What to watch for in WPIAL sports for April 21, 2022: Softball showdowns set in Class 6A, 4A

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Wednesday, April 20, 2022 | 5:05 PM


A couple of showdowns in Class 6A and 4A highlight a busy Thursday around the softball diamonds.

In Section 2-6A, Hempfield is back in a familiar place, in first place with a perfect 5-0 record, including 3-0 in section play.

The Spartans however have only played once in the last 10 days, three times in the month of April.

Pine-Richland won three games last week alone, earning the Trib HSSN Team of the Week honors.

The Rams lone loss was at home to Hempfield two weeks ago, 3-2.

“The Hempfield game was very well-played by both teams,” Pine-Richland coach Sam Hartzberg said. “Hempfield is solid everywhere and we knew they were going to be a tough opponent. We lost, but I thought our team and coaches did a very good job.”

Another key softball contest on Thursday is in Section 2-4A as Yough visits Elizabeth Forward with first place at stake.

The Cougars are 4-1 in the section, a half-game ahead of the Warriors, who are 3-1 in section play.

The first meeting between the two was a wild shootout as Yough held on for a 9-8 victory.

The Cougars were up 5-0 after one inning, 7-0 after two and 9-1 after five innings. However, the visiting Warriors made things interesting with five runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh inning before their rally fell short.

Baseball showdowns

While district baseball games continue to be shuffled with weather and field conditions factoring in, there are plenty of key games on the slate for Thursday.

• Section 1-6A, Pine-Richland vs. Butler with both teams entering Wednesday’s action tied for first place along with North Allegheny.

• Section 3-5A, Shaler vs. South Fayette and Chartiers Valley taking on West Allegheny in a pair of games that involve the top four teams in the section and the four playoff representatives from a year ago.

• Section 4-5A, Peters Township vs. Bethel Park features two teams with perfect overall records coming into their home-and-home series this week.

• Section 3-4A, West Mifflin and Elizabeth Forward were tied for first place in the loss column going into their meeting at West Mifflin on Wednesday.

Doubles tennis sectional finals

The field has been determined for the 2022 WPIAL boys doubles tennis championships next week.

For sections that didn’t complete their tournaments Wednesday, on Day 2 of the doubles sectionals, seeding will be at stake with the championship and consolation matches.

The WPIAL boys doubles tournament is scheduled for next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Volleyball Thursday

The top two teams in a pair of WPIAL Class 3A volleyball sections go head-to-head on Thursday.

Through the first half of Section 1-3A play, Canon-McMillan has been perfect at 6-0 and has built a two-game cushion over Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair, which are both 4-2 in section matches.

The Big Macs visit the Panthers on Thursday.

The lead is not as big in Section 3-3A, where Norwin is 6-0 and has a one-game lead over Hempfield at 5-1.

The Knights host the Spartans, looking to sweep the season series and take a two-game lead in the section.

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