Westmoreland softball opening day primer: Teams, players, games to watch

Thursday, March 24, 2022 | 3:44 PM

Friday is opening day for high school softball in the WPIAL. Here are some particulars to get you started on a new season.

Teams to watch

Norwin — The Knights have pitching and power and are ranked No. 2 in Class 6A.

Hempfield — New coach Tina Madison takes over for the legendary Bob Kalp and plans to keep the 6A No. 3 Spartans in the title hunt. Kalp will throw out the first pitch in Friday’s opener.

Penn-Trafford — Three years removed from a PIAA Class 5A championship, the Warriors, No. 4 to open the year, are aiming for another playoff run.

Yough — Coach Dutch Harvey has another balanced contender in 4A. The Cougars are ranked No. 4.

Mt. Pleasant — The returning WPIAL and PIAA 3A champ still knows how to use the business end of the bat. The Vikings are ranked No. 1.

Southmoreland — Another talented team that will score some runs, the fourth-ranked Scotties will be a tough out in 3A.

Ligonier Valley — With arguably the best pitcher in the WPIAL, the second-ranked Rams will be stingy again, but can the offense keep the bar raised for WPIAL and PIAA title runs?

Players to watch

Emma Augustine, Sr., P, Yough

Izzy DePalma, Jr., C, Derry

Toryn Fulton, Fr., OF, Franklin Regional

Maddie Griffin, Sr., P, Ligonier Valley

Emma Henry, Jr., P, Greensburg Central Catholic

Katie Hutter, Sr., OF, Mt. Pleasant

Madi Kessler, Jr., OF, Norwin

Olivia Kline, Sr., IF, Hempfield

Amarah McCutcheon, So., SS, Southmoreland

Marin Metikosh, Jr., OF, Belle Vernon

Madison Nguyen, Jr., IF, Franklin Regional

Mia Smith, Sr., P, Penn-Trafford

Jenna Tallman, Sr., 3B, Latrobe

Kayla Williams, So., P, Latrobe

Openers to watch

Friday’s games

Mt. Pleasant at Penn-Trafford, 4 p.m.

Belle Vernon at Greensburg Salem, 4 p.m.

Connellsville at Hempfield, 4 p.m.

Greensburg CC at Seton LaSalle, 4 p.m.

Ligonier Valley at Southmoreland, 4 p.m.

Apollo-Ridge at Derry, 4:30 p.m.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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