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This Week on the MSA Sports Network

While Mother Nature tries to send one more (hopefully) winter blast our way, we look forward to plenty of red hot spring sports action on the high school, college and professional level this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We feature plenty of WPIAL and District 6 baseball and softball including seven games from the MSA Sports Hometown Softball Program. We also have WPIAL boys volleyball and girls lacrosse action, college baseball featuring Slippery Rock University and Geneva College and women's college lacrosse, plus we have news from the auto racing world with Rappin on Racin and pro baseball featuring the Class AA Altoona Curve ALL here at MSAsports.net

Monday, April 23rd:

TALK SHOW - Rappin on Racin at 6:00pm on MSAsports.net
 

Tuesday, April 24th:

Hometown Softball Program Game Recap - Montour

On a day more suited for ducks,and fish the crew from MSA SPORTS went to Fairhaven Park in Kennedy Township for a Hometown Softball broadcast between the home standing Montour Spartans and the visiting Chartiers Valley Colts. Unfortunately for the Spartans in their inaugural Hometown softball broadcast the scoreboard and weather would not be kind to them as they took a tough loss 14-5 in six innings.

The game was called by the umpire after the 6th due to the poor condition of the field. 

Chartiers Valley scored four runs in the 1st, one in the 4th, and 2 in the 5th but only led 7-5 as the Spartans answered with runs each time the Colts scored.

In the first inning Montour plated a run as Megan Vacco was hit by a pitch and with two outs Allison Reidel hit an RBI double to make it 4-1.

In the second  with one out Tori Roman the Spartans 1st baseman hit a booming HR to left field to cut the lead again to 4-2.

MSA Sports Hometown Softball Program Salute - ELIZABETH FORWARD WARRIORS

Belle Vernon and Thomas Jefferson are in good shape for a playoff spot in the WPIAL Class AAA Section 3 and are in the hunt for a section championship. But at the midway point, both teams are looking up in the standings at the Elizabeth Forward Warriors. Not bad for a program that missed out on the postseason the last two years. But EF does have a successful recent history. The Warriors played in the 2007 WPIAL Class AAA championship game where they lost to Belle Vernon 3-1. In 2008, the Warriors advanced to the district Semifinals before falling to eventual champion Ellwood City. Elizabeth Forward coach Harry Rutherford's young team hopes to make history as they head into the second half of this season having won two in a row and five of their last seven games.

SENIORS:

Hometown Softball Program Game Recap - South Allegheny

A year ago, South Allegheny hit a good stride going into the WPIAL playoffs and, despite earning only a 13-seed, went on to qualify for the PIAA playoffs by winning the Class AA Consolation game. This year, it appears that the Gladiators are again hitting that stride.

Behind a terrific comeback, South Allegheny (5-4, 4-2) knocked off Greensburg Central Catholic (7-3, 5-2) 5-4 in 8 innings on Thursday evening in Glassport. 

The Gladiators, who fell to GCC 14-2 earlier in the season, came out much more determined in this contest, as star hitter Taylor Geary would go 4-4, pushing her batting overage for the year to over .650, as well as scoring 3 runs, including the game winner. 

Sarah Jacobs, despite giving up the 4 runs, pitched magnificently towards the end of the game and kept GCC in check, leaving base runners stranded several times.

Butler's Nesbitt & Sewickley Academy's Kaye Win WPIAL Boys Singles Tennis Championships

Last year, Will Nesbitt of Butler beat Vivek Nimgaonkar of Shady Side Academy in a hard fought three-set match in the WPIAL Semifinals before moving on to win the district title. History repeated itself Friday at North Allegheny as Nesbitt beat Nimgaonkar again to claim a second straight WPIAL Class AAA Boys Singles Tennis Championship. Meanwhile in Class AA, Sewickley Academy teammates clashed in the title match where Colin Kaye swept past Grayson Geller in straight sets giving the Panthers junior district gold. Here are all of the results from the 2012 WPIAL Boys Singles Tennis Playoffs.

The championship and consolation matches can be heard archived here on the MSA Sports Network.

