New Castle News

New Castle

April 24, 2013

Athlete of the Week: Meet New Castle’s Carley Aven

NEW CASTLE — It’s amazing what a little trust can do.

New Castle High freshman pitcher Carley Aven is just starting to learn the benefits of that.

Entering her first season on the Lady ’Canes’ softball team, the young hurler thought she had to do everything short of literally putting the team on her back in order to succeed.

“I felt like I had to get confidence in them, I guess,” she said. “I knew they were good, but I just didn’t know how good.”

Aven is a fast learner.

As trust in her teammates improved, so did her performance, culminating in a bit of history for the New Castle softball program.

In a WPIAL Section 1-AAA home game against Central Valley last week, Aven pitched lights out, recording a no-hitter in a 7-0 victory.

Her performance earned her Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.

“It felt good,” Aven simply put of her 11 strikeout, no-hit effort — which appears to be a first in Lady ’Canes program history, as records back to the 1993 season revealed no other no-hitters during that time.

Rattled by injuries over the last few weeks, New Castle experimented with different players at different positions. One of those was the catcher spot, as regular starter Abba Frengel went down with an ankle injury. The Lady ’Canes may have found their solution behind the plate with Aleigha Withrow, who caught Aven’s no-hitter and has kept things simple for her young battery mate.

“Aleigha is making her a better pitcher,” coach Leah Ann Williams said. “Aleigha’s a junior and she knows the game and she’s keeping it very simple for Carley — like when we give the signs for the pitch. Aleigha’s simplifying things I think is calming her down, and it’s making her a better pitcher.”

Simplifying her game has been something Aven was struggling with earlier in the season, but Williams is encouraged with the progress she’s made in the last few weeks. Along with the no-hitter of Central Valley last week, Aven also excelled in a matchup against then-undefeated Ambridge, tossing seven innings and striking out nine in a 9-4 upset victory.

“She’s made a good transition,” Williams said. “She puts too much pressure on herself. She’s kind of a perfectionist. She’s a good kid, and she’s starting to listen — which is good. The big thing is, she’s really starting to trust in her teammates in knowing if she hits her spots and changes her speeds, they’ll make the plays.”

Pitching is an art form for Aven, one she has been trying to perfect for six years.

“I like being in control and a leader. I throw curveballs and changeups pretty much. I throw a lot of fastballs, too,” she said. “My curve is my best junk pitch.

“I practice four times a week. I work on mechanics, that’s the main thing. If you don’t have mechanics, you can’t throw.”

Not everything has been a success for Aven, specifically when she has a bat in her hand.

“Terrible!” was the expression she used to describe her hitting ability.

“We have her just doing one thing right now — throwing the ball,” Williams reasoned. “She could actually be a very good hitter. She’s a very good bunter, but pitching is a different animal. I just want her to concentrate on one thing right now. It’s just one thing at a time, and she’s doing really well.”

Inspired by her older sister, former Neshannock outfielder Chelsea Aven, and her late uncle Anthony Aven, a baseball star at New Castle and Youngstown State University, Carley is on her way to leaving her own legacy on the diamond.

“It’s just funny. Pitching is such a different sort of aspect to the game, and she’s really done well the last two weeks especially. I hope she gets many more (no-hitters). In my whole four years at college and high school, I only had one,” Williams said. “I’m excited for her. I don’t think she even gets it yet. When she’s 50 like me and she looks back on it, she’ll think that was really cool.

“I think the next goal now is the perfect game. I think that’s very achievable.”  

Text Only | Photo Reprints
New Castle
  • Taggart.jpg Arsonists damage New Castle’s football field

    With the New Castle football team just days away from the start of practice, vandals have hit Taggart Stadium. Someone set fire to artificial turf at the stadium and damaged a blocking sled the team uses in practice.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle hires information technology director

    The New Castle school district has a new information technology director. At its meeting this week the board hired Emily Sanders of Cranberry Township to fill the position, left vacant by the retirement of Beth Barber.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • High school registration scheduled at New Castle

    Registration has been set for new students in grades seven through 12 moving into the New Castle school district.

    July 15, 2014

  • Police.jpg Couple accused of contacting rape victim

    A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • festival1.jpg Break out the bubbly

    New Castle may be the Fireworks Capital of America, but Friday night bubbles filled the air.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • wampum1.jpg State title ties: Wampum, New Castle teams celebrate incredible success

    Their spectaular success stories are separated by more than a half century. But they sat side-by-side Thursday morning, sharing more than just breakfast at Jata’s Diner, a familiar meeting spot for former Wampum High School players. 

    July 5, 2014 4 Photos

  • Hooker.tiff Male Athlete of the Year: New Castle's Malik Hooker

    Once in a while, an athlete comes along who redefines the very word. Then, there’s Malik Hooker. The New Castle High graduate took athleticism to a level rarely seen before in the area on the basketball court and on the football turf.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District to sell closed schools, contents

    The New Castle school district will advertise for proposals to buy its three just-closed elementary schools.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results