Trib HSSN Softball Team of the Week for April 22, 2024

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 | 12:30 AM


Trib HSSN softball team of the week – West Allegheny Indians

Coach: Mindi McFate (21st season)

Record: 6-0 in Section 3-5A, 13-1 overall

#Earned: Not including a six-game trip to the Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., in late March, West Allegheny had only played two WPIAL opponents in the first three and a half weeks of the season due to weather issues. So a four-game week ballooned to a six-game week with five of those games being Section 3-5A contests. Six days, six games, six wins for the Indians. The weekly sweep included a victory over third-place Mars and an epic section win over the team that eliminated them from the playoffs a year ago, South Fayette. The Indians trailed the Lions 5-1 after one inning then came back to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning, 6-6. South Fayette scored two runs to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth, then after West A scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead back, SF tied it with a run in the bottom of the inning. West Allegheny finally prevailed with two runs in the ninth inning to take sole possession of first place with a wild win, 11-9.

Standout performers: There have been plenty of heroes at the plate for this West Allegheny team as it has scored double-digit runs in 11 of its 13 wins, including five of its six victories this past week. Some of the standout plate appearances from last week came from senior Averi Zdinak and juniors Aubrey Police, Ava Henke, Savanna Benish and sophomore Ava Benish. They combined for five home runs, 13 doubles and two triples along with plenty of singles, runs scored and RBIs. The benefactor of so much offense is senior Cali Fiscus, who also contributed at the plate and well as in the circle.

Last year: West Allegheny averaged over 11 runs a game last year as it finished with a perfect 10-0 record atop Section 3-5A and was 18-1 overall in the regular season. As the No.4 seed in the Class 5A district playoffs, the Indians crushed Fox Chapel in the first round, 18-3. However, visions of a long and successful playoff run ended in the quarterfinals when West Allegheny lost to South Fayette, 4-3. The loss was a stunner since the Indians beat the Lions twice in the regular season by a combined score of 27-9.

Remember when: There have been a lot of WPIAL softball teams that have been able to repeat, but at the end of the last decade, West Allegheny became one of 10 district schools to three-peat in softball when it won Class 5A gold in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2017, West Allegheny dominated rival Moon in the first WPIAL 5A title game, 12-2 in six innings. A year later, the Indians defeated Thomas Jefferson in the district championship game, 4-2, to repeat. They reached the title game in the 2018 PIAA 5A playoffs, losing to Lampeter-Strasburg, 6-2, completing a 23-2 season. A third straight championship was earned in 2019 when West A edged Connellsville in the 5A finals, 3-2.

2024 Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week

Week 2 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors

Week 1 – Ellwood City Wolverines

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