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Fast-pitch softball is the fifth most popular girls high school sport, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. A total of 362,488 girls played high school softball in the 2012-13 school year.

Sewickley Academy’s 5-foot-7 senior, Chandler White, is one of the WPIAL’s best. She is a three-time Pittsburgh Post-Gazette All-Section Softball Team All-Star and has helped her team reach the WPIAL playoffs the past three years.

Fast-pitch softball is played in the spring and is basically the girls’ alternative to baseball at the high school level and elite players, like White, also travel during the summer with their AAU teams.

“My focus have always been softball,” said White. “My middle school didn’t have a softball team so I played volleyball and ran track. Now, I only play two sports. Softball and I play Goalie on my school’s Field Hockey team.”

High school softball is a great sport and the accessibility of the team—where fans can watch and even approach players in an intimate setting—but it’s also indicative of the rising popularity of the sport.

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