No 1. West Greene softball team routs No. 3 Greensburg Central Catholic

Friday, April 22, 2022 | 10:45 PM

West Greene players and their coach, Billy Simms, hung out in a dusty gravel parking lot near the Greensburg Central Catholic softball field Friday afternoon waiting for their ride home.

Simms sat Indian style as he tallied up the scorebook while players giggled and passed the time.

The fact that the five-time defending champion Pioneers had just dismantled GCC in a Section 2-A game for their fifth win in a row, made their long wait more tolerable.

West Greene had to share a bus with its baseball team, which played at Bishop Canevin, so the softball team sat around until the bus came back from Pittsburgh.

With a 13-3, six-inning victory, heavy-hitting West Greene (5-3, 5-0), ranked No. 1 in Class A, now has four mercy-ruled wins. Their other victory was by a 9-0 score.

The Pioneers scored in every inning, pounded out 13 hits, including five doubles, and built a 9-3 lead after three innings thanks to a five-run third.

“We have a veteran team,” Simms said. “I am overly pleased with how we played today.”

It was a rough day in the field for No. 3 GCC (6-3, 3-1), which committed six errors to help the Pioneers’ cause.

GCC, which saw a five-game winning streak end, had a 3-2 lead after the first inning before the Pioneers scored 11 unanswered runs.

“You can’t make those kind of mistakes against a team like that,” GCC coach Mike Gaffney said. “They have won four or five WPIAL titles in a row. They can hit the ball, and they know how to win.”

The baseball team drove with the softball team to GCC, then the bus took them to their game before returning to pick up the girls.

“We went to Myrtle Beach with the baseball guys, so it wasn’t a big deal,” West Greene junior London Whipkey said. “We really got our bats rolling today, and our defense was solid.”

Simms, who is also the school’s athletic director, said four bus drivers called off, leaving him shorthanded.

“We made the most of it,” he said. “We had thought about rescheduling, but we figured it would be best to play.”

Whipkey doubled, singled and reached base five times.

Senior Katie Lampe, the leadoff hitter, went 3 for 3, also reached five times and ad four RBIs.

Senior Olivia Kriger, freshman Payton Gilbert and senior Anna Durbin, a Pitt-Greensburg basketball commit, doubled. They are the Nos. 6, 7 and 9 hitters.

“Our 6 through 9 girls don’t get a lot of love, but they hit today,” Simms said.

Junior Lexie Six added two hits and an RBI, and senior Kiley Meek, the winning pitcher, also had a double.

Meek and Lampe are Saint Vincent commits.

Junior Emma Henry delivered a two-run triple in the first, and junior Isabella Marquez knocked in a run on a groundout to give the Centurions a 3-2 edge.

The lead was short lived. Lampe’s run-scoring single, which followed Durbin’s double, made it 4-3.

The Pioneers took command with a big third, which started with a single by Six and and double to left by Gilbert.

Back-to-back errors by the GCC infield allowed West Greene to take a five-run lead before Meek’s RBI double made it 9-3.

“The wheels came off,” Gaffney said. “We had some girls who didn’t make plays who normally make them. It was a tough day. but it’s just a blip. … This game doesn’t define us.”

Another error led to the 10th run in the fifth and the 13th in the sixth to bring the mercy rule into play.

The Pioneers could have made it worse: They left the bases loaded in the sixth.

“This game is a confidence boost for us,” Whipkey said. “That hasn’t been one of our strengths the last few weeks, but we’re improving that way.”

And they’re gaining confidence in their bus drivers.

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

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