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Baseball: Knoch avenges loss, clinches outright section title

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Ever since Knoch dropped its first two games this season, the team has been on a roll.

Every opponent the Knights have faced has walked off the field with a loss.

All except one.

Knoch came into its Class 4A Section 1 finale with only one loss in its last 14 games, a 4-1 defeat at Freeport on April 21. And the Knights finally avenged that singular defeat as Brandon Kowalski pitched 4 2/3 innings and struck out two while Dominick Bucko went 2 for 3 with a homer and two RBI in a 6-2 home win over the Yellowjackets.

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Baseball: Vincentian bounces back quickly from first section loss

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Vincentian had a rare hiccup on Thursday when it dropped a 7-5 Class 1A Section 1 matchup against Eden Christian.

On Monday, the Royals got back on the winning track – and on the path for a share of the section title – with a 16-1 three-inning romp over Springdale. Christian Fedko, the UConn recruit, hit two homers and drove in five while Stephen Turzai struck out seven in the win.

Vincentian (11-4, 8-1) will close out its regular-season section slate on Tuesday when the team travels to Union. As Eden Christian (11-3, 9-1) has already locked up a share of first place, the Royals must win to claim their piece or settle for second.

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Softball: North Feature Athlete - Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s Bridget Hudson

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Bridget Hudson
School: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic
Grade: 11
Sport: Softball
Position: Catcher

Background: Bridget Hudson is a returning starter for the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic softball team. She started in the center of the field last year and remains in the middle of it, but she made a pretty unusual transition. The Trojanettes relied on Hudson last season at centerfield. This year, first-year manager Sam Santillo needed help behind the plate. Hudson made the move to catcher.

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Softball: Shaler, Pine-Richland tilt to settle Class 6A Section 3 race

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The logjam atop Class 6A Section 3 will have to wait for the final game of the section schedule to sort itself out. Seneca Valley (13-4, 9-1) has won the section title. After that, it is all up to the Shaler-Pine-Richland game that is scheduled for Tuesday. North Allegheny (10-5, 6-4) and North Hills (8-8, 5-5) are finished with their section games. Now they await Shaler (8-6, 5-4) and Pine-Richland (8-6, 4-5), who will meet Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Shaler's Hilltop Field.

Shaler had endured a four-game losing streak before recent wins over Erie McDowell and Butler. A win over the Rams would vault the Titans into a two-way tie for second place. A loss on Tuesday would send the Titans into a three-way tie with North Hills and Pine-Richland. The good news for Shaler is that it won 8-0 at Pine-Richland back on April 13.

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Softball: Sewickley Academy on track to share section title

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Sewickley Academy and Union are two softball programs familiar with one another. A year ago the teams met in the WPIAL Class 1A first round. The Scotties prevailed, 3-1. This season after WPIAL realignment, the teams were both placed in Class 1A Section 1. Sewickley Academy fell 6-1 at Union on April 19 but rallied back on May 2 to win 7-5 over Union and snap their three-game losing streak to the Scotties.

The Panthers (12-2, 10-1) and Scotties (11-3, 10-1) are now tied atop the section standings with one section game remaining. Sewickley Academy hosts Cornell on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The Panthers defeated Cornell, 23-3, in the previous meeting between the two teams. Union visits Western Beaver on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Scotties won the previous meeting between the two teams, 19-0. Barring a massive upset, the two teams will likely be crowned co-section champions after Tuesday's games.

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Softball: Deer Lakes to host de facto section title game

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

For all intents and purposes, the Class 3A Section 1 title race will come down to one game. Deer Lakes (11-1, 7-1) and South Allegheny (10-1, 7-1) have been locked in a tie for first place most of the season atop the section. The Lancers and Gladiators will break that tie on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Deer Lakes.

You have to go all the way back to April 3 to find the last meeting between these teams. Deer Lakes won, 5-4, at South Allegheny. Due to scheduling quirks and postponements, the teams have not met since. Seven days after defeating South Allegheny, Deer Lakes fell to Burrell, 8-4. That opened the door for South Allegheny to get back into the section title race. South Allegheny has not lost a section game since Deer Lakes.

Deer Lakes takes an eight-game winning streak into the contest while South Allegheny counters with a nine-game winning streak. There are arguably not two hotter teams in the WPIAL.

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Lacrosse: Quaker Valley girls eye unbeaten regular season

Written by Joe Koch on .

Following this past Wednesday's 18-8 victory over Class 2A Section 2 rival Trinity, the unbeaten Quaker Valley girls lacrosse team has a busy week with successive section games at Seton-LaSalle on Monday, a rematch at Trinity on Tuesday and the regular-season finale at home with Moon on Wednesday.

