Westmoreland notebook: Norwin, Hempfield could meet in baseball, softball playoffs

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Saturday, May 15, 2021 | 6:53 PM


Norwin and Hempfield could meet again in the WPIAL baseball and softball semifinals, and that could mean at least two local teams making the Class 6A finals.

The teams split their section series. The baseball teams shared a section championship.

The WPIAL playoffs begin this week, and the local matchups are looming large on the condensed, 8-team brackets that will begin with the quarterfinals.

In baseball, Norwin and Hempfield will play back-to-back at West Mifflin in their openers. No. 2 seed Norwin (13-3) meets No. 7 Seneca Valley (11-8) at noon Saturday, followed by No. 3 Hempfield (13-7) against No. 6 Central Catholic (10-8) at 2:30 p.m.

The winners meet next Monday at a site and time to be determined. Norwin and Hempfield played each other in the 4A first round in 2016.

The Norwin and Hempfield softball teams, which drew the same seeds as their baseball counterparts, will open the postseason at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

No. 2 Norwin (13-2) plays No. 7 North Allegheny (9-9) at Gateway, while No. 3 Hempfield (12-5) takes on No. 6 Canon-McMillan (7-9) at West Mifflin.

The semifinals are next Wednesday (time, site TBD).

Norwin and Hempfield played in the 2018 semis at Seton Hill.

Volleyball playoffs

The WPIAL will meet Monday to put together brackets for the boys volleyball playoffs.

Local qualifiers in Class AAA are Penn-Trafford, Hempfield, Norwin and Latrobe. In Class AA, Derry has secured a berth.

In the Week 7 Western PA Volleyball Coaches Top 10 Poll, Penn-Trafford is No. 3, Hempfield is 4, Norwin 8 and Latrobe 10 in Class AAA.

Alex Rugh, a junior outside hitter from Penn-Trafford, was named a Class AAA player of the week.

Lacrosse playoffs

Norwin’s boys team only has qualified for the WPIAL lacrosse postseason one other time, so the Knights are looking to cash in on their second appearance.

Norwin (6-4) will play at Peters Township (11-5) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Class 3A first round. Penn-Trafford (3-8) will visit Pine-Richland (7-6) at 8.

In 2A, Franklin Regional (8-6) will host Shaler (6-8) at 6 p.m. Monday in the first round.

Only one local team made it on the girls side. Franklin Regional (3-9) will play Seton LaSalle (9-4) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Chartiers Valley in the 2A first round.

LV softball draw

Top-seeded Ligonier Valley (16-1) and power pitcher Maddie Griffin didn’t get a bye like most of the other No. 1 seeds in the WPIAL softball playoffs, but the Rams did draw the only preliminary-round winner in the tournament.

Ligonier Valley will play the winner of Bentworth (5-11) vs. California (5-13) at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Gateway.

The winner faces the winner between 8-Charleroi (11-7) and 9-Neshannock (8-5) on May 24.

Recruiting

Franklin Regional senior soccer player Cole Kaforey, one of the WPIAL’s top defenders and a key piece to the puzzle in the Panthers’ recent back-to-back championships run, will play college soccer at Carnegie Mellon.

• Penn-Trafford junior football player Cade Yacamelli added another Division I offer from the Ivy League. His latest opportunity came from Yale.

• Abby Mankins, a junior basketball standout at Greensburg Salem, received a scholarship offer from a school in her backyard. Division II Seton Hill likes the talented scoring guard. Mankins averaged 16 points last season and needs 60 to reach 1,000 for her career.

• Riley Kapusta of Hempfield will continue her cheerleading career at Penn State.

• Southmoreland senior Jake VanArsdale will continue his track and field career at Seton Hill.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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