Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Local softball teams clinch playoffs; Pitzer, Brewer honored at Driscoll awards; Norwin, GCC advance to track finals

Mon May 09, 2022 - 9:09PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Tue May 10, 2022 - 12:34PM

Fourteen Westmoreland softball teams clinch playoffs

As the WPIAL softball regular season winds down, the vast majority of Westmoreland County teams are postseason bound. Thus far, 14 of the 18 county teams have already secured playoff berths, while another team still remains in contention. In Class 6A, Hempfield Area (8-1 in section play) has qualified from Class 6A Section 2. In 5A, Franklin Regional (9-3) and Kiski Area (9-3) are both in from Section 1, while Penn-Trafford (9-1) and Greater Latrobe (6-3) have qualified from Section 2. Burrell has punched its postseason ticket in 4A Section 1, while Yough (9-1) and Belle Vernon Area (8-3) are in from Section 2. In the 3A bracket, Valley (4-2) and Derry Area (2-6) are in from Section 1, while Southmoreland (7-3) and Mount Pleasant Area (5-4) have clinched in Section 3. Ligonier Valley (11-0) has qualified in Class 2A Section 2. In 1A, Greensburg Central Catholic (6-2) has secured a berth in Section 2. Lastly, Norwin (2-6) remains in playoff contention in 6A Section 2, with two section games remaining. The WPIAL softball playoff brackets will be announced this Thursday.

Pitzer, Brewer honored at Driscoll Awards

A pair of Westmoreland County standouts were recognized last week, as Mount Pleasant Area’s Dayton Pitzer and Greensburg Central Catholic’s Corinn Brewer were the recipients of the Judge John Driscoll Excellence Awards. The honors took place at the 66th-annual Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete banquet on Wednesday at Ferrante’s Lakeview in Hempfield Township. Pitzer is a three-time state champion wrestler for the Vikings, while Brewer is a track and field star for the Centurions. The duo was selected by a committee of the 18 Westmoreland County high-school athletic directors. The other candidates included Penn-Trafford’s Cade Yacamelli and Gwendolyn Hershberger, Billy McChesney and Abby Mankins of Greensburg Salem, Derry Area’s Tiana Moracco, Southmoreland’s Gracie Spadaro, Franklin Regional’s Anthony DiFalco, Morgan Elizabeth Einodshofer of Belle Vernon Area, Ligonier Valley’s Maddie Griffin, Greater Latrobe’s Tyler Lynch, and Hempfield Area’s Katelyn Ross. Former Jeannette football coach Roy Hall was also honored as the Michael and John Ferrante Memorial Award winner.

Norwin, GCC track and field teams advance to finals

The Norwin and Greensburg Central Catholic track and field teams will be well represented in the WPIAL team championships this week. Last Wednesday, both the boys and girls for the Knights and Centurions advanced to the finals. Competing in the 3A bracket, the Norwin girls outlasted Canon-McMillan 98-52, Bethel Park 124-26, and Belle Vernon Area 120-30. As a result, the Knights will battle Butler Area, North Allegheny, and South Fayette on Wednesday at West Mifflin High School. The Norwin boys will also compete at the same venue, as they bested Baldwin 98-52, Canon-McMillan 97-53, and Connellsville Area 121-29. As a result, the Knights will compete against Butler Area, North Allegheny, and Mount Lebanon. Meanwhile in Class 2A, the Greensburg Central Catholic girls advanced past Winchester Thurston 103-47, Riverview 101-49, and Burrell 118-32. As a result, the Centurions will participate at Peters Township High School on Wednesday against Riverside, Shenango, and Quaker Valley. The GCC boys will also be in action there, as the Centurions knocked off Riverview 103-47, Ligonier Valley 107-43, Yough 113-37, and Washington 122-27. GCC’s opponents in the final will be Riverside, Shenango, and South Park.

Seton Hill men’s LAX captures GMAC Championship

For the third time in program history, Seton Hill men’s lacrosse claimed the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) title. On Saturday, the No. 2 seed Griffins upset top-seeded and host Mercyhurst 14-10 in the championship match. Seton Hill led wire-to-wire, as the Griffins outscored the Lakers 5-1 in the opening quarter and never relinquished the advantage. Zack Estabrooks netted four goals for Seton Hill, Layne Harich scored three goals and added an assist, and McGarrity Harper tallied three goals. In net, Kevin Mo made 18 saves to secure the win. With the victory, Seton Hill improved to 12-6, winning the GMAC crown for the first time since 2018. The Griffins and Lakers will meet again at Mercyhurst on Wednesday in the opening match of the North Region in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Saint Vincent coach Wanichko adds men’s XC to duties

Already guiding three athletic programs at Saint Vincent College, Kevin Wanichko will add a fourth next season. Wanichko was named the Bearcats men’s cross country head coach last week, replacing Dr. Andrew Herr. Wanichko also serves at the helm of the SVC women’s cross country squad, as well as the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Wanichko has guided the women’s teams since 2016, and he added the men’s track and field responsibilities in 2019. A 2012 Saint Vincent College graduate, Wanichko competed in both cross country and track and field for the Bearcats. Meanwhile, Herr resigned after guiding the men’s cross country since 2003. During his 19-year tenure, SVC captured eight Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) titles.

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