What to watch for in WPIAL sports on May 16, 2024: Shaler, South Fayette try it again

Thursday, May 16, 2024 | 12:08 AM

With a shaky forecast this past Tuesday and Wednesday, all of the WPIAL baseball first-round games are in the books … except one.

The much-anticipated No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup in Class 5A between defending district and state champion Shaler and South Fayette got started Wednesday night, but didn’t get far.

In the bottom of the first inning, the skies opened up and the game was initially delayed then suspended because of a passing thunderstorm.

The game will resume at 6 p.m. Thursday at Gateway on Trib HSSN.

In the top of the first inning with two outs against Shaler starter Colby Weber, Gino Satira, Ethan Rose and Adam Caye singled. The Caye base hit scored Satira to put the Lions up, 1-0.

In the bottom of the first, Brady McGuire and Chase Beran singled off of Rose before lightning in the distance forced both teams off the field. Heavy rain started shortly thereafter and the game was suspended.

The two teams pick up where they left off and we will resume our broadcast on Trib HSSN.

Softball bracket busters

The quarterfinals are set for WPIAL softball in Class 3A, 2A and A on Thursday, and of the 24 teams in action fighting for a spot in the district final four, only two are double-digit seeds.

And they are both in the 3A bracket.

No. 12 Freeport and No. 10 Ellwood City bucked the odds Tuesday and pulled off opening-round surprises.

Now they try to continue their unexpected journey on the Path to PennWest-California.

Coming off a stunner of No. 5 Southmoreland in the first round, Freeport (11-6) has its sights set on No. 4 Mohawk (15-5) at Seneca Valley at 6 p.m.

The Warriors defeated Waynesburg in the opening round, 8-5.

The other eyebrow-raiser came when No. 10 Ellwood City edged No. 7 Burrell, 4-2, eliminating a Bucs team that reached the semifinals last season.

Up next for Ellwood City (15-4) is Ligonier Valley (14-5) at Plum at 4 p.m.

Behind a perfect game by Cheyenne Piper, the Rams blanked Keystone Oaks in the first round, 8-0.

Also in Class 3A:

• Top seed and defending champion Avonworth (13-3) will challenge Yough (9-4) at Plum at 6 p.m. on Trib HSSN. The Antelopes rolled over Hopewell, 12-2, in Round 1 while the Cougars scratched by McGuffey, 2-1.

• Two teams with a combined record of 29-3 collide when No. 3 South Park (17-1) plays No. 6 Central Valley (12-2) at Peterswood Park in Peters Township at 2 p.m. on Trib HSSN. In the first round, the Eagles shut out Deer Lakes, 1-0, while the Warriors knocked off Mt. Pleasant, 4-1.

It’s been a while

Three teams will make their playoff debuts in the Class 2A softball playoffs Thursday, including No. 1 Neshannock, No. 2 Bentworth and No. 3 Laurel.

Neshannock (19-0) not only brings a 19-game winning streak into its second-round game against Riverside (7-9) at Mohawk at 3 p.m. on Trib HSSN, it also has a six-game, two-year district playoff winning streak.

The Last time the Lancers lost in the WPIAL postseason was in the 2021 quarterfinals when they fell to Ligonier Valley, 1-0.

The team that took the crown three years ago was Laurel.

It was the third straight WPIAL 2A championship for the Spartans.

Laurel (16-4) begins its 2024 chase for gold against No. 6 Charleroi (14-4) at North Allegheny at 5 p.m. on Trib HSSN.

The Cougars crushed Greensburg Central Catholic in the opening round, 11-0.

Here are the other two 2A games Thursday:

• No. 4 Serra Catholic (12-4) battles No. 5 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (13-4) at Montour at 3 p.m. on Trib HSSN. The Eagles beat Beth-Center on Tuesday, 11-3, while the Chargers jolted Steel Valley, 8-5.

• No. 2 Bentworth (15-2) looks to improve its winning streak to 15 games when it takes on No. 7 Shenango (11-7) at North Allegheny at 3 p.m. on Trib HSSN. The Wildcats won their first-round game against Burgettstown, 5-4.

Class A quarter frays

While four WPIAL Class A softball teams enjoyed first-round byes, the four first-round winners were impressive in their tune-ups for the quarterfinals.

The foursome of Jefferson-Morgan, South Side, Jeannette and West Greene outscored their opponents Tuesday, 38-4.

