A-K Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsule: Games for Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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Monday, May 22, 2023 | 4:45 PM


WPIAL softball playoffs

Class 3A

Semifinals

1-Avonworth (19-1) vs. 4-Burrell (13-5)

4 p.m. Tuesday at North Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Southmoreland (15-2)/3-Waynesburg Central (16-3) in championship game May 31 or June 1 at Lilley Field, PennWest University, California (time TBA)

Players to watch: Brae Jones, Burrell; Alvia Lantzy, Avonworth

Extra bases: Burrell reached the WPIAL semifinals for the second year in a row with a 5-1 victory over Mohawk last Thursday at Montour. The Bucs are guaranteed at least three more games — Tuesday’s matchup with the section rival Antelopes, either the WPIAL championship or third-place game, and a PIAA first-round matchup. The four semifinalists in Class 3A automatically advance to the state tournament. Senior Katie Armstrong was strong again in the circle for Burrell with another complete game and 16 strikeouts while surrendering just three hits and one run. She now has 237 strikeouts through 18 games and 657 for her three-year career. Armstrong and Abby Larko drove in runs as the Bucs led 5-0 after two innings. … Top-seeded Avonworth had no trouble putting away Central Valley with a 10-0 victory in the quarterfinals. The Antelopes hit six home runs. Lantzy gave up two hits and struck out nine in the contest that was halted after five innings. She also hit two home runs and tallied four RBIs. Rylee Gray also homered twice. The Antelopes also scored 15 times in a first-round win over Seton LaSalle and have scored at least 10 runs 11 times this season. Avonworth, the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A champion, finished undefeated in Section 1. Its only loss this season came at Class 2A No. 1 Neshannock, 9-2. … Avonworth won both meetings with Burrell this season. Both games were close with the Antelopes winning 4-1 on April 14 and 2-1 on May 9. In the second meeting, Jones had the Bucs’ lone hit and RBI. Armstrong limited the potent Avonworth offense to four hits, and she struck out 13 and walked none.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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