WPIAL again forced to move softball championships

Friday, April 12, 2019 | 4:43 PM

WPIAL administrators will decide Wednesday at their board meeting where the 2019 softball championships will be held.

That’s because Cal (Pa.) informed the WPIAL last week that construction at Lilley Field will not be complete in time for the games, which are scheduled for May 29-30. Cal hasn’t played a home game in two seasons.

The construction crew has not completed replacement of the grass surface, or renovations to the press box and seating area. In fact, only half of the outfield was replaced, and that was in the fall.

This is the second consecutive season the WPIAL will be forced to move the championship games.

They were played at Seton Hill University in 2018.

“California had promised us last year that the stadium project would be complete,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said. “That’s why we were scheduled to return. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I’m not sure what the holdup is with the project.”

O’Malley said the district is considering numerous sites, including returning to Seton Hill, or going to Boyce-Mayview Park near Bridgeville or Pitt.

“We know California wants to host the championship games,” O’Malley said. “We like going there. But, now we have to consider other options.”

Cal (Pa.) softball coach Rick Bertagnolli said he was disappointed the project was not completed, but he hopes the WPIAL will consider returning in 2020.

“I fought hard to bring the championship here in 1993,” Bertagnolli said. “I wanted the players from the WPIAL to have a home for the championship games, like the NCCAs being at Oklahoma City every year. It was also good for the university and my program as area students got to be on campus.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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