Westmoreland softball preview capsules: Games of Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 6:26 PM


Wednesday’s semifinals

Softball

Class 6A

3-Hempfield (14-6) vs. 7-Seneca Valley (15-5)

3 p.m. at Fox Chapel

Winner plays: Winner of 1-North Allegheny (14-6) and 5-Norwin (13-7) in championship May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park, Peters Township

Coaches: Bob Kalp, Hempfield; George Trew, Seneca Valley

Players to watch: Emma Hoffner, So., C, Hempfield; Karli Hacker, Seneca Valley

Extra bases: Hempfield is on the verge of its fifth straight appearance in the finals and, potentially, a fifth consecutive district title. The Spartans have six WPIAL titles and four runners-up under Kalp, who has 415 career wins. Sophomore Kelsey Terzolino’s RBI single gave the Spartans a 2-1 walk-off win over Baldwin in the quarterfinals, team’s fifth one-run victory in its last eight playoff games. … Seneca Valley beat No. 2 seed Canon-McMillan, 8-4, in the quarters as Hacket went 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs. Mackenzie Baker added two RBIs in the win. Seneca Valley lost both Section 2 matchups to Hempfield, 6-4 and 4-1. All four semifinalists are from Section 2. The winner goes to the PIAA playoffs. The WPIAL is sending just two teams to the state playoffs in 6A.

5-Norwin (13-7) vs. 1-North Allegheny (14-6)

5 p.m. at Fox Chapel

Winner plays: Winner of 3-Hempfield (14-6) and 7-Seneca Valley (15-5) in championship May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park, Peters Township

Coaches: Brian Mesich, Norwin; Morgan Vescovi, North Allegheny

Players to watch: Hailee Culberton, Jr., SS, Norwin; Rachel Martindale, Sr., SS, North Allegheny

Extra bases: Norwin has won four playoff games in the past 20 years, three of them have come in the last two seasons. The Knights are in the semifinals for the second straight time after an offensive onslaught in the quarterfinals. Victoria Shimko and Alex Brentzel each drove in four runs in a 15-6 win over No. 4 Bethel Park. Carly Cook and Bailee Bertani each drove in two. … North Allegheny bounced back after dropping three of its final four regular-season games with a 3-2 win over No. 8 Upper St. Clair in the quarterfinals. Kristen Chomos launched a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and Maddie Andrejcik had two RBI singles for the Panthers. Martindale is a former Pitt commit who opted instead to play basketball at Akron. Norwin lost to North Allegheny twice in Section 2 play but defeated the Tigers, 2-1, in the quarterfinals last season. The winner goes to the PIAA playoffs.

Class 5A

1-Penn-Trafford (18-1) vs. 4-Connellsville (15-6)

5 p.m. at Seton Hill

Winner plays: Winner of 6-Franklin Regional (13-7) and 10-West Allegheny (10-7) in championship May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park, Peters Township.

Coaches: Denny Little, Penn-Trafford; John Burd, Connellsville

Players to watch: Morgan Nedley, Penn-Trafford; Mia Burd, Sr., P, Connellsville

Extra bases: Penn-Trafford breezed past Albert Gallatin, 10-0 in five innings, in the quarterfinals to reach the semis for the first time in five years. The Warriors never have won a WPIAL title in softball and have not been to the finals since 1990. Nedley, a Carlow recruit, belted a three-run homer and Brooke Cleland had a two-run blast in the win over Albert Gallatin. The Warriors managed just six hits but took advantage of miscues to pile up the offense. Senior Emma Armstrong is a Hartford commit, while senior catcher Carlee Lamacz is headed to Muskingum and senior second baseman Madison Forsythe is a Geneva recruit. … Connellsville finished second in Section 1 behind Penn-Trafford. The Falcons dropped both games to the Warriors, 3-1 and 4-3. They clipped No. 5 Trinity in the quarterfinals as Cornell recruit Mia Burd delivered a two-run double. Burdthrew a no-hitter in the quarterfinals last year against Franklin Regional.

6-Franklin Regional (13-7) vs. 10-West Allegheny (10-7)

5 p.m. at Gateway

Winner plays: Winner of Penn-Trafford (18-1) and Connellsville (15-6) in championship May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park, Peters Township.

Coaches: Jim Armstrong, Franklin Regional; Mindy Mcfate, West Allegheny

Players to watch: Mallory Halleck, Sr., 1B, Franklin Regional; Kayley Joseph, So., IF, West Allegheny

Extra bases: Franklin Regional vaulted into the semifinals for the first time since 2009, when the Panthers won WPIAL Class AAA title and finished 20-1. Angalee Beall pitched a four-hit shutout as the Panthers defeated Hampton, 3-0 to advance. Olivia Yurinko and Sarah Cowell had RBI doubles in the win. Three of the semifinalists are from Section 1. Penn-Trafford and Connellsville are the others. … West Allegheny is the two-time defending WPIAL champion and is seeking a fourth straight trip to the district finals. The sometimes-explosive Indians defeated No. 2 seed Plum, 5-4, in the quarters as Joseph had two doubles and two RBIs, and Megan Pollinger had a pair of RBIs. All-section catcher Britney Wilson is another key player.

Class 4A

1-Mt. Pleasant (16-0) vs. No. 4 Thomas Jefferson (15-3)

3 p.m. at Seton Hill

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Elizabeth Forward (15-3) and Knoch (17-1) in championship May 29 or 30 at Peterswood Park, Peters Township

Coaches: Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant; Heidi Karcher, Thomas Jefferson

Players to watch: Hannah Gnibus, So., SS, Mt. Pleasant; Bella Bucy, Jr., P, Thomas Jefferson

Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant advanced to its fourth consecutive WPIAL semifinal with a 9-1 victory over No. 9 Ringgold in the quarters. Junior outfielder Sydney Kanuch had three hits, and Gnibus and sophomore Mary Smithnosky each doubled and drove in a run. Senior pitcher Carolyn Alincic improved to 12-0 with a complete-game, four-hitter. She struck out 10. The Vikings were supposed to play Thomas Jefferson midseason, but the game was postponed. … Bucy tossed a three-hit gem against Yough, barely outdueling Yough ace Kierra Waywood in a 1-0 quarterfinal win. Bacy struck out nine. Waywood also fanned nine but allowed just one hit. Junior Hayleigh Karcher is a third-year starting catcher for the Jaguars, who have posted three straight shutouts, including 3-0 over Class 5A semifinalist Connellsville.

District 6

4-Ligonier Valley (18-2) vs. 1-Chestnut Ridge (18-3)

4 p.m. Thursday at Chestnut Ridge

Winner plays: Winner of 3-Phillipsburg-Osceola (1-64) and 2-Bald Eagle Area (14-1) in championship game May 29 or 30 at St. Francis (Pa.).

Coaches: Mark Zimmerman, Ligonier Valley; Greg Lazor, Chestnut Ridge

Players to watch: Myrna Breegle, OF, Jr., Ligonier Valley; Makayla Weyant, Sr., SS, Chestnut Ridge

Extra bases: Heritage Conference champion Ligonier Valley needed some late heroics to advance to the district semifinals. Breegle singled to score Abby Cmar with the winning run in the 10th inning of a 9-8 victory over Central. Cmar added a two-run double. Taylor Bojtos also drove in a run with a two-base hit. Pitcher Jane Garver is a Robert Morris recruit. … Chestnut Ridge beat Penns Valley, 6-4, to advance to the semis. The team took a 15-game winning streak late into the season but fell to Bishop McCort, 4-0. The Lions average 10 runs per game. They have scored in double figures 12 times.

— Bill Beckner Jr.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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