North/South Xtra: Point Park honors Cranberry woman, Seton-LaSalle grad

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One of the most versatile female athletes to ever compete at Point Park University will be one of three athletes honored at the school's Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sept. 27 at the school's Lawrence Hall.

Beth Wertz Brubach, who competed in women's basketball and softball for the Pioneers from 1983-87, had an illustrious career for the Pioneers in both sports.

Life has changed considerably since her college days -- she is working in merchandising and sales for Pro's Choice Beauty Care. She lives in Cranberry with her husband, Larry, and her two children, Jessica and Larry.

Wertz Brubach is a 1983 Seton-LaSalle High School graduate who grew up in the Brookline section of the city.

"I am honestly honored and humbled," Wertz Brubach said of the honor she will share with baseball player Dennis Colamarino, a Shaler Area High School grad who competed for the Pioneers from 1987-89, and men's basketball player Gavin Prosser, who played from 2004 to '07 and is the girls basketball coach at Baldwin High School.

"This means the world to me, and I am thankful that my parents, Jim and Mary Lou, who still live in Brookline, will be there to see me receive this honor," Wertz Brubach said.

"They've been so supportive of me since I started competing in sports when I played on a boys baseball team when I was 10 years old.

Wertz Brubach had a knack for versatility as she and her teammates at Seton-LaSalle High were all in the short- to medium-height range. At 5-6, she learned how to play all five positions, and that helped her greatly when she arrived at Point Park in the fall of 1983 after leading the Rebels to the 1983 WPIAL Class AA Championship.

"She was a complete player," said Luke Ruppel, who coached the Pioneers from 1984 to 1986, which were Wertz Brubach's sophomore and junior seasons. "She just had an innate sense of where she needed to be on the court and always made great decisions, especially when the game was one the line."

Wertz Brubach had a unique triple-triple for her career with Point Park as she scored 974 points, pulled down 549 rebounds and dished out 387 assists. Those figures rank 13th, 16th and third in their respective categories among Point Park's career leaders.

Wertz Brubach is quite certain that she would have scored more than 1,000 points had one key element been in place when she played.

"I never got to play with the 3-point goal, and anyone will tell you that I loved to shoot from the outside," she said.

Ruppel, who coached high school and college basketball for nearly 30 years, enjoyed watching Wertz Brubach's zone-busting technique.

"She was a very good deep-range shooter," he said. "She was effective from the baseline and wing areas, and she could hurt [opponents] in so many ways with her play on the perimeter, in the post and with assists and rebounds. She was able to force a lot of issues because we liked to trap a lot."

Wertz Brubach also was on the ground floor for a softball program that began in 1982, one year before she arrived at Point Park. She earned District 18 honors all four years as a catcher and outfielder.

"Those were tough years," she said of her softball experience. "We had no home field, and I had four coaches in four years, but I had great teammates and we've remained lifelong friends. Playing sports at Point Park helped to make me an all-around person."

Wertz Brubach's husband, Larry, went to Robert Morris, but she was introduced to him by a mutual friend.

"It was a great experience for me," she said. "I went to school in the heart of the city, earned my degree in business management, played sports and met my husband there. And to top off all of that with this honor is amazing."

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