Westmoreland WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 19, 2021
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | 4:47 PM
4 p.m. at West Mifflin
Players to watch: Emma Hoffner, Sr. C, Hempfield; Olivia Ulam, Sr., 1B, Canon-McMillan
Extra bases: Hempfield has won five consecutive WPIAL titles in the largest classification. No team has won six in a row. The mostly young Spartans are led by a trio of seniors in Hoffner, leadoff hitter and outfielder Kelsi Terzolino and pitcher Callie Sowers. They have won four straight after two losses in a row. Canon-McMillan has played a strong nonsection schedule, but the Big Macs have lost three in a row, including a 4-2 loss to Hempfield. Ulam is hitting .452 with five home runs and 20 RBIs. The team has 19 homers.
4 p.m. at Gateway
Coaches: Brian Mesich, Norwin; Morgan Vescovi, North Allegheny
Winner plays: Winner of 3-Hempfield (12-5) vs. 6-Canon-McMillan (7-9) next Wednesday (time, site TBD) in semifinals
Players to watch: Sydney Lokay, Sr., P, Norwin; Anne Melle, Fr., P, North Allegheny
Extra bases: These teams played three times in 2019, and North Allegheny won all three, including a victory in the semifinals. Norwin, though, swept the Tigers in two Section 2 games this season on the way to its first outright section title. Norwin has won six in a row. Lokay and junior Angelina Pepe are a one-two pitching punch, and the Knights have a powerful lineup that has produced 19 home runs. The Tigers lost to Hempfield in the 2019 title game 15-0. They turned around and clubbed the Spartans this year 15-3.
2 p.m. at Plum
Winner plays: 3-West Mifflin (15-4) Monday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Katie Armstrong, So., P, Burrell; Maren Metikosh, So., OF, Belle Vernon
Extra bases: Burrell tied for second in Section 1 with Freeport. The Bucs rely on the pitching of Armstrong and a steady defense. The Bucs only lost 2-1 to 6A No. 2 seed Norwin in the season opener. Junior Carolyn Dynka and senior Rikki Wyble are key hitters for the Bucs. Belle Vernon has a young lineup, but the Leopards have not backed down from a challenge, playing a tough schedule to get set for the postseason. Metikosh is a productive hitter, as is senior Sophia Godzak, the pitcher, and junior Abby Fabin.
3 p.m. at Norwin
Coaches: Art Harvey, Yough; Sam Ross, Freeport
Winner plays: 1-Beaver (14-0) Monday (time, site TBD) in quarterfinals
Players to watch: Kaylyn Odelli, Sr., C, Yough; Sydney Selker, Fr., P, Freeport
Extra bases: Yough is seeking its sixth consecutive trip to the quarterfinals. The Cougars had a three-game winning streak halted in a 14-2 loss to West Mifflin. They have strong nonsection wins against Canon-McMillan, Frazier and Penn-Trafford. O’Delli is a leader behind the plate and forms a strong battery with junior pitcher Emma Augustine. Freeport has won six of its last seven, including a victory over 5A playoff team Hampton. Selker has a .512 average with six home runs, 23 runs and 23 RBIs. Freeport has 18 homers. Junior Autumn Powell hits .463 with 25 hits and 21 RBIs.
2 p.m. at Gateway
Players to watch: Maddie Griffin, Jr., P, Ligonier Valley; Harley Harkins, So., OF, California
Extra bases: Ligonier Valley is 1 for 1 in WPIAL playoff appearances, having moved in from District 6 where the Rams were a formidable opponent. Griffin has been virtually unbeatable — and unhittable — as she has struck out 211 and posted nine no-hitters. Some talented hitters, including seniors Kailey Johnston and Bella Vargulish, give Griffin leads with which to work. After losing four late-season games by scores of 20-4, 17-0, 18-5 and 13-5, the Trojans wiped out Bentworth in the preliminary round 14-1, scoring nine times in the top of the seventh. Harkins doubled three times, Makayla Boda went 3 for 5 with a double and four RBIs, Jordyn Cruse singled, doubled and drove in two and Tyler Perok had two doubles and two RBIs in the win. Winning pitcher Kera Urick struck out seven in seven innings. It was the Trojans’ first playoff win since 2017.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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