2023 WPIAL Class 2A softball championship preview: Neshannock vs. Laurel

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | 1:31 PM

WPIAL Class 2A softball championship

1-Neshannock (19-0) vs. 2-Laurel (16-2)

4:45 p.m. Thursday at Lilley Field, PennWest University, California

On the air: Trib HSSN (video)

How they got here: Neshannock had a first-round bye and then defeated No. 8 Burgettstown, 10-0, in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Greensburg Central Catholic, 15-0, in the semifinals; Laurel had a first-round bye before beating No. 7 Riverside, 3-2, in the quarterfinals and No. 6 OLSH, 11-1, in the semifinals.

WPIAL titles: Neshannock 3 (2013, ‘14, ‘22); Laurel 3 (2018, ‘19, ‘21)

Coaches: Jackie Lash, Neshannock; Frank Duddy, Laurel

Players to watch: Addy Frye, Neshannock; Hayden Seifert, Laurel

Extra bases: Neshannock won last year’s WPIAL Class 2A title with a 9-1 victory over Frazier and went on to also win the PIAA championship with an undefeated record. The Lancers went undefeated at 12-0 in Section 1 this spring, including two victories over Laurel, 6-3 and 10-2, and are riding a 44-game winning streak. Neshannock has outscored opponents 236-16, including 25-0 in the postseason. In the semifinals, Frye tossed a three-inning no-hitter with five strikeouts and was 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs. Jaidon Nogay had three doubles and three RBIs, Abigail Measel was 2 for 3 with three RBIs, and Gabby Quinn homered. Frye, who is hitting over .500 with six home runs, was the state’s Class 2A pitcher of the year in 2022 and has a 0.52 ERA this season. Seniors Hunter Newman (Morgan State) and Aaralyn Nogay (Bowling Green) are Division I commits. Nogay leads the team in batting at .585, and Newman is hitting .536. … Laurel won three straight titles between 2018-21 (the 2020 season was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic). The Spartans won the WPIAL third-place game last year and advanced to the PIAA semifinals, where they lost to Neshannock. Seifert hit .568 with six homers and 26 RBIs in the regular season to lead the Spartans. Senior pitcher Grace Kissick is a Malone recruit, and senior Addie Deal is a St. Francis commit. Kissick tossed a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts in the semifinals. Deal hit two home runs and had four RBIs, while Grace Zeppelin, Autumn Boyd and Seifert also homered.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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