Westmoreland softball notes: Hempfield receives championship rings

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 | 8:43 PM

Last season had a nice ring to it for Hempfield.

The softball team won its eighth WPIAL championship — its sixth title in eight years — and finished as the PIAA runner-up.

Before this season began, the team was awarded its championship rings during a small presentation at Spartan Stadium.

The event was short, sweet and poignant.

The rings feature the Spartan logo in the center, flanked by a pair of diamonds, with “WPIAL” across the top and “Champions” on the bottom.

“They deserved them,” third-year coach Tina Madison said of the rings. “They needed to celebrate what they did, yet still want to do it again.

“They want them against this year.”

Madison said the rings were paid for by donations from friends and family of the program.

Unscored upon

Southmoreland is 4-0 and has yet to allow a run.

The Scotties, the WPIAL Class 3A runner-up last season, have 37 runs to zero for their opponents.

They blanked Penn-Trafford, 10-0; Burrell, 16-0; Greensburg Salem, 10-0; and Latrobe, 1-0.

Amarah McCutcheon doubled, homered and drove in four, and Taylor Doppelheuer also homered against Penn-Trafford, a 5A team.

McCutcheon and Maddie Brown homered against Burrell, with Brown driving in five. Gwen Bassinger went 3 for 3 with three RBIs.

Brown tossed a five-inning no-hitter, Riley Puckey drove in four runs and Doppleheuer added three RBIs to beat Greensburg Salem.

In the pitching circle, Brown (4-0) has allowed just eight hits. She scattered four hits in the win over Latrobe, another 5A team.

Leopards rolling

Belle Vernon looks primed to defend its WPIAL 4A title.

The Leopards, despite graduation losses, are off to a 3-0 start and are pinging extra-base hits all over the field.

They have outscored their opponents 33-11.

In Monday’s 8-0 win over Class 5A Fox Chapel, Gracie Sokol, Talia Ross, Mia Zubovic and Bella Williams had two hits each, with Zubovic homering and driving in four runs.

In addition to the hot bats, pitcher Ross also has been impressive. She struck out 11 and allowed two hits against Fox Chapel.

Amazing Grace

Jeannette sophomore Grace Stein is back to twirling gems in the circle.

Stein opened the season with a one-hitter as Jeannette blanked Springdale, 12-0. She struck out 13.

Last season, Stein went 12-5 with a 1.50 ERA and 136 strikeouts and tossed five no-hitters.

Piper fans 15

Ligonier Valley senior ace Cheyenne Piper, one of the more underrated arms in the WPIAL, struck out 15 as the 2A Rams beat Class-5A Plum 5-1.

She helped her cause with a double and two RBIs.

Yough gets press box

Yough has a new press box behind home plate at its home field.

The approximate 12-by-20-foot structure has two floors, with two windows on the top floor.

Coach Art “Dutch” Harvey said the Keith Vey family paid for the concrete work and counter tops, the boosters funded the sound system and the school covered the rest of the costs.

“It’s a great addition to the program, especially for the crowd and players,” Harvey said. “It adds the ability to play music and the national anthem and allows us to have an announcer. The kids really enjoy having the press here, and we have always wanted to do it since I came here in 2014. We are looking to add some concession ability in the future.

“It’s nice to know that the school board and the community supports the program and the girls, which adds a little more pride to the mix.”

Games to watch

Some top local games to watch Thursday include Penn-Trafford at Hempfield, Valley at Southmoreland, Mars at Franklin Regional, Greensburg Central Catholic at Yough and Kiski Area at Knoch.

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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