PIAA Class 2A softball preview capsule: Ligonier Valley vs. Line Mountain

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | 6:57 PM


PIAA softball preview

Class 2A

Championship

Ligonier Valley (22-2) vs. Line Mountain (22-3)

11 a.m. Thursday, Beard Field, Nittany Lion Softball Park, Penn State, University Park

Coaches: Mark Zimmerman, Ligonier Valley; Butch Fessler, Line Mountain

Players to watch: Kailey Johnston, Sr., 1B, Ligonier Valley; Kya Matter, Sr., P, Line Mountain

How they got here: Ligonier Valley — Defeated Sharpsville, 3-2; Chestnut Ridge, 1-0 (5 innings); Union City, 6-1; Line Mountain — Defeated Elk Lake, 6-0; Brandywine Heights, 4-0; Williams Valley, 1-0.

PIAA titles: Ligonier Valley 0; Line Mountain 0

About Ligonier Valley: The Rams have qualified for the PIAA playoffs five times, posting a 5-4 record over those appearances. This is the first time they have reached the finals. Pitcher Maddie Griffin has 11 no-hitters. Her last came in a loss to Shenango in the WPIAL semifinals when the Rams committed two errors that cost them a win. Griffin retired the first 12 batters against Union City before allowing a walk. She gave up a soft single in the sixth inning and a home run in the seventh. She struck out the final three batters to end the game and finished with 12 strikeouts. She has 299 K’s for the season. Ligonier Valley’s offense came alive against Union City. Senior first baseman Johnston had two RBIs. Griffin and two hits and scored twice, Ruby Wallace had two doubles and an RBI, Haley Boyd had an RBI, senior third baseman Jordan Hofecker had an RBI hit and Eden Krouse drove in a run with a sacrifice bunt. Mt. Pleasant, a Class 3A finalist, is the only other team to defeat the Rams. This is the final game for seniors Johnston, Bella Vargulish, Jordan Hofecker, Bella Schueltz and Krouse.

About Line Mountain: District 4 champion Line Mountain is in the state final for the first time and is in the PIAA playoffs for only the second time. Line Mountain is located north of Harrisburg and south of Sunbury. Line Mountain has won 11 consecutive games since losing to Shikellamy, 4-1, in a nonsection game May 10. Matter pitched a two-hit shutout with 19 strikeouts in a 1-0 semifinal win against Williams Valley, a team it lost to 14-5 early in the season. Matter retired the final 12 batters against Williams Valley and the final 16 against Brandywine Heights. Line Mountain hasn’t allowed a run in three PIAA playoff games. Matter scored the game’s only run on an RBI single by shortstop Brooke Novinger on Monday. Matter is hitting .524 with eight home runs and 15 RBIs.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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