What to watch in WPIAL sports April 29, 2022: Section title up for grabs when PT and TJ meet


Thursday, April 28, 2022 | 6:09 p.m.

Four years ago, the Thomas Jefferson and Penn-Trafford softball teams met in a WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game.

The stakes may not be quite as high on Friday, but a sectional championship could be on the line.

The Jaguars and Warriors are both 7-1 in the 1-5A Division, one game in the loss column on Latrobe with three section games remaining.

Penn-Trafford is ranked No. 5 in the latest HSSN softball rankings with an 11-1 overall record.

The Warriors’ only loss came in the previous meeting with the Jaguars. Senior Graci Fairman hit a hat-trick as TJ won at home, 3-2.

PT freshman Cameron Ponko had two hits, including a double and a home run.

Going back to that playoff game in 2018, No. 11 Thomas Jefferson knocked out No. 3 Penn-Trafford, 7-4. The Jaguars beat No. 2 Albert Gallatin in the semi-finals before losing to West Allegheny in the title game, 4-2.

More Friday Softball

On a busy day of district softball, there are at least two other diamond dandies.

In Section 3-3A, South Allegheny have a one-game lead in the loss column against Southmoreland and Waynesburg.

With the Gladiators sheltering fifth-placed McGuffey, the Scotties and Raiders face off in Greene County.

The two teams played nine days ago with Southmoreland winning a blow, 4-3.

The top two teams in Section 3-2A collide when undefeated Frazier visits Carmichaels.

The Commodores are in first place, 6-0 in the section and 8-0 overall. The Mighty Mikes are hot on their heels at 4-1, 6-2.

Last week, Frazier won the first meeting, 3-0.

Friday in Fredericktown

A series of district baseball sections that began last Saturday will finally end six days later when California visits Beth-Center for a game at 7 p.m.

The Trojans and Bulldogs are tied for second with Bentworth in Division 1-2A, two games behind first-placed Carmichaels.

If Game 2 looks like Game 1, batting averages and ERAs will be up.

In the series opener on Saturday, California won at home, 17-16.

Trojans junior Aidan Lowdon and Bulldogs senior Riley Henck each had four points in the game.

Key loose matches

The top four WPIAL women’s lacrosse teams from Section 1-3A will face off on Friday.

Mt. Lebanon (6-0) will visit Bethel Park (6-2) while Upper St. Clair (6-1) host Canon-McMillan (5-2).

On the boys’ side, the two teams chasing North Allegheny in Section 2-3A will face off as Fox Chapel (3-1) visits Shady Side Academy (4-1).