Here is the lineup for what should be a much more competitive second round:

• No. 8 Jefferson-Morgan (8-8) goes up against two-time defending champion and top-seeded Union (18-1) at North Allegheny at 7 p.m. on Trib HSSN.

• No 5 West Greene (12-7) battles No. 4 Frazier (13-0) at Peterswood Park in Peters Township at 2 p.m. Friday

• No. 7 South Side (13-4) will take on No. 2 Carmichaels (14-2) at Montour HS at 5 p.m.

• No. 6 Jeannette (12-2) faces No. 3 Chartiers-Houston (15-2) at West Mifflin HS at 4 p.m.

Lacrosse quarters

Four matches each in boys Class 3A and girls Class 2A will wrap up the second round of the WPIAL lacrosse playoffs.

There was only one surprise in the first round of both tournaments Tuesday. The Quaker Valley girls team is the only double-digit seed remaining in any of the four lacrosse brackets.

Here are the four quarterfinals matches in boys 3A. All the matches begin at 7 p.m.

• Top seed Shady Side Academy (12-6) plays its first playoff match when it hosts Central Catholic (13-4). The Vikings eliminated Butler in Round 1.

• No. 5 Pine-Richland (12-6), fresh off a win over Canon-McMillan, visits No. 4 North Allegheny (12-6) in a match you can hear on Trib HSSN.

• No. 2 and defending champion Mt. Lebanon (13-4) will play host to No. 7 Fox Chapel (11-5). The Foxes cruised past Norwin in their opener, 10-4.

• No. 6 Peters Township (14-5), a first-round winner over Seneca Valley, 11-6, will now visit No. 3 Upper St. Clair (12-3) on Trib HSSN.

Here is the second round schedule Thursday in the girls 2A playoffs, all with 7 p.m. starts.

• Top seed and defending champion Mars (14-2) will host No. 9 Moon (12-5), a road winner at Hampton on Tuesday, 9-6.

• No. 5 Blackhawk (15-2), fresh off destroying Oakland Catholic in the first round 22-3, will now visit No. 4 Penn-Trafford (15-2).

• Section 1 champion and No. 2 seed Indiana (13-2) welcomes No. 7 South Fayette (12-6), a 12-goal winner over Franklin Regional in the opening round.

• No. 3 Chartiers Valley (14-2), fresh off a bye, is at home to No. 11 Quaker Valley (8-7), a upset winner over Plum in the first round, 8-6.

Spiking quarters

The WPIAL boys volleyball playoffs move into the second round Thursday with four matches each in Class 3A and 2A, all beginning at 7 p.m.

In 3A, four teams will make the postseason debut following opening-round byes.

• Top seed Shaler (13-1) will host No. 9 Hempfield (10-6), a road winner over Baldwin on Tuesday.

• No. 4 Norwin (15-2) will welcome No. 5 Seneca Valley (13-6). The Raiders defeated Moon in the first round, 3-1.

• No. 7 Canon-McMillan (14-2), a winner in the opener over Central Catholic, 3-2, now visits No. 2 North Allegheny (11-1) in a match you can hear on Trib HSSN.

• No. 3 Butler (10-6) welcomes No. 6 Penn-Trafford (14-3). The Warriors swept past Upper St. Clair in Round 1, 3-0.

In 2A, three teams had opening-round byes and will debut in the playoffs Thursday.

• Top seed Mars (17-0) will host No. 8 Gateway (9-5) in a battle between Section 2 foes. The Gators won in Round 1 over Seton LaSalle, 3-0.

• No. 5 South Fayette (16-2) will visit No. 4 Ambridge (12-3) in a battle of section champs. The Lions swept past Montour, 3-0, while the Bridgers beat Trinity, 3-0, in first-round matches.

• No. 2 North Catholic (14-2) welcomes No. 10 Thomas Jefferson (12-5). The Jaguars upset Latrobe in the first round, 3-1.

• No. 6 Armstrong (9-8) beat Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in the opening round, 3-0. Now the River Hawks visit No. 3 Derry (9-7).

More High School Sports

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PIAA Class 2A softball championship preview: Neshannock vs. South Williamsport
PIAA Class A baseball championship preview: Eden Christian vs. Faith Christian
PIAA Class 3A baseball championship preview: Avonworth vs. Neumann-Goretti
PIAA Class 4A baseball championship preview: Indiana vs. Holy Ghost Prep