2 defending champs earn top seeds as WPIAL unveils softball playoff pairings

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Thursday, May 13, 2021 | 5:42 PM


It’s been almost two years since the WPIAL last crowned softball champions, but for at least two teams, seemingly little has changed.

A pair of 2019 champions — Elizabeth Forward in Class 4A and West Greene in Class A — received top seeds when the 2021 WPIAL softball brackets were revealed Thursday.

They were joined by Bethel Park in Class 6A, Penn-Trafford in Class 5A, Mt. Pleasant in Class 3A and Ligonier Valley in Class 2A.

Tournament action starts Monday with a preliminary round game in Class 2A when Bentworth meets California.

It continues Tuesday with eight first-round games in Class 5A and four first-round games in Class 3A and Class A. On Wednesday, there are four quarterfinals in Class 6A and four first-round matchups in Class 4A and Class 2A.

The finals will be held June 2-3 at Cal (Pa.).

Led by shortstop Reagan Milliken, an Ohio State recruit, and catcher Sandra Soltes, a Pitt commit, Class 6A top seed Bethel Park (15-0) is one of two undefeated teams in the WPIAL. Hempfield is the five-time defending champ.

The Class 5A field is arguably the deepest. Top-seeded Penn-Trafford (14-4) isn’t the defending WPIAL champ — that honor is reserved for three-time defending champ West Allegheny — but the Warriors did win a PIAA title in 2019.

With ace Kailey Larcinese in the circle, Elizabeth Forward (15-2) outdueled West Mifflin for the Section 2 title in Class 4A. Second-seeded Beaver (14-0) is the WPIAL’s other undefeated team. Elizabeth Forward, Beaver, Montour and West Mifflin received first-round byes.

Mt. Pleasant (14-3), the top seed in Class 3A, was the No. 1 seed in Class 4A in 2019. Mt. Pleasant, Avonworth, North Catholic and Waynesburg received byes.

Behind ace Maddie Griffin, who has thrown nine no-hitters and struck out 211 batters, Ligonier Valley (16-1) earned the Class 2A top seed in its first season back in the WPIAL in more than five decades. Laurel is the two-time defending champ.

West Greene (14-2) is going for its fifth straight WPIAL championship in Class A. West Greene, South Side, Leechburg and Union received byes.

Click for full brackets.

Watch an archived broadcast of the Trib HSSN playoff pairings show.

Class 6A

Quarterfinals

Wednesday’s schedule

Bethel Park (15-0) vs. Baldwin (4-9) at West Mifflin, 2 p.m.

Mt. Lebanon (10-6) vs. Pine-Richland (8-7) at Plum, 4 p.m.

Norwin (13-2) vs. North Allegheny (8-9) at Gateway, 4 p.m.

Hempfield (12-5) vs. Canon-McMillan (7-9) at West Mifflin, 4 p.m.

Class 5A

First round

Tuesday’s schedule

Penn-Trafford (14-4) vs. Hampton (7-8) at Gateway, 4 p.m.

North Hills (11-4) vs. Trinity (8-4) at Montour, 5 p.m.

Shaler (11-3) vs. Connellsville (9-8) at Norwin, 4 p.m.

Chartiers Valley (11-6) vs. Thomas Jefferson (7-5) at North Allegheny, 6 p.m.

Latrobe (9-3) vs. Indiana (10-7) at Valley, 4 p.m.

Armstrong (12-4) vs. South Fayette (12-6) at Valley, 2 p.m.

Plum (11-3) vs. Fox Chapel (11-5) at Gateway, 2 p.m.

West Allegheny (12-3) vs. Franklin Regional (9-6) at North Allegheny, 2 p.m.

Class 4A

First round

Wednesday’s schedule

Knoch (8-7) vs. Central Valley (9-8) at Mars, 4 p.m.

Highlands (13-4) vs. Blackhawk (8-6) at Montour, 3 p.m.

Yough (10-4) vs. Freeport (9-6) at Norwin, 3 p.m.

Burrell (7-5) vs. Belle Vernon (10-9) at Plum, 2 p.m.

Quarterfinals

May 24 schedule

Elizabeth Forward (15-2) vs. Knoch/Central Valley winner

Montour (11-5) vs. Highlands/Blackhawk winner

Beaver (14-0) vs. Yough/Freeport winner

West Mifflin (15-2) vs. Burrell/Belle Vernon winner

Class 3A

First round

Tuesday’s schedule

South Park (8-6) vs. Derry (6-6) at Norwin, 2 p.m.

South Allegheny (11-4) vs. Valley (5-7) at Fox Chapel, 4 p.m.

Southmoreland (9-4) vs. Keystone Oaks (10-5) at West Mifflin, 4 p.m.

Deer Lakes (11-3) vs. Ellwood City (11-4) at Montour, 3 p.m.

Quarterfinals

May 20 schedule

Mt. Pleasant (14-3) vs. South Park/Derry winner

Avonworth (11-4) vs. South Allegheny/Valley winner

North Catholic (10-4) vs. Southmoreland/Keystone Oaks winner

Waynesburg (12-4) vs. Deer Lakes/Ellwood City winner

Class 2A

Preliminary round

Monday’s schedule

Bentworth (5-10) vs. California (5-13) at Waynesburg University, 4 p.m.

First round

Wednesday’s schedule

Ligonier Valley (16-1) vs. Bentworth/California winner at Gateway, 2 p.m.

Charleroi (11-7) vs. Neshannock (8-5) at Sewickley Academy, 2 p.m.

OLSH (13-2) vs. Serra Catholic (8-4) at North Allegheny, 2 p.m.

Shenango (13-4) vs. Fort Cherry (10-7) at Sewickley Academy, 4 p.m.

Laurel (13-1) vs. Steel Valley (7-8) at North Allegheny, 4 p.m.

Burgettstown (10-7) vs. Carmichaels (11-7) at Montour, 5 p.m.

Frazier (14-3) vs. Riverside (8-5) at North Allegheny, 6 p.m.

Chartiers-Houston (12-5) vs. Apollo-Ridge (7-4) at Mars, 2 p.m.

Class A

First round

Tuesday’s schedule

Jefferson-Morgan (5-8) vs. Bishop Canevin (6-6) at Waynesburg University, 4 p.m.

Springdale (10-3) vs. Rochester (4-7) at North Allegheny, 4 p.m.

Mapletown (8-6) vs. St. Joseph (6-9) at West Mifflin, 2 p.m.

Greensburg Central Catholic (10-4) vs. Ellis School (4-5) at Fox Chapel, 2 p.m.

Quarterfinals

May 20 schedule

West Greene (14-2) vs. Jefferson-Morgan/Bishop Canevin winner

South Side (9-3) vs. Springdale/Rochester winner

Leechburg (11-4) vs. Mapletown/St. Joseph winner

Union (10-6) vs. Greensburg Central Catholic/Ellis School winner

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review Assistant Sports Editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at jbombulie@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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