Westmoreland WPIAL softball playoff capsules: Games for Thursday, May 18, 2023

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Wednesday, May 17, 2023 | 3:13 PM


WPIAL softball playoffs

Class 3A

Quarterfinals

7-Yough (10-4) vs. 2-Southmoreland (15-2)

3 p.m. Thursday at Norwin

Winner plays: Winner of 11-Ligonier Valley (9-7)/3-Waynesburg (15-3) in semifinals (date, time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Mikaela Etling, Southmoreland; Adoria Waldier, Yough

Extra bases: Yough rallied to get past Ellwood City in the first round. After falling behind by four runs in the first inning, the Cougars rallied for an 11-5 win as Waldier hit a three-run homer to tie it in the third, then blasted a two-run shot to give the Cougars the lead. Yough lost in the quarterfinals last year to Montour, 2-1. Yough last made the semifinals in 2018, in 4A. Longtime Cougars coach Art “Dutch” Harvey has never faced Southmoreland in the postseason. … Southmoreland wanted to produce more offense, but the Scotties settled on a 3-1 win over McGuffey in the first round. They were out-hit 7-6 but kept the Highlanders off the board after the first inning. Amarah McCutcheon hit her 11th home run of the season, while Etling went 2 for 3 and joined Brooke McBeth with an RBI. Maddie Brown struck out five and walked one. The Scotties made the semifinals last year but lost to Avonworth, 3-0.

11-Ligonier Valley (9-7) vs. 3-Waynesburg (15-3)

2 p.m. Thursday at West Mifflin

Winner plays: Winner of 7-Yough (10-4)/2-Southmoreland (15-2) in semifinals (date, time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Payton LaVale, Ligonier Valley; Hannah Wood, Waynesburg

Extra bases: Down 2-0 heading to the seventh inning, Ligonier Valley rallied for four runs to break open a pitchers’ duel and defeat No. 6 Hopewell, 4-2. Pitcher Cheyenne Piper allowed just two hits, struck out 16 and did not issue a walk in her first playoff win. Ruby Wallace, Piper, LaVale and Abby Springer had RBIs for the Rams, who were upset in the first round last year by Bentworth as a No 3 seed. Ligonier Valley made the state final two years ago in 2A. … Waynesburg won Section 3 with a 10-0 record. The Raiders have won 12 of their last 13 games, including a 5-1 win over Valley in the first round. Wood went 4 for 4 with three doubles, Kendall Lemley homered and drove in two runs, Gina Tedrow went 3 for 3, and Emma Zehner drove in a run for the Raiders, who lost to Deer Lakes, 3-2, in last year’s quarterfinals. Wood hits over .500 and has five homers.

Class 2A

5-Greensburg Central Catholic (12-2) vs. 4-Charleroi (16-2)

5 p.m. Thursday at Norwin

Winner plays: Winner of 8-Burgettstown (12-7)/1-Neshannock (17-0) in semifinals (date, time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Emma Henry, Greensburg Central Catholic; Sofia Celaschi, Charleroi

Extra bases: Greensburg Central Catholic is a win away from back-to-back semifinal appearances. The Centurions are getting healthy again after two starters missed the section finale against Serra. Emma Henry paced a 10-0 shutout of Bentworth in the first round as she went 4 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, and was the winning pitcher with eight strikeouts. Grace Kindel added two hits and three RBIs in the win. GCC has scored 10 or more runs seven times. … A quarterfinalist last year, Charleroi was a section co-champion with Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Section 3. The Cougars are on a seven-game winning streak, including a 6-5, eight-inning win over Steel Valley in the first round. Emma Stefanick delivered a two-run, walk-off homer for the winner in the eighth. Celaschi allowed only two hits and struck out 11. Madalynn Lancy, Lyla Brunner and Riley Jones all doubled in the victory.

Class A

9-Jeannette (12-4) vs. 1-Union (14-3)

7 p.m. Thursday at North Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of 4-Chartiers-Houston (12-5)/5-West Greene (12-7) in semifinals (date, time, site TBD)

Players to watch: Abby Shaw, Jeannette; Olivia Williams Union

Extra bases: Resurgent Jeannette won its first playoff game since 2019 with a 16-1 victory over Carlynton in the opening round. Leadoff hitter Mackenzie Lewis reached base six times. Freshman Grace Stein gave up three hits and struck out 14 in her playoff debut. Autumn LaVella doubled and drove in a run, Frankie Crosby went 3 for 5 with a double and five RBIs, and Savannah Lock drove in two for the Jayhawks. … Union is the No. 1-ranked team in the state in Class A. The Scotties have been dominant all season, scoring 12 or more runs 13 times. They had a first-round bye, so they have not played a game since May 11, an 8-0 loss to 4A Belle Vernon. Mia Preuhs, Williams and Bella Cameron were all hitting better than .500. Preuhs is a power-hitter with more than 20 RBIs, while Williams, Tori May and Mallory Gorgacz each have more than 20 runs scored.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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