A-K Valley look-ahead: Week of April 1, 2019

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Sunday, March 31, 2019 | 4:57 PM


Monday

Baseball: In the lone section game on the local schedule, Plum hosts Franklin Regional in Section 2-6A. The Mustangs (2-3, 0-0) began the year in Florida before dropping a pair of one-run decisions last week. Franklin Regional is making its season debut.

• Apollo-Ridge and Highlands are looking to end playoff droughts this season, and while their nonsection matchup won’t matter in the standings, they hope to use it to their advantage. Highlands won two of its first three games, shutting out Belle Vernon on Thursday. Apollo-Ridge is 1-1.

• Deer Lakes is scheduled to host Fox Chapel in a nonsection game, but weather could move the game to Fox Chapel’s friendlier turf surface. The Foxes began the season with a win over Plum. Deer Lakes is coming off a one-run loss to Knoch.

Softball: One of the stars of the opening week of the season, Springdale freshman pitcher Alexis Hrivnak, will look to keep going strong as Brentwood visits for a nonsection game. Hrivnak struck out 25 in the Dynamos’ two season-opening wins.

Boys volleyball: Plum visits Deer Lakes in a nonsection match. The host Lancers (0-3) are hoping to find their rhythm after a difficult start.

Tuesday

Softball: It might be only the section opener, but Burrell (1-1, 0-0) at Freeport (1-0, 0-0) could play a major role in determining the Section 1-3A champion. The teams played one of the most memorable games in the Alle-Kiski Valley last season, as Freeport rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the final inning to win. The Yellowjackets won the section title ahead of second-place Burrell last season.

• Every game in Section 1-5A figures to carry some significance, so look out as Kiski Area visits Penn-Trafford in a matchup of returning WPIAL quarterfinalists. Kiski Area (0-1, 0-1) dropped a 10-9 game to Albert Gallatin in its section opener. P-T (2-0, 2-0) is coming off wins over Connellsville and Albert Gallatin.

• St. Joseph reached the WPIAL playoffs each of the past two seasons, advancing to the quarterfinals both times. The Spartans, who are breaking in several new starters, will host new Section 3-A rival Springdale (2-0).

• Apollo-Ridge finished a game behind Shady Side Academy for second place in Section 2-2A last season, but the Vikings will try to gain an early edge this season as they visit the Indians. A-R split its first two games of the season, routing Sto-Rox, 18-0, before a 7-4 loss to Vincentian.

Track and field: Freeport and Burrell have developed a rivalry in Section 7-AA, with the Bucs winning the past two girls section titles after Freeport dominated the competition for years. They will meet at Freeport. Keep an eye on Burrell’s Kaylen Sharrow and Freeport’s Sidney Shemanski.

Wednesday

Baseball: Two ranked teams square off in Section 1-3A as Burrell (2-0, 0-0) visits Freeport (3-0, 0-0). The teams are off to strong starts: Burrell blanked Leechburg in its second game. Freeport rallied to beat Hampton, a ranked team from a higher classification.

• Kiski Area rallied from a 6-0 to beat Plum, 7-6, its last time out. The Cavaliers (1-1, 0-0) will host Fox Chapel (1-0, 0-0) in the Section 1-5A opener for both teams.

• Valley returns from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to host Steel Valley (1-3) in a Section 1-3A game. The Vikings tied with Burrell for the section title last season, with Steel Valley a game behind.

Thursday

Softball: Deer Lakes had a difficult beginning of the season, losing five games in a trip to Myrtle Beach. But the Lancers can turn things around in section play, and they will hope to get off to a good start as Derry visits for a Section 1-3A contest.

• Riverview is looking to contend in Section 2-2A after making a jump from Class A, and the Raiders (1-1, 0-1) will get a test as Vincentian (2-0, 2-0) visits Riverside Park. Junior Alyssa Cappa tied the Riverview record last week when she struck out 17 in a 10-7 win over Valley.

Friday

Baseball: Fox Chapel faces a second significant Section 1-5A test in three days as Franklin Regional visits. Both teams made the WPIAL playoffs last season, with Franklin Regional advancing to the Class 5A quarterfinals and Fox Chapel the Class 6A postseason.

• Highlands hosts Greensburg Salem in a Section 1-4A game. Highlands will try to continue its strong start as it tries to make the postseason for the first time since 2003.

Softball: Highlands (1-1) earned a statement win with a 5-4 walkoff against a ranked Burrell team, and the Golden Rams can beat another returning playoff team as they visit Apollo-Ridge for a nonsection game. Freshman standout Jaycee Haidze had a strong performance for Highlands against Burrell and will oppose Apollo-Ridge veteran pitcher Mollie Charlton.

Saturday

Baseball: AKiski Area hosts Freeport for a nonsection game. Both rallied for big wins last week, with Freeport beating Hampton and Kiski Area topping Plum.

Track and field: Knoch hosts its annual relay competition, with Highlands and Kiski Area scheduled among those scheduled to attend.

Boys volleyball: Fox Chapel will host its annual tournament to cap a week that features three matches. Among the teams attending will be Plum.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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