WPIAL softball playoff capsules: Games for Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Monday, May 24, 2021 | 4:25 PM
WPIAL softball playoff preview
7-Southmoreland (11-4) vs. 11-Ellwood City (13-4)
2 p.m. at Penn-Trafford
Coaches: Todd Bunner, Southmoreland; Gary Rozanski, Ellwood City
Winner plays: Winner of 1-Mt. Pleasant (15-3) vs. 4-Avonworth (12-5) on June 2 or 3 (time TBD) in the championship at Cal (Pa.)
Players to watch: Emily Eutsey, Sr., 3B, Southmoreland; Maria Ioanelli, Sr., C, Ellwood City
Extra bases: Southmoreland took down No. 2 seed North Catholic in the quarterfinals to reach the semis for the third time in four tries. The Scotties won the WPIAL title in 2018. In ‘17, they lost to Ellwood City, 3-1, in the semis. Against North Catholic, a three-run first inning set the tone for the Scotties. Senior pitcher Jess Matheny continued to be a leader on and off the field, providing stats and advice for a team that has 10 freshmen. Matheny went 4 for 5 with a double, triple and three RBIs, and freshman standout Amarah McCutcheon homered and drove in a pair. Eutsey, a Juniata commit, went 2 for 4 with a double. The Scotties could see Mt. Pleasant in the finals. The teams played in the same section but met only once this season as Southmoreland tried to catch up on games after a late-season covid shutdown. … Ellwood City knocked off No. 6 Deer Lakes, 7-5, before a 7-4 win over No. 3 Waynesburg in the quarterfinals. In the later victory, Angie Nardone, Kyla Servick and Ioanelli had two hits each, and Mollie Street homered and drove in two. Nardone had a double and two RBIs. Ioanelli bats .519 with six homers and 23 RBIs. Ellwood City finished third in Section 2 behind Avonworth and Keystone Oaks. The Wolverines split with Avonworth, a team they could see again in the title game. The winner advances to the PIAA playoffs. The loser goes to the third-place game to play for the final WPIAL spot in the state bracket.
1-Mt. Pleasant (15-3) vs. 4-Avonworth (12-5)
4 p.m. at Penn-Trafford
Coaches: Chris Brunson, Mt. Pleasant; Jenna Muncie, Avonworth
Winner plays: Winner of 7-Southmoreland (11-4)/11-Ellwood City (13-4) on June 2 or 3 (time TBD) in the championship at Cal U
Players to watch: Mary Smithnosky, Sr., P, Mt. Pleasant; Alivia Lantzy, Fr., P, Avonworth
Extra bases: Mt. Pleasant returned to the semifinal for the fifth straight time with a 6-0 shutout against Derry in the quarterfinals. Smithnosky had a career-best 14 strikeouts and allowed three hits. She also drove in a run with a double. Hannah Gnibus, Katie Hutter, Haylie Brunson and Krista Brunson had two hits each, and Courtney Poulich homered. Hutter, Haylie Brunson, Smithnosky, Lexi Shawley and Sophia Smithnosky had doubles. The Vikings’ last finals trip was in 2019, in Class 4A. Coach Chris Brunson could get another dual-reunion. He recently coached against Southmoreland and Hempfield in a doubleheader. He used to be an assistant at Southmoreland and graduated from Hempfield. Now, he could see Southmoreland again at Cal (Pa.), where he also is an alum. … Avonworth is the defending 3A champion. The Antelopes are a tough out offensively. They won 10 in a row before a loss to 5A North Hills on the final day of the regular season. They own an 11-1 win over No. 2 seed North Catholic, which was upset by Southmoreland in the first round. Avonworth opened with a 10-6 win over No. 5 South Allegheny it they pounded 15 hits. Leah Logan and Meghan Fissore each went 3-4, with Fissore driving in two runs, and Alivia Lantzy and Rylee Gray had two hits and two RBIs each. Lantzy was the winning pitcher. The winner advances to the PIAA playoffs. The loser goes to the third-place game to play for the final WPIAL spot in the state bracket.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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