Two Oxford softball players earn lofty accolades
By Steven Hoffman
Two Oxford Area High School softball players earned lofty accolades to conclude their scholastic careers with the Hornets.
Gianna Coyle was selected as the Class 6A Player of the Year by the Pennsylvania High School Softball Coaches Association, while Abbey O’ Connor, primarily a shortstop for Oxford, was a First-Team All-State selection after a strong senior season.
During their four years with the Hornets, O’ Connor and Coyle were important and consistent contributors for Oxford’s softball team, hitting at the top of the order and anchoring the up-the-middle defense as the shortstop and second baseman, respectively.
The post-season accolades are impressive—and hardly surprising considering how much the two players meant to the team over the last few seasons.
“We’re very happy for them because they put in so much work,” said Oxford Area High School athletic director Mike Price. “We are really proud of them.”
Coyle’s selection as the Class 6A Player of the Year is believed to be the first time that an Oxford softball player has won that award.
Price said that Coyle worked very hard offensively and defensively to develop into one of the top players in the area.
The same can be said of O’Connor, who really changed how she approached the game offensively to improve her batting average and on-base percentage as her high school career went on. Price said that O’Connor is very motivated to be the best player that she can be.
O’Connor and Coyle both reached the 100-hit plateau during their careers at Oxford. They were usually penciled in near the top of Oxford’s batting order. They also turned in excellent defensive work. Following a game late in the 2019 season, Oxford softball coach Josh Socash said that he thought O’ Connor and Coyle rivaled any middle infield tandem in the Ches-Mont League.
Both will be playing collegiate softball. O'Connor is headed to the College of Central Florida, while Coyle is going to East Stroudsburg University.