Softball

Plum slow-pitch softball team comes together fast to win title
November 27, 2017
Evidently, the merger of an Outlaw and a Nitro produces an undefeated season that ends with a championship. First-year Plum slow-pitch softball coach Eric Seigh

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Westmoreland high school notebook: County softball players sign with Division I schools
November 8, 2017
Softball popularity and talent in the county has risen in recent years. It might be at an all-time high. College recruiting is a reflection of

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Plum Outlaws complete perfect season
September 11, 2017
A season that began with question marks turned out to be a season that ended in perfection and in a World Series championship. Coaching a

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Coaches Corner – Billy Simms
July 5, 2017
In this feature titled "Coaches Corner", I will be interviewing a different coach every week and asking them questions about their personal life and about coaching. Hopefully their answers will not only shed some light on how they coach their respective teams, but also allow readers to get to know the men behind the fields/courts. This week features head softball coach Bill Simms of the West Greene Pioneers. Coach Simms finished his 12th year with WG, and has helped turn the program into a perennial playoff contender. In 2016, he led his team to 4 straight blowout wins, earning them the Pioneers first ever WPIAL softball title. Coach Simms is also the Athletic Director, as well as a teacher at West Greene. Let's take a look inside Coach Simms's corner:

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2017 Diamond Dolls Softball All-Stars
June 24, 2017
Morgan Ryan finished off a great career as a Hempfield pitcher this season. Bailey Parshall still has one year left as a pitcher at Belle Vernon, but already has had a great career. The two were so good this season - and in their careers - that the MSA Sports staff found it impossible to pick one over the other as Player of the Year. So there is a double take on Player of the Year this year. Ryan and Parshall have been selected co-Players of the Year and lead the MSA Diamond Dolls softball all-star team. The Diamond Dolls are the top 12 players in the WPIAL, regardless of position, and they are picked by the MSA staff. Here are thumbnail sketches of the players of the year and the rest of the Diamond Dolls team.

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After Long Wait, South Park is 3-A Softball State Champs
June 17, 2017
The South Park Eagles redeemed a third place finish in the WPIAL playoffs and had the last laugh by taking home the program's first PIAA state title in history 4-2 over District 11 champion Pine Grove. The Eagles scrapped and clawed for a run in the first, second, fifth, and seventh innings to pull out a hard-fought victory over a Pine Grove team that defeated three other district champions on its way to the title game. South Park's lone senior Justine Dean silenced the high-speed Cardinal attack that had blitzed its way to 32 runs in the previous three rounds of state postseason play.

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West Greene Rallies Past Williams Valley for State Softball Revenge
June 16, 2017
After falling 3-2 to Williams Valley in the 2016 PIAA championship game, the West Greene Pioneers had redemption on their mind all season. In the rematch on Friday at Penn State University's Beard Field, West Greene gained revenge by mounting an epic comeback en route to a 9-8 victory in the 1A finals. As a result, the Pioneers (26-1) captured their first state gold in program history.

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Hempfield Perfect in Winning Back-to-Back State Titles
June 15, 2017
When asked which of his Hempfield squads was the better over the past two years, coach Bob Kalp could not give a definitive answer. However, he certainly made a...perfect...point. "It's hard to argue with 27-0." His Lady Spartan softball team repeated as PIAA state champions with a 5-3 victory over Hazleton in the Class 6A Championship game on Thursday at Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park. The back-to-back championships are the first ever to occur at the highest classification of PIAA softball.  The victory also extended the Hempfield winning streak to 41 games, capping off a perfect 27-0 season.

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Mount Pleasant Wins First State Softball Title
Last season, the Mt. Pleasant Vikings were crowned WPIAL AAA champions, but the PIAA playoff run lasted just one game. This year, Mt. Pleasant had to win the third-place consolation game to reach the state playoffs and they did. Mt. Pleasant then had to defeat the district 10 champion (Harbor Creek), WPIAL Champion (Belle Vernon) and WPIAL runner-up (Yough), they did. Looking past last year's PIAA let-down, Mt. Pleasant overcame the difficult odds and were crowned PIAA 4A Champions with a 5-3 victory over the Tuckhannock Tigers.

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Minersville Drops South Side for PIAA 2A Softball Crown
District 11 Champion Minersville (24-2) scored four runs in the 4th inning to win their tenth PIAA Championship, defeating WPIAL runner-up South Side (20-4) in the 2A Softball Championship Game at Penn State's Beard Field on Thursday. The tile win for Minersville , their first since 2014, comes with some controvery, as South Side pitcher McKenna Smith was called for throwing ten illegal pitches during the game, with one directly leading to a solo home run by Minersville's Adrienne Kroznuskie.

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Coaches Corner – Craig Taliani
June 5, 2017
In this feature titled "Coaches Corner", I will be interviewing a different coach every week and asking them questions about their personal life and about coaching. Hopefully their answers will not only shed some light on how they coach their respective teams, but also allow readers to get to know the men behind the fields/courts.

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West Allegheny Rolls Past Moon for 5-A Softball Gold
June 1, 2017
For the first time in school history, the West Allegheny softball team has captured a WPIAL Championship. The top-seeded Indians won the 5-A crown by defeating the #3 seed Moon, 12-2 Thursday night via mercy rule after 6 innings. It was the third time the Indians defeated the Tigers this season, as they won the first two meetings by scores of 5-4 and 10-7 back in mid-April. The third meeting wasn't as tight as the bats and the gloves were working for West Allegheny.