2012 WPIAL CLASS AAA BOYS SINGLES TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP:

MSA Sports Hometown Softball Program Salute - BALDWIN HIGHLANDERS

As we hit the half way point of section play in this 2012 season, the Baldwin Highlanders are in a tie for first place in the WPIAL's Class AAAA Section 5 with both Canon-McMillan and Peters Township.  The Highlanders hope to make the WPIAL playoffs for a third straight year after losing in the district Semifinals last year to Seneca Valley after beating rival Peters Township 8-5 in the Quarterfinals. Now in her second year at the helm, Baldwin coach Sam Hovanec hopes to continue the rich tradition of purple and white softball as the Highlanders have won ten WPIAL championships, including 9 titles in a 12 year span from 1985 to 1996. It's been 12 years since Baldwin won their most recent crown in 2001, now the Highlanders hope to add their first Class AAAA championship to the list of all their AAA gold.

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Boys Volleyball

Each week during the regular season, MSA Sports will rank the top ten boys volleyball teams in the WPIAL in both classifications every Wednesday at www.MSAsports.net  Log on every day for updated standings and match broadcasts on your exclusive home for the 2012 WPIAL Boys Volleyball Playoffs, the MSA Sports Network at MSAsports.net

Section record in parenthesis.

WPIAL CLASS AAA TOP TEN:

1)   NORTH ALLEGHENY TIGERS  (6-0)
(Last Week #1)

2)   SENECA VALLEY RAIDERS  (5-1)
(Last Week #2)

3)   NORWIN KNIGHTS  (6-0)
(Last Week #3)

4)   UPPER ST. CLAIR PANTHERS  (5-0)
(Last Week #5)

5)   BUTLER GOLDEN TORNADO  (4-2)
(Last Week #4)

6)   LATROBE WILDCATS  (5-1)
(Last Week #6)

7)   BETHEL PARK BLACK HAWKS  (4-1)
(Last Week #7)

Hometown Softball Program Game Recap - Brentwood

At Brentwood High School, the home standing Spartans had a rough day on the field losing to section rival the Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles  by a score of 14-1. Coming into the game the Spartans were a half game out of 3rd place with a 3-3 section record, now they are 4-5 overall and 3-4 in AA section 1. 

Half way thru the season but still hope for a playoff berth, the Spartans just couldn't get any runs off Eagle pitcher Bree Fisher.  Any time Brentwood had runners on, the KO defense made a big play to thwart a rally. The Spartans had runners on in every inning but the second, but had runners thrown out at 3rd base three times, at home once, and after a single in the final inning at first to end the game. 

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Softball

Each week during the regular season, MSA Sports will rank the top ten softball teams in the WPIAL in all four classifications every Tuesday at www.MSAsports.net, including NEW #1 teams again this week in Class AAAA and Class AAA. Log on every day for updated standings and game broadcasts, including the Hometown Softball Program here on your exclusive home for the 2012 WPIAL Softball Playoffs, the MSA Sports Network at MSAsports.net

WPIAL CLASS AAAA:

1)   SHALER TITANS  (8-2)
(Last Week #5)

2)   NORWIN KNIGHTS  (8-1)
(Last Week Unranked)

3)   HEMPFIELD SPARTANS  (6-3)
(Last Week #4)

4)   PETERS TOWNSHIP INDIANS  (8-3)
(Last Week #1)

5)   CANON-McMILLAN BIG MACS  (7-2)
(Last Week Unranked)

6)   SENECA VALLEY RAIDERS  (8-2)
(Last Week #9)

MSA Sports Top Ten - WPIAL Baseball

Each week during the regular season, MSA Sports will rank the top ten baseball teams in the WPIAL in all four classifications every Monday at www.MSAsports.net  Here are this weeks rankings, including a NEW #1 team in Class AA. Log on every day for updated standings and game broadcasts on your exclusive home for the 2012 WPIAL Baseball Playoffs, the MSA Sports Network at MSAsports.net

WPIAL CLASS AAAA:

1)   SENECA VALLEY RAIDERS  (7-1)
(Last Week #1)

