Trib HSSN softball team of the week for June 4, 2023

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Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 10:19 PM


The golden history of Hempfield softball is important to second-year coach and former Spartans player Tina Madison.

It is so important, she begins each season with a PowerPoint presentation on the accomplishments of the program.

“I have a whole presentation on it I give the girls,” Madison said. “It’s my team kickoff presentation, and there are a lot of slides about all the medals that have been won. It shows them what they’re walking into. We celebrate it, and I’m super proud of it as a former player and now coach.”

Don’t be surprised if the 2024 presentation has plenty of photos and video from this year’s district championship run.

Hempfield captured the school’s eighth WPIAL title Wednesday with a thrilling victory over top seed and defending champion Seneca Valley, 2-1.

The eight crowns tie the Spartans with Chartiers-Houston, behind only Baldwin and Sto-Rox, which have 10 titles each.

“We’re extremely proud of it. We talk a lot of times about playing for the girls that played before you and playing for the girls that come after you as well. It’s just very high expectations. When you have a culture of winning, you don’t want to change it because it’s hard to create.”

In the rubber game of the three-game series against the Raiders this year, the Spartans got an outstanding pitching performance from Riley Miller.

The sophomore allowed one run on four hits in eight innings, with four walks and 11 strikeouts.

The four base-on-balls were intentional walks of Seneca Valley star sophomore Lexie Hames.

“Riley performed well beyond her age,” Madison said. “She’s outstanding.”

Madison should know; she was a pitcher at Hempfield as Tina Skelly, helping the Spartans win the first of their four PIAA state championships in 1999.

Hempfield struck first in the 6A title game with a run in the top of the first inning when Emily Griffith drove home Lauren Howard.

After Seneca Valley tied the score with a run in the sixth inning, Hempfield took the lead for good in the top of the eighth when senior Mandy Bandieramonte homered over the left-field fence.

“I knew it was a no-doubter. It was a rocket,” Madison said. “It was a 3-1 count, and it looks like Lexi might have missed her spot a little bit and she just rocked it over the left-center field fence. It was incredible.”

Now the team prepares for the PIAA postseason.

“I decided to give the girls a day off (Thursday), which doesn’t happen very much,” Madison said. “We will practice Friday, Saturday and Sunday to get ready and re-focus. Whether we win states or not, we’ll celebrate this victory after our season is over.”

2023 Trib HSSN Softball Teams of the Week

Week 8 – Belle Vernon Leopards

Week 7 – South Fayette Lions

Week 6 – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers

Week 5 – West Mifflin Titans

Week 4 – Neshannock Lancers

Week 3 – Trinity Hillers

Week 2 – Charleroi Cougars

Week 1 – Carmichaels Mighty Mikes

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