Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Nothing Phone-Y about Sto-Rox after a Shaky Start, Vikings Play to Talent

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Nothing Phone-Y about Sto-Rox after a Shaky Start, Vikings Play to Talent

Article excerpt

Sto-Rox coach Bill Palermo has coached softball long enough to win 575 games and also long enough to develop some old-school ways.

Well aware of the talent on his team this season, Palermo was upset to see his team drop its regular-season opener, 13-7, to Weyauwega Fremont out of Wisconsin at a Disney Tournament in Orlando, Fla.

So as a disciplinary measure, he took away the players' cell phones.

"I told them, call your parents. If they need something, tell them to call me," Palermo said.

The players heard his message loud and clear and while they may not have had cell phones, they were certainly dialed in during their next game, a 12-1 win against Elk Lake out of PIAA District 2.

"One thing about this team is they are talented players, they are great athletes," Palermo said. "Talent-wise, we are as good as anyone. Our pitching is decent enough to get us to the WPIAL championship game but we make a lot of mental mistakes. We need to work on that."

Without their cell phones the players were forced to improvise to occupy their free time in Florida.

"They got together and had the best time," Palermo said. "They were figuring out new games, playing Wiffleball, entertaining themselves without cell phones."

Palermo gave the cell phones back after the win over Elk Lake. The Vikings came back home and after a two-week layoff caused by inclement weather, they dominated the competition, blasting Avella, 15-0, and Northgate, 15-0, and sweeping Cornell in a doubleheader by a combined 27-0.

They also won 16-2 at Sewickley Academy before losing a wild 13- 11 game at Burgettstown on Monday.

Sto-Rox (6-2, 5-1) exhibited its offensive prowess throughout section play but mental mistakes plagued them against Burgettstown (7-2, 6-0) when they could not hold onto an 8-2 lead.

The two teams will likely decide the Class A Section 1 title when they meet again in the makeup of an earlier postponed game (a makeup date has not been announced yet).

Palermo welcomed back eight players who started at some point last season, including junior catcher Mary Cersosimo and senior Aimee Miller who moves from outfield to pitcher this season. …

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