Westmoreland County PIAA baseball, softball playoff preview capsules for June 10, 2021

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | 3:50 PM


Baseball

Class 6A

Quarterfinals

7-2 Hempfield (16-8) vs. 1-5 Spring-Ford (19-3)

4 p.m. Thursday at Bald Eagle Area High School, Wingate

Coaches: Tim Buzzard, Hempfield; Rick Harrison, Spring-Ford

Winner plays: Winner of 7-1 North Allegheny (21-3)/1-5 Central (13-2) game on Monday in semifinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Phil Fox, Sr. P, Hempfield; Jack Kisela, Sr. P/DH, Spring-Ford

Extra bases: Hempfield bounced back from its loss in its first WPIAL championship game to North Allegheny, 4-0, with a solid 7-2 victory over Erie McDowell on Monday. The Spartans got a solid pitching performance from starter Phil Fox and timely hitting. It was the second PIAA playoff victory in program history, the first coming against Norwin in 2016. Brandon Coughlin homered in the win against McDowell. … Don’t take Spring-Ford lightly. The Rams were the top seed in the District 1 tournament and were upset by North Penn in the quarterfinals. Spring-Ford won two consolation games to place fifth in District 1. It opened the PIAA playoffs with a 6-1 victory over Wilson (West Lawn). The Rams’ overall record in the PIAA playoffs is 13-7, but they’ve never won a state title. Jack Kisela and Malouf pitched against Wilson and both are eligible to pitch in the quarterfinals. Kisela and center fielder Nick Cagliola each had two RBIs. Hempfield has a two hour, 15 minute trip to Wingate while Spring-Ford will be traveling three hours, 10 minutes.

Softball

Class 3A

Quarterfinals

Mt. Pleasant (18-3) vs. Avonworth (14-6)

2 p.m. Thursday at Norwin

Coaches: Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant; Jenna Muncie, Avonworth

Players to watch: Courtney Poulich, Sr., 1B, Mt. Pleasant; Abigail Stanley, Sr., OF, Avonworth

Winner plays: Winner of Cambria Heights (22-1)/Punxsutawney (10-10) on Monday in semifinals (time, site TBD)

Extra bases: WPIAL champion Mt. Pleasant overcame a freak injury to senior standout Haylie Brunson in warmups Monday to blank Bald Eagle Area, 4-0, at Peterswood Park. Brunson, a Pitt commit, dislocated her finger but taped it up and hit as a designated player. The third baseman’s absence forced four players to change positions. Poulich, who will play at Liberty, hit her third home run in four playoff games, all shutouts for the Vikings. Junior Katie Hutter, an Akron recruit, who moved from center field to second base, had three RBIs. Pitcher Mary Smithnosky, who is 4-0 in the playoffs, tossed a one-hitter against Avonworth in the WPIAL semifinals in an 8-0 Vikings win. She also hit a three-run home run and drove in four. … Avonworth, which clipped Southmoreland, 3-2, to take third in the WPIAL, took down District 10 champion Jamestown, 8-0, in the PIAA first round. Freshman Alivia Lantzy threw a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and Abby Stanley hit a three-run home run for the Antelopes. Stanley had the lone hit against Mt. Pleasant in the semis. Leah Logan and Meghan Fissore are other run-producers for the Antelopes.

Class 2A

Quarterfinals

Ligonier Valley (20-2) vs. Chestnut Ridge (18-6)

1:30 p.m. Thursday at Mt. Aloysius College, Cresson

Coaches: Mark Zimmerman, Ligonier Valley; Greg Lazor, Chestnut Ridge

Players to watch: Maddie Griffin, Jr., P, Ligonier Valley; Isabella Wingard, Sr., C, Chestnut Ridge

Winner plays: Winner of Union City (19-1)/Laurel (18-1) on Monday in semifinals (time, site TBD)

Extra bases: WPIAL third-place team Ligonier Valley rolled on with a tight 3-2 win over District 10 champion Sharpsville in the opening round. Junior Maddie Griffin allowed three hits, the most she’s allowed in a game since surrendering five against Mt. Pleasant on April 23, and struck out nine to improve to 17-2. All three Rams’ runs were unearned. Kaylie Johnston had a two-run single. Griffin has 11 no-hitters and four perfect games. She has struck out 276. The Rams have 16 shutouts and have allowed 10 runs all season. They have never been to the PIAA semifinals. … Chestnut Ridge foiled Ligonier Valley’s coveted rematch with Shenango. The Lions defeated Shenango in the first round, 3-2, in 10 innings to advance. Wingard scored the tying run on a double steal and Ava Snider followed with the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th for the District 5 champions. The Lions faced two intentional walks in the 10th before No. 8 hitter Snider, a freshman, delivered. Junior pitcher Zoie Dunlap allowed seven hits and struck out seven in the win, outdueling Shenango’s Mia Edwards.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter @BillBeckner. Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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