Westmoreland softball playoff preview capsules: Games for May 16, 2024

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 2:57 PM


WPIAL softball playoffs

Class 3A

Quarterfinals

2-Ligonier Valley (14-5) vs. 10-Ellwood City (15-4)

4 p.m. Thursday at Plum

Winner plays: Winner of 6-Central Valley (12-2)/3-South Park (17-1) in semifinals (date, time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Sydnee Foust, Ligonier Valley; Amber McQuiston, Ellwood City

Extra bases: Ace Cheyenne Piper continued her stellar season, tossing her second straight no-hitter — a perfect game — as Ligonier Valley dumped Keystone Oaks in the first round, 8-0. Piper struck out 14 and did not issue a walk for the Rams, who got two doubles from Foust and two RBIs from Abby Springer and Allison Heffelfinger. The Rams also reached the quarterfinals last year but lost to Waynesburg, 3-2. They made the 2A semifinals, and PIAA finals, in 2021. … Ellwood City opened with a 4-2 victory over Burrell. McQuiston not only was the winning pitcher, but she also went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Kaylee Palombi drove in three runs, and Riley Prestopine went 2 for 2 for the Wolverines, who lost in the first round last year to Yough. They lost to Southmoreland in the quarters two years ago, and fell to Mt. Pleasant in the championship in 2021. Ellwood City won a WPIAL title in 2017.

9-Yough (9-4) vs. 1-Avonworth (13-3)

6 p.m. Thursday at Plum

Winner plays: Winner of 12-Freeport (11-6)/4-Mohawk (15-5) in semifinals (date, time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Adoria Waldier, Yough; Alivia Lantzy, Avonworth

Extra bases: Yough squeezed past No. 8 McGuffey, 2-1, in the first round. Freshman pitcher Kylee Fisher won her playoff debut, scattering six hits and fanning seven. Katie Proctor doubled and drove in a run in the win. The Cougars last made the semifinals in 2018 (4A). They have reached the quarterfinals nine straight years. There was no season in 2020 (covid). … Avonworth is the two-time defending WPIAL champion and has the horses to make it a three-peat. The Antelopes stormed past Hopewell in the first round, 12-2, in six innings. Lantzy allowed two hits and struck out five, while also helping her cause with two doubles and two RBIs. Sydney Savatt went 4 for 4 with two doubles, a homer and two RBIs, and Emma Obersteiner and Jayla Jones both had three hits. Avonworth has outscored its opponents, 141-42, and has 11 straight wins. Its last defeat came against Deer Lakes on April 10.

Class A

Quarterfinals

6-Jeannette (12-2) vs. 3-Chartiers-Houston (15-2)

4 p.m. Thursday at West Mifflin

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Carmichaels (14-2)/7-South Side (13-4) in semifinals (date, site, time TBD)

Players to watch: Abby Shaw, Jeannette; Meadow Ferri, Chartiers-Houston

Extra bases: Jeannette is back in the quarters for the second straight year thanks to a 4-0 shutout against Northgate in the first round. Grace Stein struck out 15, but the Jayhawks did not produce a hit, instead scoring four unearned runs against Flames’ pitcher Johna Abramowicz. Jeannette struck out nine times but took advantage of six walks and three errors to get the victory. … Chartiers-Houston had a first-round bye. The Buccaneers are led by Ferri (.540), who pitches and has more than 100 strikeouts. The Section 2-A co-champions with Carmichaels, they have scored 176 runs (10.3) and allowed 33 (1.9). The Bucs have 10 shutouts. They beat 3A teams Ligonier Valley, 7-0, and South Park, 5-4. Their losses are to 5A Thomas Jefferson (12-3) and Carmichaels (7-5).

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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