What to watch for in WPIAL sports for April 16, 2021: Surging Pine-Richland softball faces test

Thursday, April 15, 2021 | 10:28 PM

Back in 2019, the most recent WPIAL softball season, Norwin finished as tri-champions in Section 2-6A along with Hempfield and North Allegheny.

The Knights were 10-4 in the section and 12-7 overall.

In that same section, Pine-Richland finished in sixth place, missing the playoffs with a 4-10 section record, 4-11 overall.

Things are a lot different for the Rams in 2021.

They enter Friday’s big softball section showdown at Norwin with a 3-0 Section 2-6A record, 4-2 overall.

Norwin is again in the section title picture with a 2-0 mark in section play and with a 5-1 overall record.

The Rams have won three straight, outscoring their opponents 18-4, while the Knights have won back-to-back games by a margin of 19-2.

Road Warriors?

Much-anticipated battles for first place aren’t reserved for just Class 6A on Friday.

First place in Section 2-4A is up for grabs when defending Class 4A district champion Elizabeth Forward visits West Mifflin.

After splitting their first four games of the season in Florida, the Warriors have won four straight section games in four straight shutouts.

EF has outscored Uniontown, Yough, Belle Vernon and Laurel Highlands 35-0 in those four section wins behind last week’s Trib HSSN softball Player of the Week, Kailey Larcinese.

However, when talking about top teams in Class 4A, you must remember the Titans.

West Mifflin is a perfect 6-0 and has scored double digit runs in five of those wins.

The Titans have outscored their six opponents, three of whom are section foes, 68-10.

The winner of the 4 p.m. contest will take over sole possession of first place.

Deuces are wild

Another big early season softball battle for first on Friday takes place in Section 2-2A.

Serra Catholic and host Ligonier Valley are atop the section with 2-0 records.

However, not only are the Eagles and Rams perfect in the section, they are also undefeated overall. Both enter Friday’s game with 4-0 records.

Ligonier Valley has yet to allow a run with four shutouts while scoring 28 runs. Serra Catholic has scored double digit runs in three of its four games and has plated 50 runs in its four wins.

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