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Softball: Baldwin, Peters Township set for quarterfinal section rematch

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Section 4-AAAA foes Baldwin and Peters Township will meet in the WPIAL quarterfinals on Monday. Baldwin (11-3, 10-2) received the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye, while Peters Township (11-6, 7-5) needed extra innings to get past No. 5 Franklin Regional in the first round. Kylie Hartbauer's sacrifice fly in the 10 inning was the go-ahead run for the 12th-seeded Indians in their 8-7 triumph against the Panthers.

The section rivals will meet Monday at 5 p.m. at California University. The Highlanders swept Peters Township during the regular season, winning 6-1 and 11-1. Baldwin has won five consecutive games against Peters Township. The Indians' last win in this rivalry was on March 28, 2014. That was also the last season Peters Township was in the WPIAL playoffs. They reached the WPIAL semifinals that season.

Baldwin pitcher Ana Hale was 11-3 during the regular season with 122 strikeouts, while Hartbauer was 10-5 during the regular season with 72 strikeouts for Peters Township.

 

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Softball: Seasons have been feast or famine for Thomas Jefferson

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

There has not been much in between for the Thomas Jefferson softball team. One year a feast, the next year a famine. Things either go really well or never really get going. In 2013 the Jaguars finished dead last in Section 3-AAA. The very next season Thomas Jefferson finished third in their section to reach the playoffs and then shocked everyone by winning the WPIAL Class AAA title as a No. 12 seed. It was back to a famine last year as the defending WPIAL champs missed the playoffs completely. This year Thomas Jefferson is back in the playoffs and in a big way. TJ will begin their hunt for a second WPIAL title as a No. 1 overall seed. And this playoff journey will begin just as that improbable 2014 one did, with a game against Knoch.

Thomas Jefferson (15-1) will play No. 9 seed Knoch (16-3) Monday at 6 p.m. at Canon-McMillan. Thomas Jefferson received a first-round bye while Knoch had to knock off No. 8 Montour, 6-5, in the WPIAL first round on Wednesday.

Lacie Lautner was 11-1 during the regular-season for the Section 3-AAA champions while Knoch relied on two pitchers, Jessi Reed (8-2) and Celia Knappenberger (7-1).

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Photo Journal: Baseball WPIAL AAAA First Round Playoffs - Canon-McMillan 7, North Hills 6 (May 16)

Written by Marilyn Schwilm on .

 

Canon-McMillan faces North Hills in the WPIAL First Round Playoffs, Monday, May 16, 2106 at North Allegheny High School. North Hills had the lead until the bottom of the 7th when Canon-McMillan came from behind to score three runs to win the game.  Final score Canon-McMillan 7, North Hills 6.

click here to view video highlights of the game

Photos by Marilyn C. Schwilm, Tri-State Sports & News Service

 

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Lacrosse: Bethel Park ousts defending Division 2 girls champions

Written by Joe Koch on .

Breaking loose with a six-goal barrage in the second half, Bethel Park forged its way into the Division 2 girls semifinal with a 12-8 victory over host Shaler this past Thursday.

The win puts the Black Hawks against Mars in the 7:45 p.m. semifinal Thursday at North Allegheny. The loss ended a three-year Division 2 girls championship reign for the Titans.

Kayte Zeiler, a junior, led Bethel Park with four goals. Another junior, Zoe Zilcosky, added three goals. Delaney Lacey and Jenny Gavett had two goals apiece.

"The difference is that our midfield hustled with strong defensive play, and we had a balanced attack on offense. Our girls don't care who scores as long as we score," coach Becky Luzier said.

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Boys Tennis: Mt. Lebanon's season comes to an end

Written by Keith Barnes on .

All things considered, Mt. Lebanon would have been happy to take third in the WPIAL Class AAA team tournament this year.

After all, that would have meant a trip to Erie to play Cathedral Prep in the preliminary round a definite and a berth in the state finals a possibility.

Instead the Blue Devils season came to an abrupt end when they lost a 3-2 decision to Shady Side Academy in the WPIAL Class AAA third-place consolation match. It was the first time since 2013 and just the second time since 2011 that they failed to move into the state tournament field.

Though the team season ended, Charlie Strohl and Christian Vietmeier are still alive in the PIAA Class AAA doubles tournament, which will begin May 27 at Hershey Racquet Club.

 

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Alumni Update - David Lemley (La Roche)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

La Roche College won their third straight AMCC baseball title on Sunday, defeating Penn St. Behrend, 4-2.Lemley LRC   

The Redhawks (36-9) will await word on their NCAA Regional Tournament opponent, to be announced on Monday.

David Lemley, a Bethel Park graduate,went the distance to get his third decision of the season.

 

(photo courtesy of La Roche College)

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Alumni Update - David Boehme (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team lost to La Roche 4-2 in game two of the AlleghenyBoehme PSUB Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championship Sunday afternoon.

The Redhawks (36-9) scored two runs to break a 2-all tie in the bottom of the seventh inning to regain the lead and kept that lead to secure the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

For the Lions (29-16), David Boehme, a Seton-LaSalle, paced the team with two hits and six others recorded a hit to total seven for the game.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)

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Track: Clairton football stars aiming for WPIAL track titles

Written by Brad Everett on .

When medals are handed out at Thursday's WPIAL Class AA track championships, there will be some familiar names making their way to the top of the podium.

Two of the championship hopefuls are better known for their accomplishments in another sport.

Lamont Wade and Aaron Mathews are among the athletes representing Clairton at the meet. Wade and Mathews are also football standouts who led Clairton to a WPIAL title last fall. Mathews, a senior, will attend Pitt. Wade is one of the most heavily recruited juniors in the country.

Wade qualified for the WPIAL championships in the 100 and long jump, while Mathews earned his invitation in the high jump. Wade is the No. 4 seed in the 100. He ran an 11.25 at the southern qualifier. He advanced in the long jump courtesy of a leap of 19-8. Mathews posted a jump of 6 feet at the qualifier.

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Track: Wicks coming on strong for Baldwin

Written by Brad Everett on .

A Wicks was on fire at the WPIAL Class AA southern qualifier last Thursday. A similar performance could lead to a big day at Thursday's championships.

Baldwin junior Jasmine Wicks posted the best throws in the shot put and discus at the qualifier, and will now shoot to do the same in the championship meet which will be held at her home track. Wicks had a top throw of 38-5 ¼ in the shot put and 117-3 in the discus. They were her best tosses of the season.

Wicks will enter the championships as the No. 1 seed in the shot put. Among her chief competition will include Uniontown's Sarah Wozniak, Hempfield's Samantha Orie and Gateway's Kristen Greggerson. Wicks is the No. 6 seed in the discus. Greta Brooks of Woodland Hills threw 123-8 at the central qualifier and is the No. 1 seed.

A few other Baldwin performers who could have lots of success at WPIALs are Alaina Stahl (100, 400), Kaden Hinish (100 hurdles), Amanda Shiflet (high jump), Gabby Loeffler (pole vault), Casey Conboy (3,200), Branden Badstinbner (discus) and Nick Lachut (pole vault).

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Track: Bentworth’s Cavanaugh has gold on her mind

Written by Brad Everett on .

Brenna Cavanaugh missed about a month this season due to an injured foot.

The Bentworth sophomore is now quickly trying to make up for lost time.

Cavanaugh was one of the WPIAL's best freshmen last season when she finished third in the 100 hurdles and fifth in the long jump at the WPIAL Class AA championships. She went on to place sixth in the 100 hurdles at the PIAA championships.

Her sophomore season had been derailed briefly, but Cavanaugh appears to be back on track. She finished first in the 100 hurdles at the WPIAL southern qualifier last week and will go into Thursday's championships as the No. 2 seed in the event. Her time of 15.32 was second only to Sewickley Academy's Summer Thorpe, whose mark of 14.76 at the northern qualifier earned her the No. 1 seed. Thorpe, a Notre Dame recruit, ran a time of 14.2 earlier this spring, which is the best in the WPIAL this season. Cavanaugh's top mark this season is 14.8.

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Track: Mt. Lebanon girls shoot for more success in relays

Written by Brad Everett on .

A year ago, the Mt. Lebanon girls won WPIAL Class AAA titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays, setting a meet record in the latter.

The Blue Devils are aiming for similar success -- and maybe even more -- at this year's championships.

Mt. Lebanon goes into Thursday's meet as the reigning champion in two relays. They are championship hopefuls in three. At last week's southern qualifier, the Blue Devils placed first in the 400 relay, second in the 1,600 relay and first in the 3,200 relay. They are the No. 4 seed in the 400 relay, No. 5 in the 1,600 relay and No. 1 in the 3,200 relay.

Running on the 400 team at qualifiers were Caroline Glickert, Molly Mangan, Corinne Repcheck and Sarah Rolfsen. The 1,600 team consisted of Keara Mangan, Molly Mangan, Rolfsen and Claire Dougherty. The 3,200 team featured Sadie Saxton, Leah Graf, Aoife-Ruby Dunne and Dougherty.

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Baseball: Peters Township hopes to plate runs against Fox Chapel’s stingy pitchers

Written by Brad Everett on .

Peters Township has an excellent offense which features WPIAL home run leader Tor Sehnert, but how will the Indians fare against one of the area's best pitching staffs?

The 8-9 game should be a good one in Class AAAA, as No. 8 Fox Chapel plays No. 9 Peters Township today -- weather permitting -- at West Mifflin.

