2022 WPIAL Class 2A softball championship preview: Neshannock vs. Frazier

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 | 4:07 PM

WPIAL Class 2A softball championship

1-Neshannock (21-0) vs. 2-Frazier (17-0)

2:15 p.m. Friday at Lilley Field, Cal (Pa.)

On the air: Trib HSSN (Video)

Road to the finals

Neshannock The Lancers have been one of the most dominant teams in the WPIAL this season. Heading into the finals, they’re 21-0 and have outscored opponents 245-22. Lest anyone criticize the strength of their schedule, they own a 14-4 nonsection win over Class 5A finalist Armstrong. In the playoffs, Neshannock rolled past Fort Cherry, 11-1, and Charleroi, 10-0, before being tested by No. 5 Laurel in the semifinals. Freshman pitcher Addy Frye’s RBI double in the eighth won it, 1-0.

Frazier If the Commodores were any less dominant than the Lancers this season, it was only by the slimmest of margins. Coming into the finals, they’re 17-0 and have outscored opponents 196-16. That includes two playoff routs, 10-0 over Apollo-Ridge in the first round and 10-2 over OLSH in the semifinals. The potential roadblock came in the quarterfinals. No. 7 Seton LaSalle scored three runs in the top of the seventh to pull within 6-5 before the Commodores shut the door.

Secret to their success

Neshannock — The Lancers dominate when they’re at the plate or in the field. In the playoffs, Frye has given up one unearned run on eight hits with 31 strikeouts in 17 innings. Sophomore catcher Gabby Perod is 5 for 11 and had two homers and eight RBIs against Fort Cherry. Junior first baseman Hunter Newman is 7 for 9 in the postseason with a pair of RBIs.

Frazier — While Nicole Palmer has been brilliant all season – and she didn’t allow an earned run against either Apollo-Ridge or OLSH – the Commodores have probably been more impressive on offense than in the field so far in the playoffs. Senior shortstop Victoria Washinski is 4 for 8 with two home runs and six RBIs. Opponents have been hesitant to pitch to junior first baseman Delaney Warnick, who is 3 for 7 with five RBIs and has been walked four times.

Championship factoids

Neshannock — The Lancers have two WPIAL softball championships in their trophy case, having beaten South Side, 8-5, in the 2014 finals and Carmichaels, 10-4, in the 2013 title game. This year’s playoff run snaps a streak of three consecutive seasons that ended in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

Frazier — The Commodores won the school’s first WPIAL softball championship in 2017, beating South Side, 2-0, and have been in contention every year since. In fact, a case could be made that the only thing stopping Frazier from multiple WPIAL titles was Laurel. The Spartans beat the Commodores in the semifinals last year and in the finals in 2019 and 2018.

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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