Softball

WPIAL Softball: 2017 Season Preview
March 23, 2017
A mild winter is leading into a mild start to spring. While the roller coaster ride Mother Nature will put all of us on over the next couple of months will be interesting, so will the action on the diamond in the new world of six classifications. While the great thing about high school softball is they will decide the six champions on the field and not in the rankings, that doesn't slow us down from dishing out our Preseason Top Ten and Players to watch in each class. CLASS 6-A Preseason Top Ten: 1)   HEMPFIELD SPARTANS 2)   SHALER TITANS 3)   CANON-McMILLAN BIG MACS 4)   LATROBE WILDCATS 5)   BETHEL PARK BLACK HAWKS 6)   BALDWIN HIGHLANDERS

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WPIAL Softball: 2016 Season Review
A year ago, some new faces flashed championship gold in WPIAL softball as both Mount Pleasant in AAA and West Greene in A won their first ever softball district titles while Ellwood City won the AA championship for the second time and first in nearly a decade. The exception was Hempfield, who repeated as AAAA champ with their third WPIAL championship in eight years. Both Hempfield and Yough went on to win a PIAA state softball title as well. Before we look ahead, we look back at the 2016 WPIAL Softball season. FINAL 2016 WPIAL SOFTBALL STANDINGS:

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – Sewickley Kings of Single-A Again
July 12, 2016
Sewickley Academy is once again on top of the Class A standings in the chase for the MSA Sports Cup after leapfrogging defending champ Greensburg Central Catholic. In fact, the Panthers and Centurions have been tagging in for titles the last five years with GCC winning in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 and SA claiming the Cup in 201--2011, 2013-2014 and now in 2015-2016.  The championship for Sewickley Academy is the schools 9th in 13 years of the competition and was aided greatly by district and state championships in boys golf and boys tennis along with WPIAL crowns in boys cross-country and boys soccer.

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – A New Champ Wins Double-A
July 9, 2016
For only the fifth time in the thirteen years of the MSA Sports Cup Class AA chase, the torch has been passed to a new champion. Greensburg Central Catholic won the first three years, followed by a five year run by Shady Side Academy and three of the last four years the AA Cup has gone to Quaker Valley with a one year run at the top by Seton-LaSalle two years ago. Now the AA crown is coming to Beaver County thanks to Beaver High School. After a couple of close calls in recent years, the Bobcats were lifted to the top spot in part because of district championships won in each season...girls tennis in the fall, ice hockey in the winter and a second straight WPIAL title in girls track & field in the spring.

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – SF Three-peats in Triple-A
July 7, 2016
In the first ten years of the MSA Sports Cup, while there were a couple of dominating schools in the other three classifications, the chase for the Class AAA Cup had been up for grabs with eight different schools earning The Cup. However in the last three years of the season long competition, Triple-A has become the pride of the Lions. After finishing as the runner-up in 2012-2013, South Fayette has staked its claim on top in Class AAA as the Lions are the first school in this classification to win a third consecutive MSA Sports Cup.

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – NA Remains Perfect in Quad-A
July 6, 2016
Another school year is in the books and another MSA Sports Cup in Class AAAA is headed to North Allegheny High School. NA captured the schools 13th Cup in 13 years since the MSA Sports Network started this school year long competition to determine the top sports programs in each classification. There are 20 sports in which schools can earn points in the competition and the Tigers earned points in 18 of them. While it was not the highest point total or largest margin of victory, North Allegheny still cruised to their final Quad-A Sports Cup as they will move up to 6-A starting this fall. The second place school finished 430 points behind NA.

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2016 MSA SPORTS DIAMOND DOLLS
June 24, 2016
Pitchers can dominate the sport of softball. But this year’s Diamond Dolls all-star team is led by pitchers who also were big factors as hitters. The Diamond Dolls is made up of the top 10 players in the WPIAL, regardless of position, and is picked by the MSA Sports staff. Pitchers like Hempfield’s Morgan Ryan, Shaler’s Bri Dobson and West Greene’s Madison also had huge impacts as hitters and led their teams to highly successful seasons. All four WPIAL champions have a player on the Diamond Dolls team. Youth also is served on this team as it includes four sophomores. Here is a look at the Diamond Dolls team. PLAYER OF THE YEAR MORGAN RYAN, HEMPFIELD Pitcher - Senior

