With sophomore shortstop Julia Resnik and senior pitcher Shelby Telegdy at the top of the lineup, Elizabeth Forward possesses a potent one-two punch that few teams can match — and Hampton found that out the hard way on Thursday night.

Both Resnik and Telegdy were at the top of their game from the very first pitch of the WPIAL Class 4A championship game at PennWest California’s Lilley Field, combining for three extra-base hits, four RBIs and four runs scored while providing an undeniable spark for the Warriors. Resnik went 2 for 3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI and three runs scored, and Telegdy went 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and three RBIs while pitching a complete game with six strikeouts to propel No. 1 Elizabeth Forward to a 10-2 blowout win against No. 2 Hampton.

The win brought the Warriors (20-1) their second WPIAL title in school history and first since 2019 after several years of close calls and heartbreaking defeats.

“It’s been a while. We’ve been close,” said Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford. “That’s pretty much what [Telegdy] has done all year and for her whole career here for us. She comes up big in the big games.”

Freshman pitcher Marissa Snyder took the loss for the Talbots, but she still went 2 for 3 at the plate with a run scored while gaining vital big-game experience that should serve her well in the future. Senior catcher Mackenzie Reese, a Pitt recruit, went 1 for 3 and drove in a pair of runs in the defeat.

“I kept telling [the kids] all year, I just wanted them to experience this,” said Hampton first-year coach Katie Hedderman. “It’s their first time in school history to play for a WPIAL championship, so no matter what happened today, we were making history. … I’m looking forward to the future.”

Sophomore Hannah Evans also had a game to remember for the Warriors, providing a major boost out of the No. 9 spot in the lineup while going 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Freshman Berlyn Holibaugh went 1 for 3 and drove in a pair while making a terrific jumping catch at second base, and Resnik also added a web gem of her own while leaping to corral a sharp line drive at shortstop.

“[Resnik] is definitely a D-I ballplayer,” Rutherford said. “I think the young team still has a lot left in them for the next couple years.”

It didn’t take long for Elizabeth Forward’s stars to set the tone for the rest of the game. After Resnik led off the bottom of the first with a single to center on the very first pitch she saw, Telegdy launched a mammoth home run over the left-field fence just two pitches later to give the Warriors an early 2-0 advantage.

“I’ve been in a little bit of a slump, so I was just like, ‘First pitch, if it’s there, I’m going to go for it,” Resnik said. “I know even from first base, [Telegdy] is going to hit me in, and she did. … We’ll celebrate tonight, and then tomorrow, get back to work and back to business.”

Elizabeth Forward’s Shelby Telegdy celebrates on her way to home plate after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning of a 10-2 win against Hampton in the 2024 WPIAL Class 4A championship game. (Mike Darnay)

Holibaugh then singled home Resnik in the bottom of the third to make it a 3-0 lead — and Elizabeth Forward was just getting started.

After Evans tacked on an RBI single with one out in the bottom of the fourth, the floodgates really began to open up. Resnik followed with an RBI triple to bring Evans home, then Telegdy drove Resnik home with a double off the base of the wall in right-center. After a tremendous diving catch in right field by Brooke Murgenovich, two more runs came home to score on a sacrifice fly to give the Warriors a comfortable eight-run cushion.

“They’ve been doing it all year long,” Rutherford said. “Every starter is [batting] over .300. Every kid is contributing. We have five kids who are hitting over .500. It showed today.

“They just feed off of each other, and they just keep on pounding the ball.”

Reese finally got the Talbots on the board with a two-run double in the top of the fifth inning, but it was far too little, too late. Elizabeth Forward padded its lead with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Evans notched a two-run single to make it a 10-2 lead. Addy Nigut nearly ended the game via mercy-rule on a fly ball to center field with runners on first and second, but Hampton center fielder Jessie Lange made a spectacular diving catch of her own to end the inning and extend the game for the Talbots.

Lange’s highlight-reel grab only delayed the inevitable, though, as Telegdy went on to silence Hampton’s bats the rest of the way. The Seton Hill recruit got Reese to ground out with a pair of runners on base in the top of the seventh for the final out of the ballgame, setting off a wild celebration in the infield as the Warriors erased all the painful memories of their recent playoff defeats in the blink of an eye.

“It just means everything,” Telegdy said. “So many years we were close, and now we’re on top. It’s just the greatest feeling ever.”

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at srotstein@unionprogress.com.

Steve Rotstein

Steve is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at srotstein@unionprogress.com.