Westmoreland WPIAL softball playoff capsules for May 20, 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 2:59 PM
1-Penn-Trafford (15-4) vs. 8-North Hills (13-5)
2 p.m. at Fox Chapel
Coaches: Denny Little, Penn-Trafford; Libby Gasior, North Hills
Winner plays: Winner of 13-Connellsville (10-8)/5-Chartiers Valley (12-7) on Tuesday in semifinals
Players to watch: Allie Prady, Sr., IF, Penn-Trafford; Sophia Roncone, Jr., P, North Hills
Extra bases: Penn-Trafford got off to a fast start with 11 hits in a 10-0, run-ruled win over Hampton in the first round. A four-run first inning keyed the win, the Warriors’ 14th in 15 games. Sarah Eisenhuth doubled and drove in two, while Brooke Cleland and Allie Prady each had two RBIs. Cleland, a Seton Hill commit, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as the Warriors walked it off. North Hills finished second in Section 3 behind Shaler, which was upset by Connellsville in the first round. Penn-Trafford already has a win over North Hills this season, 5-2. In the Indians’ 4-2 win over Trinity to open the playoffs, Roncone struck out nine and allowed two hits, while Abby Scheller drove in two runs and Kyra Blauth had a run-scoring single.
11-Franklin Regional (10-6) vs. 14-Fox Chapel (12-6)
2 p.m. at Plum
Coaches: Jim Armstrong, Franklin Regional; Chris Olbrich, Fox Chapel
Winner plays: Winner of 15-Indiana (11-7)/7-Armstrong (13-4) on Tuesday in semifinals
Players to watch: Sydney Jackson, So., C/OF, Franklin Regional; Neena Pietropaolo, Sr., Fox Chapel
Extra bases: Franklin Regional took down the three-time defending WPIAL champions with a 4-1 victory over sixth-seeded West Allegheny in the first round. Jackson belted a three-run home run and drove in four runs, while Kamaria Kelly added three hits in the victory. The Panthers made the semifinals in ‘19. Fox Chapel pulled a stunner in its opener, blanking No. 3 Plum, 2-0. Pietropaolo homered and Hunter Taylor registered a RBI double for the Foxes, who had not won a playoff game in 20 years. Pitcher Mackenzie Borkovich struck out 12 and allowed two hits in five innings.
9-Derry (7-6) vs. 1-Mt. Pleasant (14-3)
2 p.m. at Norwin
Coaches: John DePalma, Derry; Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant
Winner plays: Winner of 4-Avonworth (11-5)/5-South Allegheny (12-5) on Tuesday in semifinals
Players to watch: Maddie Berger, Sr., P, Derry; Hannah Gnibus, Sr., SS, Mt. Pleasant
Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant had a first-round bye but the Vikings are anxious to begin what they hope is their first WPIAL title run since 2016. A loaded lineup features Pitt commit Haylie Brunson (.600, 17 doubles, 32 RBIs), Liberty commit Courtney Poulich (.540, 5 HRs), Gnibus, a Pitt-Johnstown recruit (.420, 14 RBIs), Akron commit Katie Hutter (.560, 12 RBIs) and Western Michigan recruit Mary Smithnosky (.470, 17 RBIs). Smithnosky also is 9-0 as a pitcher with 65 strikeouts. Derry won for the first time in the WPIAL playoffs in program history when it defeated South Park, 3-1, in the first round. Berger allowed six hits and did not walk a batter behind a solid defense, and Carissa Bateman, Izzy DePalma and Berger each had a double. The Trojans are trying to seal their first winning season since 2004.
2-North Catholic (11-4) vs. 7-Southmoreland (10-4)
2 p.m. at Gateway
Coaches: Anthony Conforti, North Catholic; Todd Bunner, Southmoreland
Winner plays: Winner of 3-Waynesburg (12-4)/11-Ellwood City (12-4) on Tuesday in semifinals
Players to watch: Liana Morreale, Sr., P, North Catholic; Jess Matheny, Sr., P, Southmoreland
Extra bases: North Catholic resumes play after a first-round bye. The Trojans, who won Section 1 by a game over Deer Lakes and three games over Derry, scored 10 or more runs seven times. They start the postseason on a six-game winning streak. The Trojans played most of their games on turf, at No Off Season in Valencia. Southmoreland jumped on Keystone Oaks, then held off a furious comeback by the Golden Eagles before escaping with an 11-9 win in the first round. Freshman Amareh McCutcheon had three hits, including a two-run triple and a two-run homer for the Scotties, the WPIAL champions in 2018.
6-Greensburg Central Catholic (11-4) vs. 3-Union (10-7)
4 p.m. at Fox Chapel
Coaches: Mike Gaffney, GCC; Doug Fisher, Union
Winner plays: Winner of 2-Leechburg (11-4)/7-Mapletown (9-6) on Tuesday in semifinals
Players to watch: Isabella Marquez, So., C, GCC; Skylar Fisher, Sr., 1B, Union
Extra bases: Greensburg Central Catholic won a playoff game for the first time since 2015 with a 14-1 win over Ellis School in four innings. Jaden Cox doubled twice and drove in three runs, Riana Booher doubled and had three RBIs, Marquez tripled and Makenzee Kenney drove in two. Union was one of the highest-scoring teams during the regular season, although the Scotties did not play the toughest schedule. They put up 10 or more runs 10 times, including a 29-0 win over Cornell. Conversely, they lost to North Catholic and Shenango by 13-1 scores. The Scotties play a handful of freshmen. Senior Halaena Blakley has more than 60 strikeouts.
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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