After the conclusion of stellar regular seasons for two local sporting clubs, the WPIAL announced its Championship Brackets with no surprises to those who follow the programs – Ellwood City Wolverines softball (15-0 overall) and Riverside Panthers baseball (15-1 overall) teams received top seeds and byes in their respective Class-3A Championship brackets.
For the Wolverines, they will see their first action on Wednesday, May 17th and will face the winner of the 8/9 matchup – #8 Burrell Buccaneers (7-7) will first play #9 McGuffey Highlanders (7-11) at North Allegheny High School on Monday, May 15th at 5:00pm.
Senior pitcher Skyla Greco, carries a 0.91 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 77 innings for the Wolverines while sophomore outfielder Anna Ferrucci (.605), sophomore catcher Ariana Garroway (.514) and senior outfielder Brooklyn Magill (.421) lead the offensive attack. In her decorated high school career, Greco has compiled a 55-11 record with 542 strikeouts according to MaxPreps.com.
If the Wolverines are looking to collect their second consecutive WPIAL championship, they may expect to play the top remaining seed – #2 South Park (15-2 overall) – whom Ellwood City defeated in their 2016 Class-AA championship run.
For the Panthers, after their first-round bye, they await the winner of a Burrell/New Brighton set to take place on Wednesday, at Seneca Valley High School at 4:30pm.
Senior starter Cristian Cicchinelli carries a 5-0 record and 0.71 ERA into the playoffs while Austin Dambach leads the offense with 21 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Cicchinelli has struck out 41 batters in only 39.1 innings on the season.
Riverside could possibly see some familiar foes in their course to a repeat title beginning with the opportunity to play New Brighton (7-8 overall) in second round play and perhaps matching up with remaining top seed = #2 Steel Valley (16-3 overall) – both whom Riverside defeated soundly in their 2016 Class-AA championship run.
Also, in WPIAL 3-A opening round action, the #13 seed, Lady Panthers (4-9 overall) will face #4 Southmoreland Scotties (9-6) at Hampton High School Field on Monday, May 15th at 3:00pm while the Ellwood City Wolverines (10-9 overall) will face Charleroi (11-6 overall) on Wednesday, May 17th at Burkett Park at 7:00pm.
The 2017 WPIAL softball championship game will take place at California University while the baseball championship game will take place at Consol Energy Park on Tues/Wed May 30-31, 2017.
The WPIAL is made up of 10 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.