2022 PIAA Class 6A softball championship preview: Seneca Valley vs. Spring-Ford

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 | 11:02 PM

PIAA Class 6A softball championship

Spring-Ford (23-2) vs. Seneca Valley (16-6)

4 p.m. Friday at Beard Field, Penn State

Road to the finals

Spring-Ford – After losing to eventual champ North Penn in the semifinals and Haverford in the third-place game in the District 1 tournament, Spring-Ford came alive in state play with a 11-0 rout of District 12 champ St. Hubert, an 11-4 victory over District 3 champ Penn Manor and a 2-0 revenge win over defending state champion North Penn.

Seneca Valley The Raiders, who went 5-5 in section play in the regular season and came into the WPIAL playoffs as the fourth seed, have clearly found another gear in the postseason, running their winning streak to 12 games. In the state playoffs, they handled Central Dauphin, 8-2, then blanked Quakertown, 1-0, and Pennsbury, 9-0.

Secret to their success

Spring-Ford – Jules Scogna, a Boston University recruit, is a top arm. She has given up three runs on 11 hits in 14 innings in three starts in the PIAA tournament, striking out 10. CF Ellie Jarrell sets the table at the top of the Spring-Ford lineup. She’s 6 for 10 with a double, a triple and four RBIs in the state playoffs. DH Caitlyn Ashley is the big bat in the middle of the order. She’s 6 for 9 with two home runs and eight RBIs in PIAA play.

Seneca Valley – The Raiders’ second-half surge coincided with the emergence of pitcher Lexie Hames. In the postseason, the star freshman is 6-0 with a 0.72 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched. Another freshman, Bella Gross, has been one of the Raiders’ top hitters in the PIAA playoffs, going 4 for 9 with a home run and four RBIs. Senior Maddie Gross, meanwhile, is the lineup’s most dangerous bat. She’s 5 for 9 in the state playoffs.

Championship factoids

Spring-Ford – The Rams are in the PIAA championship game for the first time. The program has twice reached the state semifinals, in 2017 and 2019, losing to Hazleton both times.

Seneca Valley – The Raiders are playing in the state championship game for the second time. After winning their first WPIAL championship in 1992, they lost to Williamsport in the PIAA finals, 1-0 in eight innings. Current Seneca Valley coach Marlesse Hames, mother of Lexie, was a pitcher and top hitter for the 1992 team.

Jonathan Bombulie is the TribLive assistant sports editor. A Greensburg native, he was a hockey reporter for two decades, covering the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for 17 seasons before joining the Trib in 2015 and covering the Penguins for four seasons, including Stanley Cup championships in 2016-17. He can be reached at jbombulie@triblive.com.


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