Spring sports heading south in Wednesday’s 3 things to watch in high school sports

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 | 5:57 PM

While the mercury continues to rise as we wind down March, unfortunately the rain continues to fall. Thus, all of the local baseball and softball games slated for Wednesday are likely to be washed away.

Thus, the warmer and, in most cases, drier weather is one of the benefits to heading south for the start of the 2018 softball season, which several district teams have done this spring.

The defending WPIAL Class 5A champion West Allegheny Indians conclude their seven-game start to the campaign at the Ripken Complex in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with a morning game against St. Francis High School out of Illinois.

On the flip side, Peters Township is just beginning its four-games-in-three-days excursion to the same complex in South Carolina. The Indians face Monsignor Bonner-Bishop Prendergast from just outside of Philadelphia.

There is one WPIAL section softball game slated for Wednesday on the turf at West Mifflin as the Titans host South Fayette in Section 2-4A.

Mid-week lacrosse

Wet or not, there are plenty of district girls lacrosse matches set for Wednesday as one defending champ opens up section play while another faces a stiff nonsection challenge.

Pine-Richland, the 2017 Class AAA champ, opens defense of its crown in a section opener against North Allegheny. The Rams edged top-seed Fox Chapel, 12-11, in overtime to win the program's first district lacrosse title. North Allegheny reached the quarterfinals last year before falling to Seneca Valley.

Hampton won't open up Section 3-AA play until next week, but it faces a stiff challenge in a nonsection game at Seneca Valley. While the Talbots won the Class AA district championship last year, the Raiders advanced to the Class AAA semifinals a year ago before losing 14-12 to Fox Chapel.

Two Class AA section matches involving playoff teams from a year ago include Quaker Valley hosting Blackhawk and Franklin Regional visiting Greensburg Central Catholic.

Winter wrap

The 2018 high school basketball season concludes with four PIAA championship games Wednesday at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Check out Bill Hartlep's preview of the girls 5A title contest between Mars and Archbishop Wood here . The other three games are Berks Catholic against Lancaster Catholic in a rematch of the District 3 finals in girls 4A at noon, District 6 runner-up Richland facing four-time defending champion Neumann-Goretti in boys 3A at 2 p.m. and the final game of the year is a rematch of the District 12 boys 6A championship game as Abraham Lincoln faces Roman Catholic at 8 p.m.

While the high school hockey season is complete, tune in to the final edition of the PIHL Power Play Show at 8 p.m. on the TribLive High School Sports Network with a recap of the Pennsylvania Cup championship games as well as the distribution of PIHL postseason awards.

Don Rebel is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at drebel@tribweb.com.

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