What to watch for in WPIAL sports on April 29, 2022: Section title up for grabs when P-T, TJ meet

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Thursday, April 28, 2022 | 6:09 PM


Four years ago, the Thomas Jefferson and Penn-Trafford softball teams met in a WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game.

On Friday, the stakes might not be as high, but a section championship could be on the line.

Both the Jaguars and Warriors are 7-1 in Section 1-5A, a game up in the loss column on Latrobe with three section games remaining.

Penn-Trafford is ranked No. 5 in the latest HSSN softball rankings with an 11-1 overall record.

The Warriors’ lone loss came in the earlier meeting with the Jaguars. Senior Graci Fairman hit a walk-off triple as TJ won at home, 3-2.

P-T freshman Cameron Ponko had two hits, including a double and a home run.

Going back to that playoff game in 2018, No. 11 Thomas Jefferson stunned No. 3 Penn-Trafford, 7-4. The Jaguars upset No. 2 Albert Gallatin in the semifinals before losing to West Allegheny in the title game, 4-2.

More Friday softball

On a busy day of district softball, there are at least two other diamond dandies.

In Section 3-3A, South Allegheny has a one-game lead in the loss column over Southmoreland and Waynesburg.

While the Gladiators are home to fifth-place McGuffey, the Scotties and Raiders square off in Greene County.

The two teams played nine days ago with Southmoreland winning a nail-biter, 4-3.

The top two teams in Section 3-2A collide when undefeated Frazier visits Carmichaels.

The Commodores are in first place, 6-0 in the section and 8-0 overall. The Mighty Mikes are on their heels at 4-1, 6-2.

Last week, Frazier won the first meeting, 3-0.

Friday in Fredericktown

A district baseball section series that began this past Saturday will finally conclude six days later when California visits Beth-Center for a 7 p.m. game.

The Trojans and the Bulldogs are tied for second place with Bentworth in Section 1-2A, two games behind first-place Carmichaels.

If the second game is anything like the first game, both batting averages and ERAs will be on the rise.

In the series opener on Saturday, California won at home, 17-16.

Trojans junior Aidan Lowdon and Bulldogs senior Riley Henck each drove in four runs in that game.

Key lax matchups

The top four WPIAL girls lacrosse teams in Section 1-3A will go head-to-head Friday.

Mt. Lebanon (6-0) will visit Bethel Park (6-2) while Upper St. Clair (6-1) will host Canon-McMillan (5-2).

On the boys side, the two teams chasing North Allegheny in Section 2-3A will battle as Fox Chapel (3-1) visits Shady Side Academy (4-1).

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