Westmoreland PIAA softball capsules: Games for Thursday, June 8, 2023

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | 11:01 AM

PIAA softball playoffs

Class 6A


Hempfield (19-3) vs. Downingtown East (22-3)

4 p.m. Thursday at Cumberland Valley, Mechanicsburg

District seeds: Hempfield 7-1; Downingtown East 1-3

Winner plays: Winner of 3-1 Cumberland Valley (18-5)/1-2 Haverford (21-5) Monday in semifinals (time, site TBD)

Coaches: Tina Madison, Hempfield; Peggy O’Dwyer, Downingtown East

Players to watch: Emily Griffith, Hempfield; Lilly Waterer, Downingtown East

Extra bases: Hempfield cut down Mifflin County in the PIAA first round, 5-0, as Riley Miller struck out eight and allowed three hits, all singles. Lauren Howard went 2 for 2 with three runs, Maggie Howard added two hits and an RBI, and Emily Griffith drove in two runs for the WPIAL champion Spartans. Hempfield, which starts only one senior, is looking to return to the PIAA semifinals for the first time since 2019 and sixth time since 2015. … Downingtown East won the Ches-Mont League title for the first time and, after an 8-5 loss to Haverford in the District 1 semifinals, defeated Plymouth Whitemarsh in the third-place game to make the PIAA tournament. The Cougars blanked District 3 runner-up Central Dauphin in the PIAA first round, 6-0. Rachael Schumann pitched a complete-game two-hitter with 13 strikeouts and three walks, while Sophia Kucera and Hailey Long each had three hits, with Long driving in two runs. Nicole Mattei added two hits, two runs and two RBIs. Schumann has 16 wins, a 0.74 ERA and over 230 strikeouts. She threw back-to-back no-hitters during the regular season and also bats over .500 with 14 doubles. Seven players have 20 or more hits, while six have at least 15 RBIs. Jade Jenkins has four home runs. Waterer was an all-state catcher last year. The Cougars have never been to the 6A state playoffs and have never won a PIAA title.

Class 4A


Belle Vernon (18-4) vs. Elizabeth Forward (19-1)

4:30 p.m. Thursday at Robert D. Kalp Field, Hempfield

District seeds: Belle Vernon 7-1; Elizabeth Forward 7-3

Winner plays: Winner of 12-3 Archbishop Wood (13-8)/7-2 Montour (16-4) Monday in semifinals (time, site TBD)

Coaches: Tom Rodriguez, Belle Vernon; Harry Rutherford, Elizabeth Forward

Players to watch: Gracie Sokol, Belle Vernon; Shelby Telegdy, Elizabeth Forward

Extra bases: This game will mark the fourth meeting this season between Mon-Valley rivals. Elizabeth Forward won twice during section play (5-2 and 11-1), but the underdog Leopards returned the favor with a convincing 10-1 win in the WPIAL semifinals to hand the Warriors their first loss. … Belle Vernon opened its first PIAA playoff appearance since 2018 with a 6-3 win over Trinity of District 3. Lauren VanDivner had an RBI double, while Maren Metikosh and Gracie Sokol had RBIs. Olivia Kolowitz pitched six innings before Talia Ross took over late and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Belle Vernon, which won its fifth WPIAL title, last reached the PIAA semifinals in 2008. It has never won a state title in softball. … Elizabeth Forward rebounded from a loss to Belle Vernon in the district semifinals with an 8-0 win over Chartiers Valley in the WPIAL third-place game. Then, the Warriors opened the state tournament with a 7-2 win over Erie Cathedral Prep as Riley Salazar delivered three triples and two RBIs, and Carlee Soukup went 3 for 4 with a run-scoring triple. Elizabeth Forward made the state finals in 2019 but lost to West Perry.

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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