What to watch for in WPIAL sports for April 29, 2024: Pine-Richland, North Allegheny to square off

Sunday, April 28, 2024 | 9:03 PM

And then there were two.

Two days left in April and there are either two section games remaining or two section series left for WPIAL baseball teams.

An A+ goes out to the district schedule makers as eight series begin Monday between the top two teams in a section.

Three of those eight series are between teams that are deadlocked for the top spot in their section.

Last season, there were tri-champions in Section 1-6A as Pine-Richland, North Allegheny and Seneca Valley ended up tied for the top spot.

This year, there will be no co-champion in the section as Pine-Richland (14-3) and North Allegheny (12-3) prepare to meet for the first of three games Monday at Pine-Richland.

The Rams and Tigers are both 8-1 in their section.

Pine-Richland had a nine game winning streak snapped in its most recent game, a nonsection loss to Fox Chapel.

North Allegheny has won two straight after winning the first nine games of the season. In between, NA lost three of four.

While the Tigers and Rams begin a three-game set to determine first and second place in the section, another series in that section begins Monday with third and fourth place at stake.

Both Seneca Valley (7-6) and Butler (6-8) collide in a county rivalry series with both teams having clinched a playoff spot.

The Raiders and Golden Tornado are tied with 4-5 records as they start their series on the turf at Seneca Valley.

5A frays

While a possible Section 1-5A baseball showdown between two teams tied for first place, Penn-Trafford and Franklin Regional, will have to wait until next week, the other two Class 5A sections do have tied teams battling for the section crown starting Monday.

In Section 2, Bethel Park hosts Trinity in the first of two games to determine the section title.

Both the Black Hawks and Hillers are 5-3 in the section and 7-5 overall.

The two meet at Purkey Field in Bethel Park on Monday and at the W&J College Sports Complex in Washington on Tuesday evening.

Connellsville and South Fayette are only a game back at 4-4 in the section while Upper St. Clair and Peters Township are in the hunt for a playoff spot with 3-5 records.

The other Section 2-5A series starting Monday have South Fayette hosting Upper St. Clair and Connellsville visiting Peterswood Park to face Peters Township.

In Section 3-5A, the Indians are tied for first place.

West Allegheny is 6-2 in the section and 10-2 overall and has won five straight.

North Hills is also 6-2 in section play and 8-3 overall. They had won three straight before falling to Shaler on Tuesday.

Defending district and state champion Shaler (5-3, 11-3) is one game behind North Hills and West A as the Titans conclude section play with a two-game series against Mars.

Softball 4A spotlight

Indiana and Elizabeth Forward lead their respective WPIAL softball sections and can take a big step toward a section crown with a win Monday.

However, it won’t be easy because they are visiting the two teams that are only one game behind them and hoping to win at home to forge a tie for first place.

In Section 1, Indiana visits Knoch as both teams have won 11 of their 14 games this season.

The Little Indians are perfect in section play at 9-0 and have won nine straight games.

The Knights are 8-1 in the section and have won six in a row since losing at Indiana two weeks ago, 2-0.

In Section 2, Elizabeth Forward (12-1) travels to Uniontown (8-2).

The Warriors are undefeated in section play at 9-0 and have won three consecutive games since suffering their only loss of the season to 6A power Hempfield.

The Red Raiders are 8-1 in the section and have won seven of their last eight games.

This is the first of two games between the two this week. The Warriors and Red Raiders play again at EF on Thursday.

A Class A perfect matchup

Everybody in Section 3-A softball has been looking up all season at perfection.

Both Jeannette and Frazier have not only won every game in their section, but they also have won every game they have played this spring.

Jeannette is 9-0 in the section and 10-0 overall while Frazier is 8-0 in section play and overall.

The Jayhawks and Commodores play at Jeannette on Monday afternoon and at Frazier next Monday.

Serving up the postseason

The WPIAL boys tennis team playoffs begin Monday with seven first round matches.

The top seed is defending champion Sewickley Academy, which will not be in action as the Panthers enjoy a first round bye into the quarterfinals.

The other matches are:

No. 9 Chartiers Valley at No. 8 Valley

No. 13 Burrell at No. 4 South Park

No. 12 Blackhawk vs. No. 5 Hampton at Hampton Community Park

No. 15 Central Valley vs. No. 2 North Catholic at Graham Park

No. 10 Montour at No. 7 Indiana

No. 14 Ringgold vs. No. 3 Winchester Thurston at Schenley Sports Complex

No. 11 Mt. Pleasant at No. 6 Quaker Valley

All seven matches begin at 3:30 p.m.

Class 3A first round matches are set for Tuesday while the 2A quarterfinals are Wednesday.

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