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Westmoreland County softball notebook: Belle Vernon heats up quickly

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Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Cold weather and unplayable fields have handcuffed softball teams through the first few days of the season.

But some teams have been fortunate to play, most that either took trips south or play on turf fields.

Belle Vernon opened with a bang — at the “Beach.”

The defending WPIAL 4A champion Leopards played Franklin Regional on the football turf at James Weir Stadium and thumped the Panthers, 13-0, in five innings.

Katie Sokol and Gracie Sokol each homered and combined for seven RBIs, while Lauren VanDivner had two doubles, and Mia Zubovic drove in two runs.

Talia Ross was nearly unhittable, allowing one single, to South Florida commit Toryn Fulton, and playing in front of an error-free defense.

Williams shines

Latrobe senior Kayla Williams also had an impressive opener.

The Slippery Rock commit was the winning pitcher, with nine strikeouts, and also delivered two home runs in an 11-3 win over Pine-Richland.

Mya McHugh also homered, while Sarah Blossey went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, and Maddie Munchinski and Sophia Zezzo each tripled for the Wildcats.

Bombs away

The cold weather didn’t keep the ball in the park Wednesday at Mt. Pleasant.

Josey Michalski and Diem Wardzinski each homered for Norwin in a come-from-behind, 6-2 victory over the Vikings.

Mt. Pleasant took a 2-1 lead to the seventh before Norwin scored five runs.

Danica Trainer, a freshman, homered for Mt. Pleasant. Despite 14 strikeouts, she took the loss in the circle.

Heading south

Franklin Regional will play several games this week in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Grand start

Greensburg Salem senior Gionnah Ruffner, a Seton Hall commit, went 2 for 4 with a grand slam and six RBIs as the Golden Lions flattened Valley, 16-0, in four innings. Alle Scarpa was the winning pitcher and also tripled.

Section play

Section play will open for a number of teams Monday — weather permitting.

Section openers in Class 6A include North Allegheny at Hempfield and Norwin at Canon-McMillan.

On Tuesday, section matchups include Monessen at Bishop Canevin and Springdale at Jeannette.

Rankings

A number of county teams made the TribLive preseason rankings.

Hempfield, the returning WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up in Class 6A, starts the year at No. 1.

Southmoreland, a returning WPIAL runner-up, is No. 2 in Class 3A, while Yough is No. 4.

Belle Vernon, the defending 4A champion, is No. 3, while Franklin Regional checked in at No. 5 in 5A.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at [email protected].

Tags: Belle Vernon, Franklin Regional, Greensburg Salem, Latrobe, Mt. Pleasant



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