PIAA Class 4A softball championship preview: Beaver vs. Tunkhannock
Wednesday, June 16, 2021 | 5:38 PM
History is being made in Happy Valley this week as the WPIAL sends a record 10 baseball and softball teams to Penn State to compete in the PIAA championships.
This is the fourth year the PIAA has crowned six championships in both baseball and softball.
In 2017, the WPIAL sent seven teams to the finals, and the number grew to eight in 2018. Only five WPIAL baseball or softball teams reached the state finals in 2019.
Beaver (20-0) vs. Tunkhannock (23-2)
1:30 p.m. Thursday at Nittany Lions Softball Park, Penn State
The Path to Penn State
WPIAL champion Beaver defeated District 3 third-place Eastern York, 11-0; WPIAL third-place Elizabeth Forward, 5-3; and WPIAL runner-up Highlands, 4-0.
District 2 champion Tunkhannock defeated District 3 runner-up Hamburg, 8-0; and District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic, 5-1.
Beaver defeated Yough, 7-3; West Mifflin, 7-4, and Highlands in the WPIAL championship, 2-1.
Tunkhannock defeated Dallas, 8-6; Valley View, 10-0; and Berwick in the District 2 championship, 6-3.
Performers to Watch
Virginia Tech recruit Payton List, a junior, will be in the circle for the Bobcats. She is 15-0 with a 0.44 ERA and 217 strikeouts in 111 innings. List has a team high .419 batting average with five home runs and 23 RBIs, which is tied with senior Emilee Hohenshel for second-best on the Bobcats. Sophomore Kayla Cornell has a team-leading 25 RBIs. Senior Mackenzie Boyd is also hitting over .400.
Sophomore pitcher Kaya Hannon has started every game for the Tigers. She is 23-2 with a 1.44 ERA and has struck out 234 batters in 155 2/3 innings. She is batting .344. Another sophomore, Paige Marabell, leads the team in hitting with a .429 batting average and has a team-high nine home runs and 32 RBIs. Fellow sophomores Gabby Wood and Ella McNeff are also hitting over .400.
Beaver is undefeated with a 20-game winning streak while Tunkhannock has won 12 straight games.
• Beaver has a 4-1 record in the PIAA playoffs. This is the Bobcats’ first appearance in a softball state championship game. The only other time Beaver participated in the state softball playoffs was in 2014 and the team lost in the quarterfinals.
• Tunkhannock has a 6-3 record in the PIAA playoffs. This will be the Tigers’ second appearance in the softball state finals. Tunkhannock lost to Mt. Pleasant from the WPIAL in the 2017 finals, 5-3.
• The last WPIAL team to win a PIAA Class 4A softball title was Mt. Pleasant in 2017. No District 2 team has won a state Class 4A softball crown.
More High School Softball• Legendary Hempfield softball coach Bob Kalp, 7-time WPIAL champ, retires
• George Guido: Valley’s PIAA softball title run in 2011 was worth the wait
• With postseason honors in tow, Bethel Park’s Milliken ready to embark on collegiate career
• Speed, versatility help Abby Quickel play key role for Bethel Park softball
• Mt. Pleasant softball places 3 on all-state 1st team