PIAA Preview: Warrior Run (17-4) vs. North Schuylkill (24-2)

Class AAA softball

Warrior Run (17-4) vs. No. Schuylkill (24-2)

at Central Columbia, 5 p.m.

Warrior Run road to quarterfinals

In District 4, beat Bloomsburg, 4-3 and North Penn-Liberty, 9-1; lost to Loyalsock, 6-4; in states, beat Brandywine Heights, 7-6

Warrior Run notes: The Defenders are in the quarterfinals for just the second time in program history and for the first time since 2012. Warrior Run rallied from a 3-0 fifth-inning deficit to beat District 3 champion Brandywine Heights in eight innings. Megan Zimmerman used a perfect hook slide to score on Lauren Watson’s go-ahead bunt and the Defenders denied the 20-win Bullets their second straight quarterfinal appearance. Warrior Run shared the HAC-III championship with Loyalsock and fought back from a five-run seventh-inning deficit in the district final, making it a two-run game on Gina Beyer’s 3-run home run. Beyer is one of four starters hitting above .400 and Warrior Run is hitting a collective, .398. Senior shortstop Haley Miller went 2 for 4 against Brandywine Heights and is hitting a team-best .522 with two home runs and 23 RBIs. Madi Waltman hit a two-run triple during a six-run fifth inning last Monday and is hitting .478 with 23 RBIs. Waltman also is 12-4 as a pitcher with a 1.83 ERA and 153 strikeouts. Freshmen Hannah Michael, Gracy Beachel and Jade Swartz have had outstanding debut seasons and senior Megan Herriman is hitting .348 with a team-best 25 RBIs.

North Schuylkill road to quarterfinals

In District 11, beat Pen Argyl, 5-0; Northern Lehigh, 6-1 and Pine Grove, 3-2; in states, beat Swenson, 20-0

North Schuylkill notes: The Spartans avenged two previous defeats against Pine Grove and exacted revenge for a 12-1 loss in the Schuylkill League championship by beating it in the District 11 final. North Schuylkill scored three runs in the final three innings to win that agme. Danni Holmes hit a two-run fifth-inning single, then stole home in the seventh for the go-ahead run. She is one of six players hitting above .300. Schuyler Ossman is hitting a team-high .500 with three home runs and 21 RBIs while Holmes is batting .387 with two home runs and 23 RBIs. Freshman Violet Ryan hits .352 with 16 RBIs and Joslin Seitzer has a team-leading 27 RBIs, hitting .338 with seven doubles. Haley Burd is the team’s only senior hitting above .300 and also has 20 RBIs. Burd has pitched every inning this season, going 24-2 with a 1.23 ERA and 224 strikeouts in 154 innings. She bounced back from giving up 11 hits in the Schuylkill League final to throw a 4-hitter with in the district championship, although she did walk eight batters. North Schuylkill played three District 4 opponents, beating Mifflinburg, 4-2; Danville, 4-3 and Bloomsburg, 7-2. Burd threw a 4-hitter with six strikeouts against Danville and a 5-hitter with 11 strikeouts against Mifflinburg. North Schuylkill returns most of its starters next season and has doubled its win total from last season.

Winner plays: Either District 2 champion Holy Redeemer or District 1 champion Springfield-Montgomery

— By CHRIS MASSE

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