Sister act at Thiel
CHERRY TWP — No one can say Brianna Rottman isn’t a team player.
A natural right-handed hitter in softball, the Moniteau senior switched over to the left side of the plate while in eighth grade to learn how to be a slap hitter.
“It was a challenge, for sure, definitely a process,” she said. “I felt like I could be a more effective player and help the team by being someone who gets on base a lot and gets things started.”
Consider that process mastered.
Rottman hit around .500 this season and is second on the team in hits. In a recent 10-0 District 9 2A playoff win over Brookville, she had four singles in as many at bats, scored two ruis and knocked in three.
“There’s an art to being a slap hitter and she’s picked it up,” her father and Moniteau coach Bob Rottnman said. “Brianna has become a very tough out.”
She will have a chance to continue being a tough out for another four years. Rottman recently signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and softball career at Thiel College. Her older sister and former Warrior teammate, Abby, is a sophomore on the Tomcats’ roster.
The elder Rottman, a shortstop, hit .284 with seven RBI for Thiel this season.
Brianna plans to major in environmental science. She also looked at Westminster before deciding on Thiel.
“Having Abby there is helpful and it’s a good feeling, knowing I’ll be playing ball with my sister again,” Brianna said. “I want to go up there, play well and help the team continue to get better.”
After losing her freshman season to the COVID-19 pandemic, Brianna has excelled in her high school career. An outfielder the past two years, she made All-Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference as a designated hitter her sophomore season. She’s made All-KSAC the past two years as well.
“She’s really developed her skills over the past couple of years.” Coach Rottman said. “Brianna has become an outstanding lead-off hitter.
“I think she’ll fit in well with what they’re trying to develop at Thiel.”
The Tomcats were 9-23 this season — 4-14 in Presidents’ Athletic Conference play under third-year coach Kelly Kirkpatrick. The team has improved each year under Kirkpatrick, winning only four of 34 PAC games in her first two seasons.
“I like my teammates, the way we play well and pull for each other,” Brianna said of her softball years at Moniteau. “And we’ve been winning. It’s a good feeling and I’m hoping for more of that in college.
“It’s been great playing here with my father as coach. He’s always treated me just like every other player on the team. That’s the way I wanted it.”