WPIAL champ Hempfield softball team rewarded with PIAA home game

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Friday, June 2, 2023 | 6:41 PM


There was more at stake than a WPIAL championship for the Hempfield softball team.

When the Spartans topped Seneca Valley, 2-1, in extra inning to win their eighth district title Wednesday at Cal (Pa.) and become the league’s lone representative in the PIAA Class 6A playoffs, they also earned a home game for the first round of the state tournament for the first time in program history.

District champions can now host as long as their facility meets the PIAA’s requirements: seating, parking, etc.

Hempfield (18-3) will host District 6 champion Mifflin County (12-8) at 11 a.m. Monday in the PIAA opener. Mifflin County has to drive nearly three hours to play the game.

“We are very excited to be able to pay on our home field in front of all of our fans,” Hempfield coach Tina Madison said.

The game will be part of a local doubleheader at Robert D. Kalp Field.

WPIAL champion Belle Vernon (18-4), fresh off its fifth district championship, will play Trinity (17-6), the third-place team from District 3, at 2 p.m. in the nightcap.

Two other Westmoreland County softball teams and two local baseball teams also learned their opponents and sites for Monday. All four will be on the road, outside of WPIAL territory.

Southmoreland softball (16-3), the WPIAL runner-up in Class 3A, will play at District 5 champion Chestnut Ridge (16-3) at 4:30 p.m. in New Paris.

WPIAL 2A softball third-place team Greensburg Central Catholic (14-3) will play at District 9 champion Cranberry (13-7) at 4 p.m. in Seneca.

In baseball, WPIAL Class 5A runner-up Latrobe (17-7) will visit District 6 winner Bellefonte (16-5) with a 2 p.m. first pitch at Governor’s Park in Bellefonte.

And Penn-Trafford, which took third in the WPIAL 5A baseball playoffs, plays at Central Mountain (21-1) at 4 p.m. at Lock Haven.

Quarterfinal games are scheduled for Thursday at neutral sites. Semifinals will be the following Monday.

The championship games for both sports are set for June 15-16 at Penn State.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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