After another long layoff, Springdale softball ‘all about keeping the momentum going’

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 4:44 PM


The Springdale softball team’s 3-1 victory over rival Leechburg on May 11 gave it an outright section title for the first time since the 1998 team went 14-0 in section play and made the semifinals of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

Now, this year’s Dynamos hope to make a run of their own as they turns the page to the playoffs.

Springdale, the No. 4 seed in the Class A bracket, opens play in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. Thursday against No. 5 South Side at Montour.

“After that first win of the season, it was all about keeping the momentum going,” senior third baseman Emily Wilhelm said. “We knew what we needed to do to keep the energy up, come to practice and stay focused for those two hours. That’s what it is for us going into the playoffs. It’s about keeping that momentum going.

“The win over Leechburg last week really fueled us even more for the playoffs. It was a really close game, like we expected, and it was like a game we could see in the playoffs.”

Springdale, like most teams that received a first-round bye into the quarterfinals, will have not played for more than a week when it arrives at its matchup with the Rams (13-4).

The Dynamos weren’t strangers to breaks from games in the regular season.

Their lone loss came at the hands of No. 3 Greensburg Central Catholic in the season opener before a shutout victory over Ellis on April 4.

Springdale then had breaks from games of nine and 12 days before winning at Leechburg, 4-3, on April 25. Business picked up from there as it never lost again in the regular season.

“We’ve been working on everything, honestly,” said Wilhelm said of preparation the past week. “Mostly, we’ve been working on our attitudes, just keeping our heads and keeping focused if we make a mistake, because they’re bound to happen.”

South Side took care of business Tuesday in its first-round game against Northgate, winning 14-0.

Springdale knew no matter which team it would face in the quarterfinals, the familiarity would be there, from playing Northgate in section play this year to taking on South Side in last year’s quarterfinals.

The Rams edged the Dynamos, 3-2, before falling to Leechburg, 10-3, in the semifinals.

“We definitely should’ve beaten them last year,” Springdale senior pitcher Alexis Hrivnak said. “We lost with two bunts, which should not have happened by any means.”

South Side won eight games in a row before a 3-0 loss to Class 2A No. 5 Laurel in its regular-season finale May 12. Three days earlier, the Rams scored a 2-0 win over Class 2A No. 4 Chartiers-Houston behind the pitching of senior Laney Lewis (six hits, three walks, three strikeouts).

Senior Grace Woodling tallied two hits and knocked in both runs, and senior Madi Fischer went 2 for 3 with a run scored.

“The potential and the mindset is in place,” Hrivnak said. “South Side is a very good team with a lot of talented players. I played with Madi Fischer on my Passion (club) team. But we know what we can do, too. We’re all very excited but also very anxious to play this game.”

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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