College Corner: Hamburg grad Hepner reaching new heights at Shippensburg

Shippensburg pole vaulter Kali Hepner (Hamburg). (Photo courtesy Shippensburg athletics)
Shippensburg pole vaulter Kali Hepner (Hamburg). (Photo courtesy Shippensburg athletics)

Kali Hepner (Hamburg) >> The Shippensburg junior finished third in the pole vault at the Colonial Relays on April 1 in Williamsburg, Va. Hepner cleared 11 feet, 11¾ inches, a personal record outdoors that ranks second on the PSAC performance list and is an NCAA Division II provisional height. She just missed tying her indoor personal best of 12 feet recorded at Kutztown on Feb. 8. She opened the outdoor season by finishing second at the Fred Hardy Invitational on March 24 in Richmond, Va. with an 11 foot, 5 ¾ inch effort.

Melanie Haas (Hamburg) >> The freshman is 4-5 in singles and 4-5 in doubles with the Lebanon Valley women’s tennis team. She’s 1-1 at No. 2 singles and 3-4 at No. 3 singles. In doubles, she’s 3-0 with sophomore Allison Weidman as a partner. Senior Alyssa Potosnak (Brandywine Heights) is 4-2 at No. 3 and No; 4 singles and 3-2 at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The Dutchwomen are 7-4 overall and 2-0 in MAC Commonwealth play after a 6-3 victory over King’s on April 2. Both Haas and Potosnak won their singles and doubles matches.

Andrew Gernert (Kutztown) >> The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior picked up his second win of the season for the West Chester baseball team in a 12-2 PSAC victory over East Stroudsburg on March 25. He worked six innings and gave up four hits and two runs, one earned, with a walk and a season-high eight strikeouts. He started and worked 4.2 innings in a 2-1 eight-inning league victory over Shippensburg on April second that lifted the Golden Rams to 14-5 overall and 6-2 in league play. In 22.1 innings, Gernert has given up 24 hits and 17 runs, 12 earned, with seven walks and 20 strikeouts.

Todd Reedy (Kutztown) >> The freshman played his first match of the spring for the Lebanon Valley men’s golf team at the LVC Spring Invitational on April 3 in Lebanon. Reedy tied for 16th with a score of 81 to help the Blue Team capture the title ahead of 11 other teams with a total score of 307. It was the lowest round as a collegiate for Reedy. The Dutchmen are prepping for the Middle Atlantic Conference Championship on April 29-30 in Hershey.

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Bekah Slattery (Daniel Boone) >> Bekah Slattery had a big freshman season pitching for the Lock Haven softball team. She was named PSAC Central Pitcher of the Year and was an NCAA Division II Atlantic Region first team selection after going 22-9 with a 1.62 earned run average with nine shutouts and 187 strikeouts.

So, when the sophomore from Douglassville (Daniel Boone) started this season 0-5, people who follow the team were surprised, if not shocked. But that was then and this is now.

Slattery posted back-to-back shutouts on April 1-2 and was her old self in both of them. On April 1, the left-hander gave up just a fourth inning single in a seven-inning complete game 4-0 PSAC victory over Pitt-Johnstown in Lock Haven. She walked two and struck out five. The next day, she scattered five hits, walked one and struck out five in a 1-0 league victory over Indiana, also in Lock Haven.

“Bekah struggled to find her rhythm early this season,” coach Kelly Shannon said. “She’s the kind of kid that won’t rest until she’s at the top of her game so at some point, we knew she would break out.”

The two shutouts helped pad her season statistics. She’s 6-7 with a 3.16 earned run average in 14 games with 12 starts with 10 complete games. In 79.2 innings, she’s given up 92 hits and 54 runs, 36 earned, with 32 walks and 68 strikeouts.

“Bekah works very hard to improve her game each day and is never satisfied,” Shannon said. “She did a great job in both shutouts. She executed our game plan, working ahead of batters which helped keep our defense at ease and playing confident.”

The Bald Eagles won the second game against Indiana and after that game stand 12-12 overall and 3-1 in league play, but with Slattery back on her game, that record should improve the rest of the season.

Emma Jones (Governor Mifflin) >> The junior co-captain leads the 3-7 Lebanon Valley women’s lacrosse team with 32 goals and three assists for 35 points. She’s also second in ground balls (23) and first in draw controls (31) and caused turnovers (18). On March 26, Jones joined the school’s 100 goal club and she scored four times in a 12-9 loss to Muhlenberg. She ranks fifth in career goals with 116 and fifth in points with 146. Sophomore Jen Eck (Exeter) has scored a goal and picked up an assist and is a key field performer with the Dutchmen with 16 ground balls, 18 draw controls and 11 caused turnovers.

