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Softball: 2017 PIAA Class 6A Semifinal Preview

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The game: PIAA Class 6A semifinals
The teams: Hempfield vs. Chambersburg
Where and when: Mount Aloysius College, Monday, 4 p.m.
Up next: Winner plays Hazleton-Spring-Ford winner in the the PIAA championship Thursday at Penn State at 4 p.m.

Hempfield Spartans
Record: 25-0
District finish: WPIAL champion
How they got here: (First round) Central York, 1-0; (Quarterfinals) Erie McDowell, 5-0.
What you should know: Hempfield is the three-time defending WPIAL champion, reigning PIAA champion, undefeated this season and has yet to allow a run in the state playoffs. Hempfield is the last unbeaten team left from the WPIAL. The Spartans erupted for five runs in the eighth inning to knock off Erie McDowell in the PIAA quarterfinals. Five different players drove in runs in the inning. Hempfield has won six consecutive PIAA playoff games dating back to last season without allowing a single run.
Player to watch: Morgan Ryan. The Hempfield senior is the Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year. Regardless of what happens from here on out, Ryan will go down as an all-time great from the district. She has been Hempfield's star pitcher during its 38-game winning streak. She is 19-0 with an ERA below 1.00. She has not allowed a run in the state playoffs. Ryan has a six-game PIAA playoff shutout streak. She also bats over .450. She fired a complete-game shutout and hit a solo home run in a 1-0 PIAA first-round win this season. The Notre Dame recruit often has been perfect but she found herself in quite the jam in a PIAA quarterfinal game against District 10 champion Erie McDowell. In a scoreless game in the fourth inning, Erie McDowell loaded the bases with nobody out. Ryan simply proceeded to strike out three consecutive batters to get out of the inning. She would only allow three other baserunners in the eight-inning game.

Chambersburg Trojans
Record: 19-5
District finish: District 3 champion
How they got here: (First round) Latrobe, 4-2; (Quarterfinals) Perkiomen Valley, 3-2.
What you should know: This is a rematch of the 2016 PIAA Class 4A semifinal. Hempfield won that meeting, 2-0, and advanced to win the PIAA title. Chambersburg is in the PIAA playoffs for a second consecutive year. The Trojans have won back-to-back District 3 titles. They already defeated one team from WPIAL Class 6A Section 3. The Trojans got past Latrobe, 4-2 ,in the first round before a 3-1 win over District 1 runner-up Perkiomen Valley in the quarterfinals. Hempfield has a six-game shutout streak going in the PIAA playoffs. The last run it allowed in the PIAA tournament came in the last game it lost in the PIAA tournament and that was to another District 3 team in 2015 when Hempfield fell 1-0 to Cumberland Valley.
Players to watch: Laken Myers and Leah "Goose" Hunt. Chambersburg has two pitchers it can call on. In the Trojans' PIAA quarterfinal triumph over Perkiomen Valley, it used both pitchers. Myers helped her own cause at the plate with an RBI single in the game. Hunt had a double later in the game. The duo made their biggest contribution pitching. Myers gave up only two hits in five innings of work and Hunt came in and closed the door with four strikeouts in the final two innings.