Alle-Kiski Valley softball preview capsules for games of Wednesday, May 22, 2019
By: Doug Gulasy
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 5:10 PM
3-Knoch (17-1) vs. 2-Elizabeth Forward (15-3)
3 p.m. at Gateway
Winner plays: Winner of 1-Mt. Pleasant (16-0) and 4-Thomas Jefferson (15-3) on May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park
Coaches: Gary Coe, Knoch; Harry Rutherford, Elizabeth Forward
Players to watch: Amanda Fischer, Jr., P, Knoch; Kailey Larcinese, So., P, Elizabeth Forward
Extra bases: Knoch advanced to the semifinals with a 12-2, six-inning victory over Greensburg Salem. The Knights scored eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning without registering an out to put the mercy rule into effect. Knoch’s lone loss came to Boyle County (Ky.) in an early-season tournament and has won 13 consecutive games since then, outscoring its opponents 131-15 in that span. Fischer struck out eight in the quarterfinal win over Greensburg Salem and drove in a team-high three runs. Eight players had RBIs. … Elizabeth Forward is coming off a 5-1 victory over Indiana in the WPIAL quarterfinals. The Warriors were WPIAL runners-up last season, falling to Belle Vernon in the championship game. EF lost three of its first four games of the season but comes into Wednesday on a 14-game winning streak, including a victory over Class 6A top seed Penn-Trafford in the regular-season finale. Larcinese has 11 shutouts and more than 150 strikeouts.
2-Leechburg (16-1) vs. 3-Union (11-5)
3 p.m. at Hampton Community Park
Winner plays: Winner of 1-West Greene (17-4) and 5-Jefferson-Morgan (11-6) on May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park
Coaches: Debbie Young, Leechburg; Doug Fisher, Union
Players to watch: McKenna Pierce, So., SS, Leechburg; Halaena Blakley, So., P, Union
Extra bases: This is a rematch of the 2018 WPIAL Class A consolation game, won by Union, 8-7. … Monday’s 8-1 quarterfinal win over Jeannette put Leechburg into the WPIAL semifinals for the third consecutive season. The Blue Devils are seeking a better result than the last two years, when they lost to Monessen and West Greene in this round. Leechburg also lost semifinal games in 2009 and ‘10; the team’s last semifinal win came in 2008. Pierce cracked two RBI triples against Jeannette, two of Leechburg’s five extra-base hits. Kristen Knapp doubled and tripled. Pitcher Emma Ritchie struck out 12. … Union is coming off an 11-1, six-inning victory over Springdale. The Scotties finished with five extra-base hits and had a six-run third and five-run sixth. Blakley ranks second on Union in batting average (.479) and RBIs and has a 7-3 record as a pitcher. Sophomore Skylar Fisher has a .574 average and 30 RBIs. In last season’s consolation game, Union led 8-0 after three innings and held off a furious Leechburg rally. That Scotties team had six seniors; this one has one.
Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, [email protected] or via Twitter .