Westmoreland softball preview capsules: Games of Wednesday, May 22, 2019
By: Bill Beckner Jr.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 | 6:26 PM
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. 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.
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. … 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. Norwin lost to North Allegheny twice in Section 2 play but defeated the Tigers, 2-1, in the quarterfinals last season.
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. 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. 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.
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. Senior pitcher Carolyn Alincic improved to 12-0 with a complete-game, four-hitter. 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. 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.
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. 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.
— Bill Beckner Jr.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .