What to watch for in WPIAL sports on May 18, 2022: Class 6A baseball gets going

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 12:24 AM

While there aren’t as many district baseball and softball games schedule for Wednesday as there were on Super Tuesday, Mother Nature may have the final say on how many games are played as the first round concludes.

In WPIAL baseball, the lone Class 6A opening-round game takes place at Plum as Hempfield faces Seneca Valley for the No. 8 seed in the tournament.

Eight years ago, these two programs met in a Class AAAA first-round game won by the Raiders, 10-5. Seneca Valley went on to win the WPIAL title in 2014.

The winner of this game will face top-seeded Mt. Lebanon in a quarterfinal Monday.

There are four first-round Class 4A baseball playoff games set for Wednesday:

• Quaker Valley takes on Highlands at Plum with the winner facing top-seeded Montour.

• Elizabeth Forward goes up against Beaver at Fox Chapel with the winner playing No. 4 Laurel Highlands.

• Blackhawk battles Indiana at Seneca Valley with the winner advancing to play West Mifflin.

• Uniontown plays Knoch at Norwin with the winner drawing North Catholic in the quarterfinals.

Even softball first, quarters

Softball offers a mixed bag Wednesday with opening-round matchups in Class 4A and 2A along with 6A quarterfinals.

The first foray into the second round takes place with four quarterfinals games including defending champion Bethel Park taking on Seneca Valley at North Allegheny.

Five-time champion Hempfield saw its title run end last spring; however, the Spartans are on the hunt for more gold as the No. 1 seed. They’ll open up the postseason against rival Norwin at Penn-Trafford.

Finally, in a 6A doubleheader at Montour, 2021 runner-up Canon-McMillan will battle Pine-Richland, followed by No. 2 seed Mt. Lebanon taking on North Allegheny.

There are five Class 4A games including a matchup between West Mifflin and Highlands. A year ago, both the Titans and Golden Rams reached the district 4A semifinals with West Mifflin falling to eventual champion Beaver while Highlands beat Elizabeth Forward to earn a spot in the finals.

There is a full slate of Class 2A games with eight openers on the schedule. One of those 2A games has three-time defending champion Laurel playing Burgettstown at North Allegheny.

These teams met last spring with the Spartans blanking the Blue Devils, 7-0, in the quarterfinals.

3A boys, 2A girls lax

With a shaky forecast putting the diamond sports in jeopardy, there is a chance that the postseason spotlight could shine bright on lacrosse.

It’s quarterfinals Wednesday in both the boys 3A and girls 2A postseason tournaments.

One of the four second-round matches in boys 3A is a rematch of a quarterfinal from last spring.

No. 3 Shady Side Academy will host No. 11 Seneca Valley on Wednesday. Last year in the quarters, the Bulldogs eliminated the Raiders, 18-5, on their way to a district championship.

Expect things to be a lot tighter in the four girls 2A quarterfinals games after four blowouts in the district first round.

The four opening-round winners — Aquinas Academy, Chartiers Valley, Quaker Valley and Plum — won their playoff matches by a combined score of 62-15.

Aquinas is at Blackhawk, CV visits Indiana, QV travels to Mars and Plum goes to Hampton on Wednesday.

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