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Yough Blanks L-S For First Ever State Softball Crown
June 16, 2016
Olivia Miller and Cassidy Pearce hit back-to-back doubles in the top of the seventh, giving Yough a 1-0 win over Lampeter-Strasburg, the Cougars' first-ever PIAA softball championship. The WPIAL third-place team won five straight post-season games since a 1-0 loss to West Allegheny in the WPIAL semifinals. With the aid of a caught stealing in the top of the fourth, the first 13 Yough batters were retired by LS senior Jordan Weaver, a Mount St. Mary's recruit. Back-to-back singles to open the sixth by Kayley Westerman and Kierra Waywood were wasted by Yough (22-3) with a bunt pop-out, a fielder's choice and a groundout.

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Williams Valley Edges West Greene for PIAA A Softball Title
The PIAA Class-A Softball Championship Game pitted two very similar teams against one another and both the East Champion Williams Valley and the West Champion West Greene played a hard fought even game that would end in walk-off fashion with a Williams Valley Vikings run in the bottom of the seventh securing a 3-2 win over the Pioneers and a State Championship. The game started with defense as the first 11 batters combined produced no base runners for either team. 

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PIAA Baseball and Softball Recaps for Semifinals on Monday
June 13, 2016
The final step toward a happy place, specifically Happy Valley, the site of the 2016 PIAA baseball and softball championship games. Round Three was held Monday with four baseball and four softball teams from the WPIAL halfway to a state championship. Plum and Vincentian Academy baseball and Hempfield, Yough and West Greene softball are now one win from a state crown, while Riverside and Serra Catholic baseball and South Park softball see their dreams and seasons come to an end on Monday. Here are recaps from the State Semifinals games, all of which were heard here on MSA Sports. A special thanks to Todd Brown, Mike Azadian, James Dotson, Lou Rood, Jason Tennant and Sean Meyers for their help on these recaps. BASEBALL:

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2016 PIAA SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS
Yough did not even qualify for the WPIAL championship game, but they did win the district consolation game to earn a sport in the PIAA playoffs that paid off handsomely on Thursday. The Cougars won the schools first ever state championship with a win over Lampeter-Strasburg to win the Class AAA title game. Meanwhile, West Greene did win the WPIAL Class A championship, but finished second in the state when Williams Valley scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to win the state crown. Here are ALL of the results from three of the State Softball Championships at Penn State University on Thursday, plus the schedule for the Quad-A title game on Friday in the 2016 PIAA Softball Playoffs.

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Scholastic Notebook – 06/12/2016
June 12, 2016
Remember back two years ago when Blackhawk pitcher Brendan McKay’s scoreless streak was one of the biggest stories ever in WPIAL high school baseball? Well, the scoreless streak of Mike Boswell isn’t close to McKay’s, but Boswell’s also belongs as one of the most impressive in WPIAL history. Boswell is a 6-foot, 190-pound senior at Riverside who has played a huge role in getting the Panthers to the PIAA Class AA semifinals tomorrow [Monday]. He has not given up a run in four postseason victories and his scoreless streak, going back to the regular season, now stands at 41 innings. McKay’s streak was 72 1/3 innings, which tied for the second-longest in U.S. high school baseball history.

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 06/12/2016
With the celebration of another Stanley Cup for the City of Champions still going strong, we get closer to celebrating state baseball and softball gold in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We continue to wind down the 2015-2016 high school season as we conclude the PIAA baseball and Softball state playoffs with Semifinals and Championship action along with another full week of Washington Wild Things pro baseball at CONSOL Energy Park, plus its another edition of Rappin' on Racin' ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, June 13th:

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PIAA Baseball and Softball Recaps for Quarterfinals on Thursday
June 9, 2016
On a day when many fan had Stanley Cup dancing in their heads, six WPIAL baseball and softball teams were thinking about just taking a second step toward state gold. While eight of those teams were successful and will play more ball next week, four saw their season end on Thursday, including previously unbeaten Riverside in softball and defending state AA champ Neshannock in baseball. Here are the recaps from the PIAA Quarterfinals in both baseball and softball on Thursday. A special thanks to Lee Mohn, Sean Meyers, Mike Azadian, Mark Schaas, Todd Brown, Bob Gregg, Jason Tennant and Jake Holmes for their help on these recaps. BASEBALL: PIAA CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

