Westmoreland County softball notebook: Southmoreland captures elusive section title

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 | 6:35 PM

Southmoreland has been a playoff regular in recent seasons, and the Scotties won a WPIAL championship in 2018.

But, strangely, something has eluded the Scotties softball team for the past two decades: a section title.

That changed this season as the team secured at least a tie for the Section 3-3A crown.

The Scotties (9-2, 7-1) had a two-game lead over Yough (7-3, 5-3) and Mt. Pleasant (10-6, 5-3) with two section games to play.

Southmoreland’s last section championship came in 2001 when the team was in Class 2A.

Coach Todd Bunner, who is in his 10th season leading the team, said the section plaque should be passed around.

“It’s just all the hard work for the past 10 years from all the coaches — middle school included — players, parents and school administrators has finally paid off in one of our goals,” he said. “This section has always had great teams, and we have always been in the hunt.

“We’re really trying to just take it in, knowing we have a lot more work to do. Stay humble.”

Southmoreland will host Derry on Friday and will honor its softball alumni before the game.

Who’s in?

A dozen county teams have secured WPIAL playoff berths with about a week left in the regular season.

Those teams are Norwin (13-3, 11-2) and Hempfield (12-2, 9-2) in Class 6A; Franklin Regional (8-5, 6-2), Latrobe (11-3, 6-3) and Penn-Trafford (5-9, 4-5) in 5A; Belle Vernon (10-4, 7-2) in 4A; Burrell (8-4, 4-2), Southmoreland (9-2, 7-1), Yough (7-3, 5-3) and Mt. Pleasant (10-6, 5-3) in 3A; and Greensburg Central Catholic (10-1, 7-1) in 2A.

Greensburg Salem (8-7, 5-5) is on the bubble in Section 2-4A with two section games to play. The Golden Lions, a game up on Albert Gallatin for fourth place, still have to play Ringgold and Laurel Highlands, with the latter matchup set for Thursday in Fayette County.

Monessen (5-6, 5-5) and Jeannette (6-3, 5-3) also are on the verge of clinching in Class A.

The WPIAL will announce playoff seedings and pairings next Thursday, and games are scheduled to begin May 15.

All games will be played at neutral sites.

The WPIAL playoffs will conclude with championships May 31-June 1 at Cal (Pa.).

Game moved

The much-anticipated Franklin Regional at Armstrong rematch in Section 2-5A was rained out twice and moved to 4 p.m. Monday.

Franklin Regional nearly knocked off the defending WPIAL champion River Hawks earlier in the season, falling 4-3.

More makeups

This week’s rain and cold temperatures forced a number of postponements.

A big Class 6A section matchup between North Allegheny and Norwin was moved to 4 p.m. next Wednesday at Norwin.

Another important 6A matchup, Hempfield at Seneca Valley, was a wash Wednesday. It was moved to 4 p.m. next Thursday.

Mt. Pleasant at Ligonier Valley, rained out Monday in Section 3-3A, will be played at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Donaldson Field in Ligonier.

In Section 2-2A, Serra Catholic at Greensburg Central Catholic, which was rained out Wednesday at Seton Hill, also was postponed. It will be 4 p.m. Tuesday at a site to be announced.

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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