Trumbull stars take sweep of Mahoning


Jena Debiec of Howland and Mathews’ Emily Paris hit home runs in the annual contests at Candlelite Knolls.


Vindicator sports correspondent

BAZETTA — Howland senior Jena Debiec stood along the left field fence with her softball bag strapped to her back and the game ball in her left hand.

Like many of the best senior softball players from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana Counties, Debiec played the final softball game of her career in the Mahoning Valley All-Star softball doubleheader at Candlelite Knolls.

And it was her three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning propelled the Trumbull County White squad to a 12-7 victory in the opener.

“It was an honor to hit a home run in an all-star game like this,” Debiec said. “I’m not one that tries to kill the ball. I just try to put the bat on it.”

Debiec said she will attend Duquesne University next fall, but won’t continue her softball career.

“It’s sad that it’s over, but it was exciting to have it end with a win,” she said. “You can’t ask for a better ending than that.”

Warren JFK’s Rachel Pico tossed four innings of one-hit ball. She struck out eight of the 12 batters she faced.

Pico said she felt comfortable dealing against the best hitters from Mahoning and Columbiana Counties.

“I know a lot of the girls on the Mahoning team from playing summer ball,” she said. “So I had an idea of how to attack them.”

Pico, who plans on playing softball while attending John Carroll University, said it’s been bittersweet watching her high school softball career wind down.

“I’m not giving my high school uniform back [to JFK], no way,” she said. “CC [DeWees], Morgan [Piacquadio] and I played in a regional all-star game last night at Akron Firestone. After losing in the [Division IV] regional final we wanted to finish our season with a win. The nice thing about these games is that the atmosphere is relaxed. Tonight, I was excited to sit the bench and rely on my special teammates.”

Mooney’s Kelcie Herberger led the Red Squad with two RBI singles.

Herberger said it was a welcomed change to be teammates with some of her rivals from the regular season.

“It’s great to play with the girls from Ursuline [Miranda Carkido and Rebecca Hartz] because you get to see the other side of them. For the first time you’re not trying to beat them.”

Herberger said she will attend Youngstown State and focus on academics.

“I’ll miss being with my friends,” she said. “We’ve played softball together for the last 12 years and now we’re all going in different directions.”

Tarra Snyder of Maplewood led the White Squad with three runs and two hits, DeWees had two runs and two hits and Debiec scored twice.

The White Squad hit back-to-back homers in the fifth inning when Maplewood’s Emily Paris launched a solo shot on the heels of Debiec’s long ball.

The Trumbull County All-Stars kept the offense rolling with an 8-2 triumph in the nightcap.

Newton Falls’ Blaine Chapman doubled, led the White Squad with three hits and also threw three innings of one-run ball.

“I was a little nervous as the game was about to begin, but I was excited too,” Chapman said. “I was trying to play well, but not trying too hard.”

Champion’s Ashley Rable collected two hits, Hubbard’s Meagan Schultz doubled and had two RBI’s while Hubbard teammate Jessica Lunt scored three times.

United’s Brooke McCartney hit a RBI double to lead the Red Squad.

All donations made on behalf of the Mahoning Valley All-Star softball event will benefit Potential Development Inc. to raise autism awareness.





Rachel Pico, Abagael Nicholas (5) and Melyssa Spowart; Ellen Becker, Heidi Soriano (6) and Erin Briceland. HR—Jena Debiec (T), Emily Paris (T).


Scoring by innings not available.

Erica Burkey, Ellen Becker (5) and Makenzie Lewis; Abby Bensing, Blaine Chapman (3), Bensing (6) and Jessica Lunt and Katie Saluga (3). 2B—Blaine Chapman (T), Meagan Schultz (T), Brooke McCartney (M).