2023 WPIAL Class 5A softball championship preview: Armstrong vs. Trinity

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 | 12:59 PM

WPIAL Class 5A softball championship

1-Armstrong (19-1) vs. 3-Trinity (18-2)

2:30 p.m. Thursday at Lilley Field, PennWest University, California

On the air: Trib HSSN (video)

How they got here: Armstrong defeated No. 16 Upper St. Clair, 10-0, in the first round, No. 8 Thomas Jefferson, 5-3, in the quarterfinals and No. 12 South Fayette, 12-2, in the semifinals; Trinity beat No. 14 Penn-Trafford, 3-2, in the first round, No. 6 Latrobe, 13-3, in the quarterfinals and No. 2 Shaler, 5-4, in the semifinals.

WPIAL titles: Armstrong 1 (2022); Trinity 0

Coaches: Keith Shaffer, Armstrong; Shawn Gray, Trinity

Players to watch: Emma Paul, Armstrong; Hanna Suhoski, Trinity

Extra bases: Armstrong is the defending WPIAL Class 5A champion after defeating Penn-Trafford, 6-5, last season in the finals. The River Hawks won the Section 2 title with a 10-0 record and cruised through the regular season unbeaten after a 6-3 loss to Class 6A finalist Hempfield in the season opener. Armstrong outscored opponents 214-47, including a 27-5 advantage in the postseason. Paul hit .520 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in the regular season, and Jenna Clontz also clubbed eight home runs with 29 RBIs. Jess Pugh also provided some pop with five homers. Cameryn Sprankle was 11-1 in the circle. Clontz was 4 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs in the semifinals. … Trinity won the Section 4 title at 10-0 and suffered just two nonsection losses to Lake Brantley, Fla. and Chartiers Valley. The Hillers scored more than 10 runs seven times. Suhoski smacked two home runs, and Taylor Dunn scattered eight hits with three strikeouts over nine innings in the semifinal victory. Suhoski hit .520 with five homers and 24 RBIs in the regular season. Kiersten Williams had six home runs.

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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