PIAA Class 5A softball championship preview: Shaler vs. Northern York

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Thursday, June 15, 2023 | 9:36 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 Shaler in Class 5A.

This is the fifth straight year that one of the 5A softball participants is from the WPIAL.

While District 7 missed out in 2017, West Allegheny in 2018, Penn-Trafford in 2019 and Armstrong in 2021 and 2022 have reached the 5A finals from the WPIAL.

However, only the Warriors in 2019 brought home gold, beating Lampeter-Strasburg from District 3, 5-3.

Here is a look at the sixth and final PIAA softball championship game Saturday afternoon.

PIAA Class 5A softball championship

Shaler (22-1) vs. Northern York (23-4)

4 p.m. Saturday at Nittany Lion Softball Park at Penn State University

On the air: Video on PCN

District seeds

Shaler was the No. 2 seed in the WPIAL playoffs and was the No. 3 seed out of District 7 in the PIAA playoffs.

Northern York was the No. 1 seed out of District 3 after winning its first district crown by beating Mechanicsburg in D-3 finals.

Coaches

Tom Sorce, Shaler; Emily Quatrale, Northern York

Players to watch

Bethany Rodman, Shaler, sr., P; Sammy Magee, Northern York, soph., P

Path to Penn State

Shaler – Defeated District 6 champion Central Mountain in the first round, 2-1, avenged its only loss of the season by eliminating 2023 WPIAL champion Trinity, 5-1 in the quarterfinals, then edged WPIAL playoff top seed Armstrong in eight innings, 8-5, in the semifinals.

Northern York – The District 3 champions beat Hatboro-Horsham from District 1 in the first round, 13-0, knocked off Upper Dublin from District 1 in the quarterfinals, 10-0, and then eliminated District 2 champion Abington Heights in the semifinals, 4-1.

Championship factoids

Shaler

• The Titans are 25-10 all-time in PIAA softball games.

• This is Shaler’s sixth PIAA softball championship game. The Titans lost to Shippensburg in 1982, 9-2, beat Chambersburg in 2004, 3-2, lost to Pennsbury a year later in 2005, 10-0, beat Hatboro-Horsham the following year for gold in 2006, 3-0, and then lost to Parkland in the 2009 finals, 5-1.

• The Titans’ 3-0 run here in 2023 is their first trip to the state softball playoffs since falling in the first round in the 2015 postseason.

• Shaler has relied on the long ball on its Path to Penn State. The Titans have hit seven home runs in their three wins, including two by senior Bethany Rodman.

• Titans freshman starting pitcher Bria Bosiljevac has struck out 40 opponents in the three PIAA wins.

• Shaler has won four games in a row.

Northern York

• Northern HS in the Northern York school district is 4-1 all-time in the PIAA playoffs.

•The Polar Bears are making their first trip to a state championship game.

• The only other state postseason appearance prior to this spring for the program was in 2006 when it beat Bellefonte in the first round before falling to Punxsutawney in the state quarterfinals.

• Sophomore pitcher Sammy Magee is 3-0 in the PIAA playoffs, allowing one run on five hits with 22 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched. She’s also 4-9 with five RBIs.

• Lock Haven commit Hailey Irwin is 5 for 11 on the Path to Penn State with three home runs and nine RBIs for the Polar Bears.

• Northern York has won seven straight games.

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