Westmoreland PIAA softball capsules for local semifinal games
Sunday, June 9, 2019 | 9:29 PM
Hempfield (18-6) vs. Central Dauphin (23-2)
4 p.m. at St. Francis (Pa.), Loretto
Winner plays: Winner of Hazleton (22-1)/Spring-Ford (24-1) at 4 p.m. Thursday in the championship at Penn State
Coaches: Bob Kalp, Hempfield; Ken Williams, Central Dauphin
Players to watch: Ashley Orischak, Jr., RF, Hempfield; Sam Gress, Sr., P, Central Dauphin
Extra bases: Penn State has an infield, an outfield and, usually, Hempfield. PSU’s Beard Field will host the state final Thursday, and the Spartans will look to play there for the fourth straight year as they try to track down that many titles in a row. They held off a challenge from District 10 champion McDowell in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals for the fifth consecutive time. Seniors Laura Fox and Jessica Persin have hit home runs in the playoffs. Catcher Emma Hoffner is hitting over .500 and Fox .490…. District 3 winner Central Dauphin needed extra innings to advance past North Penn, 2-0, in the quarterfinals. Tyler White delivered a run-scoring double in the 11th inning. Gress is a talented multi-sport athlete for the Rams and will test Hempfield’s lineup. Not only is she committed to pitch at N.C. State, she also is a 1,000-point scorer in basketball. She struck out 17 against North Penn and gave up five hits. North Penn pitcher Mady Volpe struck out 18 in the loss. Central Dauphin lost to Latrobe, 4-2, in last year’s state first round at Millersville.
Penn-Trafford (21-2) vs. Donegal (24-2)
1:30 p.m. at Mt. Aloysius, Cresson
Winner plays: Winner of West Chester East (24-2)/Lampeter-Strasburg (27-1) at 4 p.m. Friday in championship at Penn State
Coaches: Denny Little, Penn-Trafford; Wayne Emenheiser, Donegal
Players to watch: Emma Armstrong, Sr., 1B, Penn-Trafford; Steph Reider, 1B/C, Jr., Donegal
Extra bases: Like it has done so many times this season, Penn-Trafford jumped on an opponent early to set the tone for a win over WPIAL champion and returning state finalist West Allegheny, 6-2, in the quarterfinals. Sophomore center fielder Brooke Cleland launched her eighth and ninth home runs of the season, and Carlee Lamacz and Armstrong had RBI doubles. Cleland has 30 RBIs. The Warriors never have been this far in the softball postseason and had not appeared in the state tournament since 1990. Junior Morgan Hilty has been the to pitcher but has shared time with freshman Mia Smith, who has taken on a late-innings role. … Donegal, which lost to West Allegheny in the first round last year, blanked Bishop Shanahan, 7-0, in the quarters. Reider (.500, 8 HR, 46 RBIs) hit a solo home run, and pitcher Sierra Neiss (241 strikeouts) tossed a five-hitter with nine K’s. The Indians finally got to Fordham recruit Devon Miller, a fast-throwing pitcher who came in with more than 1,000 career strikeouts. She fanned 17 before Donegal started hitting. The Raiders are the runner-up from District 3. Six players have scored 20 or more runs.
Mt. Pleasant (19-1) vs. Elizabeth Forward (18-3)
2 p.m. at Seton Hill, Greensburg
Winner plays: Winner of Honesdale (13-7)/West Perry (22-5) at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in championship at Penn State
Coaches: Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant; Harry Rutherford, Elizabeth Forward
Players to watch: Autumn Shogun, Jr., 1B, Mt. Pleasant; Jordan Pinneri, Jr., 2B, Elizabeth Forward.
Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant rarely has needed to play from behind this season, but the Vikings used a late rally to force extra innings and then defeat James Buchanan, 4-2, in eight innings to get a WPIAL finals rematch with Elizabeth Forward. Senior Morehead State commit Carolyn Alincic is 15-1 with a 1.17 ERA and 195 strikeouts. The WPIAL runner-up Vikings, who are hitting .348 as a team, are trying to get to the state final for the second time in three years. They won the state title in 2017 after placing third in the WPIAL. They also made the semis last year. Alincic was the winning pitcher in the state final. … Elizabeth Forward, which defeated Mt. Pleasant, 3-0, in the WPIAL title game, posted its 10th shutout of the season and 18th straight victory with a 1-0 win over Grove City in the state quarterfinals. Pinneri had an RBI single in the third for the only run. Sophomore pitcher Kailey Larcinese continued to be impressive as she pitched a two-hitter with eight strikeouts. The Warriors, however, had only two hits. When they blanked Mt. Pleasant on May 31 at Latrobe, Larcinese struck out eight and walked two in a complete-game shutout.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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