Westmoreland County softball notebook: Greensburg Salem battling through injuries

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 | 4:56 PM

Greensburg Salem had to play two recent softball games with only 11 players because of a rash of injuries.

The Golden Lions (6-7, 3-5) have dealt with a concussion, a jaw issue and an upper-body injury as a result of a hit batter, all in recent games.

Still, they remained in the thick of the WPIAL playoff race in Section 2-4A.

One of the injured players is Winter Scarpa, a sophomore middle infielder.

Coach Bill Wright is the chief of the Southwest Greensburg Fire Department, so he is ready for emergencies. This isn’t one — yet.

“The girls feel for Winter, but they are rallying together,” Wright said. “We have had some other girls step up. Fortunately, our big sticks are still in the lineup.”

Sophomore Samantha Reusser, for example, moved to second base from third. She is a transfer from Greensburg Central Catholic. Senior Heather Bolen moved from first to third.

Wright, an operating manager for Peoples Gas, said he has work time and softball time and they two rarely cross.

“The girls joke sometimes when the siren goes off,” Wright said. “I have it covered. I haven’t had to leave a game or practice (for a fire event) yet.”

Milestone for Bunner

Southmoreland coach Todd Bunner reached a milestone in Monday’s 10-1 win over Mt. Pleasant.

It was his 100th career win.

Bunner, who took the program over in 2014, improved to 100-51. He has one WPIAL title (2018), has made the WPIAL semifinals five times, and has two PIAA playoff appearances.

Head of state

Norwin is playing some of its best softball and the Knights (12-2, 10-1) are climbing in stature.

They moved into the Trib HSSN Class 6A state rankings last week, taking the No. 5 spot.

The top four in 6A were North Penn, Seneca Valley, Quakertown and Pennsbury.

FR-Armstrong II

Franklin Regional softball players might not come out and admit it, but they had two section games circled on their calendars since the start of the season.

Those games were against Armstrong, the WPIAL Class 5A champion and PIAA runner-up that was placed in the Panthers’ section this year.

Franklin Regional gave the River Hawks all they could handle in the teams’ initial matchup April 14, falling 4-3.

Armstrong scored twice in the top of the seventh to edge the the Panthers, who went hit-for-hit with their counterparts. Ciara Camacho had two hits — a double and a home run — and Madison Nguyen also homered, while Sydney Jackson had two hits, including a double.

The River Hawks homered twice.

Franklin Regional had a 3-2 lead in the sixth.

The teams’ second matchup is Friday in Kittanning.

“I’m happy right where we’re at,” Franklin Regional coach Jim Armstrong said of playing Section 2-5A with teams like Armstrong, Latrobe and Penn-Trafford. “I love the competition with those teams. You don’t get much out of winning games 10-0.”

Ross commits

Belle Vernon senior Talia Ross announced her commitment to Lock Haven.

Ross is a left-handed pitcher for the Leopards. She plays travel ball for TN Mojo 24/25 Carmichael out of Indianapolis.

Strike zone

Sometimes, a pitcher just has success against a particular lineup.

For Ligonier Valley junior Cheyenne Piper, that lineup is Southmoreland’s. In two games against the Scotties, she racked up 35 strikeouts.

The Rams split the section series, falling 2-0 in nine innings, and defeating the Scotties, 5-2.

Piper had 20 Ks in the first game.

Jeannette freshman Grace Stein has had similar success against Monessen.

The Jayhawks swept the Greyhounds, 15-0 and 6-0, with Stein striking out 18 and giving up zero hits across 11 innings.

The second game had a run-ruled finish. Stein was perfect in the four innings.

She also helped herself by going 5 for 8 with two doubles.

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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