Jonathan Gottschall (Governor Mifflin) >> The 6-foot-1, 205-pound sophomore right-hander has a 2-1 record with a 4.59 earned run pitching for the Philadelphia baseball team, the Rams 8-17 overall and 6-8 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Gottschall has pitched in nine games with four starts. In 33.1 innings, he’s given up 46 hits and 19 runs, 17 earned, with seven walks and 15 strikeouts. On March 25, he pitched a nine-inning complete game in a 14-5 victory over Goldey-Beacom, giving up nine hits and five runs, four earned, with two walks and three strikeouts.

Jonathan Bieber (Exeter) >> The Albright junior captured the 110 meter hurdles (16.77), finished second in the 400 meter hurdles (1:00.05) and ran a leg on the winning 4x4 relay (3:44.41) to help the Lions capture Alvernia’s Crusader Invitational on April 1 in Reading. Bieber opened the outdoor season by finishing second in the 400 hurdles (58.32) and fifth in the 110 hurdles (16.14) at the Golden Ram Invitational on West Chester on March 25. The latter times rank first (110) and sixth (400) in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

Hunter Hart (Exeter) >> The junior along with senior Tommy DePaul (Governor Mifflin) are starting in the outfield for the DeSales baseball team. Hart is hitting .286 (14-for-49) with two doubles, 11 runs scored and eight RBIs. DePaul is hitting .282 (20-for71) with a double, two triples, two home runs, 11 runs scored and 16 RBIs. The Bulldogs are 9-10 overall and 5-1 in MAC Freedom play after a 16-2 league victory over FDU-Florham on April 3. Hart had a hit and a run scored while DePaul had two hits, a run and an RBI in the game.

Brody Wagner (Governor Mifflin) >> The junior has helped the Castleton men’s tennis team post a 5-1 record thus far this spring. He’s 3-1 at No. 3 doubles playing with three different partners. He’s 2-0 at No. 6 singles. Wagner posted a 6-0, 6-0 victory in singles and teamed with Tyler Wilcox for an 8-0 triumph in doubles as the Spartans blanked Sage College 9-0 in a home match on March 30 in Rutland, Vt. Wagner didn’t see action as a freshman and played in one match as a sophomore and posted a victory.

Emily Gilbert (Boyertown) >> The sophomore was named MAC Commonwealth Player of the Week on April 4 for her play with the Alvernia women’s golf team. It was her second award of the season. Gilbert shot 84-87—171 to finish tied for 18th out of 76 golfers at the Battle of the Bay Tournament March 26-27 in St. Davids. She followed that up by finishing tied for ninth out of 38 golfers with a 90 at the Millersville Invitational on April 3. She was the top Division III golfer in both events playing against mainly Division II golfers.

Chelsea Raineri (Boyertown) >> The George Washington senior is headed to the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships this weekend (April 14-15) in St. Louis, Mo after a sparkling performance in the Regionals on April 1-2 in Morgantown, W Va. She made team history by being the Colonials first-ever Regional champion when she tied for first on vault with a score of 9.875 which clinched her spot in the Nationals. She also finished tied for third place in floor exercise with a score of 9.90.

Mitchell Burns (Oley Valley) >> The junior has had a solid start to the spring season playing with the Millersville men’s golf team. He finished tied for 22nd out of 89 players at the Brown Golf Intercollegiate on March 17-18 in Foxfire Village, N.C. with rounds of 78 and 75 for a 153 total. On April 2-3, Burns finished tied for 30th out of 81 golfers at the Oglebay Resort Intercollegiate Invitational in Wheeling, W.Va. with rounds of 74 and 79 for a 153 total.

Patrick Causa (Berks Catholic) >> The sophomore shortstop is hitting .298 (25-for-84) for the Mount St. Mary’s baseball team. He has five doubles, nine runs scored and 11 RBIs. In the field, he’s made six errors on 98 chances (.939) with eight double plays. Causa, from Sinking Springs, had two doubles and two singles, scored two runs and plated two runs in an 18-8 victory over LIU Brooklyn on March 25. He had two hits and scored the only run in a 14-1 loss to Maryland-Baltimore County on April second that dropped the team’s record to 4-17.

Jared Price (Twin Valley) >> The 6-foot-3, 240-pound red-shirt senior has pitched in nine games out of the bullpen for the Maryland baseball team which has won seven of its last eight games and is 19-8 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten Conference after a 12-11 non-league victory over Richmond on April 4. The right-hander has no decisions and has worked 12 innings and given up eight hits and three runs, all earned, with eight walks and 16 strikeouts. Price pitched 1.1 innings in a 9-1 victory over Rutgers on April 2, giving one hit, no runs, walking one and striking out two.