McKeesport had not won a postseason softball game in more than a decade yet twice held leads Monday against a team that played for WPIAL and PIAA championships just a season ago.

But in the end, the Tigers just couldn’t cope with Cope.

Shania Cope went 4 for 5 with a career-high six RBIs to help No. 5 Montour rally for a 16-8 win against No. 12 McKeesport in a WPIAL Class 4A first-round game at West Mifflin.

McKeesport (7-11), which last won a playoff game in 2013, didn’t back down from Montour (10-6), going up 2-0 on the Spartans in the third inning and then 3-2 an inning later. But every time the Tigers threw a punch, Montour countered, and it was often Cope doing the damage.

Cope, a junior infielder, hit a two-run single in the third to knot the score and cracked a two-run double as part of a six-run Montour fourth before tacking on an RBI triple in the fifth and a run-scoring single in the sixth.

Montour’s Delaney Barto celebrates after hitting a double during Monday’s 16-8 win against McKeesport in a WPIAL Class 4A first-round game at West Mifflin. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

It was another big offensive outburst for Montour, last year’s WPIAL and PIAA runner-up, which scored at least 15 runs for the third time in four games. Cope got a lot of help Monday, too, as the Spartans pounded out 18 hits. Paige Fiedler was 3 for 4 with three RBIs, Gia LaBrie 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Emily McClean 3 for 5 with three runs scored.

“I think at the beginning of the season [the offense] was a little iffy, but when we started helping each other, I feel like we figured it out and have been really hitting well lately,” Cope said.

Montour, which has won five consecutive games, will meet Section 3 rival Chartiers Valley in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The teams split a pair of regular-season meetings.

“It’s going to be an exciting game,” Cope said. “I think we’re going to put up a good fight. But to do that, our bats will have to be on and so does our defense. Our pitching, as well. But we have pretty good pitchers, so I think we’ll be OK.”

Class 4A

• Delaney O’Connor went 3 for 5 with two doubles and five RBIs to lead No. 4 Chartiers Valley (15-3) to a 16-6 six-inning win against No. 13 Highlands (3-14) at Montour. Kylie DeSalle, Kaitlyn Truong and Caitlin O’Farrell each added two hits apiece for the Colts, with O’Farrell also adding on three RBIs. The Colts have won six games in a row and 11 of their past 12.

• There will be a new champion in Class 4A, this after No. 11 Blackhawk (9-7) upset No. 6 and defending champion Belle Vernon (13-7), 7-5, at Peterswood Park. Blackhawk jumped to a 5-0 fourth-inning lead and Karma Malcolm provided what turned out to be the winning run courtesy of her solo homer in the fifth. Belle Vernon’s Lauren VanDivner homered and knocked in three.

• Mia Bey doubled twice, tripled and had four RBIs in leading No. 9 West Mifflin (11-8) to a 10-1 win against No. 8 Uniontown (8-7) at Gateway. Bey’s two-run double sparked a four-run first inning for West Mifflin, which won a playoff game for the fourth year in a row. Winning pitcher Rylie Dobnak gave up four hits and three walks while striking out 13.

• Freshman McKenna Brailey went 3 for 4 with four RBIs to vault No. 7 Knoch (14-6) to an 8-3 win against No. 10 Greensburg Salem (8-13) at Plum. Sophomore Marlee Fraser picked up the win on the mound, striking out nine while giving up three unearned runs over seven innings of work. The Golden Lions led, 3-0, before Knoch scored the final eight runs.

Penn-Trafford players celebrate after Lorryn Sepe hit a home run in the first inning to score the first run of the game against Bethel Park on Monday at West Mifflin. Penn-Trafford won, 3-2. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Class 5A

• No. 2 North Hills (14-4) used a big rally and some late heroics to squeak past No. 15 Mars (6-13), 9-8, at North Allegheny. After trailing, 5-0, early on, North Hills pulled to within 8-5 heading into its final at-bat. The Indians went on to score four runs in the seventh, highlighted by Kaylee Bischoff’s bases-loaded walk-off single that scored Natalie Anzaldi.

• Alyssa Schaffold’s walk-off single scored Olivia Sachs to help No. 5 Shaler (15-3) eliminate No. 12 Franklin Regional (10-9) for the second year in a row, 3-2, at Plum. Sachs had an RBI single and Emily Spears brought home a run via a squeeze bunt for Shaler, which has won six of seven. Ciara Camacho homered for Franklin Regional.

• Emma Paul and Abby Bauer each homered twice to power No. 1 Armstrong (15-3) to a 9-6 win against No. 16 Western Beaver (6-7) at North Allegheny. Winning pitcher Madison Baker finished with eight strikeouts and retired the final 10 batters she faced. Shay Shall had two hits for Western Beaver and Abby Tomkowski added a pair of RBIs.

• No. 8 Connellsville (13-7) used a six-run first inning and home runs by Kirra Davis and Cali Leichliter in the fourth to roll to a 9-4 win against No. 9 Plum (11-7) at Gateway. The big first inning was highlighted by Tagan Basinger’s two-run double and Molly Greenawalt’s three-run triple. Danielle Pici hit a three-run homer in the fifth for Plum.

• Zoe Krizan’s home run propelled No. 10 Thomas Jefferson (10-7) to a 6-4 upset of No. 7 South Fayette (11-6) at Peterswood Park. Freshman Aubrey Shaffer picked up the pitching win for the Jaguars, who advanced to the quarterfinals for the third season in a row. South Fayette had defeated Thomas Jefferson, 7-5, in the regular season.

• Kayla Williams was the winning pitcher and added two hits and an RBI to propel No. 11 Latrobe (10-10) to a 5-1 win against No. 6 Trinity (11-6) at Montour. Madi Balko added a home run and two RBIs for Latrobe, which took a 3-0 lead in the fourth before holding on for the win. Williams carried a no-hitter into the fourth before Nina Christy broke it up with an RBI single.

• Aubrey Police’s 100th career hit came on a two-run homer during a seven-run fourth and vaulted No. 3 West Allegheny (18-3) to a 12-1 five-inning win against No. 14 Fox Chapel (7-10) at North Allegheny. Ava Benish went 3 for 3 with a home run and three RBIs for the Indians, while Cali Fiscus and Ava Henke each added two hits. Fox Chapel fell to West Allegheny, 18-3, in the first round a season ago.

• Cam Ponko’s run-scoring double in the sixth broke a 1-1 tie and allowed No. 4 Penn-Trafford (13-5) to capture a 3-2 win against No. 13 Bethel Park (10-10) at West Mifflin. Lorryn Sepe’s solo home run in the third provided Penn-Trafford with the game’s first run. Bethel Park then tied the score in the top of the sixth before Penn-Trafford surged ahead with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Allyson Paulone was the winning pitcher.

Penn-Trafford’s Cam Ponko celebrates after hitting an RBI double against Bethel Park on Monday at West Mifflin. Penn-Trafford won, 3-2. (Emily Matthews/Pittsburgh Union Progress)


Class 5A first round

Armstrong 9, Western Beaver 5

Connellsville 9, Plum 4

Latrobe 5, Trinity 1

North Hills 9, Mars 8

Penn-Trafford 3, Bethel Park 2

Shaler 3, Franklin Regional 2

Thomas Jefferson 6, South Fayette 4

West Allegheny 12, Fox Chapel 1 (5)

Class 4A first round

Blackhawk 7, Belle Vernon 5

Chartiers Valley 14, Highlands 4 (6)

Knoch 8, Greensburg Salem 3

Montour 16, McKeesport 8

West Mifflin 10, Uniontown 1

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at