Murrysville Star notebook: Matchups with rival Armstrong highlight Franklin Regional softball schedule

Saturday, April 22, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Franklin Regional softball players might not come out and admit it, but they had two section games circled on their calendars since the start of the season.

Those games were against Armstrong, the WPIAL Class 5A champion and PIAA runner-up who has placed in the Panthers’ section this year.

Franklin Regional gave the River Hawks all they could handle in the teams’ initial matchup April 14, falling 4-3.

Armstrong scored twice in the top of the seventh to edge the the Panthers, who went hit-for-hit with their counterparts. Ciara Camacho had two hits — a double and a home run — and Madison Nguyen also homered. Sydney Jackson had two hits, including a double.

The River Hawks homered twice.

The teams’ second matchup is April 28 in Kittanning.


A pair of Franklin Regional seniors were nominees for the Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Excellence Award, which were presented April 18.

Aidan Bunker, a swimming standout who won a WPIAL title and brought home four medals from the PIAA finals, was the boys’ nominee, while Sierra Todero, a soccer and track and field standout, was the girls’ pick.

Bunker is headed to Villanova. Todero will compete in track and Robert Morris.

Norwin’s Adam Bilinsky and Hempfield’s Elizabeth Tapper won the Excellence Awards.

Paterline wins title

Abigail Paterline, who might be better known for her play on the soccer field, ran to a track title at the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational.

Paterline won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.19 seconds.

Alesi commits

Franklin Regional baseball player Anthony Alesi, a corner infielder, will continue his playing at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Va. Alesi hit a home run in his first at-bat of the season.

Rest for baseball

The Franklin Regional baseball team had a break in between section series. After splitting a pair of Section 1-5A games against Gateway, the second on April 3, the Panthers did not play another section matchup until April 17 against Fox Chapel.

In between, they dropped a 7-2 decision to 6A Seneca Valley.

Only one Westmoreland County baseball team was situated among the top teams in the Trib top-5 rankings. Franklin Regional was No. 3 in the Class 5A rankings.

Singles night

Franklin Regional senior Aaron Allen went 1-1 in the WPIAL Class 3A tennis singles championship.

He defeated Ian Kuchera of Allderdice in the first round, 10-7, but dropped an 11-10 decision to Devin Collier in the quarterfinals.

Ice capades

The Allegheny Badgers youth hockey team — 16U, coached by Josh Fajt — made a championship run.

Tha Badgers reached the semifinals of the USA Hockey Tier 2 National Tournament, falling to the Woodbridge Wolfpack, 2-1, in overtime, in Amherst, N.Y.

The Badgers, who play out of Palmer Imaging Arena in Delmont, feature a roster loaded with Westmoreland County players.

They include Alex Smilie and Carter Cherok of Greensburg, Luke Anderchak of Murrysville, Dom Cerilli and Dom Costantino of North Huntingdon, Jack Blank and Robbie Thatcher of Harrison City, Garrett Rechtorik of Trafford, Bryce Kropczynski of Irwin, JM Krajc and Bryant Dumnich of Latrobe, Jake Hannah of Ligonier, Chase Bonson of Penn Township and Tyler Danko of New Kensington.

College scene

Updates on Franklin Regional athletes playing in college:


Saint Vincent: Grad student Michael Klingensmith pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball and struck out eight as SVC won, 1-0, over Westminster.

Men’s golf

Grove City: Sophomore Luke Kimmich registered a fourth-place finish at the Westminster Invitational with a 6-over-par 78.

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


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