Hempfield coach Madison hopes for return trip to alma mater

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Saturday, June 10, 2023 | 5:08 PM


Making the state softball championship would carry special meaning for Hempfield coach Tina Madison, not just because she is a proud alum and former ace pitcher for the Spartans.

Hempfield (20-3) can clinch a spot in the PIAA Class 6A title game with a win Monday over Cumberland Valley (19-5).

Madison, who won a WPIAL and PIAA title as a player in 1998-99, also was a standout at Penn State, where the PIAA finals will be played Thursday and Friday.

The 6A game is set for 4 p.m. Thursday.

While Beard Field and Nittany Lion Softball Park was not yet constructed when then Tina Skelly played at University Park, the thought of returning to her college alma mater to coach has her beaming.

“I have never gotten to play or coach on that field, but, obviously, that place holds a special place in my heart,” Madison said. “I love Penn State and bleed blue and white. It would be a very special experience to be able to coach on that field.

“One more win to get there.”

Madison was 52-6 in the circle at Hempfield and struck out 598, second most in program history, while boasting a pint-sized ERA of 0.27.

She led the team to its first state title, in ’99. She made an immediate impact at Penn State, tossing a no-hitter in her freshman season. It happened on the same night teammate Missy Beseres tossed a perfect game in a doubleheader against St. Francis (Pa.).

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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