A-K Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsules: Games for Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Monday, May 15, 2023 | 4:45 PM

WPIAL softball playoffs

Class 3A

First round

8-Central Valley (9-8) vs. 9-Deer Lakes (10-5)

5 p.m. Tuesday at Montour

Winner plays: Winner of 1-Avonworth (17-1)/16-Seton-LaSalle (5-9) Thursday (site/time TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Maddie Kee, Deer Lakes; Macy Littler, Central Valley

Extra bases: Deer Lakes owns the Alle-Kiski Valley’s third-longest WPIAL playoff-qualifying streak at 12 years. The Lancers finished third in Section 1 at 6-4 behind Avonworth (10-0) and runner-up Burrell (7-3). Deer Lakes is hoping to bounce back from a 10-0 loss to Burrell in the section and regular-season finale. Kee, the Lancers junior standout in the pitching circle and at the plate, didn’t pitch in the game against the Bucs as she attended an academic event that day and arrived late to the game. Senior Delanie Kaiser also fronts the hitting lineup from her leadoff spot. The Lancers, WPIAL runners-up to Avonworth last year, won WPIAL titles in 2012 and 2015. … Central Valley finished third in Section 2 behind Mohawk and Hopewell at 7-3. Seven of the Warriors’ 10 section games were decided by one or two runs, and CV was 4-3 in those games including a 9-7 win over Mohawk. The Warriors also topped Hopewell, 4-3, late in the section schedule. Littler, a Youngstown State commit, leads CV with a .644 average and a team-best 26 runs scored. Junior Maddie Spirnak has driven in 20 runs.

3-Waynesburg Central (14-3) vs. 14-Valley (6-10)

4 p.m. Tuesday at Peterswood Park, Field No. 1

Winner plays: Winner of 6-Hopewell (10-6)/11-Ligonier Valley (8-7) Thursday (site/time TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to Watch: Hannah Wood, Wayesburg Central; Morgan Dunkel, Valley

Extra bases: Valley is in the WPIAL playoffs for the third year in a row. The Vikings won WPIAL titles in 2007 and 2010. Valley finished tied with Freeport for fourth in Section 1 at 3-7, but the Vikings eliminated the Yellowjackets from playoff contention with a sweep of the season series. In the playoff clincher, an 11-1 win over Freeport on May 8, Dunkel fired a five-inning no hitter with five strikeouts, and she added a double and an RBI. Haley Demharter (double, three RBIs) and Ryleigh Kasten (double, RBI, two runs scored) also contributed to the win. … Waynesburg Central rolled through Section 4 and won the title with a 10-0 record. The Raiders made the WPIAL quarterfinals last year and were eliminated the Deer Lakes on the Lancers’ journey to the championship game. Waynesburg Central seeks its second WPIAL title. The Raiders won the Class AA crown in 2005. Wood and Kayleigh Varner are top run producers for Waynesburg Central, which is hitting close to .325 as a team.

Class 2A

First round

8-Burgettstown (11-7) vs. 9-Apollo-Ridge (6-9)

5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Penn-Trafford

Winner plays: 1-Neshannock (17-0) Thursday (site/time TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Layla Sherman, Burgettstown; Madison Butler, Apollo-Ridge

Extra bases: Apollo-Ridge finished third in Section 2 behind Serra Catholic and Greensburg Central Catholic to earn its sixth consecutive trip to the WPIAL playoffs. The Vikings hope to snap a five-game losing streak that started with a wild 13-12 setback to GCC on April 24 at Seton Hill. A-R also took GCC to the limit in a 3-2 loss April 5. Butler and April Earnest help lead the Apollo-Ridge offense in the middle of the lineup. … Burgettstown won three of its final four Section 3 games to finish third in the standings behind co-champions Charleroi and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The Blue Devils are in the WPIAL playoffs for the fourth year in a row. They advanced to the quarterfinals in 2021. Sherman, seniors Gracyn Murray and Katie Rose Smith and sophomore Peyton Mermon provide experience in the lineup.

Class A

First round

7-Leechburg (10-7) vs. 10-South Side (8-5)

3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Penn-Trafford

Winner plays: 2-Carmichaels (16-0) Thursday (site/time TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Anna Cibik, Leechburg; Alison DeLong, South Side Beaver

Extra bases: Leechburg is a part of the WPIAL playoffs for a record 36th straight season. The Blue Devils went 10-2 in Section 3 and finished runner-up to Frazier (13-1, 12-0). Leechburg played several Class 2A and Class 3A teams at the beginning of the season and started 0-5. The Blue Devils are led by the pitching and hitting of Cibik and the hitting and defensive prowess of Karli Mazak. Cibik and Mazak are the only seniors on a youthful Leechburg team. … South Side, Carlynton and Northgate finished tied for second place in Section 1 at 8-4 behind Class A No. 1 Union (14-3). In a key 9-6 win over Northgate in the second game of a doubheader May 5, DeLong hit a double and triple, Giavanna Chiccarello and Kenidi Cook tripled and Sophia Kuntz doubled for the Rams. … South Side is seeking its first WPIAL title. Leechburg won it all in 1991, 1992, and 1995. The Blue Devils and Rams met in the WPIAL Class A consolation final in 2021, with Leechburg winning 10-3 to advance to states.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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