WPIAL Softball Recaps From Monday, May 23rd

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | 2:09 AM

While a full slate of Second Round games were scheduled for Monday in the district softball postseason, heavy rains on Sunday forced six site changed. Then an unforecast pop up storm wiped away three games until Tuesday. But the action from the games that were played was tight as we get deeper into the 2016 WPIAL Softball Playoffs. Here are summaries from the diamond on Quarterfinals Monday.

A special thanks to Don Rebel, Bob Orkwis, Mark Uriah, James Dotson, Bob Gregg, Sean Meyers, Greg Kuntz, Kyle Dawson and Jason Tennant for their help on these recaps.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

Hempfield Spartans 11 – Penn-Trafford Warriors 3 
Top-seed and defending champion Hempfield fell behind 2-0 early before seven unanswered en route to a 11-3 victory over section rival Penn-Trafford, the Spartans third victory of the season over the Warriors. The game was delayed 90 minutes by a storm that hit the Greater Latrobe area 30 minutes before game time. Penn-Trafford scored in the first on a two out single by Megan Little and an RBI double by Miranda Frye. Junior Hannah Dobrinick homered to lead off the second inning and suddenly there was upset in the air as the clouds rolled out. But Hempfield took control on offense with three runs in the second and never looked back. Madi Stoner hit a two-run homer to tie the game, then Jordan Sterling’s ground out plated Taylor Blevins who had walked and the Spartans led 3-2. Hempfield scored three more in the third on an RBI double by Stoner and a two run double by Kaylee Bloom. Jenna Osikowiz run scoring single plated Taylor Hoffman in the fourth and Sterling’s run scoring double plated Bloom with another Hempfield run in the fifth inning after the Warriors scored on a Megan Little RBI single to plate Mara Mallon in the top of the fifth. The final touch on the rout by the 2015 champs came in the bottom of the sixth when needing a triple to hit for the cycle, Stoner hit a three run homer to give her four hits and six RBI for the game. Morgan Ryan improved her record to 17-2 as she allowed three earned runs on six hits with nine strikeouts for the complete game victory. The season ends for Penn-Trafford for a second straight year in the Quad-A Quarterfinals with a 15-6 record. After A First Round bye, Hempfield improves to 19-2 with its first postseason win and will now face North Allegheny in a rematch of last years title game in the Semifinals on Wednesday.  

North Allegheny Tigers 2 – Canon-McMillan Big Macs 0 
Kristen Chomos singled twice and scored both runs as #4 North Allegheny downed #5 Canon-McMillan, 2-0.  The Tigers’ designated player led off the bottom of the first with a single and moved to third after two errors.  Liz Scherer doubled to score Chomos.  The third inning run came as the result of a Chomos single, sacrifice bunts, a Scherer base hit and Rachel Martindale’s foul sacrifice fly to deep left, putting North Allegheny (19-2) up 2-0.  The Tigers did not get another base-runner against Abbi Michelucci.  Canon-McMillan (16-4) managed just three hits off Madi Beining who walked two and struck out seven.  The Big Macs only got two base-runners beyond first base, Linda Rush with a one-out walk and a sacrifice in the first and Kirsten Rush’s leadoff single in the second.  From that point, Beining retired 13 of the next 14 CM batters.  Michelucci took the loss, allowing two runs on four hits.

Baldwin Highlanders 2 – Peters Township Indians 1 
Baldwin’s Ana Hale gave up 1 run on 4 hits, struck out nine, and drive in the game-winning run to lead Baldwin to the WPIAL Quad-A softball semi-finals. The Fighting Highlanders scored 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. Sam Wampler’s sacrifice fly drive in Taylor Dadig, who started the inning with a single. Hale’s RBI single scored Ashley Brady. That was all the offense Hale needed. The Indians had got the leadoff batter on in the fourth and sixth innings, but Hale retired the next three batters in each frame. Peters Township’s only run came on a two-out RBI single, scoring Jenny Fitzgerald in the top of the 7th inning. Hale then got the final out on a pop-up to end the game. Peters Township ends its season 11-7. Baldwin, now 12-3, moves on the semi-finals.

WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 3 – Knoch Knights 2 
Fresh off a first-round victory over Montour, the #9-seeded Knights had upset on  their minds against a well-rested Thomas Jefferson Jaguars squad.  The first 4 innings of their matchup took on the character of a classic pitchers’ duel between the Knights’ Celia Knappenberger and the Jaguars’ Lacie Lautner.  TJ had the better of the chances, but Knappenberger and her defense kept them off the board.  Meanwhile, Lautner gave up just 2 hits through those 4 innings and at one point retired 10 straight Knights’ batters.  Ironically, Knoch cracked the scoreboard first.  With 1 out in the top half of the 5th, Knappenberger singled and stole 2nd.  Erin Luffy then reached on a Megan Fitzgerald error, putting Knappenberger at 3rd.  Luffy then stole 2nd, and on the play, Fitzgerald’s throwing error to the plate allowed Knappenberger to score to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.  The Jaguars, however, responded with 2 runs in the bottom of the 6th to take the lead.   Rachel Bowers led off with a single, and a sacrifice bunt moved her to 2nd.  After a walk, Fitzgerald singled to drive in Bowers.  Fitzgerald scored on Lautner’s base hit to make it a 2-1 lead in favor of TJ.  The Knights never said Die as they were resilient enough to tie the game at 2 in the 7th.  Knappenberger singled with 1 out and Luffy walked to put the potential go-ahead run aboard.  A fielder’s choice put pinch-runner Madison Holben in scoring position, who was running for Luffy.  An RBI double by Sydney Natili plated Holben to tie the game at 2, but on the play, Chalee Durand was thrown out at the plate to end the top of the inning.  Sydney Flinn walked with 1 out in the bottom of the frame, and Bowers reached on a fielder’s choice and represented the winning run.  A single by Alysa Fairman put Bowers in scoring position, and Emily Scheidter’s walk off single scored Bowers to give the The Thomas Jefferson Jaguars a 3-2 win and a Semifinals berth in the Class AAA bracket.  The Jaguars move on to play the winner between Southmoreland and Mt Pleasant in the Semis, and their record now stands at 16-1.  The Knights put up a valiant effort, but Knoch’s season is over at 15-4.

Mount Pleasant Vikings 9 – Southmoreland Scotties 5 
Maybe this young Mount Pleasant team with six sophomores and one freshman in the starting lineup don’t realize they are a team built for the future because their battle cry is the future is now. Sophomore Meadow Uncapher had three hits and five RBI, plus went the distance in the circle as the magical run of the 12th-seed Vikings continued late Monday with a 9-5 triumph over section rival Southmoreland on the turf at Latrobe High School. A wild pitch scored Kayla Queer in the first inning as Mount Pleasant played small ball and scored without a hit to make it 1-0. The Vikings added to their lead in the third inning on a sac-fly by Uncapher and a two-run double by Christiana Czegan to make it 4-0 Vikings. After an Adeline Nicholson RBI double put Southmoreland on the scoreboard in the fourth inning, Mount Pleasant scored three runs in the top of the fifth on a two-run double by Uncapher and a bases loaded walk to Queer to make it 7-1 Vikings. The Scotties made things interesting in their half of the fifth when Olivia Porter hit a three-run homer and Briana Bunner scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-5. But in the sixth, Uncapher connected on a two-run homer for the games final runs. Uncapher retired the last eight Scotties batters she faced. Southmoreland finishes the season with a 13-3 record with two of the losses coming to the Vikings. Mount Pleasant improves to 11-5 and will battle top-seed Thomas Jefferson in the Semifinals on Wednesday. 

Yough Cougars 3 – Elizabeth Forward Warriors 2 
On Monday at Cal U, the Warriors of the No. 10 seed in Class AAA, Elizabeth Forward, were looking to continue a run as a double digit seed in the softball playoffs against last year’s runner-up, the Cougars from Yough. Elizabeth Forward gave Yough everything it had and more, but ultimately fell short on a walk off single by the Cougars in the seventh inning. The visitors, EF, jumped out to a 2-0 lead with three consecutive hits in the third inning and back-to-back RBI doubles by junior Jessica Cartia and senior Ashley Hoak. Yough tied things up with a run in the fourth on a RBI single by Cassidy Pearce that scored Allie Harvey after Harvey hit a leadoff double to start the frame. With the score 2-1 entering the fifth, the home team got a leadoff walk drawn by Hannah Bach, who then stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored to knot things up at 2-2 on a sacrifice fly to center by the eventual hero, Aubrie Mance. After threatening in the sixth but falling short of scoring because of a runner’s interference call, Yough got the leadoff hitter aboard in the seventh in the form of a single by Bach. She stole second again to set things up for the walk off single by Mance to win it 3-2 and send Yough to the Class AAA softball quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. Elizabeth Forward ends the season with the quarterfinal loss, dropping its overall record to 12-6. Yough moves to 17-2 overall and will advance to Wednesday’s semifinal round in Class AAA and play West Allegheny. The game will be on the exclusive home for the WPIAL softball playoffs and championships: the MSA Sports Network.

