Westmoreland County WPIAL softball playoff preview capsules for May 17, 2022

Monday, May 16, 2022 | 6:15 PM

WPIAL softball playoffs

Capsule previews

Class 5A

First round

12-Latrobe (9-4) vs. 5-West Allegheny (12-4)

6 p.m. Tuesday at North Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of 13-Upper St. Clair (6-14) vs. 4-North Hills (14-3) on Thursday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Jenna Tallman, Sr., Latrobe; Elly Vicari-Baker, So., West Allegheny

Last year’s finish: Latrobe — Lost to Indiana, 7-6, in first round; West Allegheny — Lost to Franklin Regional, 4-1, in first round

Extra bases: Latrobe finished third in Section 2, winning 6 of its final 7 games, including an 11-0 win over Belle Vernon and an 8-3 victory over Hempfield, the top seed in Class 6A. Kayla Williams and Josie Straigis are a formidable pitching duo. … West Allegheny also won 6 of its last 7 games before an 11-1 loss to Neshannock. Vicari-Baker, and her sister, Addy, both hit for average and have power to the gaps.

15-Plum (6-11) vs. 2-Penn-Trafford (15-2)

5 p.m. Tuesday at Norwin

Winner plays: Winner of 10-Shaler (14-3) vs. 7-Franklin Regional (13-6) on Thursday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Makenzie Lang, So., Plum; Mia Smith, Sr., Penn-Trafford

Last year’s finish: Plum — Lost to Fox Chapel, 2-0, in first round; Penn-Trafford — Lost to North Hills, 7-1, in quarterfinals

Extra bases: Plum finished fourth in Section 1 with a 5-7 mark. The Mustangs, who have allowed 10 or more runs 10 times, have a pair of 12-2 losses to Franklin Regional. … Penn-Trafford is led by Smith, a power pitcher and Pitt-Johnstown commit, and a mostly young lineup that can hit and fly on the bases. The Warriors’ losses are to Thomas Jefferson (3-2) and Hempfield (6-5).

10-Shaler (14-3) vs. 7-Franklin Regional (13-6)

3 p.m. Tuesday at Fox Chapel

Winner plays: Winner of 15-Plum (6-11) vs. 2-Penn-Trafford (15-2) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Eloise Facher, Jr., Shaler; Toryn Fulton, Fr., Franklin Regional

Last year’s finish: Shaler — Lost to Connellsville, 6-5, in first round; Franklin Regional — Lost to Fox Chapel, 7-5, in quarterfinals

Extra bases: Shaler takes a six-game winning streak into the postseason. The Titans finished third in Section 3 behind North Hills and Fox Chapel. An outfielder/first baseman, Facher is a Kent State commit. … Franklin Regional was second in Section 1, a spot behind Armstrong. A late-season slide saw the Panthers drop 4 of 5, including a surprising 19-12 loss to Class 3A Derry. Fulton and Ciara Camacho are a freshmen tandem to watch. Senior Madison Nguyen is a tough out.

Class 3A

First round

9-North Catholic (6-5) vs. 8-Mt. Pleasant (9-9)

5 p.m. Tuesday at Fox Chapel

Winner plays: 1-Avonworth (14-5) on Thursday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Samantha Foley, Fr., North Catholic; Katie Hutter, Sr., Mt. Pleasant

Last year’s finish: North Catholic — Lost to Southmoreland, 11-5, in first round; Mt. Pleasant — Defeated Mid Valley, 5-3, to win PIAA championship; Defeated Ellwood City, 15-0, to win WPIAL championship

Extra bases: North Catholic played only 11 games, its last nonsection contest happening in March. The Trojanettes beat Derry, 7-6 and 9-1. They were fourth in Section 1. … Mt. Pleasant ended up fourth in Section 3 after winning WPIAL and state titles a year ago. The Vikings have won 6 of 7 and have reached double-digit runs eight times. Hutter is a Division I prospect, but watch Sophia Smithnosky, Abby Swank and Abby Jones.

12-Derry (3-10) vs. 5-Southmoreland (10-3)

3 p.m. Tuesday at Norwin

Winner plays: Winner of 13-Beaver Falls (2-9) vs. 4-Ellwood City (10-3) on Thursday in quarterfinals (time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Sophia Doherty, Fr., Derry; Amarah McCutcheon, So., Southmoreland

Last year’s finish: Derry — Lost to Mt. Pleasant, 6-0, in quarterfinals; Southmoreland — Lost to Ellwood City, 4-2, in semifinals; Lost to Avonworth, 3-2, in third-place consolation

Extra bases: Derry entered the postseason for the second year in a row off an impressive 19-12 victory over 5A Franklin Regional. Doherty is fast-becoming one of the top home run hitters in the area. She has eight for the season, and 30 RBIs. Derry only has three wins but two have come in May. … Southmoreland, a perennial contender, has won 4 of 5 with its only recent trip-up a 6-2 loss to Mt. Pleasant. McCutcheon has 14 career home runs. The Scotties have a 3-2 win over star pitcher Maddie Griffin and Ligonier Valley.

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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