A year after missing the WPIAL playoffs, the Gateway softball team is on to the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals. The No. 11 seeded Gators (11-5) sprung an upset over No. 6 Bethel Park (14-5) in extra innings. With the game tied 3-3 entering the ninth inning, Danielle Taylor hit a home run and Ufuoma Ogagan came through with an RBI single to break a 3-3 tie. Gateway held on in the bottom of the ninth inning and escaped with a 5-4 win at Baldwin, who happens to be their next opponent. Gateway will play No. 3 Baldwin (12-3) on Monday at 6 p.m. at North Allegheny. Baldwin had a first-round bye.
Name: Aaron McCoullum
Background: McCoullum placed eighth in the 100-meter dash at the WPIAL Class AAA championships last year.
In just its fourth season as a program, the Gateway High boys lacrosse team has made steady progress since its formation in 2012. From a winless season in 2012, the Gators advanced to the WPIAL Division 2 playoffs in 2014 where they lost a play-in game to Chartiers Valley, 9-8 in overtime.
This year, Gateway had an overall record of 5-6 and a Division 2, Section 2 record of 4-2 heading into Thursday's game at Hempfield. They have two non-section games against Indiana and Norwin today and Monday, respectively, before concluding the regular season on Tuesday with a home section game against Plum.
Gateway is in third place, trailing section co-leaders Hampton and Aquinas Academy. Those two teams meet for section supremacy on Tuesday.
Nicholas Tolomeo profiles the Gateway softball team.
"Gateway has a pair of potential future Division I prospects who are only juniors as its pitcher/catcher battery.
The program's hopes of returning to the postseason after missing out last year rely heavily on junior pitcher Madison Lewis and junior catcher Ufuoma Ogagan.
Entering a critical week of section play, the Gators were right in the thick of the playoff race with an 8-4 overall record and 7-2 mark in Section 2-AAAA, a game behind first-place Fox Chapel. The Gators were scheduled to play Fox Chapel at home Wednesday in a game that would go a long way in determining the section title and at Allderdice Thursday.
They have been having most of their success this season without Ogagan, a University of Buffalo recruit who has been injured. Ogagan has been out since early this season and coach Andy Popajas hopes to have her back soon."
Name: Madison Lewis
Background: Gateway junior pitcher Madison Lewis is a three-year starter. Through eight decisions she is 5-3 this season. She could be a future Division I prospect. Lewis and junior catcher Ufuoma Ogagan makeup one of the top batteries in the WPIAL. Lewis began pitching for Gateway as a freshman, splitting time between junior varsity and varsity. She fired a two-hitter in a 10-0 five-inning win at Plum last week.