Westmoreland County softball notebook: GCC taking no prisoners

Wednesday, April 5, 2023 | 6:12 PM

With a number of starters returning in a potent lineup, Greensburg Central Catholic is expected to compete for the WPIAL Class 2A softball title.

The Centurions did, after all, make the WPIAL semifinals and PIAA playoffs in Class A last season.

The bump-up in class hasn’t been an issue so far — make that, by far.

GCC has yet to be tested.

The Centurions started 4-0 and outscored their outmatched opponents, 61-6. They played a total of 18 innings, with two of the four games only lasting three frames. Another went five.

Some of GCC’s top hitters have been Emma Henry, a Central Connecticut State commit, Isabela Marquez, Makenzee Kenney, Macee McGill and Erica Rodriguez.

Henry is 12 for 14 (.857) with six doubles, two triples and 12 RBIs. Kenney had a six-RBI game.

Vikings hit early

Mt. Pleasant has been a perennial contender for the last seven years or so, and the Vikings (5-2, 1-0) appear to have another big-hitting lineup.

Before a 2-0 loss to Southmoreland on Wednesday, they outscored teams 44-6 during a four-game winning streak.

The Vikings scored 11 runs in the fifth inning of their section opener, a 15-1 rout of South Allegheny.

Addison Reese homered and drove in five runs.


Norwin won four of its first five game before its bats were finally silenced Tuesday by defending WPIAL champion Seneca Valley, 4-0.

The Lady Knights have hit eight home runs, including two each from Madie Kessler, Bailey Snowberger and Emma Novotnak, and one apiece from Alyssa McCormick (grand slam), Josey Michalski, Rachel Minteer and Izzy Deering.

McCormick also has been effective taking over in the pitching circle.

Section to watch

Keep an eye on Section 3-3A. It includes some of the area’s top programs in Mt. Pleasant, Yough, Southmoreland, and Ligonier Valley, all perennial playoff teams.

Ligonier Valley is up from Class 2A, while Yough dropped down from 4A.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Ligonier Valley coach Mark Zimmerman said. “A lot of good hitting and pitching across the section.”

D-1 attention for McCutcheon

Southmoreland junior shortstop Amarah McCutcheon is gaining interest from NCAA Division I programs. The power hitter with 18 career home runs said schools from at least three conferences have offered scholarships.

The conferences are the Mid-American, Atlantic Coast and Horizon League.

She mentioned Robert Morris as one of the schools she likes.

Rematch to the River Hawks

Penn-Trafford and Armstrong met again this week in a rematch of last year’s WPIAL 5A championship.

The result was the same.

Armstrong teed off on the Warriors, who are working in some new pitching personnel after the graduation of fireballer Mia Smith, with eight home runs in a 13-3 win in Harrison City.

Rank and file

Seven teams from Westmoreland made appearances in this week’s Trib Live HSSN rankings.

In Class 6A, Hempfield holds the No. 3 spot, while Norwin went from unranked to No. 5.

Latrobe (6-0), unbeaten heading into Wednesday’s clash at Armstrong, was No. 5 in 5A.

Belle Vernon was third in 4A, While Yough (2) and Burrell (5) were top-five teams in 3A.

Greensburg Central Catholic was third in 2A.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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