Nanticoke freshman softball player Leandra Ramos named Times Leader Athlete of the Week

Leandra Ramos of Nanticoke won five games and struck out 26 during the Trojans' sweep of the week's slate.

School: Nanticoke
Grade: Freshman
Sport: Softball
Position: Pitcher

All in the Family: Leandra is the daughter of Luis and Susan Ramos of Nanticoke. She has five step-brothers named Nick, Carlos, Lou, Robert and Jeff — who are all involved with the sport of football.
Statistically Speaking: Ramos picked up all five pitching victories last week while sparking Nanticoke’s five-game winning streak over a five-day stretch that pulled the 6-2 Trojans within a half-game of first-place Hazleton Area in Wyoming Valley Conference Division I. Ramos struck out 26 batters during the week while allowing just 32 hits and 10 earned runs to five opponents. Ramos wasn’t bad with the bat, either. She hammered a grand slam for the first home run of her life, drilled three doubles, knocked in seven runs in one game and scored the winning run in last inning of another.
MVP: That could stand for most valuable player or most valuable pitcher, and to Nanticoke last week, Ramos was both. She began her big week by throwing a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts against Lake-Lehman on Tuesday as the Trojans evened their season record at 2-2. Ramos followed that by going 2-for-3 with a grand slam and a two-run single among her seven RBI in a 12-5 win over Wyoming Area. In that game, she also recorded five strikeouts to get Nanticoke over the .500 mark. From there, Ramos went 2-for-4 with a double and picked up the victory in the circle, allowing six hits and two earned runs in a 4-3 victory over Crestwood. Ramos topped that pitching performance the next day, throwing a three-hitter Friday while surrendering just one earned run in a 7-2 victory over Dallas. Finally, Ramos finished her week-long spree in the WVC by striking out 10 batters in a thrilling 7-6 victory over Pittston Area. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles. Her second double began the bottom of the seventh inning, and sparked victory when Ramos raced home with the winning run when Jenny Lipowski delivered a game-ending single.
Coach’s Corner: “The more you sit down and have a moment to reflect, it’s incredible,” Nanticoke coach Ryan Stetz said of the week Ramos put up. “She’s just a hard worker, very coachable, a very good teammate and she’s a really tough competitor. It starts in the classroom, she’s a great student. Good things happen to good people, and she’s a good person. She’s very confident in her abilities. She’s been coming up very big for us in key situations. She’s playing very well right now. The future is very bright for her.”
Did you know?: Ramos may paint a pretty picture for Nanticoke when she’s pitching from the circle or producing game-changing swings at the plate, but her athletic feats pale in comparison to when she has a pencil in her hand. “I’m a pretty good artist,” Ramos said, before bragging, “I can draw. My dad can draw. If I look at something, I can pretty much draw it.” That may not be where her future studies will take her, though. “I like math and science,” Ramos said. “Those are things I might want to pursue as a career.”
From her angle: It didn’t take Ramos long to decide which moment meant the most to her in a smorgasbord of head-turning feats last week. “My grand slam,” she said. “It was my first home run. At first, I didn’t even know it was over the fence. When I found out it did (go over), I was really happy. I work on my hitting a lot. The grand slam really made me happy, but all of my hits boost up my confidence. I’ve been pitching for six or seven years, and it’s paid off. My curve works pretty good, I throw some changeups in there — I just mix them up and sometimes it works well. Usually, my ball does what it wants to do. I’m pretty pleased. I’m confident. My first game (at Nanticoke), I was so nervous that I was going go do badly. Right now, I’m pretty happy I’m doing well, and I hope I keep it up. They (her teammates) accepted me, they support me in the circle. My parents are so proud of me. They’re the ones who I’m glad I’m making happy.”

Softball Preview
Citizens Voice


Coach: Ryan Stetz

2013 Results: 12-5 in WVC, lost to Hanover Area in the second round of the District 2 Class AA playoffs.

Players to Watch: Taylor Briggs, Sr. of; Maddy O'Donohue, Jr. c; Kelsey Rinehamer, Sr. if; Rachel Roccograndi, So. if/of; Kara Voyton, Sr. 3b

Outlook: The Trojanettes graduated a few key players from last season, but should have a respectable showing in 2014 with the return of leading hitter Voyton. The senior was second on the team in doubles last season with three, while leading the squad in home runs (4) and triples (2). Roccograndi and Briggs are two other players who can provide big hitting for Nanticoke Area.

Softball capsule
Times Leader


Coach: Ryan Stetz, second year

PIAA Class: 2A

2013 WVC Record/Finish: 11-4, 2nd Division 1

2013 postseason: Defeated Mid Valley 6-3 in D2-2A first round. Lost 5-4 to Hanover Area in D2-2A quarterfinals.

Home Field: K.M. Smith Elementary

Key Players Lost: Kayla Benjamin, C; Ali Matulewski, P; Kayley Schinski, SS

Key Players Returning: Taylor Briggs, OF, Sr.; Kara Voyton, 3B, Sr.; Madeline O’Donohue, C, Jr.; Rachel Roccograndi, IF-OF, So.

Outlook: Considering the losses to graduation, the Trojanettes put together a solid 2013 campaign that included a pair of 2-1 losses to Hazleton Area. This year’s team is similar as it is young but talented. Voyton, a second-team all-star last season, is a power hitter who had four homers, two triples and three doubles. The rest of the lineup is solid. Pitching, though, needs to be sorted out since both hurlers are gone. Like last year, Nanticoke will probably be chasing Hazleton Area for the top spot.