Plum slow-pitch softball team captures another league title

Friday, November 16, 2018 | 9:27 PM

With figurative targets on their backs after claiming the 2017 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Softball League championship, the Plum varsity players still turned away the competition this fall.

The Mustangs brought home a second straight league title earlier this month, topping Seneca Valley, 15-3, in the championship game.

“The expectations were pretty high again,” Plum coach Eric Seigh said. “We lost six seniors from last year, but we had several returning starters and others who had varsity experience. The girls were ready for every game.”

Plum finished 17-0 — 14 wins in the regular season and three in the playoffs — for the second year in a row.

The championship also was the Mustangs’ third in four years. Plum became the second varsity program in the 13 years of the WPISL to claim three titles. Montour won titles in 2013, ’14 and ’16.

Montour beat Plum in the 2016 championship game.

The Mustangs are 63-5 overall the past four years.

In a slowpitch league where runs often come in bunches, Plum — led by the pitching of junior Delanee White and her defense — held its final two playoff opponents to a combined six runs.

Seneca Valley had advanced to the championship game with 34 combined runs in two games, including 24 in a semifinal victory over No. 7 Peters Township.

The Raiders were slotted as the No. 3 seed after they posted a 10-4 record in the regular season.

Plum’s semifinal opponent, No. 5 Bethel Park, exploded for 35 runs in a 35-5 win over No. 4 Montour in the quarterfinals. The Mustangs beat the Black Hawks, 16-3.

Seneca Valley had a few runners in scoring position early in the title game, but the Plum defense was able to shut down their momentum.

A double play halted a rally in one inning, and a diving play in the outfield by senior Aly Bryner with two outs and the bases loaded in another kept the Raiders off the board.

Seniors Alex Seigh and Chloey Pilston had four hits each in the championship game, senior Allison Blackwell added three hits and senior Bailey Weber knocked in three runs. Seigh and senior Dee Pernice had eight RBIs each to lead the team over the three playoff games.

Plum’s title almost didn’t materialize as Mt. Lebanon had the Mustangs’ backs against the wall in the quarterfinals.

Trailing 7-3 in the fourth inning, Plum got a grand slam from senior Jessica Frew to tie the score. That sparked the Mustangs to an 18-10 victory.

Other members of the varsity team who helped capture the title are seniors Skyler Bisceglia, Cheyanne Burris and Angela Dawson; sophomore Megan Franzi and sophomore Cassidy Starr.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at [email protected] or via Twitter @MLove_Trib.

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