Home run queen

May 22, 2008

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Mike White takes a look at the fabulous career of a WPIAL softball player.



Peters Township baseball player Jordan Jankowski was featured in a Post-Gazette story this past Sunday under the headline of "Sultan of Swat." Jankowski is one of the best home-run hitters in WPIAL history with 36 career homers.

Chartiers-Houston's Jaci Timko might be the WPIAL's female version of "Sultan of Swat."

Timko's high school career ended Tuesday with a 5-4 loss to Vincentian in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal. It was a career to remember.

A four-year starter, Timko finished with 32 career home runs. There are no official WPIAL softball records available, but 32 career homers is unheard of in this area. She also had a 1.094 slugging percentage for her career.

Here are some other impressive career statistics by Timko. She batted .522 (155 of 297) and had 20 doubles, 21 triples and 88 RBIs. She also scored 143 runs, was walked 45 times, stole 52 bases and had an on-base percentage of .667.

Athletic ability runs in Timko's family, though. Her aunt is Mary Lou Retton, a 1984 Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics. Timko's mom, Shari, is Retton's sister and a former All-American gymnast at West Virginia University. Shari Timko also is in West Virginia's sports hall of fame.

Timko's maternal grandfather is Ronnie Retton, who captained West Virginia's 1959 NCAA runner-up basketball team that featured Jerry West.

Jaci's father is Mike Timko, a football quarterback at West Virginia University in the mid 1980s. Also, Jaci has two sisters who are talented tennis players.

Jaci Timko will continue her softball career next season at Robert Morris.

Guerra resigns

The Montour school board last night accepted the resignation of boys' basketball coach Frank Guerra. The resignation was a little surprising, especially considering the way Guerra had turned around Montour's program. He was 2-22 in his first season (2003-04), but was 31-20 the past two seasons and made the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs both times. The Spartans made it to the quarterfinals in 2007.

Guerra's five-year record was 58-65. He said one of the reasons he resigned was because he has a fifth-grade son who plays a number of sports and Guerra would like to watch him play more.

Championship time

The dates and times for the WPIAL baseball championships have been set at Consol Energy Park, home of the Washington Wild Things. On Tuesday, the Class AA championship (Beaver vs. Bishop Canevin) will be at 5 p.m., and the AAA final (West Allegheny vs. Trinity) at 7:30. On Wednesday, the Class A championship (Rochester vs. Carmichaels) will be at 5 p.m., and the AAAA final (Plum vs. Peters Township) at 7:30.



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