Alle-Kiski Valley WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 18, 2021
Monday, May 17, 2021 | 4:57 PM
3-Plum (13-3) vs. 14-Fox Chapel (11-6)
2 p.m. at Gateway
Coaches: Phil DiLonardo, Plum; Chris Olbrich, Fox Chapel
Winner plays: Winner of 6-West Allegheny (13-3)/11-Franklin Regional (9-6) on Thursday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Melanie Meinke, Sr., P, Plum; Mackenzie Borkovich, Jr., P, Fox Chapel
Extra bases: The Mustangs and Foxes met March 26 in a season-opening nonsection contest won by Plum, 6-1. Plum is on a nine-game winning streak. The Mustangs won five games in four days last week to claim its second straight section title. Plum is in the playoffs for the 11th time in the past 12 years. Plum, as the No. 2 seed in the 2019 playoffs, were upset by No. 10 West Allegheny in the quarterfinals. Sophomore Mackenzie Lang leads the Mustangs in home runs (eight) and RBIs (26). Meinke has 156 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 104 1/3 innings. Fox Chapel, back in the playoffs after missing out in 2019, finished third in Section 3 behind fourth-seeded Shaler and No. 8 North Hills. The Foxes won four of six to close the regular season. Borkovich has struck out 205 batters over 108 innings. Junior catcher Amelia Herzer leads the Foxes with a .423 average (22 of 52) with a team-best four home runs and 23 RBIs.
5-South Allegheny (11-5) vs. 12-Valley (5-8)
4 p.m. at Fox Chapel
Coaches: Jennifer Stockett, South Allegheny; Carrol Perroz, Valley
Winner plays: 4-Avonworth (11-5) on Thursday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Morgan Dunkel, Fr., P, Valley; Olivia Stetz, Sr., OF, South Allegheny
Extra bases: South Allegheny tied Waynesburg for second in Section 3 behind champion Mt. Pleasant. The Gladiators solidified their playoff berth with five straight victories to close out their section schedule. Included in that was a 6-5 walk-off win over Waynesburg on May 6. Freshman Lily Dranko collected three hits to lead South Allegheny in the victory. South Allegheny also swept playoff qualifier Southmoreland in its late-season section win streak. The Gladiators were the Class 3A No. 2 seed in 2019, but they were upset by No. 10 Ellwood City in the quarterfinals. Valley is in the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2012. Valley won WPIAL championships in 2007 and ‘10. Valley, which owns a victory over No. 6 Deer Lakes, finished fourth in Section 1 behind section champ North Catholic, the runner-up Lancers and third-place Derry. Valley has just one junior with eight sophomores and six freshmen. Dunkel features at the plate and in the pitching circle. She went 4 for 4 with two home runs and five RBIs last week in a win over East Allegheny. Sophomore Jordan Kirkwood also was 4 for 4 with two doubles.
6-Deer Lakes (11-3) vs. 11-Ellwood City (11-4)
3 p.m. at Montour
Coaches: Rick Serra, Deer Lakes; Gary Rozanski, Ellwood City
Winner plays: 3-Waynesburg on (12-4) Thursday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Hannah Mass, Sr., 3B, Deer Lakes; Aliya Garroway, Soph., Ellwood City
Extra bases: The Lancers finished as the Section 1 runner-up to North Catholic, the No. 2 seed in the bracket. Deer Lakes owns a victory over the Trojanettes, 7-6, on April 20. The Lancers are in the playoffs for the 10th year in a row. They won WPIAL titles in 2012 and ‘15. Deer Lakes lost to Southmoreland in the WPIAL first round in 2019. Sophomore Shayne Cerra (.522), Mass (.489), freshman Maddie Kee (.458) and juniors Keeghan Cook (.429) and Jenna Bisegna (.425) lead the Lancers offense. Deer Lakes and Ellwood City last met in the 2017 WPIAL Class 3A title game. The Wolverines won that game, 10-0. Ellwood City lost its regular-season finale to Section 2 foe and WPIAL qualifier South Park, but it won three of four prior to that, including a victory over the Eagles, to secure fourth place. Garroway leads the Wolverines with a .549 average (28 for 51) with 10 doubles and 14 RBIs in 15 games. Senior Maria Ioanilli owns a .542 average with a team-best six home runs and 23 RBIs. In addition to its 2017 WPIAL title win over the Lances, Ellwood City won WPIAL gold in 2008.
7-Mapletown (8-6) vs. 10-St. Joseph (6-9)
2 p.m. at West Mifflin
Coaches: Jeff Cree, Mapletown; Alan Swanson, St. Joseph
Winner plays: 2-Leechburg (12-4) on Thursday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Devan Clark, Fr., P/INF, Mapletown; Stella Swanson, Jr., INF, St. Joseph
Extra bases: The Maples finished third in Section 2 behind No. 1 West Greene and No. 6 Greensburg Central Catholic. They edged playoff-qualifier Jefferson-Morgan on May 11 behind 13 strikeouts from Clark to secure their berth to the postseason. Mapletown scored the most runs (three) against Section 2 champ West Greene in section play this season. The Maples are in playoffs for third season in a row. St. Joseph is in the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2018. The Spartans, who finished third in Section 3 behind Leechburg and Springdale, hope to stop a four-game losing skid. St. Joseph is young this year with two seniors, one junior and eight freshmen. Freshman Jamie Noonan is the Spartans’ pitcher.
5-Springdale (10-3) vs. 12-Rochester (4-7)
4 p.m. at North Allegheny
Coaches: Anthony Pototo; Michael Cunning, Rochester
Winner plays: 4-South Side Area (11-3) on Thursday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Lydia Shaffer, Fr., 3B/C, Rochester; Alexis Hrivnak, Jr., P, Springdale
Extra bases: Rochester wrapped up a playoff spot with a victory over Cornell. The Rams scored 25 runs in that game. Rochester finished fourth in Section 1 behind South Side Area, Union and Bishop Canevin. The Rams are in the WPIAL playoffs for the second year in a row. Springdale enters the playoffs after splitting the Section 3 title with No. 2 Leechburg. The Dynamos defeated the Blue Devils in walk-off fashion April 28. Hrivnak again has been a strength at the plate and in the pitching circle. She hit a homer and struck out 12 in a win over St. Joseph on May 11. Junior Brianna Thompson, Emily Wilhelm and Autumn Sprouse are among the hitting leaders for Springdale this season.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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