What to watch for in WPIAL sports on April 16, 2024: Sun shines on Class 5A baseball races

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 12:47 AM


We begin the second half of April with another busy day of WPIAL section series baseball with sunshine and temps in the 70s.

It is the second of back-to-back games around the district, thus concluding key series up and down Class 5A.

In Section 1-5A, Franklin Regional (5-0, 7-3) welcomes Fox Chapel (5-2, 6-3) to Haymaker Park in Murrysville.

Following Monday’s 9-6 win, the Panthers have a one-game lead over Penn-Trafford and are two games up over the Foxes.

In Section 2-5A, neighbors Bethel Park (3-1, 4-3) and Peters Township (1-3, 3-6) continue their long standing rivalry as the two do battle at Purkey Field in Bethel Park at 4 p.m.

Also in Section 2, Connellsville (3-2, 5-5) travels to South Fayette (3-2, 4-2) a day after the Falcons knocked off the Lions, 5-4.

Coming into this week, Shaler (5-1, 9-1), North Hills (4-1, 6-2) and West Allegheny (3-2, 5-2) were tied for first place in Section 3-5A.

On Monday, the defending champion Titans crushed the West A Indians, 12-0, while the NH Indians defeated Moon, 14-7.

Those series conclude Tuesday with Shaler visiting the West Allegheny while North Hills hosts Moon.

Let’s make up

The Tuesday WPIAL softball slate is littered with games that were postponed due to cold and wet conditions the last two weeks.

A year ago, West Allegheny was the No. 4 seed in the district Class 5A playoffs, and after scoring 18 runs in a first-round win over Fox Chapel, the Indians looked poised to make another title run.

However, a young section foe ended West A’s season suddenly.

South Fayette freshman pitcher Emma Early struck out 13 while Rylee Rohbeck drove in two runs as the No. 12 seed Lions upset the Indians, 4-3.

On Tuesday, the two tango at South Fayette for the first time this season with first-place implications in Section 3-5A.

West Allegheny is 2-0 in the section and 8-1 overall while South Fayette is 3-1 in the section and 5-1 overall.

• In the logjam that is Section 4-5A, Connellsville (2-1, 6-3) visits Bethel Park (2-2, 4-2) and Peters Township (1-2, 4-5) hosts Thomas Jefferson (2-1, 4-3).

• The top four teams in Section 1-2A go head-to-head when Neshannock (3-0, 5-0) hosts Laurel (2-0, 4-2) and Riverside (2-1, 2-2) visits Shenango (2-1, 2-4).

• In Section 3-2A, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (3-0, 5-2) travels to Charleroi (3-1, 6-1).

Carlynton (2-1, 5-1) gets s crack at first place when it heads north to take on two-time defending champion Union (5-0, 7-1) in Section 1-A.

• The first showdown of the season between southern softball powers takes place Tuesday when Carmichaels (3-0, 6-1) visits Chartiers-Houston (4-0, 6-1) in a battle for first place in Section 2-A.

Serving for first

There are three WPIAL boys volleyball matches Tuesday pitting the top two teams in their respective sections.

In Section 1-3A, Bethel Park sits in second place with a 3-1 section record, looking up at Canon-McMillan, which is one game ahead with a 4-0 mark. The Black Hawks cane even the race with a win at home over the Big Macs.

In Section 3-3A, rivals collide with sole possession of first place on the line when Norwin visits Penn-Trafford. The Knights and the Warriors are both 4-0 in the section.

Finally, in Section 2-2A, Mars is 3-0 and as a half-game lead over Gateway, which is 3-1 in the section. The Fightin’ Planets host the Gators on Tuesday.

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