Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

W. Allegheny Eyeing First Crown

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

W. Allegheny Eyeing First Crown

Article excerpt

After celebrating West Allegheny's 7-5 softball win against Thomas Jefferson in the PIAA Class 5A semifinals Tuesday with her team, coach Mindi McFate went home, grabbed a slice of pizza from the fridge and headed out the door to her son's 8U baseball game.

So it hadn't really sunk in that the Indians would be playing in their first PIAA championship game 4 p.m. Thursday in University Park, Pa.

"That's kind of always been that Holy Grail that's been out there, that you just kind of always seem to come up short," McFate, in her 15th year as coach, said."We're getting there. So I don't think it's actually fully registered yet."

It's a big step for the Indians, who have taken strides as a program the past few years.

In 2016, West Allegheny played in its first WPIAL championship, falling to Mount Pleasant, 10-0. In 2017, the Indians beat Moon, 12-2, for their first WPIAL championship win, advancing to the PIAA semifinals before falling to Cedar Cliff, 6-5.

The state semifinal win against Thomas Jefferson, a rematch of the Indians' 4-2 win in the WPIAL championship less than two weeks earlier, marks the furthest West Allegheny has gotten in the playoffs.

That history isn't lost on the team, McFate said.

"I think they kind of recognize that they're almost pioneers, if you want to call them that," McFate said.

"They've really kind of set the pace for making history at West A and for our girls' high school softball."

West Allegheny will play Lampeter Strasburg, a strong offensive team which has posted wins of 9-0, 8-2 and 6-4 in the playoffs, at Nittany Lion Softball Park.

The Indians are led by senior pitcher Ashley Seamon, who has a 2.69 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 143 innings.

Offensively, the Indians are consistent through the lineup instead of relying on one star hitter, McFate said.

The Indians have seven players batting at .380 or above (minimum 50 at-bats). …

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