Softball: 2017 WPIAL Class 4A Playoff Preview

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Among all the classifications, Class 4A may have provided the biggest headache for the pairing committee when it came time to determine No. 1 and No. 2. The most important thing was keeping the two Class 4A powers on opposite side of the brackets and the committee did that, placing Yough No. 1 and Belle Vernon No. 2. The top-ranked Cougars (15-2) and second-ranked Leopards (16-1) split their two regular-season meetings and split the Section 2 title.

The two teams met in the 2015 WPIAL final and Belle Vernon won in their last at-bat. However, Belle Vernon missed the playoffs last year while Yough won the 2016 PIAA championship. Their last meeting in the regular season was a classic with Belle Vernon scoring two runs in the bottom of the 12th inning to rally and win, 5-4. Belle Vernon all-everything pitcher Bailey Parshall drove in two runs and struck out 15 on the mound.

Both teams will receive a first-round bye along with No. 3 seed Mount Pleasant (11-2), the Section 1 co-champion, along with Knoch (16-2). Knoch earned the No. 5 seed and will play No. 12 South Fayette (11-7) May 15 at North Allegheny at 3 p.m.

With Derry Area (5-9) and Highlands (5-10) tying for fourth place in Section 1 with 3-7 section records, both qualified for the playoffs and Class 4A only had three teams with byes, rather than four. No. 13 Highlands will play No. 4 Ambridge (10-3), the Section 3 champion. The teams will play May 15 at 3 p.m. at Hampton Field 1. Derry earned the No. 10 seed and it will play May 15 at Fox Chapel at 3 p.m. against No. 7 Central Valley (10-5).

No. 6 Beaver Area (10-6) and No. 11 Elizabeth Forward (8-11) will play at Baldwin at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to meet Mount Pleasant (11-2), and No. 8 Indiana (10-7) will play No. 9 Hopewell (8-7) at 5 p.m. at Hampton Field 2 with the winner advancing the play No. 1 Yough.