2 defending champs earn top seeds as WPIAL unveils softball playoff pairings
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Bentworth (5-10) vs. California (5-13) at Waynesburg University, 4 p.m.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or via Twitter .
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