Westmoreland high school notebook: Softball teams still taking it 1 game at a time
Saturday, May 30, 2020 | 5:03 PM
Baseball is going to two-game, home-and-home series on consecutive days for section games next season.
Think of Penn-Trafford hosting Norwin on a Monday, then traveling to play the Knights on Tuesday.
But imagine if the new look also was added to softball.
Granted, baseball has pitch-count rules, and softball does not so the latter likely won’t see any schedule changes. But the thought of facing a rival on back-to-back days is intriguing nonetheless.
Hempfield coach Bob Kalp says no way.
“You don’t need to force back-to-back playing of games,” he said. “What happens if the second day gets rained out? I assume they will mandate playing on next available day. It’s just more to police.”
The WPIAL change for baseball is meant to provide some fairness in pitching, so a team could not throw its ace twice against the same section opponent.
If a pitcher throws more than 25 pitches, per PIAA rules, he is not permitted to pitch the following day. The section series should benefit teams with rotation depth and force teams with shutdown starters to get creative.
Softball will continue to play section games as usual. Teams won’t meet section foes a second time for weeks.
“I am a fan of two rounds of section play,” Kalp said. “There is time between for a team to practice and improve. Also, the momentum of winning would be more of a factor playing again the next day.”
It would have been interesting to see Hempfield play Norwin over two straight days. Or, how about Mt. Pleasant and Yough softball squaring off for a home-and-home set?
Yough softball coach Dutch Harvey said playing section games on consecutive days would put a strain on small-school teams with limited arms.
“But it would force coaches to develop and push more than one pitcher,” Harvey said. “We, like all smaller schools, go through spurts where we have multiple pitchers or we have only one. We have an incoming class of three, but last year, our freshman class lacked any pitching.”
Harvey mentioned this season, which was canceled because of coronavirus restrictions and social distancing, as an example of unsettled pitching staffs.
“You look at (Elizabeth Forward) losing its No. 1 pitcher for the year, and teams like us and Mt. Pleasant going to all new pitchers,” he said. “I don’t know if you would have seen any team in (Class) 4A this year with dominant pitching as in the past.”
Another one for Giansante
Norwin lineman Anthony Giansante is up to six Division I football offers after Virginia Military Institute reached out to him last week.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound rising senior has an FBS offer from Western Kentucky and other FCS offers from Sacred Heart, Bryant, Columbia and Dartmouth.
Penn-Trafford junior softball player Allie Prady announced her commitment to Division II Fairmont State.
Last season, she started every game for the PIAA Class 5A champion Warriors. The outfielder batted .338 with six doubles, 12 RBIs and 14 runs.
Prady likely would have started at first base had there been a 2020 season.
Jeannette golf coach Paul Shifko resigned after 15 seasons. … The PIAA is going to a 30-point mercy rule for basketball instead of a 40-point margin. Teams must be ahead by 30 in the second half to trigger a running clock.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
More High School Softball• High school softball players finding diamonds to play on in pop-up summer leagues
• Trib HSSN June Madness finals: Maura Huwalt, South Park vs. Rachel Martindale, North Allegheny
• Trib HSSN June Madness semifinal: Amani Johnson, East Allegheny vs. Rachel Martindale, North Allegheny
• Beaver County league gives high school softball players a place to play
• Trib HSSN June Madness quarterfinals: Rachel Martindale, North Allegheny vs. Nikki Doria, South Park