The win over the Hillers boosted the Quakers' overall record to 11-0, and they are 9-0 against section rivals.

The game with Seton-LaSalle is a particularly significant one. Not only are the Rebels the closest team to the Quakers with an overall record of 11-3 and an 8-1 section record, the Rebels gave the Quakers their toughest challenge to date. Seton-LaSalle took host Quaker Valley to double-overtime before the Quakers prevailed, 10-9, on April 6.

Both teams likely have secured their positions in the WPIAL Class 2A tournament. But the Quakers would dearly love to enter the tournament with a clean slate, and the Rebels would be more than happy to provide the Quakers with a blemish on an otherwise spotless record.

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Lacrosse: Mars boys to meet Hampton for section title

Written by Joe Koch on .

There's nothing quite like playing a respected opponent for a section championship.

That's precisely what will take place on Tuesday when Mars hosts Hampton for the WPIAL Class 2A Section 2 boys lacrosse championship.

Both teams likely will advance to the WPIAL tournament. But a section champion always gets the opportunity to play a first-round game either at home or close to it.

The Planets and the Talbots are the only unbeaten teams in section play. Mars, 14-2 overall, is 6-0 heading into what will be the section finale with Hampton.

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Lacrosse: Quaker Valley boys visit Moon for section title

Written by Joe Koch on .

The beauty -- or the curse -- of section play in boys lacrosse is that opponents typically only meet once during the regular season.

That's particularly meaningful when the final game in section play features two teams that have run the table against section opponents.

Such a scenario takes place Tuesday when Moon hosts Quaker Valley in the Class 2A Section 1 finale for both teams. Quaker Valley is 9-1 overall, while Moon is 10-3. Both teams are 6-0 against section rivals.

Quaker Valley's loss came against Class 3A member and neighborhood rival Sewickley Academy, 13-9.

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Alumni Update - Kelsey Phillips (Westminster)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

 

BELLE VERNON, Pa. – Junior Kelsey Phillips was named the 2016-17 Women's Golf Presidents' AthleticPhillips Westminster Conference (PAC) Most Valuable Player, the first-ever in program history, after carding back-to-back scores of 81 at the 2016-17 PAC Spring Championship at the Cedarbrook Golf Club on Friday-Saturday, April 28-29.

Phillips, a North Allegheny graduate, carded a four-round score of 335 (88-85-81-81), while earning the second First Team All-PAC honors of her career.

Westminster finished third with a team score of 1450 (377-367-358-348). 

 

(photo courtesy of Westminster College)

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Alumni Update - Connor White (Westminster)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BELLE VERNON, Pa. – The Westminster College men's golf team placed fifth overall in the 2016-17 Men's GolfWhite Westminster Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship after earning a two-round score of 319-327 (646) in the PAC Spring Championship at the Cedarbrook Golf Club on Friday-Saturday, April 28-29.

Westminster's four-round score was 1294 (308-340-319-327).

Titan sophomore Connor White, a Pine-Richland graduate, earned Honorable Mention as he carded a team-best score of 312 (76-80-77-79) for 12th overall. 

 

(photo courtesy of Westminster College)

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Baseball: Chutko is a fixture in North Hills' playoff runs

Written by Sarah Spencer on .

Sarah Spencer profiles North Hills baseball player Luke Chutko.

2017 0505 NorthHills Baseball(Photo: In a time when many athletes focus on one sport, Luke Chutko has been a playoff starter in three sports at North Hills.)

"The first day of his senior year, Luke Chutko went to North Hills' fall sports pep rally.

He ended up representing the soccer team in a field goal competition, prompting football coaches to ask him if he'd be interested in kicking for the football team.

Chutko was already a starter on the Indians' varsity soccer, baseball and basketball teams, all of which made the playoffs his junior and senior seasons, but sure, why not add a fourth playoff-bound sport?

"It's not so much that he's playing three or four sports, or a member of three or four teams, but that the teams that he's on are all having success," basketball coach Buzz Gabos said. "And he always plays a part in that. You don't see that in high school sports anymore.""

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Baseball: Seneca Valley standouts teammates at Virginia Tech

Written by Joe Bendel on .

Joe Bendel profiles Seneca Valley graduates Sam Fragale and Connor Coward, who are now standout baseball players at Virginia Tech.

"It might be a stretch to call it Seneca Valley Central, but Virginia Tech has served as a prime stage for two former Raiders baseball stars.

Sam Fragale provides the power and Connor Coward the pitching for a Hokies team that entered the week with a 20-26 overall record, including 8-16 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"It's great that we're doing this together," said Coward, a junior right-hander who leads the team with a 5-2 record and was named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List. "I used to walk through my backyard to get to Sam's house. So, for us to be here and competing at this level, it's pretty amazing."

