WPIAL Class 3A softball finals preview: Avonworth vs. Keystone Oaks

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | 10:11 PM

WPIAL Class 3A softball championship

No. 1 Avonworth (19-2) vs. No. 6 Keystone Oaks (13-4)

2:15 p.m. Wednesday at Peterswood Park

Coaches: Jenna Muncie, Avonworth; Mark Kaminski, Keystone Oaks

Players to watch: Sarah Helffrich, Sr., P, Avonworth; Sophia Piatt, Sr., 2B, Keystone Oaks

WPIAL titles: Avonworth 0; Keystone Oaks 0

How they got here: Avonworth had a first-round bye; defeated No. 9 Southmoreland, 3-2; and defeated No. 4 South Park, 5-3. Keystone Oaks beat No. 11 North Catholic, 16-1; No. 3 Burrell, 14-1; and No. 10 Ellwood City, 7-4.

Extra bases: Both teams are seeking their first WPIAL championship. Avonworth has played in the WPIAL final twice, losing to Swissvale in 1980 and Vincentian Academy in 2009. Keystone Oaks is making its first appearance. Avonworth opened the season 13-0 before losing to Ellwood City. The Lopes’ only other loss was to West Mifflin. They outscored opponents 185-71. Senior Maya Kozup and Helffrich have led the way in the circle this season. Helffrich scattered eight hits in the semifinal win over South Park and allowed seven in the quarterfinal win over Southmoreland. … Keystone Oaks has been dominant in the postseason, outscoring its three opponents 37-6. Against Ellwood City, Grace Taylor and Sophia Piatt each had two hits, and Bri Butler struck out eight to earn the win.

PIAA tournament: The winner will play the District 10 runner-up in the PIAA first round. The losing team will play the District 10 champion. Both games will be Monday.

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribHSInsider.

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