Forgive Southmoreland coach Todd Bunner for taking a moment to catch his breath following his team’s playoff game against Yough on Thursday.
“That was definitely one of the wildest games I’ve ever been a part of,” Bunner said.
A wild finish has Southmoreland headed to the WPIAL semifinals for the third year in a row.
Southmoreland, the No. 2 seed, avoided an upset bid by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to outslug section rival and No. 7 Yough, 15-14, in a Class 3A quarterfinal at Norwin.
After Yough (10-5) scored five runs in the top of the seventh to increase its lead to 14-8, Southmoreland (15-2) kept its season alive courtesy of a furious rally.
“These girls, this is the way they are,” Bunner said. “We were down five or six, but I didn’t think it was that big of an issue because they still had to pitch to us.”
Makayla Etling had one of the biggest hits in Southmoreland’s final at-bat, as her three-run home run cut the Yough lead to 14-12. Gwen Bassinger followed with an RBI double and Kaylee Doppelheuer tied the score with an RBI single. With two outs, Brynn Charnesky hit a ball to right field that dropped in safely. The ball also was misplayed by Yough, allowing Doppelheuer to score the winning run.
Etling also tripled twice and finished 4 for 5, while Taylor Doppelheuer homered and drove in a pair for Southmoreland. McKenzie Pritts and Katie Proctor each had four hits for Yough. Pritts, Adoria Waldier and Kaylin Ritenour all homered for the Cougars.
Yough outhit Southmoreland, 20-15, yet fell to 0-3 against the Scotties this season. The Scotties defeated Yough, 15-10 and 11-1, in the regular season.
Other Class 3A
• Emma Zehner’s three-run double with two outs in the bottom of the sixth allowed No. 3 Waynesburg (16-3) to rally for a 3-2 win against No. 11 Ligonier Valley (9-8) at West Mifflin. Ligonier Valley scored twice in the third when Cheyenne Piper had an RBI single and Maggie Peters scored on an error. Waynesburg advances to the semifinals for the first time since 2010.
• Defending champion and No. 1 Avonworth (19-1) hit six home runs to overpower No. 8 Central Valley (9-6), 10-0, at Montour. Alivia Lantzy and Rylee Gray smacked two home runs apiece and Leah Kuban and Layne Shinsky each added one. The Antelopes have won seven games in a row and scored 25 runs in two playoff games.
• Katie Armstrong fired a 3-hitter and struck out 16 to push No. 4 Burrell (13-5) into the semifinals for the second year in a row with a 5-1 win against No. 5 Mohawk (12-5) at Montour. Armstrong also drove in a run for the Bucs, who got two RBIs from Abbie Larko and one from Pyper Ferres.
• No. 2 Laurel (15-2) toppled section foe and No. 7 Riverside (12-5) for the third time this season, 3-2 at North Allegheny. Grace Zeppelin provided the big blow for Laurel, hitting a two-run homer in the second to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Laurel won its regular-season meetings with Riverside, 3-0 and 4-0.
• Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (14-3), the No. 6 seed, plated four runs in the fifth to rally from two runs down for a 6-3 win against No. 3 Serra Catholic (15-4) at West Mifflin. Freshman Leann Walzer highlighted OLSH’s big fifth by hitting a two-run home run. Hope Lyons homered for Serra, which ended its season with two straight losses after winning 10 in a row.
• After being held scoreless through three innings, No. 1 Neshannock (18-0) scored 10 runs over the next three innings to extend its winning streak to 44 games with a 10-0 six-inning win against No. 8 Burgettstown (12-8) at North Allegheny. Addy Frye pitched a 3-hitter and struck out eight for the defending WPIAL and PIAA champions.
• Greensburg Central Catholic (13-2), the No. 5 seed, scored three runs in the top of the seventh to come from behind and beat No. 4 Charleroi (16-3), 4-3, at Norwin. Trailing, 2-1, the Centurions got a two-run double from Erica Rodriguez and an RBI single from Abigail Dei to take a 4-2 lead. Maddie Lancy hit a solo home run for Charleroi in its final at-bat.
• Freshman Lauren Rush went 4 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs to lead No. 4 Chartiers-Houston (13-5) to an 11-3 win against section rival and No. 5 West Greene (12-8) at Peterswood Park. Seanna Riggle and Ella Richey also homered for the Bucs, who defeated the Pioneers by scores of 9-7 and 6-5 in the regular season.
• Delaney Warnick had three hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs while leading No. 3 Frazier (14-1) to a 12-2 six-inning win against No. 6 Jefferson-Morgan (9-8) at Peterswood Park. Madison Bednar added three hits and three RBIs and Grace Vaughn drove in a pair for Frazier, which extended its winning streak to 14 games.
Class 3A quarterfinals
Avonworth 10, Central Valley 0
Burrell 5, Mohawk 1
Southmoreland 15, Yough 14
Waynesburg 3, Ligonier Valley 2
Class 2A quarterfinals
Greensburg Central Catholic 4, Charleroi 3
Laurel 3, Riverside 2
Neshannoock 10, Burgettstown 0 (6)
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 6, Serra Catholic 3
Class 1A quarterfinals
Carmichaels 13, Leechburg 3 (6)
Chartiers-Houston 11, West Greene 3
Frazier 12, Jefferson-Morgan 2 (6)
Union 16, Jeannette 1 (3)