Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Norwin, Southmoreland lead softball standings; Buzzard wins 200th game; Boys tennis doubles championships to begin

Mon Apr 24, 2023 - 8:33AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Apr 24, 2023 - 11:01AM

Norwin, Southmoreland top softball standings

A pair of Westmoreland County softball teams have emerged atop the standings, as Norwin and Southmoreland reside in first place in their respective sections. The Knights have achieved the best mark in Class 6A Section 1, as Norwin is 9-1. The Knights have won seven games in a row, defeating Hempfield Area, Canon-McMillan, and Butler Area last week. Norwin edged the host Spartans 10-8 last Monday, followed with a 14-5 road triumph against the Big Mac two days later, and concluded the week by blasting the Golden Tornado 11-1 in North Huntingdon on Friday. The Scotties, meanwhile, reign atop Class 3A Section 3 with a record of 4-1. Last week, Southmoreland lost its first section game, a 5-2 road loss at Ligonier Valley. Prior to that setback, though, the Scotties produced a six-game winning streak, including 2-0 shutout victories against both the Rams and Mount Pleasant Area and a 15-10 slugfest win at Yough.

Hempfield’s Buzzard reaches coaching milestone

Tim Buzzard has enjoyed considerable success in his 16 years guiding Hempfield Area baseball, and that success materialized in the form of a milestone earlier this month. Buzzard, a 2000 graduate of Spartans, captured his 200th career win at his alma mater in a 10-0 victory against Baldwin to sweep the three-game series. The Spartans followed that victory with a series win against Canon-McMillan last week, which moved them into first place in Class 6A Section 2. As a result of winning two of three contests against the Big Macs, Buzzard’s career mark sits at 202-115.

Five county tennis duos qualify for WPIAL tournament

With the WPIAL boys tennis doubles championships on the horizon this week, a quintet of Westmoreland County duos are in the mix. In Class 3A, two teams will represent Franklin Regional, as seniors Aditya Arkalgud and Joshua Selvakumar qualified, as did senior Aaron Allen and junior Dhruv Kulkarni. Last week, Allen and Kulkarni finished as runners up in the Section 1 tournament on their home court, while Arkalgud and Selvakumar placed fourth to also secure their spot. The first round through semifinals of Class 3A will be held at Bethel Park High School on Tuesday. In Class 2A, Valley’s tandems of seniors Dylan Gentile and Ethan Harclerode and senior Nicholas Bussard and sophomore Landon Harclerode both qualified, as did Greater Latrobe seniors Josh Havrilla and August Lawrence. Last week in the Section 1 tournament at Valley, the Vikings duo of Bussard and Landon Harclerode edged Havrilla and Lawrence 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to win the sectional. Gentile and Ethan Harclerode, meanwhile, bested Mount Pleasant Area sophomores Aydan Gross and Ethan Kenney in the third-place consolation to clinch their berth. The first round through semifinals will be held on Tuesday at North Allegheny High School.

Bilinsky, Tapper win Scholar-Athlete Award

Norwin’s Adam Bilinsky and Elizabeth Tapper of Hempfield Area were the recipients of the 2023 Westmoreland County Scholar-Athlete Awards last week. They were honored at the 67th annual banquet at Ferrante’s Lakeview in Hempfield Township last Tuesday. Bilinsky is a basketball standout for the Knights who scored more than 1,000 career points and will continue his career on the hardwood at Mercyhurst University. Meanwhile, Tapper is a track and field star for the Spartans who captured WPIAL and state gold medals in the discus and shot put, and is committed to Michigan. Other male finalists included Penn-Trafford’s Daniel Tarabrella, Cody Rubrecht of Greensburg Salem, Carlo Denis of Greensburg Central Catholic, Derry Area’s Hunter Jurica, and Aiden Bunker of Franklin Regional. The additional female finalists consisted of Kate Schall of Penn-Trafford, Lily Fenton of Greater Latrobe, Maren Metikosh of Belle Vernon Area, Greensburg Central Catholic’s Sara Felder, Olivia Cernuto of Southmoreland, and Mount Pleasant Area’s Tiffany Zelmore.

Griffins battery wins PSAC baseball honors

Seton Hill baseball players swept the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) weekly honors recently, as catcher Vincenzo Rauso and pitcher Jon McCullough were recognized for their outstanding play. Last Monday, Rauso was honored as the PSAC West Athlete of the Week, while McCullough received the PSAC West Pitcher of the Week accolades. Rauso batted .588 during the week, scoring nine runs, producing five RBIs, and registering six steals in five games against Point Park and Clarion. On the mound, McCullough went the distance in earning a victory against the Golden Eagles, as he allowed two unearned runs and five hits while striking out six. After winning five games this past week, including a four-game set against Slippery Rock, the Griffins sit at 33-8, including 20-0 in the PSAC.