WPIAL Class 5A softball championship capsule: Penn-Trafford vs. Armstrong

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 | 5:50 PM

2-Penn-Trafford (18-2) vs. 1-Armstrong (19-4)

4:30 p.m. FRIDAY, Lilley Field, Cal (Pa.)

Coaches: Denny Little, Penn-Trafford; Doug Flanders, Armstrong

Players to watch: Mia Smith, Penn-Trafford; Jenna Clontz, Armstrong

On the air: Broadcast | Trib HSSN (triblive.com)

Extra bases: Penn-Trafford is making its first appearance in the WPIAL finals. The Warriors won a PIAA title in 2019 but lost in the WPIAL semifinals that year. Pinch-hitters Alexa Forsythe and Lorryn Sepes had hits in the fifth inning last Tuesday when the Warriors rallied past Chartiers Valley, 3-2, in the semifinals. They have outscored three playoff opponents 18-2. Senior pitcher Mia Smith, a Pitt-Johnstown commit, is 18-2 with a 0.98 ERA, 176 strikeouts and 33 walks. The offensive leaders are Cam Ponko (.491, 20 RBIs, 19 runs), Mack Keenan (.481, 13 RBIs), Hannah Allen (5 HR, 21 RBIs), Emma Hauck (.435) and Kylee Piconi (22 runs). … Armstrong is back in the WPIAL final after losing to North Hills, 12-2, last year. The River Hawks topped North Hills, 6-4, in this year’s semifinals as Clontz and Jesse Pugh homered and combined for five RBIs. Junior Emma Smerick leads the team with a .513 batting average and has eight doubles, five homers and 26 RBIs and 29 runs. Emma Paul bats .456 with 26 runs and 19 RBIs; Mackenzie Egley has a .424 average, 22 runs and 19 RBIs; Pugh bats .422 with 9 homers and 33 RBIs; and Clontz has a .397 average with 23 RBIs and 29 runs. Sophomore Shelby Cloak has seven homers. Pitcher Cameryn Sprankle is 13-2 with a 3.50 ERA and 81 K’s. The River Hawks have 32 home runs. The have scored 255 runs (11.1 per game). Armstrong was just 3-16 in 2019, and 2-14 in ‘18. The team’s first season was in ‘16. Both teams will open the PIAA playoffs June 6.

Probable lineups

Penn-Trafford: 3 Bri Pusateri (Jr. ,2B); 10 Kylee Piconi (Jr., SS); 8 Mackenzie Keenan (So. DP); 11 Maddy Rapp (Sr., C); 17 Cameron Ponko (Fr., 3B); 21 Hannah Allen (Jr., LF); 12 Caitlyn Schlegel (Jr., CF); 23 Mia Smith (Sr., P); 7 Emma Hauk (Jr., RF); 28 Erin Drotos (So., 1B, Flex)

Armstrong: 4 Emma Smerick (Sr., RF); 5 Emma Paul (So., SS); 17 Mackenzie Egley (Sr., 3B); 25 Jenna Clontz (Jr., LF); 9 Jessie Pugh (So., 1B); 16 Cassidy Adams (Jr., CF); 12 Shelby Cloak (So., DP); 14 Isabella Atherton (Jr., C); 27 Cameryn Sprankle (Jr., P)

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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