PIAA baseball, softball semifinals continue in Tuesday’s 3 things to watch in high school sports

Monday, June 11, 2018 | 7:24 PM

Two weeks ago they met for district gold; Tuesday they meet for happiness. Well, a trip to Happy Valley to be specific, although some sort of joy will be felt by the winners for sure.

A pair of WPIAL championship softball rematches that were postponed Monday thanks to heavy rains Sunday is set to be played 24 hours later at Peterswood Park.

West Allegheny faces Thomas Jefferson in a PIAA Class 5A semifinals contest while defending state Class A champion West Greene battles Monessen on a neighboring field in the Peters Township athletic complex. Both games begin at 2 p.m. and can be heard on the TribLive High School Sports Network .

West Allegheny beat Thomas Jefferson, 4-2, in the WPIAL finals. The Jaguars outhit the Indians, 9-4, but Ashley Seamon made the big pitches when she needed to and also helped with her bat, scoring West Allegheny's first run in the second and driving home the Indians' fourth run an inning later.

This is the fourth meeting of the year and seventh in two years between West Greene and Monessen. The Pioneers have had the advantage, winning six of the seven previous meetings, including a 10-0 whitewash in the 2017 WPIAL Class A title game and a wild, 5-4 victory in this year's championship contest.

After the Greyhounds jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead two weeks ago, the Pioneers tied the score with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Monessen scored a pair in the top of the seventh only to have West Greene score three in the bottom of the inning. Winning pitcher Jade Renner doubled home two runs to tie it, then her courtesy runner, Brianna Goodwin, scored on a throwing error that allowed the championship-winning run to score and give the Pioneers their third straight district crown.

Three-peat hits pause

Hempfield's thrilling journey on what the Spartans hope is a historic third straight state softball championship was put on hold for 24 hours by Mother Nature.

The Spartans will make the long trek to Norlo Park in Fayetteville as they face District 11 runner-up Nazareth for a spot in the PIAA Class 6A title game set for Friday at Penn State.

Two years ago, Hempfield shut out Chambersburg, 2-0, in the semifinals to reach the state title game. Then, in last year's semifinals, the Spartans leaned on offense as they rolled past Chambersburg, 11-4.

The Hempfield-Nazareth winner will play a team the Eagles are familiar with. District 11 champion Parkland beat Neshaminy on Monday to advance to the 6A finals.

Trip to Scotland delayed

Two WPIAL baseball teams from the two highest classifications are headed to the roaming hills of Greene Township Park in Scotland a day later than scheduled.

WPIAL Class 6A champion Canon-McMillan will face Council Rock North in a state semifinal following the 5A semifinals game between West Allegheny and Marple Newtown.

Both Council Rock North and Marple Newtown were District 1 runners-up but each allowed only two runs in their two previous PIAA playoff games this spring.

The Big Macs have also been stingy on the hill, allowing only four runs in wins over Dallastown and North Allegheny.

The Indians have flipped the script on their journey to the PIAA 5A Final Four. West Allegheny has allowed nine combined runs in wins over Erie Cathedral Prep and Red Land, but they have tuned up the offense in the state playoffs with a combined 16 runs in the two wins.

Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at drebel@tribweb.com.

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