At Chartiers Valley’s softball field, a tennis court sits just behind the left-field fence, seemingly out of harm’s way while games are being played — with one exception.

No tennis allowed when Lily Duffill is up to bat.

OK, it’s not an actual rule that is officially enforced, but consider this a fair warning to any tennis players or bystanders in the vicinity — whenever the Colts are playing, keep your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings at all times when Duffill is at the plate.

“Our field is 210 [feet] down the line, and there are tennis courts behind the fence, and she hit it halfway up the tennis courts [on senior night last year],” said Chartiers Valley coach Chris Lloyd. “She’s built different. She has so much power.”

Any fans who made it out to Pine-Richland for the season opener between the Colts and Rams on March 15 were treated to a free fireworks show courtesy of Duffill, who showcased her jaw-dropping raw power with a trio of home runs to lead Chartiers Valley to a 22-14 win on a cold, dreary day.

With the way the ball was carrying in batting practice before the game, Lloyd said he would have been shocked to see even one home run leave the yard, let alone three. Then again, having witnessed Duffill’s power firsthand as a freshman and now realizing the immense gains the star sophomore has made in the offseason, nothing she does would surprise Lloyd at this point.

“Lily is just different,” Lloyd said. “If she’s not at practice, she’s going to hitting lessons, she’s going to catching lessons. She puts in so much work. It’s unreal. Sometimes I tell her to just take a break, but there are no breaks with Lily.”

Chartiers Valley sophomore Lily Duffill has been taking lots of trips around the bases, already mashing four home runs through her first three games in 2024. (Ross Insana)

After being inserted into the middle of the Colts’ stacked lineup as the cleanup hitter before ever taking her first swing at the varsity level, expectations were through the roof for Duffill and her seemingly limitless potential. Still, Duffill somehow managed to exceed all the hype surrounding her while showing no signs of jitters or nerves, establishing herself right out of the gate as one of the WPIAL’s top talents in the 2026 class.

“I didn’t really expect to play at all when I got to high school,” Duffill said. “My mentors were definitely the seniors. They helped a lot.”

A first-team all-state selection as a freshman, Duffill hovered around .500 for most of the season before finishing with a .484 batting average and leading the team with six home runs and 35 RBIs. She posted a .558 on-base percentage and .828 slugging percentage, ranking second on the team with an OPS of 1.386.

Her stellar debut helped Chartiers Valley cruise through the regular season with a record of 16-2, as the Colts entered the playoffs looking like a championship front-runner in Class 4A. Their WPIAL title hopes then came to a crushing halt in a 10-0 WPIAL semifinal defeat against Montour — their third season in a row falling one win short of a trip to the WPIAL championship game.

Despite losing five ultra-talented seniors from last year’s lineup, though, the presence of Duffill has Chartiers Valley looking like a force to be reckoned with once again in 2024 and beyond.

“She knows if she does well, the team does well,” Lloyd said. “She’s not selfish. She’s a great team player, and she’s a leader in her own way.”

Known as one of the premier power hitters in the WPIAL, Chartiers Valley sophomore Lily Duffill is also one of the top catchers in the area. (Ross Insana)

After belting three home runs in the season-opening win against Pine-Richland, the Colts’ bats fell silent in a 14-1 defeat against South Fayette on March 22. Chartiers Valley then responded with an 8-5 win against Upper St. Clair on March 25, powered by another moonshot by Duffill to give her four home runs through her first three games.

So far this season, Duffill is batting .500 with four home runs, eight RBIs and a double, boasting a .538 on-base percentage and 1.583 slugging percentage for an astronomical 2.121 OPS. Of course, it is an extremely small sample size, and nobody is expecting Duffill to maintain such absurd levels of production throughout the course of an entire season.

But would it really surprise anybody if she did?

“She hit really well last year, and she’s just gotten so much stronger,” Lloyd said. “The way the ball comes off her bat, it’s something that I’ve never seen before.”

With so many pitchers now attempting to pitch around her, Duffill has been exercising more and more patience at the plate while understanding she may only get one or two pitches in the strike zone per game. She has been spending extra time with her hitting instructors outside of school working on hitting pitches off the plate and driving the ball to the opposite field, and it’s already starting to pay off in games.

“My trainers and I have a deal,” Duffill said. “If I hit an oppo taco, they’re going to buy me some Chick-fil-A.”

On top of her power-hitting prowess, Duffill also possesses a rocket for a right arm, making her a valuable weapon behind the plate as well as when she’s in the batter’s box. With plenty of muscle packed onto her 5-foot-10 frame, Duffill looks the part of a future major-college player. But first, she’s only focusing on improving her game and outperforming her previous stats and accolades — and of course, hoping to bring the Colts a long-awaited WPIAL championship after years of close calls and near-misses.

“We just need to work together, that’s all,” Duffill said. “We’re a really tight-knit group. We’re all hungry. We all want to win. We all have the same goal.”

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at