Westmoreland WPIAL softball capsules for May 26, 2021

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021 | 4:43 PM


Wednesday’s games

Class 6A

Semifinals

2-Norwin (14-2) vs. 6-Canon-McMillan (8-9)

2 p.m. at West Mifflin

Coaches: Brian Mesich, Norwin; Michele Moeller, Canon-McMillan

Winner plays: Winner of 1-Bethel Park (16-0)/5-Pine-Richland (9-8) on June 2 or 3 in WPIAL championship at Cal (Pa.)

Players to watch: Sydney Lokay, Sr., P, Norwin; Olivia Ulam, Sr., 1B, Canon-McMillan

Extra bases: Norwin is in the semifinals for the third straight time and will look to take the next big step with one of its better hitting teams. The Knights have never advanced past the semis. Lokay was on her game in the quarterfinals when the Knights blanked North Allegheny, 6-0. She struck out 10 in a complete-game, three-hit shutout, and also went 2 for 3 with a home run. Robert Morris commit Bailee Bertani went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, and sophomore Madie Kessler added two hits, a double and two RBIs. After losing three times to North Allegheny in 2019, the Knights took all three meetings with the Tigers this season. … Canon-McMillan did something many challengers have tried and failed to do in the playoffs: take down mighty Hempfield. The Big Macs won 2-1 to hand the five-time defending champion Spartans their first quarterfinal defeat since 2011. Hempfield was seeking a WPIAL-record sixth straight championship. Mackenzi Adams dropped a perfect bunt single down the third-base line and scored on a wild pitch, and Grace Higgins scored added a sacrifice fly for the only runs in the victory. Ulam (.455, 5 HR, 20 RBis) doubled off the fence for the Big Macs, who won WPIAL titles in 2012 and ‘13. Only the two finalists advance to the PIAA playoffs. There is no play-in game in 6A. Bethel Park and Pine-Richland will follow this game, at 4 p.m., at West Mifflin.

Class 2A

Semifinals

1-Ligonier Valley (18-1) vs. 5-Shenango (15-4)

4 p.m. at Mars

Coaches: Mark Zimmerman, Ligonier Valley; Phil Quahliero, Shenango

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Laurel (15-1)/3-Frazier (16-3) June 2 or 3 in WPIAL championship at Cal (Pa.)

Players to watch: Maddie Griffin, Jr., P, Ligonier Valley; Mia Edwards, Sr., P, Shenango

Extra bases: Runs and hits might be at a premium in this semifinal matchup. The game pits two of the top pitchers in 2A in Griffin and Edwards, a Colgate recruit. Griffin has tossed 10 no-hitters, including four perfect games this season. Edwards threw a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 9-0 victory against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals. Griffin allowed two hits with 16 strikeouts and had the game-winning walk-off single in a quarterfinal win over Neshannock, 1-0. The hit scored Ruby Wallace, who opened the seventh inning with a single. Wallace also made a game-saving catch in center field to end a Neshannock threat in the sixth inning. Leyna Mason had three hits, including a grand slam, for Shenango. It was her third home run of the season. Quahliero said his team will be ready for Griffin because they’ve already faced formidable pitchers in Laurel’s Autumn Boyd and Beaver’s Payton List. Ligonier Valley coach Mark Zimmerman said it’s a new environment playing in the WPIAL and called his team “the new kids on the block.”

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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