WPIAL Class 5A softball finals preview: Connellsville vs. West Allegheny

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | 9:54 PM

WPIAL Class 5A softball championship

No. 4 Connellsville (16-6) vs. No. 10 West Allegheny (11-7)

4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Peterswood Park

Coaches: John Burd, Connellsville; Mindi McFate, West Allegheny

Players to watch: Mia Burd, Sr., P, Connellsville; Britney Wilson, Jr., C, West Allegheny

WPIAL titles: Connellsville 1 (1997); West Allegheny 2 (2017, ‘18)

How they got here: Connellsville defeated No. 13 Mars, 15-1; No. 5 Trinity, 3-2; and No. 1 Penn-Trafford, 10-4. West Allegheny beat No. 7 Shaler, 7-4; No. 2 Plum, 5-4; and No. 6 Franklin Regional, 4-2.

Extra bases: West Allegheny is chasing a third straight WPIAL championship. It captured the 2018 title with a 4-2 win over Thomas Jefferson. The Indians went on to finish second in the state. They defeated Moon, 12-2, for the 2017 championship. West A lost to Mt. Pleasant, 10-0, in the 2016 final. The Indians are 77-14 over the past four seasons. Wilson was an all-state catcher last season. … Connellsville reached the finals in back-to-back seasons, defeating Franklin Regional in 1997 and falling to Hempfield in ‘98. The Falcons upset No. 1 Penn-Trafford in the semifinals behind pitcher Mia Burd (2.19 ERA, .528 average), a Cornell recruit, as well as Abby King, Kara Hoover and Kaybree Benton, who all had multiple RBIs.

PIAA tournament: The winner will play the District 3 fifth-place team in the PIAA first round. The losing team will play the District 3 runner-up. Both games will be Monday.

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

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