The finals for Friday’s PIAA Softball Championships have been set.
The Class AAA semifinal between Berks County foes Conrad Weiser and Twin Valley finally ended in eight innings on a home run by Weiser’s Aaron Price (thanks to Steve Patton of the Reading Eagle for the info). It was the fifth time that Weiser and Twin Valley had played this year.
Thus, the championship pairings for Friday’s PIAA Baseball Championships at Altoona’s Blair County Ballpark:
Owen J. Roberts (25-4) vs. Henderson (24-4) at Blair County Ballpark, Altoona, Friday, June 18, 1 p.m.
Notes: Henderson and Owen J. Roberts are making their first championship game appearances … The Henderson is the District 1 runner-up, OJR the 1-AAA third place team. They did not meet in the 1-AAA playoffs nor in the regular season, so this is cool. Roberts has losses to Downingtown West (7-5), Methacton (11-6), West Lawn Wilson (10-9) and eventual 1-AAA champion Council Rock North (9-6). Henderson’s four losses were to PIAA AAA semifinalist Twin Valley (10-1 in the season opener), Downingtown East (6-4), Avon Grove (6-1) and Council Rock North (4-1 in the 1-AAA title game).
Conrad Weiser (26-3) vs. Hershey (20-8) at Blair County Ballpark, Altoona, Friday, June 18, 6 p.m.
Notes: Weiser is making its first PIAA championship appearance, Hershey its seconds. Hershey beat Langley Langley 5-4 to win the 1982 AAA title … Conrad Weiser’s 6-5, eight-inning victory over Twin Valley in the semifinals was the fifth time Weiser and Twin Valley had met this year; Weiser won all five meetings … Hershey has the hottest bats in the state playoffs, scoring 44 runs in its three PIAA interdistrict games. The Trojans’ eight losses fall two short of match AA finalist Martinsburg Central for the most losses of any team in the PIAA finals, but like Hershey, Central has been swinging freely: The Dragons have scored 14 runs in each of their last two games.
Bermudian Springs (20-7) vs. Martinsburg Central (16-10) at Blair County Ballpark, Altoona, Friday, June 18, 10:30 a.m.
Notes: Two surprise finalists, but utter proof that getting hot at the right time is what matters in the PIAA’s single-elimination format. Bermudian lived in Delone Catholic’s shadow much of the year before beating its leaguemate handily in the District 3-AA finals. Likewise, Central watched Mount Union get all of the in-season accolades and even were one-hit by Trojans’ ace Brock Goodling in the 6-AA championship game. But the Dragons pounded Goodling, who had a 0.78 ERA entering the semifinals, for 10 of their 16 hits. Central has scored double-digit runs 13 times this season … Bermudian is making its firls PIAA championship appearance, having won 10 of its last 11 games. The Eagles had never advanced beyond the PIAA quarterfinals before this season. … Central made its lone previous PIAA championship appearance in 1984, losing to Chambersburg 3-1 in the AAA title game.
Christopher Dock (19-3) vs. Serra Catholic (24-1) at Blair County Ballpark, Altoona, Friday, June 18, 3:30 p.m.
Notes: Christopher Dock has been one of the state’s hottest programs in recent years. It won the 2005 and 2006 Class A titles, beating Homer-Center 6-1 in ’05 and Erie Villa Maria 9-0 in ’06. Serra is making its second straight appearance in the finals, losing 7-3 to Camp Hill in last year’s championship game. … Serra’s only loss was 6-5 setback to Seton-LaSalle on March 27, nearly three months ago. … Dock’s losses also came early in the year to Pennridge (7-4), New Hope-Solebury (10-8) and Delco Christian (10-0) … Serra Catholic is the only WPIAL team in the state finals this year.