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Parshall Shines as Belle Vernon Beats Yough for 4-A Gold
Belle Vernon's Bailey Parshall is well-known for her pitching exploits. Why wouldn't she be' She led the WPIAL in strikeouts this season and has been quite adept as a pitcher since her freshman year, a year in which she committed to Penn State University. But in the WPIAL Class 4A championship softball game, Parshall showed she is pretty skilled with a bat as well. The junior went 3-3 with three doubles and two RBIs in a 4-1 victory over Section 2 4-A rival Yough at California University's Lilley Field. That doesn't mean Parshall didn't shine in the pitching circle. She turned in a sparkling performance with nine strikeouts (which brings her season total to 224) and allowed just four hits and two walks.

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West Greene Pounds Monessen to Repeat as WPIAL 1-A Softball Champs
The West Greene Pioneers won their second consecutive WPIAL title on Thursday at Cal U's Lilley Field with a 10-0 win over section-rival Monessen.  In two regular season meetings this year, West Greene won much closer games with finals of 6-2 and 1-0, but the Championship Game looked more like the two matchups from a year ago when the Pioneers defeated the Greyhounds 10-0 in the regular season and again, 10-0 in the WPIAL Semifinals on the same field as Thursday's 10-0 win.

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Ellwood City Dominant in WPIAL Softball Repeat
May 31, 2017
Elwood City's softball team has been a dominant force over WPIAL opponents in recent years, as it carried a 37-game winning streak against such foes into Wednesday's Class 3A championship game. That dominance continued as the Wolverines scored a convincing 10-0 victory in five innings against Deer Lakes at California University's Lilley Field. To get that win, the Wolverines (18-0) had to be extremely patient. A rain delay of about 90 minutes during the Class 6A game caused the 3A title tilt to start a little more than 2 1/2 hours after originally scheduled.

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Hempfield Cruises Past Latrobe for 3rd Straight WPIAL Title
They say in sports, one of the hardest things to do is defeat the same team three times in a season. Things seemed to be heading that route for the top-seeded Hempfield Spartans against their sixth-seeded section rival Latrobe Wildcats, but the Spartans settled in and claimed its third consecutive WPIAL softball championship winning by a final score of 13-2, becoming just the sixth school to win three consecutive WPIAL Softball Championships. Latrobe opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning and scored without a hit. Designated player Meredith Carr opened the frame with a lead-off walk and was sacrificed to second. On a pitch in the dirt, Carr moved to third and while sliding in, a wide throw by Spartan catcher Madison Stoner allowed Carr to score making it 1-0.

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Frazier Shuts Out South Side Beaver for 2-A Softball Title
A handful of freshman pitchers have led their teams to WPIAL softball titles in recent memory. Frazier hurler Logan Hartman added her name to that list on Wednesday at Lilley Field at California University of Pennsylvania, as she tossed a three-hit shutout. In the process, the No. 2 Commodores defeated top-seeded South Side Beaver 2-0 to win the WPIAL 2A Championship, the first in program history. The Commodores (18-2) wasted little time in gaining the upper hand, as they scored a run in the bottom of the first. Hartman drew a leadoff walk against South Side's McKenna Smith, and then advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice by Megan Celaschi. After a groundout moved Hartman to third, Emi Curcio delivered an RBI single to right field.

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Hometown Softball Recap – South Side Beaver Rams
April 28, 2017
The South Side Beaver Rams softball team clinched the Class 2-A Section 4 title Thursday afternoon at home by defeating the Shenango Wildcats 9-3.  Senior McKenna Smith, the winning pitcher, pitched a complete and delivered a three run double.  Senior Hunter Hand contributed a two-run homer and a run scoring double for the Rams while Junior Regan Hozak had three hits and drove in two as South Side remained undefeated.   For Shenango, Jacqui Baker stroked two home runs and drove in all three Wildcats runs. South Sided Beaver is now a perfect 11-0 overall and 10-0 in section play.  Shenango falls to 8-4 overall and 5-4 in the section.

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Hometown Softball Recap – Blackhawk Cougars
April 26, 2017
The Blackhawk Cougars were rolling to a five game winning streak after a 3-1 win over Ambridge on Monday. But with most teams, there are as many lows as highs in a season and the Cougars suffered their second straight loss and more importantly a key tiebreaker with the 8-6 victory by the visiting New Castle Red Hurricanes on Wednesday. The Cougars rallied from a four run deficit in the seventh to knot the game at 6, but could not stop the Canes from plating two in the 8th. New Castle is now 3-6 overall and 3-4 in section.

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Hometown Softball Recap – Latrobe Wildcats
April 25, 2017
Greater Latrobe finally got back to what they know best. Winning. After a four game slide that dropped the Wildcats to under .500 overall and already two section loses, Greater Latrobe rebounded for a 12-2 victory over Penn Hills on Tuesday in Class 6A Section 2 matchup Graham Sabota Field in Latrobe. Greater Latrobe (5-5, 4-2 in section) had lost consecutive games to Hempfield, North Allegheny, Yough and Norwin, with the most recent loss coming this past Monday and found themselves on a losing streak heading into the game against Penn Hills.

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