PIAA softball/baseball capsules for games of Thursday, June 6, 2019
By: Bill Beckner Jr.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 | 5:12 PM
Hempfield (17-6) vs. McDowell (18-5)
Noon at North Allegheny
Winner plays: Winner of North Penn (22-2)/Central Dauphin (22-2) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Bob Kalp, Hempfield; Maureen Wolfe, McDowell
Players to watch: Jessica Persin, Sr., 2B, Hempfield; Rachel Marsden, Sr., P, McDowell
Extra bases: Back in the state quarterfinals for the fifth straight time, three-time returning champion Hempfield has steamrolled its last two playoff opponents. It defeated WPIAL No. 1 seed North Allegheny, 15-0, in four innings to win its fifth consecutive WPIAL title. Then, the Spartans took apart Chambersburg in the PIAA first round, 13-3, in six innings as they rapid-fired 18 hits at the Trojans. Sophomore pitcher Callie Sowers is 4-0 in the playoffs with 35 strikeouts. Sophomore catcher Emma Hoffner leads with a .527 average and 27 RBIs. Hempfield defeated McDowell, 5-0, in the 2017 PIAA quarterfinals at Hickory. Current Spartans senior Laura Fox had an RBI in that win. … District 10 (Erie) champion McDowell is one of the better hitting teams in the state (.377), and the Trojans have 25 home runs. But they rely heavily on their ace pitcher, Marsden, who pitched against Hempfield two years ago and is a St. Francis (Pa.) commit. She is 17-5 with a 1.18 ERA and 155 strikeouts. The Trojans pounded Miffin County, 11-1, in five innings in a state play-in game, then defeated Warwick, 9-4. Marsden is hitting .439 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs. Olivia Kruszewski (.434), Kira Hillhouse (.394), Kacie Irwin (.373), Erika Enzbrenner (.368, 21 RBIs) and Corrine Bechtold (.365, 23 RBIs) are other offensive threats. Hillhouse is a Cal (Pa.) recruit.
Penn-Trafford (20-2) vs. West Allegheny (13-7)
5 p.m. at Peters Township
Winner plays: Winner of Bishop Shanahan (14-6)/Donegal (23-2) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Denny Little, Penn-Trafford; Mindi McFate, West Allegheny
Players to watch: Morgan Nedley, Sr., SS, Penn-Trafford; Angela Costa, So., P, West Allegheny
Extra bases: Penn-Trafford showed why it has a reputation for being bold at the plate as the Warriors scattered 15 hits in a 13-5 win over Central Mountain. Sophomore center fielder Brooke Cleland had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs for the Warriors. The win was the Warriors’ first in the state playoffs since 1990. … West Allegheny, the WPIAL champion for a third straight time, was the PIAA runner-up last season. The Indians rolled past Exeter, 15-6, in their PIAA opener. Alyssa Goldstrom was 2 for 4 with a home run, and Britney Wilson and Megan Pollinger had two hits and two RBIs each. Megan Pollinger went 2 for 3 with a home run in a 3-2 win over Connellsville in the WPIAL final.
Mt. Pleasant (18-1) vs. James Buchanan (16-7)
5 p.m. at Mt. Aloysius College
Winner plays: Winner of Elizabeth Forward (18-3)/Grove City (16-5) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant; Eric Reed, James Buchanan
Players to watch: Mary Smithnosky, So., OF, Mt. Pleasant; Jenna Mongold, Sr., P, James Buchanan
Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant is a win away from back-to-back trips to the state semifinals. The WPIAL runner-up Vikings, with just one senior in pitcher Carolyn Alincic (17-1), defeated Bellefonte, 9-4, in the first round. Sophomores Haylie Brunson (.368, 14 RBIs) and Mary Smithnosky (.536, 14 RBIs) had three hits each, and Alincic struck out 12 while allowing a season-high 11 hits. The Vikings won a PIAA title in 2017 after finishing third in the WPIAL. … James Buchanan is the second-place team from District 3 and is led by Mongold. In the district final, Mongold fanned 13 as the Rockets lost to Eastern York, 1-0. She is 9-4 with a 0.58 ERA and 112 Ks in 96 innings. Mongold also leads the team in batting (.486), runs (26) RBIs (26), and home runs (4). Freshman third baseman Kirstyn Atherton is hitting .288 with 15 RBIs, and junior shortstop Madison Bailey has 22 runs.
Franklin Regional (19-2) vs. Lampeter-Strasburg (22-4)
4:30 p.m. at Greene Township Park, Scotland
Winner plays: Winner of Bishop Shannon (13-11)/Cedar Cliff (22-3) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Bobby Saddler, Franklin Regional; Keith Martin, Lampeter-Strasburg
Players to watch: Andrew Muraco, So., P/3B, Franklin Regional; Dylan Byler, Sr., 3B/P, Lampeter-Strasburg
Extra bases: Franklin Regional made the most of its first state playoff appearance in 18 years by rolling past Cathedral Prep, 13-4, in the first round. Muraco, Michael Klingensmith and Jake Williams reached base four times each. … Behind a two-hit, nine strikeout performance by Byler, Lampeter-Strasburg topped WPIAL champion Shaler, 5-1, in the first round. Byler faced one over the minimum and had a double and three RBIs. Lampeter-Strasburg was the fourth-place team in District 3. Byler (Delaware State), Braedon Karpathios (Coastal Carolina), Aaron Snyder (Canisius), and Connor Blantz (Hartford Community College) are college commits. Karpathios, a left-handed sophomore, likely will be the starting pitcher.
—Bill Beckner Jr.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .