PIAA Class A softball championship preview: Union vs. Tri Valley

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Thursday, June 15, 2023 | 9:46 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 Union in Class A.

The PIAA Class A final has not been kind to WPIAL teams. Since Class A was formed in 1999, the WPIAL has had only four Class A teams win PIAA gold: Vincentian Academy in 2008, Chartiers-Houston in 2010 and West Greene in 2017 and 2018.

Williams Valley from District 11 was the PIAA Class A champion 10 years ago and South Williamsport from District 4 was Class A state champs 20 years ago.

Here is a look at the fourth PIAA softball championship game and first game scheduled Friday.

PIAA Class A softball championship

Union (20-3) vs. Tri-Valley (23-2)

11 a.m. Friday at Nittany Lion Softball Park at Penn State University

On the air: Video on PCN and audio only broadcast on Lawrence County Sports Net at TribHSSN.TribLive.com

District seeds

Union was the No. 1 seed in the WPIAL playoffs and the No. 1 seed out of District 7 in the PIAA playoffs after winning a second straight D-7 championship over Carmichaels.

Tri-Valley was the No. 1 seed out of District 11 after beating Marian Catholic in the D-11 Class A title game.

Coaches

Doug Fisher, Union; Brett Reed, Tri-Valley

Players to watch

Mia Preuhs, Union, soph., P; Emma Maurer, sr., P

Path to Penn State

Union – Defeated District 5 runner-up Berlin-Brothersvalley in the first round, 18-3, knocked off District 5 runner-up West Branch in the quarterfinals, 5-2, and then beat District 6 champion Claysburg-Kimmel in the semifinals, 10-8.

Tri-Valley – The District 11 champions blanked District 1 champion Dock Mennonite in the first round, 15-0, rolled past Old Forge in the quarterfinals, 10-1 and beat Glendale from District 6 in the semifinals, 4-1.

Championship factoids

Union

• The Scotties are 5-4 all-time in PIAA softball games.

• This is Union’s first PIAA softball championship game. This is the first year the Scotties got past the PIAA quarterfinals.

• The Scotties are 3-0 in the state playoffs this spring in only the fifth season they qualified for the PIAA playoffs. Union lost in the quarterfinals in 2018 and 2022 and was bounced in the opening round in 2019 and 2021.

•Sophomore sensation Mia Pruehs had 17 strikeouts in a quarterfinal victory over West Branch and was a big part of two rallies with three hits in the semifinal triumph over Claysburg-Kimmel.

• Freshman Olivia Benedict has six hits in the PIAA postseason and drove in five runs in the first round rout of Berlin-Brothersvalley.

• Union has won six games in a row.

Tri-Valley

• The Bulldogs are 8-3 all-time in the PIAA playoffs.

• Tri-Valley is making its second appearance in a state championship game. The Bulldogs beat West Greene in the 2021 finals, 2-1.

• The Bulldogs are 3-0 in the state playoffs this season, the fifth time they have participated in the PIAA softball postseason. Besides 2021 and 2022, their other appearances were in 1994 and 2002.

• Senior pitcher Emma Maurer has allowed one earned run in her last five games. In the PIAA playoffs, she has pitched 17 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits with 28 strikeouts. She also has six hits and seven RBIs. She has a 0.77 ERA this spring.

• Auburn recruit and Bulldogs shortstop Gianna Poletti has five hits and five RBIs in the state playoffs. She leads the team with a .573 batting average, .617 on-base percentage and hits with 47.

• Tri-Valley has won five straight games.

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