2)   NORWIN KNIGHTS  (7-0)
(Last Week #2)

3)   BETHEL PARK BLACK HAWKS  (8-1)
(Last Week #4)

4)   SHALER TITANS  (7-2)
(Last Week #6)

5)   HEMPFIELD SPARTANS  (7-2)
(Last Week #7)

6)   UPPER ST. CLAIR PANTHERS  (7-2)
(Last Week #5)

7)   BUTLER GOLDEN TORNADO  (6-2)
(Last Week #3)

This Week on the MSA Sports Network

While it is a taxing time for some, it will be a golden time for others as the first WPIAL spring sports champions will be crowned this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We feature the 2012 WPIAL Boys Singles Tennis Championships along with a steady dose of WPIAL and District 6 baseball and softball along college baseball featuring Slippery Rock University and WPIAL boys volleyball, plus we have news from the auto racing world with Rappin on Racin and pro baseball featuring the Class AA Altoona Curve ALL here at MSAsports.net

Monday, April 16th:

TALK SHOW - Rappin on Racin at 6:00pm on MSAsports.net

WPIAL High School Baseball - Norwin vs Laurel Highlands at 4:15pm on WMBS-AM 590

WPIAL High School Baseball - Shaler vs Seneca Valley at 4:00pm on MSAsports.net

Scholastic Notebook

Tis’ the season for basketball all-star games. The top senior players – boys and girls -  in the WPIAL and City League will be playing in two all-star events the next two Saturdays.

The Roundball Classic will be played next Saturday at Geneva College’s Metheny Fieldhouse. This has become the top all-star games in the area. The event includes two boys games and two girls games. The girls games are at 2 and 4, and the boys games at 6 and 8.

A few of the top players in the girls games are Oakland Catholic’s Bobbi Baker, Mount Lebanon’s Kelly Johnson and Fort Cherry’s Beka Bellhy, Bethel Park’s Justine Carroll and North Allegheny’s Alexis Aiken.

The boys games feature, among others, Highlands’ Micah Mason, Beaver Falls’ Sheldon Jeter, Butler’s Nate Snodgrass, Plum’s Nolan Cressler and Lincoln Park’s Devontae Watson.

Hometown Softball Program Game Recap - Elizabeth Forward

Sometimes the team that gets the better pitching and hitting fails to win. That was the case Thursday evening, as Elizabeth Forward fell to West Mifflin 4-1 in the third section game of the season for each squad.

Three errors and eight stranded base-runners doomed the Warriors, who got a fantastic effort from starting pitcher Portia McBride.

McBride, who was a backup hurler to start the season but has pitched every inning this season due to injuries, struck out a career-high 15 West Mifflin batters. Her defense did her no favors though, has they would commit those three errors, with one costing the Warriors a run.

After 3 scoreless innings, EF would strike first on an RBI base hit by Megan Sorton off Titans pitcher Paige Flore  that would score Kelsey Havel in the bottom of the 4th.

However that would be the last run that the Warriors would bring across the plate.

Hometown Softball Program Game Recap - Chartiers-Houston

In a game fitting of two teams previously unbeaten in Class A, Section 1, the Chartiers-Houston Buccaneers outlasted Frazier by one run extra innings. 

The Buccaneers had averaged nearly 13 runs per game and had only scored less than 10 runs one other time but struggled to get runs against Commodore starting pitcher Andrea Lash who scattered seven hits.  Lash deserved a better fate on this day as all five of the runs she gave up were unearned. 

MSA Sports Hometown Softball Program Salute - SOUTH SIDE BEAVER RAMS

The South Side Beaver softball team are in the hunt for a playoff spot and section championship in the WPIAL's Class A Section 5. The Rams have qualified for the playoffs three straight years and in 2011, beat Jefferson-Morgan and Frazier in the WPIAL playoffs before losing to Chartiers-Houston in the Semifinals. The team did however qualify for the PIAA state softball playoffs for the first time in school history. They are a proud member of the new MSA Sports Hometown Softball Program this season. Here is an inside look at the Rams.

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