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PIAA Baseball and Softball Recaps for First Round on Monday
June 7, 2016
The curtain went up on the 2016 PIAA Baseball and Softball postseason Monday as 24 district teams began the battle for state gold. Well, 22 of them did as both the Plum and Blackhawk baseball teams are on hold fore their Round One game until Tuesday.  It was a so-so start for district teams as the WPIAL went 5-5 in baseball and 6-6 in softball. Here are the summaries from the eleven First Round state playoff games heard here Monday on MSA Sports. A special thanks to Sean Meyers, Johnny Lee, Steve Nagler, Jake Holmes, Lou Rood, James Dotson, Mike Azadian, Todd Brown, Jason Tennant, Mark Uriah and Bob Gregg for their help on these recaps. PIAA BASEBALL Class AAAA First Round:

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 06/2016
June 6, 2016
The first full week of June has us now turning to coverage of ths high school baseball and softball state playoffs this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We continue to wind down the 2015-2016 high school season as we open up the PIAA baseball and Softball state playoffs with First Round and Quarterfinals action along with another full week of Washington Wild Things pro baseball, plus its another edition of Rappin' on Racin' ALL here at MSAsports.net Monday, June 6th: TALK SHOW - Rappin' on Racin' at 6:00pm on MSAsports.net

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Scholastic Notebook – 06/04/2016
June 4, 2016
For Morgan Ryan, earning a spot in the WPIAL record book means nothing. As in zero. As in zilch. As in nothing on the scoreboard under the “R” column. Ryan is a junior pitcher for the Hempfield softball team who threw a shutout in a 2-0 victory against Baldwin in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship Friday. A year ago, she threw a one-hitter as Hempfield defeated North Allegheny, 3-0. A check of the scores of WPIAL championship games shows that Ryan is the first pitcher in the history of the WPIAL to throw back-to-back shutouts in championship games. The WPIAL has been staging softball championships for 43 years. So in four-plus decades, there has never been a pitcher like Ryan. By the way, Ryan is a Notre Dame recruit.

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2016 WPIAL SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS Results
Unlike the district baseball playoffs where none of the top-seeds prevailed in the end, the favorites took home the gold in three of the four classifications. Hempfield repeated in Class AAAA, while undefeated Ellwood City won gold in Class AA and once beaten West Greene won their first ever Class A crown. The lone exception was in Class AAA, where 12th-seed Mount Pleasant was more than happy to play the role of Cinderella en route to their first ever district softball championship. Here are ALL of the results from the 2016 WPIAL Softball Playoffs. All results marked with (MSA) at the end are games you can hear archived here on the MSA Sports Network. 2016 WPIAL SOFTBALL CLASS AAAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

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Morgan Ryan Dominates As Hempfield Repeats in Quad-A
June 3, 2016
One year ago, Hempfield pitcher Morgan Ryan threw a one-hit shutout en route to a WPIAL Championship. Flash forward to 2016, and not much has changed. Ryan threw a four-hit shutout as her #1 seed Hempfield Spartans repeated as Class AAAA Softball Champions, defeating #3 seed Baldwin 2-0 on Friday afternoon at California University's Lilley Field. Baldwin threatened early in the contest. Taylor Dadig led off the bottom of the first with a sharp single up he middle. After a wild pitch and a sacrifice moved Dadig to third, Jamie Schleicher drew a walk. Samantha Wampler drove a hard shot to third base, where Kaylee Bloom made a sliding stop and threw to first for the second out. Ryan then forced a groundout to end the inning.

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Mount Pleasant Crushes West A For Surprise AAA Softball Crown
When the Mount Pleasant Vikings finished third in their section and were given the No. 12 seed for the Class AAA postseason, it seemed unlikely the Vikings would make a deep playoff run. Not only did Mount Pleasant capture gold on Friday, the Vikings did so in convincing fashion, with a 10-0 mercy rule win against West Allegheny. Courtesy of its five-inning victory at Lilley Field at California University of Pennsylvania, Mount Pleasant claimed its first WPIAL softball title. On their path to the championship, the Vikings knocked off the No. 1, 3, 4 and 5 seeds.

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