Defending champions Beaver, West Greene among No. 1 seeds in WPIAL softball playoffs

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Thursday, May 12, 2022 | 4:52 PM


Two undefeated teams. Two more strong section champions. A defending WPIAL champion with only three losses.

How do you rank them?

That WPIAL softball committee faced that dilemma Thursday while trying to seed a Class 2A playoff bracket that proved the most challenging to complete.

“The first five, you could put them in a Scrabble bag and pull them out and there you go, because they’re that close,” said softball committee chairman Scot Moore, the athletic director at Jefferson-Morgan.

Ultimately, the committee awarded the No. 1 seed to Neshannock (18-0). Frazier (14-0) was seeded second, followed by No. 3 Ligonier Valley (13-3), No. 4 Chartiers-Houston (15-3) and No. 5 Laurel (14-3), which won the WPIAL title last season.

“As much time as we spent on A, 3A and 4A (combined), that’s what we spent on 2A,” Moore said during WPIAL Softball Pairings Show on TribLive HSSN.

The other No. 1 seeds were awarded to Hempfield in 6A, Armstrong in 5A, Beaver in 4A, Avonworth in 3A and West Greene in A.

“The easy ones were West Greene and Beaver,” said Moore, adding that both are defending WPIAL champions.

Hempfield and Mt. Lebanon were in the discussion for the top spot in Class 6A, but the committee chose Hempfield, in part because of the Spartans’ championship history. They won five consecutive WPIAL titles from 2015-19.

“You always consider those things as well,” Moore said. “But sometimes history doesn’t repeat itself, so you’ve got to be careful you don’t just assume Hempfield is there every year, so they automatically get the No. 1 seed.”

The playoffs begin with first-round games Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at neutral sites. The finals are June 1-2 at Cal (Pa.).

A couple of the brackets were easier to put together than the others, but four of the six were complicated, Moore said.

“It was probably one of the tougher days we’ve ever had, to be honest with you,” he said.

The 12-person softball committee had some new faces this season, and the WPIAL attempted to make the group better represent schools of varying sizes. That, Moore said, was a priority from the WPIAL administration that he supported.

“You get different perspectives now,” he said. “That’s what you need.”

Class 6A

Monday’s games

No. 1 Hempfield – bye

No. 8 Norwin vs. No. 9 Baldwin at West Mifflin, 3 p.m.

No. 4 Seneca Valley – bye

No. 5 Bethel Park – bye

No. 2 Mt. Lebanon – bye

No. 7 North Allegheny vs. No. 10 Peters Township at West Mifflin, 5 p.m.

No. 3 Pine-Richland – bye

No. 6 Canon-McMillan – bye

Class 5A

Tuesday’s games

No. 1 Armstrong vs. No. 16 Hampton at Mars, 3 p.m.

No. 8 Thomas Jefferson vs. No. 9 Kiski Area at Plum, 5 p.m.

No. 4 North Hills vs. No. 13 Upper St. Clair at North Allegheny, 4 p.m.

No. 5 West Allegheny vs. No. 12 Latrobe at North Allegheny, 6 p.m.

No. 2 Penn-Trafford vs. No. 15 Plum at Norwin, 5 p.m.

No. 7 Franklin Regional vs. No. 10 Shaler at Fox Chapel, 3 p.m.

No. 3 Trinity vs. No. 14 Connellsville at Waynesburg University, 5 p.m.

No. 6 Fox Chapel vs. No. 11 Chartiers Valley at Sewickley Academy, 5 p.m.

Class 4A

Wednesday’s games

No. 1 Beaver – bye

No. 8 Freeport vs. No. 9 Central Valley at Mars, 5 p.m.

No. 4 Yough vs. No. 13 Blackhawk at Plum, 3 p.m.

No. 5 Montour vs. No. 12 Knoch at North Allegheny, 3 p.m.

No. 2 Elizabeth Forward – bye

No. 7 Highlands vs. No. 10 West Mifflin at Norwin, 3 p.m.

No. 3 Burrell – bye

No. 6 Belle Vernon vs. No. 11 New Castle at Plum, 5 p.m.

Class 3A

Tuesday’s game

No. 1 Avonworth – bye

No. 8 Mt. Pleasant vs. No. 9 North Catholic at Fox Chapel, 5 p.m.

No. 4 Ellwood City vs. No. 13 Beaver Falls at Seneca Valley, 4 p.m.

No. 5 Southmoreland vs. No. 12 Derry at Norwin, 3 p.m.

No. 2 South Allegheny – bye

No. 7 Valley vs. No. 10 Keystone Oaks at Plum, 3 p.m.

No. 3 Deer Lakes – bye

No. 6 Waynesburg vs. No. 11 South Park at Trinity, 4 p.m.

Class 2A

Monday’s game

No. 16 Fort Cherry vs. No. 17 Carlynton at Trinity, 4 p.m.

Wednesday’s games

No. 1 Neshannock vs. Fort Cherry/Carlynton winner at Sewickley Academy, 5 p.m.

No. 8 Charleroi vs. No. 9 Serra Catholic at Trinity, 6 p.m.

No. 4 Chartiers-Houston vs. No. 13 Riverside at Sewickley Academy, 3 p.m.

No. 5 Laurel vs. No. 12 Burgettstown at North Allegheny, 5 p.m.

No. 2 Frazier vs. No. 15 Apollo-Ridge at Penn-Trafford, 5 p.m.

No. 7 Seton LaSalle vs. No. 10 Carmichaels at Trinity, 4 p.m.

No. 3 Ligonier Valley vs. No. 14 Bentworth at Norwin, 5 p.m.

No. 6 OLSH vs. No. 11 Mohawk at Mars, 3 p.m.

Class A

Tuesday’s games

No. 1 West Greene – bye

No. 8 Bishop Canevin vs. No. 9 Mapletown at Waynesburg University, 3 p.m.

No. 4 Springdale – bye

No. 5 South Side vs. No. 12 Northgate at Sewickley Academy, 3 p.m.

No. 2 Union – bye

No. 7 Jefferson-Morgan vs. No. 10 St. Joseph at Trinity, 6 p.m.

No. 3 Greensburg Central Catholic – bye

No. 6 Leechburg vs. No. 11 Rochester at Mars, 5 p.m.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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