Two Wyoming Valley Conference softball teams in The Times-Tribune coverage area are in action in the PIAA quarterfinals. Tunkhannock faces Bethlehem Catholic in Class 4A, while Pittston Area takes on Solanco in Class 5A.
Here are preview capsules for the two games:
CLASS 4A SOFTBALL
2-1 Tunkhannock (14-3)
vs. 11-1 Bethlehem Catholic (19-5)
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Central Columbia High School
Online: Follow @CVSteveBennett on Twitter for live updates.
How they got here: District 2 champion Tunkhannock defeated Bishop McDevitt, 7-2, in the first round. District 11 champion
Bethlehem Catholic topped Jersey Shore, 8-3.
Players to watch:
Tunkhannock: Faith Jones (.457); Hope Jones (.406); Jena Simmons (4 HRs).
The buzz: Tunkhannock is in the state tournament for the second year in a row. Last year, the Tigers posted three easy wins — 7-0, 15-4, 9-4 — before falling in the state championship game. … Hope Jones and Kendra Schultz share pitching duties with a combined 1.45 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 155 innings. … Bethlehem Catholic has five senior starters who played for the Golden Hawks’ 2015 state champion team. … Senior shortstop Jess Indelicato will play at University of Scranton. She was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, a double, a run and two stolen bases against Jersey Shore. … Sophomore Tatum Kresley is an NCAA Division I recruit with a verbal commitment to play at Rider.
Up next: Winner advances to Monday’s semifinals against East Pennsboro/Nanticoke Area winner.
CLASS 5A SOFTBALL
2-1 Pittston Area (11-5)
vs. 3-3 Solanco (23-2)
When: Today, 6 p.m.
Where: Patriots Park in Allentown
Online: Follow @Seamon SaysSport on Twitter for live updates.
How they got here: District 2 champion Pittston Area blew out West Chester Henderson, 10-2, in the first round. District 3 three-seed Solanco shut out Bishop Shanahan, 5-0.
Players to watch: Pittston Area: Alexa McHugh (.507 OBP, 26 RBIs); Lexi Felinski (.500 OBP); Madisyn Antal (3 HRs).
Solanco: Kara McClune (.415, 35 RBIs).
The buzz: For a team that just won its first-ever state playoff game, the Patriots actually have a good deal of big-game experience on which to rely. Pittston Area has played in three district championship games in three years, winning one (this season). The Patriots also play competitive games against rival Wyoming Area. There was also this year’s victory against Class 6A state champion contender Hazleton Area. … McHugh and Nina Cencetti split the pitching duties almost 50-50 with McHugh throwing 60 innings and Cencetti 57. They have a combined 2.19 ERA. … The 23 wins are a school-record for Solanco softball. … Solanco has scored 10-plus runs in 12 games. … Solanco head coach Brett Miller has more than 400 career wins in 30 years.
Up next: Winner advances to Monday’s semifinals against winner of Archbishop Ryan/Lampeter-Strasburg.
— Matt Bufano