Tom Sorce thought he would try something a little different.

The coach of the undefeated Shaler softball team handed the ball to freshman Bria Bosiljevac instead of his ace pitcher Bethany Rodman for the No. 2-seeded Titans’ WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game Wednesday against No. 7 Franklin Regional at Gateway.

Bosiljevac responded by striking out 16 over seven shutout innings, while Rodman added a first-inning grand slam to put Shaler well on its way to a 7-0 victory and into the WPIAL semifinals.

“She usually comes in and closes games out for us,” Sorce said of Bosiljevac. “We did it a little different [Wednesday]. They haven’t seen much of her so we figured let’s go with her and see what happens.

“She definitely didn’t let us down. She’s a great kid that has a bright, bright future. She’s got well over 100 strikeouts. She only pitched 49 innings.”

Rodman ended up with five RBIs and two hits for Shaler (18-0) against Franklin Regional (12-7).

“It broke the ice,” Sorce said of Rodman’s grand slam. “It was a monster. It was probably one of the farthest hits I’ve ever seen. She just bombed it.”

Senior Eloise Facher also hit a third-inning two-run homer for the Titans.

“I have a lot of respect for their coach, Jim Armstrong, and their program,” Sorce said of Franklin Regional. “He’s been very successful there. He’s a friend of mine. Their starting pitcher tore her ACL and that had an impact on what he could do. That’s a good program and we are happy to get through a game with them.”

Shaler advances to play No. 3 Trinity at a site and time to be determined.

“After the season was over and we got in to the playoffs we kind of said we are 0-0 again and now we want to be 8-0,” Sorce said. “We started with the first two wins and it feels good.”

Class 6A

• Pine-Richland junior pitcher Isabella Sulesky conceded a first-inning run against North Allegheny, but retired the next 17 batters in a row to lead the No. 5 Rams (7-14) to a 5-1 victory against the No. 4 Tigers (14-7) at Seneca Valley. North Allegheny’s lone run was scored by senior center fielder Meghan McDonough. Pine-Richland sophomore Iliana Aggelou drove in two runs, while junior Mackenzie Gillis plated the go-ahead run with a two-run double in the fifth. Marissa DeLuca also drove in a run for the Rams with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Class 4A

• No. 1 Elizabeth Forward (17-0) fell behind by three runs after the top of the first against No. 8 Hampton (13-6), but rallied to advance to the semifinals with a 9-3 victory at West Mifflin. After a rough start to her outing, Warriors pitcher Shelby Telegdy went on to throw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, the last of which was her 150th of the season. Senior second baseman Lauren Vay led Elizabeth Forward at the plate with 2 hits, 2 RBIs and 1 scored. The Warriors next will face No. 4 Belle Vernon.

• No. 3 Chartiers Valley (17-2) opened its playoff run with a five-inning, 10-0 victory against No. 6 Knoch (11-9) at North Allegheny. The Colts were led at the plate by Madison Crump, Rylee Prosperi, Marta Gualazzi, Lilly Duffill and Annabelle Helt, who each had two hits. Chartiers Valley pitcher Zoe Mangan allowed just 1 hit with 2 walks and 1 strikeout in 5 innings.

Shaler’s Bria Boslijevac. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

• Lauren Van Divner and Olivia Kolowitz each drove in a run as No. 4 Belle Vernon (16-4) knocked off No. 5 West Mifflin (13-6), 2-1, at Boyce-Mayview Park in Upper St. Clair. Ava Zubovic had a triple and single for the Leopards, while Van Divner and Mia Zubovic each contributed with two singles. The Titans were led at the plate by Trinity Tewell and Caleigh Ignat, who each doubled. Kolowitz also struck out 9 and allowed just 1 unearned run on 3 hits over 7 innings for Belle Vernon.



Class 6A

Norwin 8, Canon-McMillan 7

Pine-Richland 5, North Allegheny 1

Class 5A

Shaler 7, Franklin Regional 0

Armstrong 5, Thomas Jefferson 3

Trinity 13, Latrobe 3

South Fayette 4, West Allegheny 3

Class 4A

Elizabeth Forward 9, Hampton 3

Montour 11, Indiana 1

Chartiers Valley 10, Knoch 0

Belle Vernon 2, West Mifflin 1

John is a copy editor and page designer at the Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

John Santa

John is a copy editor and page designer at the Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at