Casey Melvin, Vincentian Academy / John Elms, Riverside

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SCHOOL: Vincentian Academy.

WHO IS SHE? A right-handed pitcher for the Royals' softball team, which will face Chartiers-Houston (17-4) in the WPIAL Class A championship game at 2 p.m. today at California University of Pennsylvania.

PAST WEEK: Melvin pitched a seven-hitter with seven strikeouts Thursday, as Vincentian (18-3) outlasted Beth-Center, 5-4, in eight innings in the WPIAL semifinals. In three playoff victories spanning 22 innings, she has struck out 24 and allowed 15 hits.

CAREER: Melvin has been the Royals' starting pitcher the past four seasons. She is 18-2 with 195 strikeouts this spring.

CASEY AT BAT: The mound isn't the only place where Melvin delivers. She is an outstanding hitter, with three home runs from the No. 3 spot this year.

SUCCESS IS RELATIVE: Casey is the oldest of six siblings. Her mother, Joan Orie Melvin, is a Superior Court judge. Aunt Jane Orie is a Republican state senator from McCandless. Second cousin Kevin Orie, is a former major-league baseball player from Upper St. Clair.

FUTURE: Melvin will graduate with a 4.75 grade point average and will play softball at Princeton, where she plans to major in pre-medicine. Each school year, the WPIAL selects four scholar-athletes as winners of a $5,000 scholarship, and Melvin is one of them.

-- By Rick Shrum


SCHOOL: Riverside

WHO IS HE? A senior who is a standout pitcher, shortstop and hitter on the WPIAL Class AA championship Riverside baseball team.

THIS WEEK: Elms pitched a two-hitter and struck out seven as Riverside defeated Greensburg Central Catholic, 12-1, in the WPIAL championship game Tuesday night at Falconi Field in Washington. He also was 1 for 2 with a two-run single.

TWO PERFECT SEASONS: Elms has a 20-0 record the past two seasons. Riverside is 22-1 this season, and Elms has half of the wins. He is 11-0 with 93 strikeouts and an ERA below 2.00.

"He also won a few games as a sophomore and has lost only once in his career," said Riverside coach Dan Oliastro.

He also is batting above .400.

SIZE IS DECEIVING: Elms is only 5 feet 9, but don't let his stature fool you. "He has a lively arm," Oliastro said. "He's had it since he was in Little League.

"I used to go watch this group of seniors when they would play in Little League tournaments, and John was tiny. But even back then, he had a great arm."

FUTURE: Elms has not decided on a college, but some small colleges are showing interest.

"There were some in the stands [at the championship game] and apparently they liked what they saw," Oliastro said.

-- By Mike White


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