Fox Chapel (14-5) has eight shutouts on the season, the most of any Class AAAA team. The Foxes finished the regular season with three consecutive shutouts, each coming against playoff teams (Mt. Lebanon, Shady Side Academy and North Hills). Take away a 14-4 loss to undefeated Plum, and the Foxes are allowing only 1.4 runs per game.

Peters Township (12-7) has won six of its last seven games, scoring at least nine runs in four of those wins. The Indians are averaging eight runs per game in their wins.

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Baseball: South Feature Athlete - Serra Catholic’s Zach Bowen

Written by Brad Everett on .

Name: Zach Bowen
High School: Serra Catholic
Grade: 10
Sport: Baseball
Position: Pitcher/Shortstop/Second Baseman

Background: Bowen achieved an impressive feat by tossing a perfect game in a win against Clairton on April 27. But when Bowen did the same thing in his next appearance against Geibel Catholic on May 2, he added his name to the national record books. Bowen, a sophomore right-hander, became only the fourth pitcher to throw consecutive perfect games. They were also the first two perfect games in school history. Bowen is having an outstanding season for Serra, which is 18-2 and earned the No. 2 seed in the WPIAL Class A playoffs. The Eagles play Springdale (8-11) today in a first-round game. Bowen is 6-0 with a 1.06 ERA and has 49 strikeouts in 26 ⅓ innings. He's walked only five and hitters are batting just .163 against him. He also bats better than .400, which is one of the top marks on the team.

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Baseball: Canon-McMillan uses big rally to move on to quarterfinals

Written by Brad Everett on .

Even the most optimistic Canon-McMillan fans couldn't have been feeling too good about their team's chances after five innings Monday.

After all, the Big Macs were trailing North Hills, 6-2, and Indians pitcher Brendan Burke had only given up one hit and had retired eight straight.

Luckily for the Big Macs, there were still two innings left to be played.

Canon-McMillan scored two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to stun North Hills, 7-6, in a WPIAL Class AAAA first-round game at North Allegheny. The No. 7 seed Big Macs (13-7) advanced to play No. 2 Pine-Richland (17-4) in the quarterfinals.

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Baseball: Improved hitting has Serra Catholic poised for deep playoff run

Written by Brad Everett on .

Serra Catholic batted less than .250 as a team last season, an amazing statistic considering the Eagles advanced to the WPIAL Class A semifinals and qualified for the PIAA playoffs.

The team has upped that average more than 100 points this season, and the improved offensive production could have them headed for an even deeper postseason run.

"Our improvement hitting [has been the biggest key this season]," Serra coach Brian Dzurenda said. "We went from a team last year that qualified for states, but hit .246 as a team. We're hitting .376 as a team this year. I think that's been a major difference."

Serra (18-2) has one of the best offenses in Class A. The Eagles are averaging 10.8 runs per game and have scored at least 10 runs 13 times.

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Alumni Update - Jesse Hinkle (Chatham)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

Meadville, Pa. — On Friday Jesse Hinkle and Ariel Gray (Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike High School)Hinkle Chatham competed in the Allegheny Gators Invite.


Hinkle, a Thomas Jefferson graduate, got first place with a mark of 38.21 meters. She won the event with her final throw, and she beat 12 other competitors.

 

(photo courtesy of Chatham University)

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Softball: Baldwin wins out to share section title

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The margin for error in Section 4-AAAA is always small. That margin gets even smaller when you lose two of four section games in mid-April. That is exactly what happened to Baldwin this season. After winning its first three section games going away, the Highlanders stumbled at Bethel Park, losing 9-8 and then lost 5-1 to Canon-McMillan. Their playoff hopes, let alone their section title hopes were in danger. But Baldwin responded. It won 11-1 versus Peters Township, 12-0 at Mt. Lebanon and 14-0 versus Upper St. Clair to set up a rematch with the Big Macs. They blasted Canon-McMillan, this time on the road at North Strabane Field, 11-2. That win created a tie atop the section that would never be broken. Baldwin avenged its other section loss of the season with an 8-1 win over Bethel Park to make the co-section championship official.

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Softball: South Feature Athlete - Canon-McMillan's Linda Rush

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Linda Rush
High School: Canon-McMillan
Grade: 12
Sport: Softball
Position: Shortstop

Background: Canon-McMillan senior shortstop Linda Rush is in the midst of one of the greatest offensive runs in WPIAL softball history. Rush closed out the regular season by hitting 11 home runs in her last 10 games. On the season she is batting .681 with 12 home runs. She has batted in 38 runs and scored 33 herself. She is a four-year starter and has committed to play at Division I Drexel next season. She has over 100 runs batted in, in her career. Rush hits for power and average. She is a career .500 hitter. This season she helped Canon-McMillan share a Section 4-AAAA title with Baldwin. Overall the Big Macs are 15-3.