, but she never once complained.”

The Wildcat had the fourth-best ERA in the conference (2.80), but only earned three wins thanks to the third-lowest scoring offense in the league (5.29 runs per game) and a questionable defense at times.

Another Greenwood player, freshman Nikki Willi, was honored as a second-team selection. Willi caught for Greenwood and hit third, typically a spot reserved for the team’s best hitter, most of the season. She was the only freshman on the second team.

“I think it’s a testament to her and how hard she worked in the offseason and during the season,” Gantt said. “She stepped in and handled the pitchers well and did a great job behind the plate.”

Both players will be back next year, hoping to build on the 2014 campaign.

East Juniata third baseman Meisha Heintzelman earned a spot on the league’s second-team thanks to her outstanding work at the plate.

“I’m glad she made it,” East Juniata coach Joe Schilling said. “I was hoping she would make the first-team. She was one heck of a third baseman.”

The Tigers’ junior hit .452 on the season, good for eighth best in the conference and second best on the East Juniata roster.

“She’s definitely a clutch hitter,” Schilling said. “You expected her to get on base and drive in runs.”

Heintzelman struck out just twice the entire season and sported a .613 on-base percentage.