WPIAL Class 2A softball preseason breakdown
By: Bill Hartlep
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 8:07 PM
Laurel edged Frazier, 1-0, in the WPIAL Class 2A softball title game a year ago to win its first championship.
Chartiers-Houston and Mohawk also were WPIAL semifinalists and reached the PIAA playoffs. Mohawk advanced all the way to the state title game before falling to Upper Dauphin.
All are expected to again contend for the Class 2A title, but others also should be in the mix.
Here’s a look at the teams and players to watch in Class 2A:
Preseason Top 5
Team (2018 record)
1. Chartiers-Houston (16-4) — Bolstered by eight returning starters, the Bucs should again contend for the WPIAL title. Junior shortstop Kaci Alderson hit .596 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs last season and was the Coaches Association’s Class 2A Player of the Year. Senior catcher Kasey Scears (.507) also was an all-state selection.
2. Laurel (13-4) — Four all-section players are back to lead Laurel in its quest for another WPIAL championship. The group includes senior outfielder Brooke Atkins, junior pitcher Madyson Boyd and senior infielders Mackenzie Latess and Olivia Lombardo.
3. Mohawk (18-3) — Mohawk was hit hard by graduation but returns five starters, including junior pitcher Trinity Voss, along with infielders Alyssa Young and Victoria Walters.
4. Frazier (16-7) — Frazier captured the Section 3 title a year ago with a 10-0 mark and went on to play in the PIAA playoffs after falling to Laurel in the WPIAL final. Back are senior all-section infielder Kathryn Barch and senior all-section outfielder Megan Celaschi.
5. Serra Catholic (11-5) — Serra Catholic is coming off a second-place finish in Section 1-2A and a trip to the quarterfinals. The Eagles will be led by junior outfielder Maddie Carr and junior infielder Nina Grandey.
Players to watch
Kaci Alderson, Jr., INF, Chartiers-Houston
Brooke Atkins, Sr., OF, Laurel
Kathryn Barch, Jr., INF, Frazier
Madyson Boyd, Jr., P, Laurel
Maddie Carr, Jr., OF, Serra Catholic
Megan Celaschi, Sr., OF, Frazier
Nina Grandey, Jr., INF, Serra Catholic
Logan Hartman, Jr., P, Frazier
Mackenzie Latess, Sr., INF, Laurel
Jaylese Lombardi, Sr., OF, Chartiers-Houston
Olivia Lombardo, Sr., INF, Laurel
Jaelyn Melko, Jr., P, Carlynton
Rachael Pieto, Sr., OF, South Side Beaver
Alexis Riske, Jr., OF, Seton LaSalle
Margret Russo, Sr., C, Neshannock
Kasey Scears, Sr., C, Chartiers-Houston
Madison Slowinski, Sr., P, Freedom
Trinity Voss, Jr., P, Mohawk
Alyssa Young, Jr., INF, Mohawk
*Class 2A features 29 teams in four sections, three with seven teams and one with eight. That’s up from 25 teams last year.
*Freedom, Charleroi, McGuffey and Riverside all joined Class 2A from 3A. Aliquippa, Carmichaels and Riverview bumped up from A.
*GCC, Springdale dropped down to A, and North Catholic moved up to Class 3A.
*Melko, a Division I prospect, returns after batting .425 for Carlynton last season. She also is a third-year starter in the circle. Senior shortstop/catcher Maddie Baron also returns.
*Class 2A has had its share of WPIAL champions over the past decade-plus. Since 2007, Valley (2), Riverside (3), Burrell, Deer Lakes (2), Beaver, Ellwood City, Frazier and Laurel all won titles.
Section 1: Brentwood, Burgettstown, Carlynton, Fort Cherry, OLSH, Seton LaSalle, South Side Beaver
Section 2: Apollo-Ridge, Northgate, Riverview, Serra Catholic, Shady Side Academy, Sto-Rox, Vincentian Academy
Section 3: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Carmichaels, Chartiers-Houston, Charleroi, Frazier, McGuffey
Section 4: Aliquippa, Freedom, Laurel, Mohawk, Neshannock, New Brighton, Riverside, Shenango
Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review Assistant Sports Editor. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .