WPIAL softball playoffs open next week

Carmichaels’ Emma Holaren bats against Frazier as Lady Mikes coach Dave Briggs looks on in the background during last Tuesday’s game at Commodore Park. The WPIAL released its softball playoff pairings last Thursday with the Lady Mikes drawing the No. 10 seed. (Photo by Rob Burchianti)

Defending WPIAL champion West Greene was made the No. 1 seed when the WPIAL released its softball playoff pairings last Thursday.

Three other Greene County teams joined the Lady Pioneers in finding out where and when they were to open the postseason.

Receiving first-round byes were No. 3 Waynesburg Central in Class AAA along with the Lady Pioneers in Class A.

“We’re honored to be a one seed,” West Greene coach Bill Simms said. “But, like we told them today, we’ve got to make sure we play like we’re a one seed whenever we get in a playoff game.”

In Class AA, No. 10 Carmichaels was to meet No. 7 Burgettstown at Montour at 5 p.m. game on Wednesday. California defeated Bentworth in a preliminary round game on Monday at Waynesburg University to earn the No. 16 seed and a meeting with Ligonier Valley on May 24.

West Greene was to open its postseason on Thursday against the winner between No. 8 Jefferson-Morgan and No. 9 Bishop Canevin, who played a 4 p.m. first-round game at Waynesburg University on Tuesday.

“We’re very familiar with the one opponent (section foe J-M),” Simms said. “We don’t know that much about Canevin. We’re rooting for the other Greene County school to get there with us.”

When asked about the lost season of 2020, Simms feels everybody is in the same boat.

“It’s an equal playing field,” Simms said. “It’s not like we lost a year, but nobody else did.”

The Lady Pioneers will be shooting for a fifth consecutive WPIAL title.

“We have a standard and we expect them to meet that standard,” Simms said. “As of right now, no, we don’t have a lot of true playoff experience. We’re only returning two kids who played in a playoff game from 2019. We had a very nice team that we thought, quite frankly, could go the distance last year. We didn’t get to prove that on the field.

“Now we’ve moved on. It’s these girls’ day in the sun. We hope they rise to the occasion.”

Also in Class A, No. 7 Mapletown was slated to play a 2 p.m. game against No. 10 St. Joseph at West Mifflin on Tuesday.

In Class AAA, Waynesburg was lined up to meet either No. 6 Deer Lakes or No. 11 Ellwood City in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

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