A redshirt junior first baseman, Fragale is among the more prolific power hitters in the nation."

 

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Westminster lands Highlands two-sport athlete

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Highlands’ Dominic Martinka has proven to be one of the fastest athletes in the WPIAL this past year on the football field and the track. Now he will look to become one of the fastest athletes in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference as a member of Westminster College.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior chose the Titans over West Virginia Wesleyan and Washington & Jefferson College. He also had a offer to run track only at Duquesne University.

 

On the gridiron, Martinka was a four-year starter for the Golden Rams. As a senior, he was named to the Class 4A Northwest Nine all-conference team as a defensive back and returner. He made second-team as a running back. Offensively, Martinka had 55 carries for 342 yards and six receptions for 194 yards. He led the team with nine touchdowns.

 

In track, Martinka is a three-time WPIAL finalist. In 2016, he finished third in Class AAAA at the WPIAL championships in the long jump. He was also honored as a state finalist.

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Alumni Update - Lauren Williams-Wiles (Washington and Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. – The Washington & Jefferson men's and women's track and field teams both finished in sixthWilliams-Wiles WJ place out of 10 teams over the weekend at the Presidents' Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships hosted by Geneva.


Lauren Williams-Wiles, a North Hills graduate, emerged as the PAC champion in the women's long jump and the 100-meter dash, leaping to a mark of 5.28 meters (17-04.0 feet) in the long jump and finishing a time of 12.37 seconds in the 100.

 

(photo courtesy of Washington and Jefferson College)

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Boys Tennis: Sewickley Academy, Fox Chapel stars aim for WPIAL titles

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Luke Ross knew he might get a challenge or two in his attempt to become the first player to repeat as WPIAL Class 2A singles champion since Quaker Valley's John Houghton won three straight from 2001-03.

He even thought it might come from his own section. Maybe even his own team.

Well, he was half right.

Ross, the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 2A champion was upset by Carlynton senior Luke Phillips, the same person whom he defeated to win both titles last season, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, in the Section 4 championship match. Though the two train together and play each other often, it was the first time Phillips, a Cleveland State recruit, defeated the Sewickley Academy senior and Georgetown recruit in a high school match.

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Boys Tennis: North Feature Athlete - Hampton's Ben Ringeisen

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Ben Ringeisen
School: Hampton
Grade: 9
Sport: Boys Tennis

Background: One of a group of outstanding freshmen to have made an impact this season, he was the No. 1 singles player for the Talbots. Finished third in the Class 3A Section 4 singles tournament as he beat North Allegheny junior Richard Hofmann, 61-, 7-6 (7-5) in the third-place consolation match and earned a spot in the WPIAL finals. Is the No. 8 ranked freshman in the state. Will open the tournament as the No. 9 seed and take on the Section 1 champion, junior Turner Price of Penn-Trafford, in the first round.

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Alumni Update - Tiffany Edwards (Point Park)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

OWENSBORO, Ky. –  Point Park University softball faced a tough adversary before even stepping into the playing fieldEdwards PP Saturday – the weather.

The game one start time was delayed two hours, and the Pioneers passed the time on the bus playing games while at a standstill on the interstate. The roads were closed due to flash flooding, and it was going to be another hour before the team would reach Brescia (Ky.) University.

The Pioneers (20-19, 11-7 RSC) ended up losing game one, 2-0.

In game two, Tiffany Edwards, a Deer Lakes graduate, got the win on the mound, allowing five hits in 5.1 innings, walking two and striking out two.

 

(photo courtesy of Point Park University)

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Alumni Update - Kelsey Feeney (Pitt-Johnstown)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Kelsey Feeney's two-run home run proved to be the game-winner in a 3-1 Pitt-Johnstown Senior DayFeeney PJU victory over Indiana University (PA) in Saturday's first game of a PSAC doubleheader at V.E. Erickson Complex.  

 

IUP took the second game 6-0 to end Pitt-Johnstown's season at 15-23 overall and 4-16 in the PSAC Central.

 

Feeney, a Fox Chapel graduate, was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI in game one.

 

(photo courtesy of University of Pitt-Johnstown)

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Alumni Update - Paige Allen (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

ASHLAND, Ohio - The Penn State Behrend women's track and field team competed at the Ashland Alumni OpenAllen PSUB Saturday afternoon.

The Lions were up against a solid group of competition including athletes from division I, II, and III schools.

Senior Paige Allen, a Butler graduate, took fourth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 12:68, just .23 seconds behind the winner. 

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)