Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Westmoreland teams fall in PIHL finals; Ramchandran tosses no-hitter; Leopards, Scotties softball off to hot starts

Mon Mar 25, 2024 - 1:25PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Mar 25, 2024 - 1:25PM

Trio of Westmoreland teams fall in PIHL championships

Westmoreland County was represented in three of the four PIHL championship games at the UPMC Lemieux Complex last week, but all of the area teams came up short of capturing gold. In the Class AA Penguins Cup on Monday, Penn-Trafford lost to No. 2 seed Thomas Jefferson 8-4. Although the No. 8 Warriors struck first courtesy of a power play goal by Chase Bonson, TJ’s Andrew Oliver deadlocked the score in the final minute of the first period. Penn-Trafford regained the lead early in the second on a goal by TJ Ferguson, but the Jaguars responded with five unanswered goals in a span of less than 10 minutes, including a pair of Scott Allen. Bonson and Aiden Drotos found the back of the net in the third to trim PT’s deficit to 6-4, but Jake Stock tallied a couple of goals in the final minutes to seal the outcome. In the loss, Drew Hall dished out two assists, while Tyler Funk made 34 saves in net. The following night, Greensburg Salem suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in overtime to Chartiers Valley in the Class A Penguins Cup. The Golden Lions, the No. 5 Gold seed, opened the scoring just seconds into the second period on a goal by Carter Cherok, and GS held that lead well into the third period. However, the No. 1 Blue seed Colts netted the equalizer with approximately six minutes left in regulation. A fluttering shot from Chartiers Valley’s Tyler Held proved the difference less than two minutes into OT. Matthew Colberg captured the win in net for Chartiers Valley, as he registered 27 saves. Conversely, Tristan Gonzalez took the loss for Greensburg Salem, making 19 stops between the pipes. Burrell also suffered a crushing defeat in the Division 2 Championship on Monday, as No. 3 Gold seed Neshannock scored four times in the third to claim a 6-5 win. Aidan Petroff tallied two goals in the loss for the No. 2 Gold seed Bucs, while Chantz Watkins, Julian Kemp, and Forrest Baird also lit the lamp

Panthers’ Ramchandran tosses no-hitter

Franklin Regional baseball began its 2024 campaign on a high note earlier this month, as NJ Ramchandran threw a no-hitter in the season-opening win in Vero Beach, Florida. The junior hurler was unblemished in leading the Panthers to a 6-0 win against Chaminade Prep from Missouri on March 16. In the stellar performance, Ramchandran issued two walks but racked up eight strikeouts. Max Bernadowski and Brady Yarabinetz provided the offense, as they each blasted a home run. The Panthers split their four games in the Sunshine State, also notching a win against Missouri’s Westminster Christian Academy.

Leopards, Scotties softball off to hot starts

While the WPIAL softball campaign is still in its infancy stages, a pair of Westmoreland County teams have already enjoyed sterling starts. Belle Vernon Area and Southmoreland have each secured two dominant wins to open the season. The Leopards, the reigning WPIAL Class 4A champs, blasted Franklin Regional 13-0 in five innings, and followed with a 12-3 win against Waynesburg Central last Friday. In the home victory against the Panthers, BVA received a stellar outing in the circle from Talia Ross, who limited FR to just one hit while striking out a dozen in five innings. Moreover, Gracie Sokol and Katie Sokol each homered. In the road win against the Raiders, Mailey Hayes and Lauren VanDivner each homered, while Gracie Sokol smacked a double. The Scotties, meanwhile, crushed Penn-Trafford 10-0 in five frames and Burrell 16-0 last Thursday and Friday, respectively. In the home triumph against the Warriors, Amarah McCutcheon homered, doubled, and collected four RBIs, Kaylee Doppelheuer also homered, and Maddie Brown threw a three-hit shutout. The following day at Burrell, McCutcheon and Brown each cleared the fence.

Griffins’ pitcher Bergert receives multiple accolades

Following a dominant performance on the mound, Seton Hill University pitcher Brandon Bergert was recognized by both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). In a 6-0 victory against Grand Valley State, Bergert tossed eight scoreless innings, permitting just an infield single and issuing one walk, while striking out eight. As a result, he was named the PSAC West Pitcher of the Week and the NCBWA Atlantic Regional Pitcher of the Week. After splitting their four-game set against Mercyhurst this past week, the Griffins are 14-7 overall.

Bearcats MVB resides in top spot

Saint Vincent College men’s volleyball is leading the AMCC standings entering the final stretch of the regular season. The Bearcats are 7-0 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, including a pair of victories last week. Last Wednesday, SVC outlasted host Penn State Altoona 3-2, and followed with a straight-sets victory against Penn State Behrend on Saturday. Against Altoona, the Bearcats dropped the first two sets, but rallied for a reverse sweep. Shawn McSwiggen collected 32 kills, setting a program record, while Zach Wyant dished out 50 assists. In the home win against Behrend, McSwiggen totaled 17 kills, while Wyant produced 29 assists and 21 digs.