Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No day at the beach at WA

Southern road trip kickstarts Indians

- By Ed Phillipps

For spring break, the West Allegheny softball team headed south to one of the most popular tourist destinatio­ns on the East Coast. But this trip was far from a vacation. The Indians had something else in mind

“They took it as a business trip,” said West Allegheny coach Mindi McFate. “And they took care of business.”

The determined Indians, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, made the tournament seem as easy as a trip to the beach, though. They reeled off a 6-0 record at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

West Allegheny won, 8-7 and 9-4, against Moore Catholic, N.Y.; 16-0 against Jones College Prep, Ill.; 10-0 against Wilson Hall, S.C.; 10-5 against Madison, Va.; and 5-0 against St. Joseph-by-the-Sea, N.Y.

McFate said the competitio­n was on par with what her squad should expect from the WPIAL, and the Ripken Experience provided a good test before the Indians (11-0, 50) get into the heart of their schedule. They have eight more games lined up and seven of those are section matchups.

“It wasn’t like we were down there playing a bunch of bad teams,” said McFate. “We played some good competitio­n.”

Catcher Brooke Wilson is once again the cornerston­e of the Indians offense. She is batting .516 with 4 doubles, 2 triples and 8 RBIs. Her younger sister, Britney, has been a nice surprise at first base, a position she switched to this season. Britney Wilson is batting .529 with a team-best two homers and 13 RBIs.

As a team, the Indians are battering the ball to the tune of a .412 average.

West Allegheny has relied more on its bats than its pitching, but it has a stellar player in the circle. Ashley Seamon is 8-0 with 28 strikeouts and a 2.77 ERA. She has tossed five shutouts.

North Hills

North Hills and North Allegheny are longtime section rivals. In recent years there hasn’t been much competitio­n, but the Indians put a stop to that April 13. North Hills (4-6, 2-3) snapped a 16game losing streak to the Tigers in style, with an 11-4 Class 6A Section 3 win at North Allegheny.

It was the Indians’ first win in the series since April 10, 2008, when they took a 4-3 decision at home. The Indians had not won at NA since 2002.

“It felt great,” said North Hills coach Libby Gasior, who played for the Indians until graduating in 2000. “The girls were pretty pumped from the start. They definitely got how big of a win this was.”

Gasior knows the NA rivalry well. She played for the Indians under former coach Diane Oberst until graduating in 2000.

“I’ve gone up there and gotten it handed to me a few times,” said Gasior.

Madison Posterivo and Mekenzie Saban each homered for North Hills. The Indians used a five-run sixth inning to break the game open.

Kiski Area

The Cavaliers made a statement not by what they did, but rather what they didn't do by holding Penn-Trafford to its lowest scoring output of the season. Kiski Area’s Megan Andree held the powerful Warriors lineup to just four hits and two runs in a 7-2 upset.

Or was it an upset? The Cavaliers (6-2, 6-2) have proven thus far to be a talented team themselves, racking up six consecutiv­e wins. The Warriors were averaging nearly 15 runs per game before running into Kiski Area.

 ?? Haley Nelson/Post-Gazette ?? Ashley Seamon of West Allegheny winds up for a pitch.
Haley Nelson/Post-Gazette Ashley Seamon of West Allegheny winds up for a pitch.

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