A-K Valley WPIAL softball capsules: Games of Tuesday, May 15, 2018
By: Doug Gulasy
Sunday, May 13, 2018 | 9:36 PM
No. 9 Fox Chapel (6-8) vs. No. 8 Canon-McMillan (9-6)
2 p.m. Tuesday at Peters Township
Winner plays: No. 1 Hempfield (17-3)
Extra bases: Fox Chapel makes its fourth consecutive WPIAL playoff appearance after losing in the first round to North Allegheny last season. The Foxes finished fourth in Section 2-6A but closed the regular season with victories over Allderdice and North Hills. The Foxes have an experienced team with nine seniors. Krystyna Burdelski is the team's top hitter. … Canon-McMillan lost in the quarterfinals last season after a first-round bye. The Big Macs won WPIAL titles in 2012 and ‘13. This season, Canon-McMillan finished as Section 1-6A runner-up behind Baldwin. Senior Katelyn Greaves hit .474 with five homers, seven doubles and 19 RBIs.
No. 14 Highlands (3-9) vs. 3 Beaver (11-1)
5 p.m. Tuesday at Baldwin
Winner plays: No. 6 Elizabeth Forward (16-3) or No. 11 New Castle (7-7)
Extra bases: Highlands returned to the playoffs for the second consecutive season with a three-way tie for fourth place in Section 1-4A with Derry and Uniontown. The Golden Rams lost in the first round to Ambridge last season. After an 0-7 start, Highlands has won three of its past five games. Senior Emily Cochran struck out 11 Deer Lakes batters in a 4-1 victory that closed the regular season. … Beaver cruised to the Section 3-4A title, its lone loss a 3-2 setback against Blackhawk. Since then, the Bobcats have won nine games in a row by a cumulative score of 111-18. The Bobcats lost to Elizabeth Forward in last season's first round. Beaver won the WPIAL title in 2014.
No. 5 Burrell (11-4) vs. No. 12 McGuffey (4-7)
5 p.m. Tuesday at Latrobe
Winner plays: No. 4 Avonworth (12-6)
Extra bases: Section 1-3A runner-up Burrell gets a familiar first-round opponent, having dispatched McGuffey, 5-4, in the first round last season. The Bucs are in the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season but suffered walk-off losses each of the past two years. Senior pitcher Brittany Dunn leads the way for Burrell, but the Bucs also provide plenty of offensive support. Three players (Elizabeth Clark, Kelly Nitowski and Kayla Santucci) hit grand slams this season. The Bucs have won nine of their past 11 games. … McGuffey finished fourth in Section 3-3A, closing the season on a three-game losing streak. McGuffey's last two seasons ended against Alle-Kiski Valley teams, as the Highlanders were eliminated by Freeport in 2016.
No. 11 Deer Lakes (5-7) vs. No. 6 Steel Valley (11-6)
4 p.m. Tuesday at Hampton
Winner plays: No. 3 Southmoreland (7-7)
Extra bases: Deer Lakes finished fourth in Section 1-3A, seeing its six-year section title streak end. The Lancers played in the WPIAL championship game five of the last six years, winning in 2012 and ‘15. They beat Steel Valley, 10-0, in the semifinals in 2015. Seniors Katelynn Blair, Dani Huffman and Casey Buechel, members of that 2015 team, lead Deer Lakes offensively. The Lancers started the season 2-5 before winning three of their final five games. … Steel Valley, the Section 2-3A runner-up, lost in the first round last season on a walkoff homer by Freeport's Claire Crytzer. Colgate recruit Morgan Farrah leads the Ironmen offensively. She hit better than .700 during the regular season.