West Allegheny Indians 3 – Beaver Bobcats 2 
Makenzie Partyka’s three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning proved to be the difference, as the Indians held off the Bobcats 3-2 in the Class AAA Quarterfinals at North Allegheny High School. For the first several innings, West Allegheny appeared snake bitten, as the No. 3 Indians put two runners aboard in the second, third and fourth innings, but failed to plate any runs. Trailing 1-0, however, the Indians began the home portion of the fifth stanza with Brooke Wilson belting a double, and Lexi Cogis following with a walk. That set the stage for Partyka, who crushed an offering from Beaver’s Casey Farkasovsky over the left-field fence. That run support was enough for Ashley Seamon, as the sophomore hurler limited the sixth-seeded Bobcats to just four hits. Earlier in the contest, Beaver took the first lead, scoring in the fourth inning when Farkasovsky’s double brought home Haley Champ. The Bobcats continued to battle in their final at-bat, as well, as Ashley Kondracki provided a solo home run to began the inning, but Seamon retired the next three hitters to seat the victory. As a result, West Allegheny advances to play Yough in the semifinals.

WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:

Ellwood City Wolverines 2 – Burgettstown Blue Devils 1 
In what felt much more like a championship game than a quarterfinal matchup, undefeated and top-seed Ellwood City walked off to survive and advance to the Class AA softball semifinals. The Lady Wolverines scored single runs in the sixth and the seventh to come out on top in a pitchers duel featuring two of the best the WPIAL has to offer in the circle. Ellwood City junior pitcher Skyla Greco held the Lady Blue Devils hitless through five innings. That ended when nine-hitter Jordan Cullison led off the top of the sixth with a base hit. After advancing to second on a passed ball and being sacrificed to third, Cullison scampered home on a wild pitch to score the first run of the game. Ellwood City responded immediately in the bottom half of the inning, this time with the Lady Wolverines getting a lead off single from their nine-hitter Brooke Magill. She would later score on a fielder’s choice from Ariana Garroway to knot the score at 1-1. Ellwood would leave the bases loaded in the frame. After two quick outs in the top of the 7th, Cheyenne Winters reached on an error, and she was lifted for pinch runner Lex Stratus. Back-to-back singles to center from Morgan Ellek and Shania Winters gave Burgettstown a chance, but centerfielder Allie McKelvey gunned out Stratus at the plate to end the inning. Natalia Greco drew a lead off walk in the bottom of the seventh, then advanced from first to third on a sacrifice bunt from Zoe Kalantzis. Magill then grounded to shortstop, and Greco beat the throw to the plate to end the game. Burgettstown senior pitcher Kate Tarr pitched a gem, allowing only four hits and striking out nine while walking only two. Greco scattered only three hits and struck out eight batters while walking two of her own. . A heartbreaking end to the year for Burgettstown (15-7) who will lose seven senior starters from a great Lady Blue Devils roster. Ellwood City remains undefeated (18-0) and will take on  either Avonworth or Steel Valley in the semifinals, currently scheduled for Wednesday.

