By Greg Gulas
For the past three years, Charley Troggio has routinely been penciled in as the starting catcher for the Springfield Local Tigers girls’ softball team.
She’s been called a coach on the field by both her high school and traveling team coaches, relishing in the fact that she is trusted enough by coaches to call her own game when behind the dish.
By recently inking a national letter-of-intent to attend West Liberty State University, she’s hoping the woes of recruiting and now behind her so that she can focus complete attention on her senior season.
“After looking into a variety of schools, I felt like West Liberty State University would be the best fit for me academically and athletically,” Troggio said. “I want to major in tourism/hospitality management and receive a business degree with the hopes of eventually opening my own travel business. When it was all said and done, I just felt that their business school and softball program were the right overall fit.”
Troggio, who also serves as secretary of the school’s National Honor Society, batted .394 as a junior last year and helped the Tigers to a 14-10 overall mark, their best mark over the past three campaigns.
Her high school coach, Taylor McMullin, who will be heading into his second season at the helm this spring, calls her a true leader and an extension of the coaching staff when she is on the field.
“Charley knows only one way to play and that is all out. She always gives 100 percent, leads by example and instructs those around her when necessary,” McMullin stated. “She’s aggressive, knows what she wants and then goes after it. She’s a pleasure to coach, never lets the fear of striking out get in her way and is the epitome of the connotation student-athlete.”
Troggio has been a member of nearby Bessemer, Pennsylvania’s Silver Creek Starz traveling team since she was 11 years old and is expected to return to coach Frank Duddy’s unit once again this summer.
The Starz play games throughout the summer in Cleveland, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and tournaments in nearby states if there is no scheduling conflict.
“The best way to describe Charley is that she goes full speed ahead once she hits the field, all of the time. She’s a sparkplug that takes charge and can single handedly motivate a team,” Duddy noted. “She’s a leader who no doubt will do excellent things both on the field and in the classroom while at West Liberty State University.”
In January, Troggio will be one of five catchers that will represent the United States at the 2014 Softball World Cup in The Netherlands.
“Being selected to the United States’ World Cup team is really humbling. It’s something that I have been looking forward to for quite some time now,” Troggio added.
A two-time MVP of the Queen of Diamonds North Showcase in Akron, she recently returned from a trip abroad where she served as a dental volunteer in Cambodia, spending two weeks this past October teaching children how to brush their teeth while checking them in, also spending much-needed time to ease their fears when visiting a dentist.
“We got a little bit of a late start with Charley, but were very impressed by the strength of her throwing arm and her ability to throw to all locations. She has a very quick, natural release which should help keep runners in check,” Jim Bacca, West Liberty State head softball coach stated.
The Hilltoppers, an NCAA Division II program, posted a 17-31 overall mark and 11-16 conference ledger.
They are members of the Mountain East Conference.