PIAA Class 4A softball championship preview: Montour vs. Blue Mountain

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Wednesday, June 14, 2023 | 7:43 PM


This is the sixth season the PIAA has hosted six state championship softball games.

The WPIAL is sending four teams to the state softball championships at Penn State, including Montour in Class 4A.

Since expansion to six classifications, the WPIAL has had only two teams win PIAA 4A gold: Mt. Pleasant in 2017 and Beaver in 2021.

Elizabeth Forward reached the state softball 4A finals in 2019 but lost to West Perry from District 3, 3-2.

Canon-McMillan was the PIAA 4A champion 10 years ago and Hatboro-Horsham was the 4A state champ 15 years ago in 2008.

Here is a look at the second PIAA softball championship game Thursday afternoon.

PIAA Class 4A softball championship

Montour (18-4) vs. Blue Mountain (24-3)

1:30 p.m. Thursday at Nittany Lion Softball Park at Penn State University

On the air: Video on PCN with audio on WJPA-AM 1450 and TribHSSN.TribLive.com

District seeds

Montour was the No. 2 seed in the WPIAL playoffs and the No. 2 seed out of District 7 in the PIAA playoffs. … Blue Mountain was the No. 1 seed out of District 11.

Coaches

Ken Kutchman, Montour; Mike Rollman, Blue Mountain

Players to watch

Kaitlyn Molitoris, Montour, sr., P; Marla Freiwald, Blue Mountain, jr., P

Path to Penn State

Montour – Defeated District 6 champion Bellefonte in the first round, 5-2, knocked off District 12 champion Archbishop Wood, 5-0 in the quarterfinals, then beat WPIAL playoff top seed Elizabeth Forward in the semifinals, 4-1.

Blue Mountain – The District 11 champions crushed District 12 runner-up Swenson, 15-0 in three innings, shut out District 4 champion Jersey Shore in the quarterfinals, 4-0, and then blanked District 11 runner-up Northwestern Lehigh in the semifinals, 7-0.

Championship factoids

Montour

• The Spartans are 19-14 all-time in PIAA softball games.

• This is Montour’s second PIAA softball championship game. The Spartans lost to Pennsbury in the 2001 3A state championship game, 5-1. With the win over Elizabeth Forward, Montour is now 2-4 in PIAA semifinals games.

• The Spartans’ 3-0 record in these 2023 playoffs is their first state softball playoffs appearance since falling to Big Spring, 5-0, in the semifinals of the 2012 PIAA postseason.

• Alderson Broaddus recruit Kaitlyn Molitoris has turned it up a notch in the state playoffs, allowing two earned runs on 14 hits and 28 strikeouts in the three wins.

• Point Park commit Mia Arndt has two multi-hit games with three runs scored and two RBIs to spark the Montour offense in the state playoffs.

• Montour has won three games in a row.

Blue Mountain

• The Eagles are 3-1 all-time in PIAA softball games.

• Blue Mountain is making the most of its second trip to the PIAA playoffs this spring with three straight victories. The program’s only other state playoff game before this season was a first-round loss to James Buchanan in 2019, 8-2.

• Junior pitcher Marla Freiwald has been lights out on the Path to Penn State with three wins, no runs, four hits allowed and 24 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched. She also is 6 for 9 at the plate with a pair of doubles and four RBIs.

• The PIAA semifinal was a rematch of the District 11 championship this spring. In that game on May 31, Blue Mountain beat Northwestern Lehigh, 4-2. In the state semifinals game, the Eagles blanked the Tigers thanks to a seven-run sixth inning.

• Blue Mountain has won nine straight games.

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