Laurel Spartans 1 – Deer Lakes Lancers 0 
Freshman Kayla Ruperto drove in the game’s only run with a one-out single in the top of the first inning and she made that run stand up for the Spartans, by throwing a 3-hitter on the mound to lead the Spartans to a 1-0 win over the defending WPIAL Class AA Champion Lancers at Seneca Valley High School. Sophomore centerfielder Cassidy Stroia led off the game with a walk against Deer Lakes junior Shae Robson and reached second base on wild pitch. Senior catcher Sidney Switzer singled Stroia to third before Ruperto’s base hit gave Laurel the only run they would need. Ruperto, who came into playoffs with the second most strikeouts through the regular season, retired the first 11 Deer Lakes batters she faced before allowing a single to Maria Taliani and her base-on-balls to sophomore shortstop Danielle Huffman. But Ruperto was able to end the threat by getting Maureen Hutchinson to foul out to first baseman Danielle Duddy. Ruperto struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth and fanned Robson and Taliani to strand Sarah Blinn at second base in the sixth inning. Huffman led off the bottom of the seventh with a single for Deer Lakes but Hutchinson popped out trying to sacrifice. Then Stroia turned in the defensive play of the game for Laurel. Katelynn Blair bounced a single into right center field and Huffman tried for third base. Stroia threw a strike to third base and Mackenzie Latess applied the tag for the second out of the inning. Stephanie Drapela then hit a soft liner back to the mound which Ruperto snagged for the game’s final out. Ruperto struck out 8 Lancers hitters in the game to improve her record to (16-3) for the season. Robson, who allowed only one run, also added 8 strikeouts in a losing effort and finished the season (13-4). With the loss, the second seeded Lancers saw their record fall to (16-5) and Deer Lakes also saw its run of title game appearances end at 4. The Lancers won Class AA titles in 2012 and 2015, and finished as the runner up in 2013 & 2014, Deer Lakes was trying to become the first team ever to reach the AA championship game five years in a row. With the win, Laurel, the #7 seed improved to (16-3) on the season. The Spartans await the winner of tomorrow’s contest between, #3 South Park and #11 Freeport in the AA semifinals on Wednesday.

WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:

West Greene Pioneers 8 – Union Scotties 2 
The West Greene Pioneers advanced to the WPIAL Semifinals for the first time in program history when they defeated Union, 8-2 at Sewickley Academy on Monday. It wasn’t the typical blow out win for West Greene this season, but it was a game that the Pioneers, as usual, took control of in their first at bat. After Union stranded a 2-out double at second base, McKenna Lampe led off the Pioneers first inning with a bunt double and bunting was the theme for West Greene early on as the Scotties, time and time again, had trouble dealing with the good bunts and aggressive base running by the Pioneers. Five of the first seven Pioneer batters bunted, West Greene scored 4 runs on 3 hits, and were aided greatly by 4 Union errors. West Greene would add another run in the second when Madison Lampe tripled and then scored on the same play as the throw to third was well wide of the mark resulting in Union’s fifth error. The error bug then struck West Greene in the top of the third. After a 1-out single by Shelby Ligo, Sarah Seamans reached on an error and both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Ligo then scored when a snap throw from catcher Shelby Morris ended up in left field and Seamans scored to make it 5-2 when Abby Kerr reached on an error. That was as close as it would get for Union. West Greene got a run, aided by a Union error, in the fourth to make it 6-2. To accentuate the defensive woes for both teams in the game, through 5 and a half innings there were 8 runs scored and only one RBI! West Greene’s defense settled down nicely after that rough 3rd inning though and the Scotties only had 2 base runners the rest of the way. The Pioneers had a nice bottom of the sixth with four straight 1-out hits including RBI singles by Madison Lampe and Madison Renner and Bailey Bennington doubled in the inning. Bennington then was brought in to pitch the top of the seventh and struck out the side in order to end the game with an 8-2 win. Renner got the win and was impressive in the circle, holding Union to just 2 hits with both runs unearned. Renner struck out 5. The loss went to Seamans who finished with 8 strikeouts. West Greene will play Monessen in the Semifinals on Wednesday.

Monessen Greyhounds 10 – Serra Catholic Eagles 0 
From the words “play ball,” No. 5 seed Monessen took it to No. 4 seed Serra Catholic in the Class A quarterfinals. Following two scoreless innings, Monessen’s lineup seemed to figure out one of the better pitchers in the entire classification in Sam Andrekanic, who was 14-0, as was Serra, entering play. Monessen scored two unearned runs in the third, three runs on three hits in the fourth and dealt the final big blow to Serra Catholic and Andrekanic with a five spot in the sixth on four hits. For Monessen, the defense was good enough, but the pitching was the biggest reason the Greyhounds pulled out and held the big lead. One pitch was thrown by starting pitcher Shelby Minardi before the Greyhounds went to their stud in Dana Vakatis. Vakatis, a Division I recruit, got the ball and tossed a no-hitter, allowing just four base runners to reach, three via errors behind her and one on a fielder’s choice. She struck out 11 in the effort and did not walk any. Destiny Habeck had three RBI, Minardi and Carly Rock had two and the Monessen lineup pounded out 11 hits in the 10-run blowout. Serra Catholic’s undefeated bid comes to a close with the season ending loss that drops their record to 14-1 overall, while the win pushes Monessen to the semifinals and a 15-5 overall record. Monessen gets #1 West Greene, whom they lost to in the regular season 10-0, in the Class A semis on Wednesday on MSA Sports.

Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers 9 – Shenango Wildcats 1 
Chartiers-Houston took full advantage of Shenango’s defensive struggles, plating six unearned runs in the Bucs’ 9-1 win over the Wildcats.  The Bucs started quickly with two singles and a walk to the first four batters, but Jaylese Lombardi was thrown out at home, leaving runners at second and third with two out.  Lauren Lober’s grounder to short was booted, scoring Brittany Blumen.  Winning pitcher Kaitlyn Dittrich helped herself with an RBI single, driving in Kayla Alderson.  Shenango (15-4) had a chance to get on the board in the first.  But a line-out double play laid waste to Alyssa White’s single and a double from Elizabeth Quahliero.  Second base was as far as the Wildcats could get a runner until the seventh.  The Bucs (13-7), meanwhile, scored seven runs over the final three innings.  In the fifth, Kayla Elliott doubled down the right-field line, moved to third on Lombardi’s single and scored one out later on Macie Kesneck’s base hit.  After a flyout, Lober reached on an error at short,  scoring Lombardi, moving Kesneck to third.  A delayed double steal scored Kesneck.  Dittrich’s grounder to third was kicked, scoring Lober.  In the sixth, singles by Jessica Ford, Lombardi and Kesneck, plus a walk to Blumen plated two runs.  A walk, an error and a groundout brought in the final run.  The #2 Wildcats finally scored.  Caitlyn Schnell singled and moved to third on an outfield error, scoring one out later on Macy Rubin’s double off the fence in right-centerfield.  Dittrich allowed just the one run on eight hits, walked two and struck out three.  Rubin took the loss, charged with six runs, just one earned on six hits and two walks.  Chartiers-Houston will face Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic in the semifinals.  The Bucs downed the Trojans, 8-7, back on March 29th in a non-section game.

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 16 – Western Beaver Golden Beavers 5 
The Trojanettes trailed Western Beaver 2-0 after the second inning, before plating 5 runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-2 lead. The Golden Beavers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third to tie this Class A quarterfinal at 5-5. But Cardinal Wuerl kept scoring runs, taking advantage of 10 Western beaver errors to score 11 runs combined in innings 4 through 6 to win 16-5 at Seneca Valley High School and advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2001. Senior right fielder Mina Shaw was the catalyst for the Trojanettes, reaching base 5 times on four bunt singles and a fielder’s choice, and scoring four runs. Sophomore centerfielder Bridget Hudson reached base three times and scored three runs from the leadoff spot for CWNC.  Senior second baseman Lillia Smyers had the big hit the Cardinal Wuerl in the 4-run fourth inning. With 2 outs, Smyers smashed a three-run triple to give the Trojanettes a 9-5 lead. Smyers also drove in a run in the third inning with an infield single. Freshman shortstop Adrienne Nardone drove in a pair of runs for CWNC, while senior pitcher Alayna Derzak also added 2 RBI to help her own cause on the mound. Derzak struck out two and only walked one batter while allowing Western Beaver only one hit and no runs after the third inning to improve to (15-3) on the season with the win. For Western Beaver, freshman catcher Brooke McCanna had a pair of hits and drove in a run, while her sister, senior pitcher Alyssa McCanna had a double and a run scored, while adding 10 strikeouts in a losing effort on the mound. The Trojanettes, the 6th seed in the tournament, improved to (15-4) on the season with the victory. 14th seeded Western Beaver saw its season end at (9-5). Cardinal Wuerl will now face Chartiers-Houston in the semifinals on Wednesday. The 7th seeded Buccaneers defeated #2 Shenango 9-1 to reach the Class A final four.

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