What to watch for in WPIAL sports for April 22, 2024: Shaler, North Hills play for 1st place

Sunday, April 21, 2024 | 8:05 PM

As the final full week of April begins, the races for section titles and the chase for playoff spots heat up around the WPIAL baseball and softball diamonds.

A year ago in WPIAL Section 3-5A baseball, Shaler and rival North Hills were both 5-1 in the section and tied for first place when they squared off in late April for their two-game section series.

The Titans convincingly swept the series, outscoring the Indians, 21-0, in two wins to take over sole possession of first place.

Shaler won the section crown by three games over North Hills on its way to winning WPIAL and PIAA championships.

Moving ahead to this season, first place is up for grabs again when these neighbors collide for their section series starting Monday at Herb Field in Ross Township.

North Hills is alone in first place with a 5-1 section record. The Indians are 7-2 overall and have won five of their last six games.

Shaler is a half-game back with a section mark of 5-2. The Titans are 10-2 overall this season and have won six of their last seven games.

The Indians swept their section series last week against Moon while the Titans split their series against West Allegheny.

West Allegheny and Mars are 4-2 in section.

Watch the Shaler and North Hills game Monday on Trib HSSN at 4 p.m.

4 for 4A

In Class 4A district baseball, Montour in Section 1 and Latrobe in Section 2 begin the week with a one-game lead for first place.

However, the top spot in Sections 3 and 4 are deadlocked between two teams that prepare to square off in their respective section series starting Monday.

In Section 3, rivals Thomas Jefferson and West Mifflin are both 8-0 in the section as they square off Monday at Jefferson Elementary School field.

The Jaguars and Titans are a combined 24-1 overall this season with the only blemish coming when West Mifflin lost 2-1 to Kings High School out of Ohio on a trip to Vero Beach, Fla., back in March.

The second battle between the two on Tuesday at West Mifflin can be seen on Trib HSSN at 4 p.m.

In Section 4, North Catholic (5-3) and Indiana (7-3) are even with 5-1 section records.

The Trojans and Little Indians go head-to-head in the first of two games Monday at White Township Park in Indiana.

All four teams have a two-game cushion over the third-place team in their respective sections.

Hawks and Cats fight for top spot

Monday is a busy day of section games in WPIAL softball with first place at stake in Section 2-5A.

Armstrong will host Latrobe in an effort to break the deadlock for first place.

The River Hawks are 5-1 in the section and 9-1 overall and winners of six straight with their only loss coming against Penn-Trafford in early April.

The Wildcats are also 5-1 in the section and 6-5 overall, however they have won four of their last five games.

The results of three other district softball games could result in a tie for first place.

• In Section 1-5A, undefeated Shaler (9-0) visits North Hills (8-2). The Titans are a perfect 6-0 atop the section while the Indians are 5-1 with their lone loss coming at Shaler two weeks ago, 2-0.

• In Section 2-3A, Mohawk (9-1) hosts Ellwood City (9-1). The Warriors have won six games in a row and are 5-0 and in first place in the section, one game ahead of the Wolverines at 5-1. Ellwood City has won five straight since its lone loss of the season to visiting Mohawk, 20-1.

• In Section 4-3A, South Park (9-1) will travel to McGuffey (6-2). The Eagles are 5-0 in the section and have won eight consecutive games since their lone loss of the season to Chartiers-Houston. The Highlanders are 3-1 in section play and have won five of their last six games. South Park won at home over McGuffey earlier this season, 3-1.

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