What to watch for in WPIAL sports for May 23, 2022: Rematches set for baseball playoffs

Sunday, May 22, 2022 | 10:24 PM

Welcome to Semifinals Monday in the 2022 WPIAL baseball playoffs.

Unless your team is in classes 6A or 4A, then it’s Welcome to Quarterfinals Monday.

Whether it’s the second or third round, the recurring theme is rematches.

Of the 16 scheduled games, 11 are matchups between teams that faced each other at least once this season.

— In 6A, Butler split with Pine-Richland, winning 7-2 before losing the next day, 2-0. The other three quarterfinals games are rematches from nonsection contests. Seneca Valley beat Mt. Lebanon, 10-2, on March 30; Norwin shutout Central Catholic, 8-0, on March 31; and North Allegheny cruised past Upper St. Clair, 12-0, on May 12.

— In 5A, Section 4 foes Peters Township and Thomas Jefferson meet for a third time. The Indians swept the Jaguars, 14-2 and 7-1 on April 13 and 14.

— In 4A, two of the quarterfinals games are section rematches. Montour looks for a third win over Quaker Valley after the Spartans won Section 2 games, 3-2, on March 30 and, 6-4, on April 8. North Catholic also looks for a third win over Section 1 foe Knoch. The Trojans beat the Knights, 10-4 and 2-1, on May 4 and 5.

— In 3A, both semifinals games are intra-sectional showdowns. Hopewell battles Mohawk after the two Section 1 foes split during the regular season with the Warriors winning, 4-3, on April 5 and the Vikings prevailing, 5-3, on April 6. South Park faces Avonworth for a third time with the Eagles beating the Antelopes, 11-3, on April 5 and, 3-2, on April 7.

— In Class A, Section 1 rivals Union and Rochester split during the regular season. The Scotties won, 5-3, on April 20, then the Rams picked up a 1-0 victory April 22. Though the teams are not in the same section, Eden Christian did beat OLSH in a nonsection game. 4-1, on April 30.

Unexpected guest in softball quarters

The brackets nearly played out perfect in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

Seven of the top eights seeds are set for action with only No. 10 West Mifflin winning as a higher seed. The Titans knocked off No. 7 Highlands in impressive fashion, 11-1, in the opening round.

Three 4A teams finally get their first taste of the postseason as No. 1 Beaver faces Freeport, No. 2 Elizabeth Forward faces West Mifflin and No. 3 Burrell locks horns with Belle Vernon. The other 4A second-round game has Montour against Yough.

The same happened in Class 2A as seven of the top eight seeds won in the first round with one glaring exception.

Still wearing the crown of the legit Cinderella in this year’s postseason is No. 14-seed Bentworth.

The Bearcats shocked the district when they stunned No. 3 Ligonier Valley, 1-0.

The Rams were without one of the top pitchers in the state in Maddie Griffin, who was out with a broken hand, but that doesn’t take away from the efforts of Bentworth’s Jaclyn Tator, who held Ligonier Valley to only three hits.

The Bearcats aim for another upset Monday when they face No. 6 OLSH.

The other three quarterfinals games in 2A have top-seeded Neshannock against Charleroi, Seton LaSalle against undefeated Frazier and three-time defending champion Laurel against Chartiers-Houston.

Final Four serves

The WPIAL boys volleyball semifinals are set with a 3A doubleheader at Fox Chapel and the 2A twinbill at Moon.

Ambridge won nine WPIAL boys volleyball titles in a 12-year span between 2008 and 2019.

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart has never won a boys volleyball title.

The two clash for a spot in the finals Monday evening.

The other 2A match has North Catholic facing Montour.

In 3A, top-seed Seneca Valley faces Shaler for a third time this season after sweeping the Titans in section play. That match follows the North Allegheny vs. Penn-Trafford semifinals contest at 6 p.m.

Seeing double in the lacrosse semifinals

Three schools have a chance to see their boys and girls lacrosse teams reach the WPIAL finals with a win in the semifinals.

In Class 3A, Shady Side Academy and Mt. Lebanon have both lacrosse teams into the final four.

The Bulldogs face Upper St. Clair while the Blue Devils take on Pine-Richland in the girls semifinals. It will be SSA vs. North Allegheny and Lebo against Peters Township on the boys side.

Mars is used to success from both in Class 2A.

The Fightin’ Planets won boys and girls lacrosse titles in 2021.

In the semifinals, the Mars boys battle South Fayette while the girls take on Hampton.

The other final four matches are Quaker Valley vs. Indiana boys and Blackhawk against Chartiers Valley girls.

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