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Neshannock freshman Addy Frye has been preparing for softball success her entire life

“I have been around pitching since I was born," Frye said.
Neshannock softball Addy Frye Ryan Isley

NEW CASTLE, Pennsylvania – Before each game, Neshannock softball pitcher Addy Frye gets a text from her big sister Courtney with advice on what to do when she steps in the circle.

The freshman has listened to those texts well, as she is now 17-0 on the season after defeating Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 6-0 in the first round of the PIAA Class 2A playoffs on Monday afternoon.

“She has been a pitcher,” Frye says of her big sis. “She texts me before every game and tells me to stay relaxed and just throw my game like I know how to.”

In the win over OLSH, Frye scattered just four hits and struck out 10. From the last out of the third inning through the sixth, she set down 10 hitters in a row, with five of those outs coming via the strikeout. In fact, a two-out bunt single by Delaney Walsh in the third is the only baserunner Frye allowed after Morgan O’Brien singled with two outs in the first until the leadoff hitter of the seventh.

“I think I spun the ball a lot better today, which made it harder for them to square the ball up,” Frye said. “I just have to keep moving the ball well and throw hard.”

As a freshman, it would be easy to be unnerved playing in her first PIAA playoff game. But Frye was ready and confident going into the game. After all, it wasn’t the first big pressure situation she has faced. Just the week prior, Frye had helped the Lancers capture the WPIAL Class 2A championship.

“It just felt like another game,” Frye said of the PIAA opening round matchup. “We couldn’t have a letdown after the big win in the WPIAL championship.”

In that WPIAL championship game, Frye allowed just one run on four hits and struck out 10 in a 9-1 win over Frazier. That lone run is the only one Frye has surrendered in her last four appearances.

Frye gets it done at the plate as well. She has hit eight homers and driven in 44 runs in her freshman campaign to this point. Her approach at the plate is pretty simple.

“I try to see a pitch I can square up and drive and not swing at pitches I can’t square up,” Frye said.

She did just that in the eighth inning of the WPIAL semifinal game against Laurel, when she hit a walk-off RBI double to win 1-0 in a game where she also pitched and went the distance for the shutout.

The success doesn’t come by accident. Frye has put in the work since moving to the Neshannock school district two years ago.

“I moved here my eighth-grade year and I went to all the team hitting and pitching practices,” Frye said. “I just tried my best to get a starting spot.”

That hard work has not gone unnoticed.

“She is in the gym at 6:00 am before school starts,” Neshannock coach Jackie Lash said. “She is working on herself, goes to school all day, comes to work out with us at practice and then I know she is doing stuff on her own after practice. The work ethic is just unreal.”

As the season has progressed, Frye has been a sponge when it comes to learning the game at the high school level. Her willingness to learn the game is one of the traits that her coach thinks make her special.

“I think she is constantly learning,” Lash said. “I think she picks up on things from other players. She gives great feedback to me.”

That feedback from player to coach comes in the form of what pitches to throw based on things like where a batter is standing or the way they swing.

“I am the one calling pitches and we work well together,” Lash said. “She understands why I am calling something and if she disagrees with me, she is going to look at me and we communicate about it and change things up.”

Some coaches wouldn’t allow a player, especially a freshman, to have that much input into a gameplan. But for Lash, she looks at Frye and sees a pitcher who is wise beyond her years on the softball field.

“She is just so confident, and I think that she shows so much maturity,” Lash said. “I always say I don’t know she is probably 14 or 15 years old, but man she has the maturity on the softball field of somebody who has been playing forever. The softball IQ is what I say about her. It is just so high, especially for somebody so young.”

Part of that softball IQ and awareness on the field comes from watching her sister Courtney pitch throughout her career as a pitcher at Sharpsville High School.

“I get it from my sister,” Frye said. “I have been around pitching since I was born.”

So you could say Frye was just born to do this.